The Lightning Process Explained

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Kal-El, Mar 16, 2007.

  1. Kal-El

    Kal-El New Member

    I gathered this through my studies from others who have been taught the process. I have never personally undergone the therapy, but I'm told this is a very accurate description.

    The Lightning Process is really nothing more than NLP applied specifically to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The basic premise is to get rid of the stress in your body and negative thoughts in your mind.

    Examples of these thoughts are:

    I'll feel awful later because of this.
    I feel ok now, but what about later?
    Why can they do stuff that I can't do?
    I'm so tired/ill.
    This will never work.

    Every time you have a remotely negative thought or a thought that relates to being ill you have to say to yourself:

    * STOP (and do a stop like action!! In the beginning it can involve writing 'stop' on a piece of paper and stepping on it to reinforce the action)
    * Do I want to be in the dumps or do I want a life I love?
    * I want a life I love.
    * Well done (this bit is very important).
    * What do you want?
    * I want to feel/be ....... (must be something positive).
    * How are you going to do that?
    * I'm going to visualise a time when I felt like this (there is always a time somewhere in you memory - visualise the smells, sights, what you can hear etc with your eyes closed and re-live the memory. Use several different memories if you can).

    If you have any negative thoughts during this you must stop and start again. You do this over and over again every single time you have any negative thoughts and as many times as it takes to get well. Many have claimed to receive tremendous benefits and even a cure in as little as one or two days.

    That's all there is to it really. I hope this helps some of you out there.

  2. Febricula

    Febricula New Member

    Yes, this definitely resembles CBT and NLP.

    My issue is simply that I spent my whole life thinking this way. I was used to getting things done and done on time. I had a whole lifetime of accomplishment to draw upon in order to feel optimistic and confident that I could meet deadlines and be productive.

    After I got CFS, for the first time in my life I found that I couldn't just push myself through situations using my own confidence and willpower. Whenever I thought, "Of course, I can do this!" and tried to do it the same way as before, I would end up completely unable to muster the energy or adrenalin to accomplish it. I ended up disappointing a lot of people, and more importantly, disappointing myself.

    Worst of all, for years my CFS was misdiagnosed as a mental problem. I couldn't understand why I couldn't just "pull myself together," as I had done many times before.

    Finally, my CFS was diagnosed and this required a huge shift in my thinking and the way I treat myself. Now, I use CBT/NLP every day, just not in the way the Lightning Process expects. Because thinking like the Lightning Process did nothing but make me sicker. Instead, I am gentle with myself. I give myself extra time to do things. I realize that I can't push myself the way I used to, and I give myself room to save up energy for big events and recover afterwards.

    And now I'm much more productive than I was when I thought there was nothing wrong with me but my own thought patterns.

    I realize that some people will see my comments as negative. But the irony is that for me, realizing that the problem wasn't with my "wrong way of thinking" but my body has enabled me to find new strength and be more positive than I ever have in my life.

    I don't blame myself for being sick anymore and I don't scold myself for thinking negatively. Instead, I just strive to accept myself and my body with all its limitations. Being kind to myself rather than pushing myself is the best thing I could have done for my health, because now I can focus my energies on getting better, rather than feeling like it's my fault for being sick in the first place.

    Maybe I should give a name to this and start charging other people to learn how to do what I did. ;)

    [This Message was Edited on 03/16/2007]
  3. Aelf

    Aelf New Member

    This reminds me of doctors telling me there's nothing wrong and I'm just 'depressed'.

    I think it's possible to be positive as well as realistic at the same time.

    But I suppose it's a matter of tricking your mind into thinking you're happy.

    I'd rather not have to trick it :)
  4. bct

    bct Active Member

    Sounds just like CBT to me. A rose by any other name....

  5. lfrost

    lfrost New Member

    I appreciate you trying to help other people by explaining this process as you know it but this is precisely the reason why people who have done it and been considerably helped, have not put this on the site.

