Anyone had experience with the optimum health clinic UK?

slysaint

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http://www.theoptimumhealthclinic.c...very-personal-pictures-never-released-before/
Has anyone read his book Why ME?
Just trying to gauge his story; ill at 16, went to uni at 18, read 'thousands of books' and did yoga and meditation (? when did he study) aged 21 recovered and worked as a practitioner (not ME patients),

2003 published book Why ME? "After spending two years bed-bound and developing clinical depression, Alex committed himself to finding a cure".
Aged 23 had a Harley St clinic.

my jury's out at the moment.
 
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I know what you mean but, given that you can't detach the cult from the process itself, isn't that enough to make you think again? Or at least wonder why the cult is put in place?
Yes which is why I haven't done it! Also I don't think they'd have me if I answer the initial vetting truthfully (too questioning). My sister benefited from it but that actually leaves me worried that she'll ignore symptoms /initial signs of relapse. Of course she is worried about me not having done it!

An interesting link between the two topics is Alex Howard (OHC) was initially involved in ⚡ but he clearly distanced himself from it, giving disagreement on their marketing strategy as the reason and also that it can create unnecessary guilt in pwme. The OHC have courses just for ex ⚡ process people.
 

sarah darwins

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I'd love to have one of us do a straight, nothing-off-limits interview with Alex Howard and one of their nutritionists. So many questions.

There may well be some good treatment lurking inside all the rather slickly marketed OHC package, but it's so hard to know. That's what is so frustrating, that we have to take a big, expensive punt on opaque services like OHC, or take the CBT/GET Kool-aid, or travel long distances to one of the few recognised practitioners, or just live with it. Not a great menu of options.
 
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@sarah darwins I don't remember how many sessions I had. Probably about 4 or 5. The nutrition ones are quite spaced out eg 6 weeks apart so you don't have to have many. If can't afford 2 sessions it wouldn't be worth doing. Beforehand you do quite lengthy questionnaires trying to pinpoint what your specific issues might be (eg mitochondrial, immune, adrenergic) you also keep detailed food diary and provide recent blood test results. The 1st session costs more but the nutrionist does some behind the scenes work on all the information you supply. In the 1st session initial diet changes, basic supplements and tests are agreed. In between sessions 1 and 2 you get any relevant tests done eg I did cortisol and DHEA. The 2nd session then makes diet and supplement changes based on the results. You get emailed diet changes, suitable recipes, which supplements to order and how to take them.

My experience was that the first 2 sessions were worth the money but after that it was small tweaks and didn't feel worth it. Money was tight for us and I couldn't afford some of the tests and supplements so I may not have got the full benefit.I made sure I emailed a sort of progress report /agenda before the next session to get the best value from phone sessions (I find it easier to communicate in writing brainfog wise).

I'm not sure it's fair to say that they are opaque but I agree that the slick marketing is counterproductive. It actually makes them seem less authentic. What may make it seem opaque is it's meant to be personalised, so there will be a limit to what they can tell you beforehand. This is an element I am a little sceptical about. Are different people's diets and supplements actually pretty similar or wildly different? From the forum I can tell there is some variation.

They have a forum like this for patients that I still go to occasionally (the other patients are lovely, informed and open minded about what could help). I find this reassuring as there doesn't seem to be censorship (it includes occasional grumbling about OHC itself). This comes across as quite different from the ⚡ cult like feel.
 

sarah darwins

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They have a forum like this for patients that I still go to occasionally (the other patients are lovely, informed and open minded about what could help). I find this reassuring as there doesn't seem to be censorship (it includes occasional grumbling about OHC itself). This comes across as quite different from the ⚡ cult like feel.
That is very interesting. They may be giving themselves a bad rep with that slick marketing you mention. Their website has so many red flags, like the woman wearing headphones and the 'free consultation now' bit!
 
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There's a very fine line between some of those OHC videos and spoof comedy .....
Yes I find the videos quite annoying now, but when I was too ill to read they were helpful. They can be very repetitive but that was what I needed with severe brain fog. For people who can access Phoenix Rising it isn't likely to be the right level.

