R U Amygdalized?

Dreambirdie

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I've been hesitant to purchase and give his program a try for one main reason...

The reason that concerns me is this. Back when I was still working full-time with CFS, I went through a period of sort of "new age" exploration -- I read books by Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Carolyn Myss, etc. I also was seeing an internationally known alternative health doctor (who shall remain nameless). The books and the advice of this doctor was essentially this: you are only limited by the limits of your thoughts. The doctor encouraged meditation where I visualized myself well, and told me to correct my thoughts to believe I was limitless and disease free, and my body would soon follow.

I have to admit, I went into this gung-ho. It's an empowering idea. The problem was, it caused me to essentially ignore my body. I continued to work full time, tried to maintain a social life, and ignored my limits because I thought all my meditating and positive thoughts would ensure I wouldn't crash. But a few months into this way of thinking, I had a crash so severe I was left bedbound and unable to speak. I never recovered.

So, I'm afraid to go down this route again.
Laurel--

I so MUCH can relate to your experience! I too travelled the "new age" road of mind over matter for many years back in the 1980's, until I smacked into the
dead end wall of total immune depletion/adrenal exhaustion. :eek:

I am now on 32 years of CFS. I have seen 125 practitioners of every ilk imaginable. Everything from the straight western MD's to the most outrageous new age
healers. More than half were either WORTHLESS or DETRIMENTAL. Most of the rest were a waste of time, money and energy. So I too have been very skeptical
about the Gupta program and will have to hear of many many stories of amazing recovery, before I go lunging after another new age pie in the sky.
 

CJB

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I understand your caution.

I share it.

I used to belong to a Pentecostal church, and leaned heavily on Word of Faith teachers for about 10 yrs. Speaking things out and so forth.

Much of it was actually very helpful to me but ... it was while involved in this that I became chronic.

When I got too sick I quit going and went through a heavy re-evaluation period. Tossed everything, including God. Just completely avoided anything that hinted of any of this, for a number of years.

My best suggestion is, focus on the science. If there is good science backing it up, then maybe check it out. Even if it does smell of some of the old stuff.

Some of the things that have helped me this past year (along with some very important supplements and resting techniques I must emphasize :)) have been things that I was sort of familiar with from my old church.

Quite skittish checking these things out. Took my time. No jumping in whole hog -- on anything.

Some of the old things presented in more solid packaging -- positive affirmations, to use an old term. But now, it is realizing that as I allow my thoughts to rest on positive things, my ol' physiological body is hit with healing chemicals. And I can do that as often as I choose. And, it cannot hurt me.

Alot of us have had a mind/body dissociation that has contributed to our fall. Didn't cause it, ok? But sure didn't help healing afterward.

We ignored the body's signals of exhaustion, let the mind lead the way. Till the body made the mind quit ...

So, always try to be aware of what your body is saying, so it won't have to yell it anymore. :)

Another thing from the olden days, re-packaged and tweaked, is reading about singing and healing vibrations, etc. The sort of thing that I normally back away from anymore. Quickly. Reminds me of too many fruity people I used to know.

But, there is a science that can be checked out.

Vibrations are not just new age and old hippies anymore. :D And this is, again, something within most of our reaches, even if all you can do is whisper ... whisper a hum, a piece of a song ... Or if that is physically uncomfortable, just sing it in your head. Send yourself a few nice endorphins or neurotransmitters.

It can't hurt you. It may send a bit of physiological healing your way.

I can't remember who said this, I think Dr Sarah Myhill or Dr. Alison Bested -- and it's a paraphrase at best -- The biochemistry of hope is completely different from the biochemistry of despair.

We can take a little active part in this.

