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Ayurvedic 'second stage trial' success

62milestogojoe

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Hi, back 3 weeks now from Ayurvedic therapy in India and feeling like I'm back in remission again. Treatment lasted 3 weeks including 1 week detox.

There were some variations in treatment compared to the January session but the basics were the same, nasyam, shirodhara and a mixture of tablets and liquid medicines.

Happy so far with results which enable me to get back to a physical life (swimming, gym and cycling), a mental life (no 'brain fog' or cognitive symptoms) and a working life (back in the lab 2 to 3 days a week).

Must make a correction on the description of the 'panchagavya'...the detox liquid taken for 4 to 5 days. Though it does contain 5 cow products, it also contains 41 different herbal/plant medicines. Detox remained tough but it wasn't so bad this time having been through the process once before.

As in January, I have returned with 3 months of tablets and liquid medicine. Regime remains the same with the exception of a new tablet addition called Activa Forte which contains;bacopa monneri, centella asiatica, celastrus paniculatus, acorus calmus, eletaria cardamomum, emblica officinale, withania somnifera, nardostadya jatamansi and convolvulus pluricaulis.

If you are interested in getting well through this method please check out my earlier posts detailing treatment.
 

Hip

Senior Member
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17,800
Thanks for your update, @62milestogojoe. Very interesting to hear that the same treatment also worked a second time.

Can you give an estimate of how long the treatment lasted the first time you took it, before the benefits started wearing off? Did the benefits remain while you were taking the 3 months of tablets and liquid medicine that you brought home from India the first time?

On this second occasion, did you have any feeling for which of the treatments was creating the benefit, or was that not possible to tell, given that the treatments were given during the same three weeks?

The main two treatments I believe you had are:
  • Panchagavya, a recipe for which is given here (it is made from cow’s dung, urine, milk, curd and ghee). A blog article by @62milestogojoe's here also details this Ayurvedic treatment of panchagavya: the dung actaully contains a lot of bacterial species, which are listed in the blog. Plus the 41 different herbs.
  • Nasyam, a treatment involving intranasal administration of human breast milk, which contains among other things IgA immunoglobulins (see this post).


For anyone who wants to read @62milestogojoe's original thread, see here.

Note that @62milestogojoe told that an ME/CFS patient he knows who also tried the same treatment in the same Ayurvedic clinic in India failed to get any benefits; so like many ME/CFS treatments, it does not work for everyone.
 

62milestogojoe

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Hi Hip, just to clarify, another person responded quite well eventually and a different PR member has reported on the treatment here http://forums.phoenixrising.me/inde...-known-me-for-a-very-long-time-call-me.56859/

I guess this makes a grand total of 3 ME?CFS patients who have undergone Ayurvedic treatment in Kerala.

To answer your questions; the first 3 months following treatment in January were what I would consider remission with the rider that I did not try any mountaineering (an acid test for me). The duration of ayurvedic take-home medication did more or less correlate with the sense of remission. I have a similar set of medicines this time around.

Regarding most beneficial treatment, I would say the detox (which incorporates the panchagavya) and shirodhara this time (similar in action to magnetic pulse therapy?). Though I did have nasyam on 10 days this time around I did not have human breast milk incorporated into the plant extract. This, I regretted since I believe it is an effective therapy based on January's experience.

It should be noted that the doctor considers benefits to patients to belong to a holistic realm i.e. all elements of treatment working synergistically. It should also be noted that I have been taking nootropics for 5 years and that both of the other ME patients treated by Abin also responded very positively to GVS-111.
 

Hip

Senior Member
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17,800
Looking at this study on shirodhara (the slow pouring of oil or liquid on the forehead to induce relaxation), they found that shirodhara "leads to a state of alert calmness similar to the relaxation response observed in meditation". Via EEG monitoring the study noted an increase in brain alpha waves after shirodhara, which is what you also get from meditation.

I wonder if that would work for me: I used to do quite a bit of mindfulness meditation, and know well the relaxed but alert and perceptive state meditation puts you into; however, since developing ME/CFS I find that I can no longer get into that relaxed state from meditation. But maybe shirodhara might work for me even though meditation doesn't.


Intriguing how shirodhara causes relaxation, whereas Chinese water torture (in which drops of water are slowly dripped onto a person's forehead) is capable of "causing emotional cracks within a couple of hours". I guess both treatments show that the forehead may be a sensitive place.



I guess this makes a grand total of 3 ME?CFS patients who have undergone Ayurvedic treatment in Kerala.

So 2 out of 3 ME/CFS patients responded to the treatment in the clinic in Kerala?
 

