SATURDAY, JUNE 12, 2010 AT 01:21PM
Ever since I finished developing the Reverse Therapy method in 2002 I regularly get abusive emails from people who don’t want to learn anything about Reverse Therapy, or hear the truth about ME or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – ie that they are the same problem and have the same solution. My readers might be surprised by the foul-mouthed names I get called. They might be even more surprised by the fact that some of these people have enough energy to spend hours on the internet abusing me…..
Please let me hasten to add that I and my colleagues have, over the last 8 years, worked with thousands of people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome who a) were seriously ill; b) were open-minded; c) got well by adopting a different approach to the one that many people have been spoon-fed by the medical establishment.
The reason I bring up this subject again is because I have just caught sight of an excellent video which summarises the current state of play on this very difficult subject. It is by Dr Anthony Komaroff, who is also Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
You can catch that video here: CFIDS Talk
What I like about this item is that Professor Komaroff:
a) sympathises with people who suffer from this terrible illness
b) is extremely learned about the subject
c) is open-minded about the potential causes of the problem
d) makes a number of important points which support Reverse Therapy (which I summarise below):
1. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is not ‘all in the mind’; it is a neurological illness
2. In CFS the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis is compromised
3. The Sympathetic Nervous System swings from over to under activity
4. Serotonin release (a mood hormone) in the brain changes
5. Yet CFS has little in common with either Depression or Anxiety
6. The Immune system becomes inefficient following continual over-activity
Dr Komaroff also says that although many cases of CFS begin with a viral infection no single virus has ever been identified as the cause of the illness. He also says (as we do in Reverse Therapy) that it may be that prolonged viral problems in CFS are prompted by a breakdown in the Immune system. The same applies to the XMRV retrovirus.
It is clear, also, that there is a genetic component in CFS. Identical twins are far more likely to get this illness than the average and researchers have identified 22 genes that behave differently in CFS, But let’s be clear on this: genes don’t cause illness on their own. If that were true ALL identical twins would contract the same illnesses in the same way at the same time. Genetics interact with the person’s environment in the same way that they are in dialogue with your emotions, your behaviour, your thoughts, your diet, your physical activities and the people you hang out with.
Indeed, the picture I can see emerging from Dr Komaroff’s presentation is something like this:
Some people are more at risk of getting CFS than others, in the same way that other people are at risk for heart disease, allergies or breast cancer,
The majority of people with CFS (but not all) suffer from viral problems early on in the illness, although here, I am arguing that this is because the immune system is compromised by the brain disorder known as CFS. It is, however, possible that certain viruses complicate and compound the disorder.
There is now extremely strong evidence that both the emotional and thinking centres in the brain demonstrate abnormal activity, exactly as Reverse Therapy suggests.
The illness is maintained, as I have argued in my books, through interactions between the limbic system, the hypothalamus, the adrenal glands, the sympathetic nervous system, and the immune system.
Dr Komaroff has also stated elsewhere that he believes that therapy – cognitive-behavioural therapy – can be of help in that it teaches sufferers how to change thinking patterns and behaviours that maintain the problem. My only dispute with Dr Komaroff here is that therapy – Reverse Therapy – can go on to teach people how to control the symptoms themselves.