Okay! I am going to start getting lost in this post any minute now so I'm gonna end it.:D
There was a great show on PBS (science based) that had a researcher who was talking about the "chemicals of emotion" and how states of mind can influence us physically. Who was that guy who claimed he had healed himself by laughing? I have investigated and passed on a lot of the mind/body things, but laughing, singing and sharing love just make sense. I know they make me feel better. When I was at my lowest point and struggling just to find a reason to live for one more day, I put a short tape on every morning and sang along at the top of my lungs. It got me through. One of the songs was Celine Dion, "I AM ALIVE".

And for the same reasons, I stopped watching a lot of things on television; ie, the local news, to avoid producing harmful chemicals from fear/anxiety.
 

Esther12

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If there is one single explanation for CFS in general, I'd have guessed it would be something like this.

For myself, I do not think I'm very easily stressed. I don't seem to ruminate or feel anxious, and my emotional state doesn't seem to affect my health in any perceptable way. The closest thing I have is occaisional anger and irritation at things. Again though, I've not noticed this having any affect on my energy levels. It's certainly possible that I'm storing up tension in ways I'm not aware of. I really don't know: it's difficult to be fully aware of your own mind. I do the odd bit of meditation, and I'm interested in mind management type programs, but I've never found any particular problems or anything that helps with my energy levels.

Do you think a program like this would still be useful, even if I'm not really aware of any issues with tension or anxiety? How focused is it on stresses people are consciously aware of?

Actually - my symptoms did get significantly worse over a stressful period when our neighbour's cat gave us fleas. I was being kept up by bites, having to really push myself to do cleaning/spraying (poisoning myself too!), and then afterwards I really spent a lot of time resting up. I'm deeply unsure whether I got worse because of stress, too much exertion, poor sleep, or too much rest. There wasn't a clear pattern.

Thanks.
 
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I gave the AR a go for about 3 months. This was at the start of my illness when I was trying anything to myself well. I have also given Reverse therapy a go. I admit I tried these pretty quickly and didn't really stick with them probably for the amount of time I should have. But I got to a point where I thought there is no way this illness I'm suffering is caused by a bodymind that is not happy with what I'm doing in life or by an amygdala that is over working my stress response due to it thinking I'm in some sort of constant fight or flight response.

Honestly I think all these therapies are a load of horse you know what..... These are people who are making the most of a disease that doesn't have an identifiable organic cause. These quacks will always pop up around any illness that is questionable. People are desperate when ill and they make themselves believe what they want to believe or hear what they want to hear.

If CFS was caused by a 'bodymind' that is not happy with what we are doing then everyone would have CFS well not everyone but probably about 80% of the worlds population. Most people hate the job they are doing, are not happy with there lives etc. They just don't get CFS. Think of the millions of slaves since the beginning of human civilastion, have these slaves all come down with CFS, I think not. The human body and mind has had thousands upon thousands of years to withstand what life throws at it on a mental day to day level.

But it has not yet developed immunity to certain virus's but over time it will. Just like the mouse has with xmrv.

CFS is caused by a virus. There is not doubt about it, how else could millions of people come down with the same condition.
 

LaurelB

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I have had the AR DVD's for almost 6 months now.

I had wanted to write a thorough review of it, but I"m too sick to do so now.

I was really disappointed with it, though.

A couple points:

1. In my opinion, the program is basically stress reduction management, tailored (sort of) to CFS. Or, to an overactive amygdala (we are not supposed to think of ourselves as having CFS, according to Gupta). The techniques he advises are well known stress reduction techniques that have been around for ages. I actually have a stress reduction workbook I got 10 years ago for $16 that has virtually every single recommendation he makes: positive thinking, meditation, stretches, visualization, stop and redirect, distraction, breathing exercises, etc. It even has the exact same instructional technique of breathing through one nostril at a time. Gupta tries to tailor these techniques to CFS, but they are still the same methods in the end. I found nothing new, less perhaps the mind map.. but even that is really the same as stop and redirect.

2. Gupta does in fact say that "all you need to do is think positive." There's more to it than that of course but just making the point that he does in fact say that. He also says that the signals our bodies are giving us are not really signals.. just an overactive amygdala. They are, in his words (he was trying to be cute) "bull shit." :) I find this very dangerous advice to give to someone with CFS, or any physical illness.