OHC explore a lot of ideas. I found some things useful and other elements I ignored or tentatively explored and then rejected. I've not done the Psychology sessions just nutrition and Secrets to Recovery videos.

In my opinion they're strong on nutrition/functional medicine and vague subtypes. I like their Bouncing the Boundaries approach to Pacing. They are also good on relaxation techniques although this can become wacky. In the videos they also discuss everyday details like choice of TV programmes.
 

slysaint

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Just in case anyone is interested in questioning AH, he now does a live broadcast on their facebook page every weds night at 6pm with a sort of Q and A session from peoples comments.
 

slysaint

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I didn't unsubscribe from their email list so continue to receive their 'latest' news.
They have produced a documentary.
OHC
"We are very proud to be releasing the trailer for our BRAND NEW documentary film on ME, CFS and FIbromyalgia. To mark ME Awareness Day we have just released the trailer..."

I've watched the trailer and it appears to be their usual stories of 'secrets of recovery'. You can sign up to watch the full documentary.

NB: This is not a recommendation.

eta: I've been wondering if the OHC could be classed as a pyramid scheme as they offer discounted rates to sign up to their practitioner courses with the added incentive of "potentially accelerating your recovery".
eta: I've watched their 1 hour 'documentary'. Basically they've edited together 4/5 peoples stories of recovery. More and more they refer to ME/chronic fatigue (no syndrome) and are now including Fibromyalgia. But their main stance is still the A-type Achiever burn-out scenario.
 
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Arius

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I don't think OHC is a major threat. From what I recall, they get a bit too far into what mainstream practitioners would consider a bit quackish (emphasizing nutrition in disease, etc). There's probably hundreds of clinics like that which include chronic fatigue in the huge list of things which they supposedly cure.

I think staying focused on PACE/QMUL, NICE, NIH/CDC, NHS, etc is a lot more useful, unless someone has a lot of spare time or particular interest in analyzing the OHC crap. OHC is small time quackery, and not aggressive or far-reaching.

Not sure why emphasizing nutrition is "quackish."

Leaky gut fully accounts for all the symptoms in CFS/ME and fibromyalgia, and explains the overlap between the two illnesses. Foreign proteins enter the blood stream through the gut, which has been damaged by diets high in sugar and grains (which reduce to sugar in the gut) and stress, and then travel throughout the body wreaking havoc. Leaky gut can damage mitochondria, cause brain inflammation, nausea, and of course an "auto-immune" reaction when the immune system attacks the crap that isn't supposed to be in your bloodstream. If the mitochondria are attacked, you get CFS/ME. If the muscles and joints are attacked, you get FM.

I've significantly improved my symptoms by changing my diet.

I knew, before I got testing, that I had an overgrowth of sulphate-reducing bacteria because of the rotten-eggs smell of the gas I was producing and the types of foods that produced it. I cut out everything that feeds those bacteria and immediately started feeling better. So far I am aware of precisely zero pharmaceutical oops I mean medical (oh wait there's no difference) interventions that make CFS/ME patients better. So who are the real quacks?

In my opinion, atomistic science will never cure a multi-systemic illness like CFS/ME. At best, it will come up with something that masks symptoms, never addresses the root cause, and ultimately destroys our health even more.

That being said, there's a lot of promising new research showing what holistic practitioners have been saying (and using to successfully improve their patients) for decades: gut health plays a crucial role in overall health - including mental health, by the way. Which makes sense - serotonin and other neurotransmitters are manufactured in the gut by bacteria which can easily be harmed or thrown in to dysbiosis by a modern diet high in sugar and processed food.
 

Valentijn

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@Arius - First of all, I explicitly stated that was what mainstream practitioners would think. Secondly, they only use nutrition to lure in patients for psychosomatic treatments. They don't believe those are effective treatments.
 

