The 12th Invest in ME Research Conference June, 2017, Part 2
MEMum presents the second article in a series of three about the recent 12th Invest In ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London.
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Optimum health clinic, Mickel therapy and the lightening process

Discussion in 'Alternative Therapies' started by Chronicle, Jun 24, 2015.

  1. Chronicle


    I have recently been diagnosed with CFS, and am waiting to be referred to an NHS treatment centre, the consultant I saw also recommended trying the lightening process. There seem to be a couple of similar approaches around, e.g. Mickel therapy and the optimum health clinic. I have decided to give one a try but wondered which is the best one to go for. I am tempted by the optimum health clinic because they give some additional support around nutrition and are conducting a trial http://www.theoptimumhealthclinic.c...d-controlled-trial-with-university-of-surrey/

    Which suggests they must have some confidence in their approach.

    Does anyone have any recent experience of any of these approaches.

    Esther12 likes this.
  2. Effi

    Effi Senior Member

    hi @Chronicle , welcome to PR!

    The lightning process, Mickel therapy and the optimum health clinic tactics have been tried by many here, sadly mostly with negative effect. It all boils down to neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), where you 'think' away your physical ailments until they actually disappear. In theory it all sounds very logical, but for ME it can be downright dangerous, as you are taught to ignore your body's signals.

    A lot of the teachers are known to be quite pushy and so convinced of the theory that it almost sounds like they're brainwashed. Not wanting to paint them all with the same brush here, but I personally have quite a lot of experience with NLP and although it can be absolutely helpful to get in touch with your body and get to know all the different faces of your illness by objective observation (i.e. detaching emotion from physical symptoms), mind over matter is not something that is going to cure you from ME/CFS.

    I think a safer method to gain some more control over symptoms would be some sort of mindfulness meditation (e.g. google: body scan). This you can do in the comfort of your own home, at your own pace.

    I looked up some previous threads on these NLP-techniques for you:

    on the lightning process:
    on Mickel therapy (slightly heated discussion):
    optimum health clinic discussed here:

    This thread has a link to an article about an NLP-teacher who is an ME-sufferer as well. She seems to be a voice of reason, so it might be an interesting read in your search for answers:

    good luck! :)
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2015
    Woolie, Roy S, SOC and 5 others like this.
  3. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

    It's a bit worrying that an NHS consultant is recommending you try the Lightning Process. I doubt that they'd put that in writing. TBH, I think that's a warning sign that they're not too committed to the evidence or treating you fairly.

    Welcome to the ridiculous quackery of CFS! You might feel that you should spend a few years & loads of money doing things that have no good evidence of their value. You might coincidentally get better during this time, but if not you'll probably come to look more rigorously at the evidence, and then sadly recognise how rubbish and untrustworthy most of those claiming to treat CFS are.

    The Optimum Health Clinic's research is embarrassingly bad, and seems to be nothing more than a sales pitch for the things that they make money out of.

    Sorry not to be more positive! On the bright side, lots of people go through a relatively short period of CFS symptoms and then largely recover, and no-one knows why. Hopefully things will just improve for you.

    If you've got money to spend you could donate it to people doing solid research, eg:
    Valentijn, Sasha, justy and 2 others like this.
  4. A.B.

    A.B. Senior Member

    These approaches are the modern atheist equivalent of faith healing.
    Raines, SOC, Valentijn and 2 others like this.
  5. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Hibernating

    South Australia
    I think you meant lightning process. I think the only thing that will be lightened is your wallet.

    There are some previous threads as well as some links mentioned in those threads:

    In general, I distrust testimonials and anecdotal reports. I do however trust the experiences of those whom I know. For example, if a person was an active member of this forum, said they were going to try a particular treatment, kept us updated and continued to be improved 6-12 months later, then I am much more likely to trust that testimonial, than an entirely new member claiming they have improved after trying a particuler treatment. It could have been a coincidence, it could be marketing, either way it is much more biased than the natural history of a active forum member.

    Why? Because I have tried many things that did not work and I have seen many members try all sorts of things that seemed promising but failed to deliver improvements down the track.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2015
  6. justy

    justy Donate Advocate Demonstrate

    Rather than spend my money on NLP etc at OHC or Lightning process I chose to spend my money on proper medical testing with a highly qualified M.E specialist abroad and they found I have 4 chronic intracellular bacterial infections that are causing severe immune deregulation and high levels of inflammation.

    I am now beginning treatment to try and deal with these and help my body to regain some equilibrium - I have enjoyed using NLP in the past but I don't think it can cure me of chronic bacterial infections and the havoc that has wreaked in my body...
    Valentijn and minkeygirl like this.
  7. Snowdrop

    Snowdrop Rebel without a biscuit

    LP is heavily marketed as a solution for all manner of illnesses for which there are no real proper therapies.
    It's possible that they also 'astroturf' :

    Because CFS/ME is difficult to diagnose objectively with tests there is a lot of politics involved in this illness just as there has been for AIDS and other illnesses in the past that previously did not have clear diagnostic markers. So it's easier to offer cheap therapies where if you don't respond to the therapy by getting well they can blame you for not trying hard enough/being difficult/noncompliant.

    There is also the issue of your diagnosis. There is no real understanding among the general medical community as to what CFS/ME is.
    For history of ME and issues surrounding see:

    For a better understanding of ME as it's understood here see for example:

    I'm not sure where you are located but here are a few links to ME sites that might help you think about your decision:

    Welcome to PR :)
    justy likes this.
  8. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

    Sounds like you need to see a different NHS Consultant if all they could suggest are the approaches that most ME patients avoid.

    I have had dealings with the Optimum Health people and my opinion is that their nutritional advise isn't effective or original. It's just a thin veneeer over their core beliefs in stress and burnout. That said personally I would not put myself in their hands even if I was fatigued through stress.

    Nhs doctors can be confused between cfs and post viral conditions

    My advice would be to examine what patients do who have a choice on what to do with their time and money and who are the informed patients with knowlwdge of research and evidence.

    This is a terrible disease to have on the uk. Some off the nhs clinics are dreadful, some are dangerous and some have elements of useful help.

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