Anyway, I had already been doing almost all of what he suggested, but still gave his protocol a full on try according to his specific guidelines. Regretfully, they did not help me. In fact, prior to starting the program, I was doing better than I had in ages. A month into his program, I had a crash (or as he says to call it, a "dip"), and I am now (months later) about as bad I have ever been. Not necessarily because of the program, but despite it. So... needless to say, it didn't help me. :(

Not to discourage others.... I think for those who have a hard time coping and want someone to encourage them on and help them deal with the stresses of being chronically ill, this could indeed be very helpful. Some have had great success with it. It's a money back guarantee, so it's worth a shot.

But... in my view, it's not a cure, as he claims it to be. His theory also just did not ring true to me for a host of reasons I won't bore everyone with. :)

In light of said crash, I will not be on the boards again for a very long while. :( But hopefully I'll be back sooner than expected. I'm thinking positive. :) Wishing everyone a happy, healthier new year!!!
 

Holmsey

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I've been hesitant to purchase and give his program a try for one main reason, and I wondered if you or Cort or someone who has tried it could address this concern for me. Since I haven't listened to the DVD's yet (just the free ones on youtube), my understanding could be way off, so please feel free to correct me.
Hi, I was convinced enough by the amygdala explanation to buy the DVD's, it's not that the science meant anything to me, the explanations just rang true with my experiences.

I passed six months back in October but like one of the earlier posters I've had problems keeping life going, work etc. and the practices. Before purchasing I mailed and asked if the course could be done while still working and was told, yes, it only takes twenty minutes a day, I'm not sure I'd agree with that one and found that staying in bed for an extra forty five minutes was generally more appealing than the morning routine.

That said, I kind of wish I wasn't working though, because while I was doing that routine, I really did feel that the morning stuff was giving me a boost.

As mentioned above the DVDs are very professionally presented, the practices very relaxing and the explanations very convincing (if all slightly drawn out...there goes my impatience again). There are certain practices I keep with, and they do help, but there's always a but and here it ispain.

During that six months an update mail was issued about dealing with pain, seemed I wasnt the only one having an issue with that. The advice on dealing with pain was to simply follow the course instructions for general symptomsnow why wouldnt we think of that!

I've come to the conclusion that it's nigh on impossible not to dwell on your illness when you ache from head to foot, at least not while youre stuck at a desk. I was dropping pain killers just to get my mind off the symptoms. Thats the main thrust of the practice, to get the mind (amygdala) away from the illness and the symptoms, to reassure the body that its ok, you (conscious you) has noticed what it has noticed but youre not concerned so it can relax. Anyway, all that mail did was to kind of reinforce what I'd already noticed, that the practices are great when youre not in pain, but in pain, youre either constantly repeating a practice (often the negative thoughts come during the practice and you start over) or youre looking for alternatives i.e. pain killers to comply. Yep, the course doesn't deal well with how to deal with pain, and pain is sure one big fly in the ointment of this course.

This course definitely helps though, whether it fixes or not I cant honestly say, so far at least it hasnt for me but as Ive acknowledged already I didnt give it everything that was asked.

Whether its worth the money comes down to your individual circumstances, Harley Street offices dont come cheap so theyre not giving it away. If it was free Id say take it and run with it, it definitely gets you to a better place.

Hope this helps you decide.
 

Jody

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Hi Holmesy,

Nice to see you. :)

I did a free trial thing about a year ago of Gupta's treatment. Or that is to say, I watched about half of his free series and then our computer died the big death and I was offline for 5 months or so.

Obviously wasn't applying things to the fullest under the circumstances. My impression from what I did do though was that ... in terms of sending out more of the positive neurotransmitters and other chemicals rather than the one triggered by discouragement, hopelessness, etc., this program gave a clearer understanding of how our thoughts do affect our chemistry and our well-being.

