What is Reverse Therapy? A New Remedy for CFS/M.E. and Fibromyalgia A Bodymind Healing Process Reverse Therapy™ is based on research by Dr John Eaton from 1996 to the present day into Bodymind intelligence and symptom-focused therapy. It is a revolutionary new approach to healing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME and FMS which resolves the symptoms of these conditions by identifying and acting on the Bodymind messages which underpin them. Reverse Therapy is based on the very latest innovations in the Psychobiology (the study of interactions between 'mind' and body'), Psychoneuroimmunology (which investigates Brain, Behaviour and Immune system reactions) and Bodymind Healing - a holistic approach to 'dis-ease' which investigates why the organism has been forced to produce symptoms in order to address an imbalance in the individual's life circumstances The Basic Idea The basic idea behind Reverse Therapy is that the symptoms of CFS/ME/FMS, and other non-specific illnesses, are produced by glandular problems which, in turn, are initially triggered by external pressures. As the pressures remain unresolved, due usually to internal blocks in the person, Bodymind is forced to place the body on ‘red alert’ and to send symptoms to warn that new actions need to be taken. The conditions known as CFS/ME and FMS are created, in particular, by an over-worked Hypothalamus (in the centre of the brain) which impacts on the Nervous, Endocrine and Immune systems. Reverse Therapy works by understanding and acting on the underlying symptom message. Once this has been received and actioned, and long-standing pressures have been resolved, Bodymind is enabled to return the Hypothalamus to normal function, and the symptoms can go. What causes M.E., Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia? We consider that all three of these conditions, as well as so-called Post-Viral Fatigue Syndrome, are actually different expressions of the same underlying problem. The condition is caused by what we call ‘Hypothalamitis’ – over-activation of the Hypothalamus area in the Central Nervous System. The Hypothalamus is situated in the mid-brain, from which place it controls practically every organ in the body, mainly through the Endocrine system. In particular, it influences the Sympathetic Nervous System (ANS) and the Immune System, where most of the symptoms of ‘Hypothalamitis’ arise. In all, the Hypothalamus controls energy levels, the sleep cycle, muscular function, circulation, temperature, the gut and defence against infection. The key function of the Hypothalamus is to co-ordinate the actions of the Nervous system, the Muscles, the Gut and the Immune system, along with the body’s energy reserves, so that a balance can be maintained. In this way we can go to a state of vigilance in challenging situations, returning to repose when the crisis is over. Or we can fight infections and then return to a recuperation phase. Similarly, energy levels can rise in order to cope with required activities, falling again as we prepare for rest and sleep. The basic problem in ‘Hypothalamitis’ is that this delicate balancing act is lost due to Bodymind’s realisation that the person is at sustained risk of harm. If external pressures go on too long then Bodymind, working through the Emotional brain, or Limbic system, creates a ‘chemical memory’ about the threat. Each time situations come up that are associated with the problem the chemical memory is activated and the Hypothalamus places the body on ‘action stations’ and send symptoms to warn the person that s/he is under threat. If pressures continue, the Hypothalamus goes into runaway, chronically over-working the body to remain on red alert, and sending escalating symptoms to warn of the problem. When the Hypothalamus wishes to activate an ‘alert’ reaction it secretes Corticotrophin Release Hormone (CRH) to the Pituitary. The Pituitary, in turn, releases Adrenocorticotrophic Hormone (ACtH) to the Adrenal Glands which then produce a series of hormones which initially stimulate the Sympathetic Nervous system, the Immune system and increase energy levels. However, under constant over-stimulation from the Hypothalamus hormone production starts to falter and the result is (a reversible) ‘Adrenal burnout’. Sufferers can experience muscle pain/weakness, fatigue, headaches, swollen glands, poor concentration and memory because the Hypothalamus triggers the release of chemicals that tense the muscles, shut down attention, exhaust the energy supply, increase lymphatic fluid and alter blood flow to different areas of the brain. A dysfunctional Hypothalamus ceases to respond appropriately to feedback from the body regarding its exhausted state. Instead it continues to flood the body with hormones that stoke up the symptoms until problems are resolved. Failure by the Adrenal glands to produce adequate Cortisol (which suppresses the Immune system) is then picked up by the Hypothalamus, which assumes that the organism is in still more