The Perrin Treatment Protocol
Perrin described six techniques he uses to increase lymphatic flow: specific lymphatic massages, gentle articulatory maneuvers to increase mobility of the spine, soft tissue massage of the muscles, chiropractic adjustments, cranio-sacral techniques to improve the cranio-sacral rhythm, gentle functional techniques to release the pelvic area, and exercises.
Perrin told Whitten that standard lymphatic drainage techniques make ME/CFS patients worse because they stimulate flow in the wrong direction.
After relaxing the upper back muscles and increasing movement in the spine, Perrin attempts to free up the lungs by relaxing the respiratory muscles using a technique called “diaphragmatic release”.
Perrin’s exercises can easily be done at home and consist of gentle twisting of the upper body while the hands are held around the side of the neck, while crossing one’s arms and hugging one’s shoulders, and with the arms folded at the waist. I found that they can significantly decrease tension in the upper body.
Perrin also describes self-massage techniques to aid lymphatic drainage. One simple technique called nasal release can bring about a ‘lasting release”. He recommends sleeping on your side with a cushion between your knees to aid drainage from the brain and spine. He also recommends blue light filters on your computers, tablets. etc. and, staying off those devices before bedtime.
Instead of anti-inflammatories, Perrin prefers alternating warm and cold packs or compresses, particularly in the upper and middle back for about 10 minutes.
Treatment sessions occur once a week for the first 12 weeks, after which they decline in frequency. Severely ill patients may take up to 3 years of treatments, while the moderately ill may take 8-12 months. Getting adequate rest is critical. The very severely ill FM and ME/CFS patients can be difficult to treat if they can’t tolerate being touched.