I can't say that what I saw taught me anything new and radically different from what I already knew -- or suspected, or guessed at -- and I'm afraid that Gupta's treatment is also guessing, as is every other treatment that I've ever heard of.

I'd have to go along with the two posts I've read here this morning, Laurel's and Holmesy's, that while this program could be a boost for some, it is no cure for the very physical symptoms. It might even make the difference for some people's symptoms. But for the really ill among us, ... I don't see it.
 

Jody

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Laurel,

I agree with everything Advocate said. :)

*** sigh *** I remember when you were first considering Gupta's program. Remember, we had a conversation here about it? You were undecided and then figured, might as well go for it, just in case this would make a difference.

Sorry it didn't work for you. And beyond sorry that you are in worse shape now than you were those months back.

I will be thinking of you every day. :)
 
K

_Kim_

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Laurel,

You never cease to amaze me - your gentle spirit, care and consideration for others comes through every time you post.

I appreciate the effort you took to give such a thorough review. So thoughtful and articulate. Thanks.

Holmsey,

So good to see you here again. And thanks, too, for your review on the program. It will help others in their decision to try it or not. Like Jody, I watched the free sessions that Gupta has online. I think they made me more anxious - or maybe just more impatient. His style is way too slow for me. I was watching, thinking, "just get to the point already, hurry up and tell me something helpful or even interesting". I think my amygdala doesn't like his amygdala.

In Science daily today, there was an interesting bit about amygdala research coming out of Stanford. Now if we could only get Jose Montoya to hook up with these researchers, we might have a better idea of what the amygdala is really doing in CFS patients. Brain Scans Show Distinctive Patterns in People With Generalized Anxiety Disorder

The researchers also found that both amygdala regions had less connectivity to the region of the brain responsible for determining the importance of stimuli. This could mean that people with the disorder have a harder time discerning truly worrisome situations from mild annoyances. At the same time, the amygdala was more connected to a cortical executive-control network previously found to exert cognitive control over emotion.

The cognitive control connection might explain why GAD is characterized by obsessive worry, Etkin said. People with the disorder feel overwhelmed by emotion and don't believe they can feel sad or upset without coming completely undone. So, in an attempt to avoid facing their unpleasant feelings, they distract themselves by fretting. Such overthinking may work in the short term but becomes problematic over time.

Researchers can't say for sure whether the connectivity abnormalities came first or whether excessive worrying shaped the brain by reinforcing particular neural pathways.
 

Holmsey

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Hi Holmesy,

Nice to see you. :)
Hi Jody, agree with everything you've said, I did have another bit in my original post but took it out because I didn't want to discourage anyone from giving Gupta a try.

I've decided to add it now thought because it mirrors your sentiments about all of the treatments being based on guess work...and because the story has motorbikes in.

Long time ago (spotty youth) I bought my fist bike, wasn't always the easiest to start and the carburetor was prone to flooding. One day I'd more trouble with it than normal, but knowing it's peculiarities I percivered, kicked it over so long I was stiff, disconected the fuel hose, cleaned the filter, tried bumb starting etc...several hours later I gave up and phoned a friend who actually knew something about bikes. He discovered there was a broken wire under the seat.

Moral of the story is, if you don't fix the root problem all your other efforts are in vain.

Hope nobody finds this to depressing...the bike was ok in the end.
 

gracenote

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the moral of the story

It's interesting reading what everyone's sharing on this thread. I've wondered about trying the Gupta program ever since I read Cort's thoughts on it.

Long time ago (spotty youth) I bought my fist bike, wasn't always the easiest to start and the carburetor was prone to flooding. One day I'd more trouble with it than normal, but knowing it's peculiarities I percivered, kicked it over so long I was stiff, disconected the fuel hose, cleaned the filter, tried bumb starting etc...several hours later I gave up and phoned a friend who actually knew something about bikes. He discovered there was a broken wire under the seat.