62milestogojoe

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Hip, in shirodhara, very warm/hot medicated oil is poured in a rhythmic manner over the forehead for up to one hour.. I think if you have had previous experience of meditative states that you may find this treatment beneficial. I suspect there is a need for the patient to be receptive to the trance like state that shirodhara produces. This technique is of course available in all major conurbations which have an ayurvedic practitioner.

Of the 3 patients treated then, 2 were receptive to this therapy, the third believed he was unable to benefit from it due to a protracted state of anxiety. This person benefited from other therapies however.

All 3 patients responded to treatment but to different degrees. The course of treatment is intensive, involving many therapies. What I would like to see is a controlled study using these techniques involving people from the community with varying degrees of disability.with a rational, empirical approach to a study.

The improvement in all aspects of functioning of one patient was radical. I think echobravo would be happy to relate his experiences. The process was not smooth and not without setbacks but was very rewarding to watch from my perspective. It is a powerful experience to watch somebody with quite severe ME recover the ability to walk 5km and swim.
 

Sushi

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Hi, back 3 weeks now from Ayurvedic therapy in India and feeling like I'm back in remission again. Treatment lasted 3 weeks including 1 week detox.
So glad that you are in remission--you have certainly been a dedicated patient! You may have said earlier, but I wonder if you could repeat here the approximate cost of your 3 week treatment, and if that includes accommodation and food?
 

Hip

Senior Member
Messages
17,800
It is a powerful experience to watch somebody with quite severe ME recover the ability to walk 5km and swim.

So the second person who benefited also made quite jump on the ME/CFS scale of mild, moderate and severe? as a result of this Ayurvedic treatment?

Roughly speaking, severe ME/CFS = bedbound much of the day; moderate ME/CFS = housebound; mild ME/CFS = able to work, but with difficultly.



What I would like to see is a controlled study using these techniques involving people from the community with varying degrees of disability.with a rational, empirical approach to a study.

That would be good. I think we need to figure out the key treatment which is having the major benefit, as then it might be possible to make that treatment available for other patients to try at home. Since on this second occasion you did not do the intranasal breast milk therapy (though I understand still have some other intranasal herbs via nasyam), we can perhaps rule that out as being key.

I am now just wondering whether the panchagavya therapy you had might have been the key factor. Given the long list of bacterial species present in panchagavya, one might view panchagavya as a form of fecal microbiota transplant (FMT), also called fecal transplant, or bacteriotherapy.

There have been a couple of dozen threads on this forum about fecal transplant for ME/CFS (see here). And there is an Australian study, the Borody study, which claimed a 70% success rate with fecal transplant, putting 42 out of 60 ME/CFS patients with concomitant IBS into full remission.

Although note that the Borody study implanted cultured gut bacteria (Bacteroidetes, Clostridia, and E. coli) into the colon, rather than a fecal microbiota transplant. So that's not quite the same as FMT.

(However, at Borody's own clinic, the Centre for Digestive Diseases in Australia, he does not appear offer bacteriotherapy or FMT treatment for ME/CFS. According to the website, he treats ulcerative colitis and IBS with FMT, but not ME/CFS. So his study claims to have found an amazing cure for ME/CFS with IBS, but he is not offering this treatment at his clinic.)

So this could potentially be the basis by which panchagavya worked to ameliorate your ME/CFS. Normally fecal transplant is performed using stool from healthy human donors, who ideally have been screen for viruses such as HIV and hepatitis. But with panchagavya, you are effectively performing a fecal transplant from a cow rather than a human.

A bovine fecal transplant might be safer, because perhaps a cow is less likely to carry viruses that can infect humans.

Having said, I just found this 2017 paper which found a link between bovine leukemia virus (BLV) and human breast cancer. This virus appears to be quite common in humans, because the study found 41% of healthy women have BLV in their breast tissue, and 80% of women with breast cancer have it. The virus may pass to humans by drinking raw milk, and it has been hypothesized that this is how BLV entered the human population, before milk pasteurization became widespread.

But this virus may not be much of a concern, because another study found that people who drink raw milk do not have a high incidence of cancer in general. I guess that may be because there are already high levels of BLV in the human population. Whether the virus is present in cow dung, and whether it is something to be concerned about with panchagavya, I don't know.



In the Borody study, out of the group of patients placed into remission, 58% of them were found to still be in remission when some of them were contacted 15 to 20 years later. So Borody really achieve some long term success.

Though note that all 4 of the patients in the Borody study that had ME/CFS alone (with no concurrent gastrointestinal symptoms like IBS) failed to respond to the fecal transplant. So that suggests fecal transplant may only work for ME/CFS patients with gastrointestinal symptoms such as IBS.

Do you have IBS as part of your ME/CFS symptoms, @62milestogojoe?



Not everyone achieved Borody's treatment success though: when ME/CFS doctor Kenny De Meirleir tried out fecal transplant for ME/CFS, he found this did improve patients' symptoms, but noted that the benefits only lasted for around 10 weeks.