Tella

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I don't think OHC is a major threat. From what I recall, they get a bit too far into what mainstream practitioners would consider a bit quackish (emphasizing nutrition in disease, etc). There's probably hundreds of clinics like that which include chronic fatigue in the huge list of things which they supposedly cure.

I think staying focused on PACE/QMUL, NICE, NIH/CDC, NHS, etc is a lot more useful, unless someone has a lot of spare time or particular interest in analyzing the OHC crap. OHC is small time quackery, and not aggressive or far-reaching.
Really? Staying focused on get therapy and cbt they are proven to be helpful? And not focusing on diet and mind healing which both play a huge role in any illness esp cfs? This old thread is full of LOLs......

Don’t be alarmed by ohc. Watch free videos and help yourself.
 

Tella

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Not sure why emphasizing nutrition is "quackish."

Leaky gut fully accounts for all the symptoms in CFS/ME and fibromyalgia, and explains the overlap between the two illnesses. Foreign proteins enter the blood stream through the gut, which has been damaged by diets high in sugar and grains (which reduce to sugar in the gut) and stress, and then travel throughout the body wreaking havoc. Leaky gut can damage mitochondria, cause brain inflammation, nausea, and of course an "auto-immune" reaction when the immune system attacks the crap that isn't supposed to be in your bloodstream. If the mitochondria are attacked, you get CFS/ME. If the muscles and joints are attacked, you get FM.

I've significantly improved my symptoms by changing my diet.

I knew, before I got testing, that I had an overgrowth of sulphate-reducing bacteria because of the rotten-eggs smell of the gas I was producing and the types of foods that produced it. I cut out everything that feeds those bacteria and immediately started feeling better. So far I am aware of precisely zero pharmaceutical oops I mean medical (oh wait there's no difference) interventions that make CFS/ME patients better. So who are the real quacks?

In my opinion, atomistic science will never cure a multi-systemic illness like CFS/ME. At best, it will come up with something that masks symptoms, never addresses the root cause, and ultimately destroys our health even more.

That being said, there's a lot of promising new research showing what holistic practitioners have been saying (and using to successfully improve their patients) for decades: gut health plays a crucial role in overall health - including mental health, by the way. Which makes sense - serotonin and other neurotransmitters are manufactured in the gut by bacteria which can easily be harmed or thrown in to dysbiosis by a modern diet high in sugar and processed food.
What did u cut out n how r u now may I ask?
 

Tella

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I'd love to have one of us do a straight, nothing-off-limits interview with Alex Howard and one of their nutritionists. So many questions.

There may well be some good treatment lurking inside all the rather slickly marketed OHC package, but it's so hard to know. That's what is so frustrating, that we have to take a big, expensive punt on opaque services like OHC, or take the CBT/GET Kool-aid, or travel long distances to one of the few recognised practitioners, or just live with it. Not a great menu of options.
Not really. Just change the diet, heal the mind and calm the fight response. All free.
 

Tella

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hm ... very interesting. It's a hell of a sales pitch, that's for sure.

OHC's bit starts on page 40, for anyone wanting to look.

What strikes me is that they go on about "applying a unique combination of nutritional therapy, functional medicine, conventional biomedicine and psychology."

But then: "Eleven of the OHC staff, including seven of the eight psychology practitioners have suffered from ME/CFS and fully recovered from it" ... about which you have to say two things:

1. That's a lot of psych staff for an "integrated" approach.
2. If they've all recovered from it, they certainly didn't have ME. Oxford Criteria all the way
U do realize some people recover? Wow. I see how ppl hate forums sometimes
 

Revel

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Really? Staying focused on get therapy and cbt they are proven to be helpful?
You have taken Valentijn's quote out of context.

She was actually saying that the treatments recommended through "PACE/QMUL, NICE, NIH/CDC, NHS, etc", are a much greater threat to pwME than whatever OHC was offering at the time. Her "focus" was trained on revealing the inadequacies of CBT/GET, not promoting them as beneficial therapies.