    This is dangerous in my view because the process is being described, but with none of the background as to why it works and all the individual support that you get at the time. People who teach this process have been trained for months/years to help others - how can we explain it to other people on a website in a few lines and with all due respect, you have not even been taught it yourself.

    This process does work and there is no doubt that it does, but it needs to shown properly and explained in detail as to the facts behind the theory.

    Please to all of you, do not let this put you off trying this process, but please do it properly, otherwise there are no guarantees it will work. It is great but it is more complicated than explained above so please act with caution when you put things on this site. Best wishes and I wish you all the best. Lucy
  6. Febricula

    Febricula New Member

    I won't ask you to reveal more details of how Lightning (or Lightening?) Therapy works, because I understand you're not supposed to and that you're not comfortable doing so.

    I'm just curious how you *personally* understand LT and why it has been so effective for you. The reason I ask is because, like most CFS patients, there are measurable things that are wrong with me. I don't get enough delta sleep, I have pernicious anemia, subclinical hypothyroidism, neurally-mediated hypotension, a parasite infection, low blood platelet volume, high EBV, CMV, HHV6 antibody titers, etc. All of these things, as I understand it, are fairly common in people who have CFS (although, unfortunately, not many doctors take the time to test for them).

    How does LT address these things? How does it, for example, increase my levels of B12 without my weekly injections? How does it help my low blood pressure problems? How does it address the mitochondrial dysfunction doctors like Cheney have researched? How does it fix the glutathione deficiency that doctors like Enlander prescribe for?

    I guess I just don't understand how a mentally-based treatment can help things that are rooted in physical causes and have physical treatments. But, on the other hand, obviously LT has helped you! So I am wondering how you personally would explain how it is able to effect such physical changes.

    Or ... am I just misunderstanding entirely? Is LT only supposed to be a supplementary therapy done in addition to physical intervention? If that's true, then I'm wondering if you had a full physical workup and had any infections and deficiencies addressed before starting LT. Is it standard for doctors in the UK thoroughly physically evaluate their patients before sending them for this kind of treatment? (My understanding is no, but I don't live in the UK and it is entirely possible that I am wrong.)

    Thanks for your time! I hope you don't see this as antagonistic -- I am truly trying to understand because from what I've learned, I don't see how LT could help me.

    [This Message was Edited on 03/16/2007]
  7. Kal-El

    Kal-El New Member

    Erik makes some very valid points and no one with a thinking brain could reasonably deny them. Basic human logic tells us that everything we think and feel has a very specific and meaningful purpose and that purpose is to bring to us the awareness of reality. The ONLY time this is not true is in the case of psychological disorders where the perception of reality is skewed to some degree. In the case of CFS, however, we have scientific evidence that shows we have a physiological illness, not a psychological one. We know that what we feel is REAL, not imagined.

    When we feel fatigue and malaise, our body is telling us that it needs rest. This is the reality of the situation...a reality that cannot be denied. If one chooses to go against that reality or attempts to talk one's self out of requiring that needed rest and pushes foward regardless, the results are devastating. We know this all to well, don't we? This is not just true of CFS patients, but to any normal, healthy person and any living, breathing organism.

    In light of that, I still want to say that I'm neither for nor against 'The Lightning Process'. I cannot testify to its effectiveness or lack there of. Perhaps there is something to it, perhaps not. I couldn't say...I'm simply the messenger in this case. However, I must say that, in my studies, I was deeply disturbed at how many people claimed to have undergone this therapy and been helped by it, but were so resistent towards sharing it with everyone who is still ill. I find that cruel and totally against what this and other forums stand for which is to help one another. Not everyone has the means or the finances to attend 'The Lightning Process' in person and I find no reason why anyone should be denied this information. Everything I provided was done so that others could be informed, possibly helped, and that the information could be freely provided with no strings attached.