That 10 weeks seems similar to the timescale of improvements you experienced from panchagavya. You said above that it was the first 3 months following treatment that you remained in remission.

I am not sure why Borody had much better long term success (it may possibly be down to "superdonors").

In the UK, the Taymount Clinic charges around £4,000 for a fecal transplant, which seems expensive; but a cheaper option comes from OpenBiome, who charge $635 for FMT oral capsules (though they do not sell these direct to patients; you need to work with a doctor).

By comparison, a cow dung taken from a field of a local farm will cost you nothing!
 
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echobravo

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137
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Norway
and a different PR member has reported on the treatment here

So, I am the third person who has now benefited from Dr. @Abin s ayurvedic treatment of ME. Here is what I wrote in the thread that @62milestogojoe referred to above.

——
My suggestion, when things look hopeless, forget about western medicine, your illness, go to India (if you are able), have 4 weeks of ayurvedic therapy with daily body-mind treatment, then feel the effect of having your hyperaroused sympathetic nervous system rewired to a calmer state. Hopefully, like me, on day 18-19 you will start smiling again. And you will be able to walk, like 5 km again, without exhaustion!

It’s a leap if faith going. But once there you will understand how this holistics approach will take care of your dysregulated autonomous nervous system in ways western medicine is just beginning to investigate (EMDR, PTSD treatment, yoga for trauma resolve etc).

The healing will continue when you get back home, provided you find ways to reduce the triggers of your sympathetic arousal - meditation, yoga, therapy, massage, walks ++ Maybe that’s the hardest part, to avoid focus on illness and symptoms, let all the anxiety go and to get on with life.

The ANS regulates most body functions,and it is clearly dysregulated in ME.

I will invite my doctor in Varkala, @Abin, to comment on the approach he has developed to treat ME.

During the 2-3 demanding first weeks of my stay (jet lagged, dizzy, sleepless, fatigued) I was privileged to have the support from @62milestogojoe, who was in Varkala for his second treatment. Also, his account of the amazing results of his first treatment, was the sole reason I decided to go to India - as a "last desperate attempt" at trying to do something about a declining situation.
——

Bottom line for me is that the holistic approach of the ayurvedic therapy had a calming/rewiring effect on a chronically aroused autonomic nervous system that gave my body a chance to heal from the detrimental effects of long term dysregulation and stress (cortisol, adrenalin, fight & flight). Looking back how this terrible state developed, I suspect a head trauma in my teens wired me for hypervigilance and anxiety. So, to try to avoid relapse, I need to work on the effects of that PTSD, I think.

PS! It would be wonderful if we could set up a more scientific study of the effects of ayurvedic treatmen on ME. Either in selected cities in Europe (bringing Dr. Abin and his people here) or - for the ones brave and well enough to go to India - do it in Abin’s clinic in Varkala.
 
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echobravo

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The improvement in all aspects of functioning of one patient was radical. I think echobravo would be happy to relate his experiences. The process was not smooth and not without setbacks but was very rewarding to watch from my perspective. It is a powerful experience to watch somebody with quite severe ME recover the ability to walk 5km and swim.

The changes that started to manifest during my third week of treatment were indeed rewarding:) Thanks forever, mate, for taking care of me there.
 

mattie

Senior Member
Messages
362
I will invite my doctor in Varkala, @Abin, to comment on the approach he has developed to treat ME.
That would be great!

India is no option for me right now. Would not even make it through the airport.
Maybe some european ayurveda clinics would be willing to work with patients and incorporate some of Dr. Abin's insights.

Bad Ems Germany
Ayurveda Clinic Lelystad, The Netherlands

I know that both clinics offer similar treatments to the ones mentioned by @62milestogojoe
 
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echobravo

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Maybe some european ayurveda clinics would be willing to work with patients and incorporate some of Dr. Abin's insights.

That is indeed an option. Actually, @62milestogojoe also brought up this idea in our discussions in India. For those who can afford it, why not do it in Europe! Maybe Dr. Abin would be able to make the individualized treatment plan based on Skype consultations.. In his clinic he also monitors your progress each and every day, adjusting treatment as seen necessary.
 

mattie

Senior Member
Messages
362
@echobravo Could you give an estimate of treatment costs in India?

The german clinic in Bad Ems will set you back around 10.000 euros for 3 weeks treatment (including hotel en meals)
 

62milestogojoe

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Hi sushi, how are you doing? With ME, as soon as I was able to get out of bed and walk 20 yards (end of acute first 8 months) I decided a policy of 'no surrender' was the only option to fight the disease. I am just back from a 500m swim and steam in the local gym. No surrender.