Moral of the story is, if you don't fix the root problem all your other efforts are in vain.
Hi again Holmsey,

Great little parable. Good point. Nice ending. An alternate moral of the story could be have a friend who actually knows something! :)
 

susan

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I have done the Gupta program and while it has not "cured" me I have found it invaluable in paying attention to self in a more enlightened way. His descriptions of what is actually taking place with our emotional responses is absolutely spot on with me. He has taught me how to get out of a problem place with fear, anxiety and pain. His meditations have done wonders for me and I still continue them.

I personally know one person who is about 90% better. I have decided that some of us are in too much sympathetic overdrive....cant get to the balanced state with the paraysmpathic to detox. Others may be able to get there more easy as they may not be loaded up with too many viruses and other stuff going on.
 

Jody

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Hi Jody, agree with everything you've said, I did have another bit in my original post but took it out because I didn't want to discourage anyone from giving Gupta a try.

I've decided to add it now thought because it mirrors your sentiments about all of the treatments being based on guess work...and because the story has motorbikes in.

Long time ago (spotty youth) I bought my fist bike, wasn't always the easiest to start and the carburetor was prone to flooding. One day I'd more trouble with it than normal, but knowing it's peculiarities I percivered, kicked it over so long I was stiff, disconected the fuel hose, cleaned the filter, tried bumb starting etc...several hours later I gave up and phoned a friend who actually knew something about bikes. He discovered there was a broken wire under the seat.

Moral of the story is, if you don't fix the root problem all your other efforts are in vain.

Hope nobody finds this to depressing...the bike was ok in the end.
LOL

Love the bike story. I can relate to it. Well most of it. Wish I could find a friend to phone who actually ... knew something about cfs. :rolleyes:

Oh, and thank you for the reassurance at the end. I am relieved to know the bike was ok. :D
 
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Hi everyone, my name is Graham. I've just joined this forum. I've had CFS for almost 2 years, and although I consider my symptoms relatively mild compared to some other people's, it's been quite devastating for me. I found this thread fascinating as I've just started the Gupta programme. I've set up a blog to track my progress and keep me committed to it (6 months sounds like a long time to me!), so if you're interested please visit me at http://cfs-survivors.org/blog

Cheers,
Graham
 
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There was a great show on PBS (science based) that had a researcher who was talking about the "chemicals of emotion" and how states of mind can influence us physically. Who was that guy who claimed he had healed himself by laughing? I have investigated and passed on a lot of the mind/body things, but laughing, singing and sharing love just make sense. I know they make me feel better. When I was at my lowest point and struggling just to find a reason to live for one more day, I put a short tape on every morning and sang along at the top of my lungs. It got me through. One of the songs was Celine Dion, "I AM ALIVE".

And for the same reasons, I stopped watching a lot of things on television; ie, the local news, to avoid producing harmful chemicals from fear/anxiety.
Hi CJB,

I do exactly the same thing. I feel better when I'm doing it. When I revert to 'old habits' like watching the news and crime shows etc, I can feel the stress building up again. I don't read newspapers etc. I am careful of the movies I watch and the types of books I read. I have even censored watching the news on Haiti. There is nothing I can do for these people other than send a donation. Watching the horror they are living does not help them or me in any way.

Also, I have read that the body reacts in just the same way to what we imagine and what we really experience. It makes sense if you imagine a lot of worst case scenarios your body is going to feel like it really is happening to it. A good example is the flight and fight response. Which can be bought about by a thought or something that is really happening. Plus with illnesses like ours the flight or fight response can be 'built in.' For me it's hard to find the right balance though. Mind numbing boring isolation from the company of people can also be very stressful to me. Not that I have much choice at times.

It's great that you can sing. I don't have the muscle power for it at this time. I used to put on music and listen to it loud and sing along. Now I can't stand the loudness and as I said haven't got the muscle power to sing along -- I run out of words, literally.