danger, causing it to overwork still more, until Immune system and Sympathetic Nervous system up-regulation becomes chronic. While this over-activation continues Bodymind is constantly signalling, through the symptoms, that action is still required in order to restore a balanced exchange between the internal and external environment. ‘Hypothalamitis’. To this extent it still awaits action on ‘the message of the symptom’. To resolve this issue is the central task of Reverse Therapy. The Hypothalamus has a crucial role in producing symptoms. Using the Pituitary gland the Hypothalamus relays neurochemical messengers to the Endocrine System, the Sympathetic Nervous System and to the Immune System in order to maintain maximum efficiency in relation to the environment. The Hypothalamus also directly controls temperature and sleep patterns and, when it is not working properly, ceases to manage them effectively. Sleep disturbance contributes to ‘brain fog’, as does fatigue. Overview of Reverse Therapy Reverse therapy works with Bodymind, the sophisticated intelligence of the body, communicating through the Emotional brain, the Hypothalamus, the glands and cells to protect and guide the individual. Bodymind is continual dialogue with the Self, using sensations, feelings, emotions and symptoms to deliver a coded commentary on the situations in which we find ourselves. Both emotions and symptoms direct us towards taking actions of certain kinds. Emotions like Anger and Fear tell us to assert our rights or to do something to restore a sense of security. Symptoms of ‘Hypothalamitis’, on the other hand, appear when external pressures become intrusive and are left unresolved. In these cases, Bodymind is calling for more fundamental changes. For example: § Creating a balance between ‘time for me’ and ‘time for others’ § Sharing burdens with other people § Overcoming shocks and trauma § Expressing emotions to demanding people § Getting support when the pressure is on § Being clear about one’s rights and other people’s obligations § Restoring confidence in difficult times It is important to note that CFS/ME and FMA are physical illnesses based on ‘Hypothalamitis’ and they are NOT psychological disorders. Although Anxiety levels and Depression are common in many patients these are usually the result of their experience of illness, not the cause of it. Reverse therapy is not a psychotherapy and does not treat Headmind problems. It is a Bodymind healing process. Reverse therapy overcomes Anxiety and Depression by restoring the client to asymptomatic health and encouraging a return to normal life, making Fear and Depression unnecessary. How Reverse therapy works Reverse Therapy is a specialised treatment that requires no medication, dietary change or use of supplements. The treatment consists of face-to face one-hour consultations normally 2-3 weeks apart. Our clinical experience so far reveals that about 75% of cases will be complete within 8 sessions while the remainder can take longer. Reverse Therapy works by mutually collaborating with the client in order to understand what it is that Bodymind is trying to tell the individual through the symptoms. It then goes on to consider what actions need to be taken to fulfil the symptom-message. Our first step is to brief clients so that they understand how ‘Hypothalamitis’ is created and how the symptoms of CFS/ME and FMA are produced by the condition. Understanding what is going on biologically within the body dispels tension, and fear of the symptoms, and paves the way to the cure. The next step is to identify where and when the symptoms began and which situations were closely linked to their appearance. Therapists and clients then explore current situations linked to changes in symptoms which give further clues about the Bodymind’s message. These situations are recorded in a journal to aid insight. In this approach we reverse the (understandable) urge to get rid of/fight the symptoms. When we have listened to the message of the symptoms, without resisting them, and dispelled the environmental pressures they are linked to, we can facilitate their release. We then work with the client on translating the message contained within the symptoms and applying its principles to the individual case. The basis of the cure is that once Bodymind is happy that the message has been received and acted upon then it can stop ‘revving up’ the Hypothalamus and the symptoms can go. Bodymind has only one goal: the maintenance of physical and emotional well-being and has a natural propensity towards returning to a healthy state. This will happen when the client falls into line with Bodymind wishes. Clients are asked to keep a journal that records when, where and how often any symptoms occur, along with the reactions and emotions that came up at the time. This enables them to monitor a reduction in symptoms, checks whether any messages have been missed and identifies whether there are any unresolved environmental issues that might be blocking recovery.