I looked at options for treatment in the UK but was shocked by the cost-a simple high table massage and steam is about £90. This is approximately 10 times the cost of treatment by a qualified Indian therapist in Kerala. During the consultation phase with the doctor the patient's individual symptoms are highlighted for treatment.

As a result, therapies for treating individuals with ME are tailored to that particular individual. So it's difficult to cost exactly what a week of treatment will cost but I think we 3 paid around $200 a week for 7 days of therapies. Kerala has many Ayurvedic clinics but I think $200 is around an average for treatment.

Organic, vegetarian meals twice a day are part of the detox week prior to treatment proper. You can find decent accommodation in Varkala from $7-10 a night (bed with mosquito net, balcony, en suite etc). Meals outside at a restaurant can be had from $2- 5 for an evening meal.

I went back to the same doctor of course, I had experienced such success from the treatment plan he designed in January. Dr Abin and I talked about him coming to the West to give hands-on seminars to ayurvedic practitioners here recognizing the fact that very severe cases would not be able to travel to India. I do believe, however, that even wheelchair bound patients could make the trip to India with a carer.

I think there is a case to support going to India for treatment......I would not go to China to watch NFL or Mongolia to watch soccer. The foundations of Ayurvedic medicine are thousands of years old and I believe the knowledge and experience of the tradition is best had in the country it was developed in. It helps of course that Kerala is a stunningly beautiful, laid back place.
 

62milestogojoe

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S

Yes Hip, I suffered badly from IBS but only after a substantial evening meal. I began taking probiotics and prebiotics (raw onion, cheap and effective) after year one and symptoms resolved to a large extent. I still make a 'superjuice' of kefir, berries, whey protein, freeze dried veg etc every morning and eat kimchi daily.

This time around I brought home 200ml of genuine panchagavya (5 cow products and 41 different plant extracts) which will provide sufficient detox medicine for two 5 day sessions. I will do the first in April and try as hard as possible to follow Indian procedures during the week- organic, vegetarian food twice a day, exercise (swimming) and steam bath (gym). Not sure how to deal with the massage though.
 

pamojja

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Austria
You can find decent accommodation in Varkala from $7-10 a night (bed with mosquito net, balcony, en suite etc). Meals outside at a restaurant can be had from $2- 5 for an evening meal.

I happen to go to Gokarna, Karnataka (state north of Kerala) for my yearly vacation the last 5 years. To get respite from the struggle to keep a part-time job the rest of the year, in Nature. Though prices have gone up throughout India the last decade, at that beach I still get a night in a mud-hut for € 1.30 (including mosquito net, nothing else but the beach right at the door), and for 0.90 a traditional vegetarian meal. Double that with fish. As always in India, one has to bargain to get such low prices. An Ayurvedic consultation (or whole body massage) for foreigners typically would be about 8,- (pennies for locals) there. Though with an very old practitioner I once paid 0.80. For the full shebang at an Ayurvedic clinic the prices would be pretty much the same as in Varkala.


PS: even the flight was unexpectedly low this year, with 480,- a round trip. Makes the rent I pay for my flat for 6 weeks on vacation the biggest expense of it all.
 
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echobravo

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@echobravo Could you give an estimate of treatment costs in India?

The german clinic in Bad Ems will set you back around 10.000 euros for 3 weeks treatment (including hotel en meals)

And it’s exactly those kind of prices that made India the only option. Abin’s treatment is max USD 250 per week. You can eat at his clinic, vegetarian, if you prefer. Accommodation is plenty on the North Cliff, depending on your standard, calculate USD 10-20 per night. Try to stay close to the clinic. We can assist in this. Abin also has some rooms. eVisa is about USD 50, I think. Vaccination, mosquito spray, summer clothing - also adds to cost. Found cheap flight with Air India CPH-DEL-TRV - long flight, but long 9h pause in DEL to recover from the 8h flight - compression socks, hydration, salt also helped. Alternatively, many direct flights from Dubai to TRV, they are very cheap. So, my flight was EUR 420 or so, tuesday evening is a good time for flight search;) India is ultra cheap, for 500 rupies or so you get a Jio SIM lasting 60 days (?) and you have 1GB data per day. My favourite, fresh coconuts, are 30 rps;) Taxi from TRV to Varkala is approx 1500 rps (night), or train for 30 rps (!). Fish is abundant, meat not so much. Bring a flashlight, and a water bottle. There is lots of oil involved in treatment so bring some light clothing for to and from massages. After march the heat is said to be harsh, so maybe schedule a stay before that. Clinic is closed in summer (monsoon). I think they open again in September (?). Abin runs yoga sessions each morning 7-8, you might wanna see if you can make it as you get stronger. And the beach (walk bare footed:) and sun is healing in itself, as you get stronger.