  8. Febricula

    Febricula New Member

    Thanks for taking the time to research and post about the Lightning Process. I really appreciate you demystifying the subject for us, because like you I am wary and skeptical of people who ask for money before revealing their secrets.

    Even CBT (which has many detractors here, I know) can be easily learned in a cheap paperback called Feeling Good.

    And medical abstracts are searchable online, too.

    I don't know what to think about the Lightning Process, because on its surface it just doesn't seem as if it would address the problems of CFS at all. Yet it clearly helps some people, and studies have shown that people with CFS are actually *less* affected by placebo than other patient populations. So ... I don't know.

    Maybe these are the ones who are more apt to be influenced by placebo, perhaps? Or maybe some people are so hard on themselves that when they deliberately try to change their thinking, it frees up some emotional energy to focus on other things. That makes sense to me. I know that since I stopped blaming myself for "thinking myself ill" and just accepted that I had a physical illness, I actually started to feel better. Guilt is very draining (and that includes the guilt of feeling you have to be positive every minute of the day, otherwise you are choosing to be ill -- I find that so unrealistic as to be hurtful).

    So ... improvement with the Lightning Process makes sense to me. But a cure? It will be interesting to see if any scientific studies come out of this.

    thanks again
  9. springrose22

    springrose22 New Member

    Positive thinking is very powerful, and I am getting much better at practising that. I'd rather be sick and have positive thoughts than be sick and have negative thoughts. However, that won't cure me. Being realistic, and living within the boundaries of my illness and doing everything I can to make myself better as well as thinking positively might.

    So, when someone says that they were cured by simply using the "Lightning Process" I have to wonder if they were ever ill to start with. I agree with Erik and Barry. Cheers all. Marie
  10. Lichu3

    Lichu3 New Member

    and the world will come beating to your door.

    I've read some reviews of LP through various UK ME websites and reviews were either minimally improved or negative from people who had undergone LP.

    It seems to me that if LP truly worked for a fair number of people with CFS/ME, the owners of the process would want to subject it to a public test rather than shroud it in secrecy. They don't have to reveal the whole process. If it truly worked, I'm sure many people (myself included) would be willing to invest the time, energy, and money into it.

    Products like Bose stereo systems, Dansko clogs, Apple computers etc. are usually sold at a premium price with no discount but people are willing to pay because these things work well and have a solid reputation.
  11. Kal-El

    Kal-El New Member

    "We all have fleeting thoughts and fantasies that have nothing to do with reality. Life would be so boring if what you say is true."

    I should clarify my statement and say that I was specifically speaking of CFS and the thoughts, feelings surrounding the illness. Of course, not everything one thinks about is reality and having fantasies don't mean you are mentally ill...unless of course you believe them to be true!

    That is the point I'm getting at, really. To insinuate that CFS could be a psychological illness means that we are all living a shared delusion where our bodies are really completely well, but we believe they are not. That would mean the fatigue, malaise, and everything else we feel is an illusion generated by our minds.

    My logic tells me that the feelilngs we have are real and that we should listen to them. The thoughts we have surrounding the illness were put in place from experience to protect us from further damage. All of us know how devestating post-exertional malaise is. It didn't take long before each and every one of us learned that if we push ourselves past that invisible line, we are going to suffer. Our thoughts about that now are aimed at preventing this from happening over and over again.

    Again, even after stating my thoughts on that subject, I still say that I'm neither for nor against The Lightning Process because I cannot say for sure what it does or how it works. Even if it doesn't work for me, that still means little to nothing about its overall effectiveness. Even if something sounds illogical, that doesn't mean its not real. If any one of us here gets better because of this information, then thats real enough for me and I certainly don't mind having my logic proven wrong. My goal is ultimately to get well.
  12. OptimusUndead

    OptimusUndead Member

    (keep in mind, i only rationalize with what i know, and not from complete experience. Only from data i have collected, giving an educated guess)

    PLEASE.. keep in mind that i'm not posting this as FACT or a CURE.. just information as i understand the process.

    I'm much reluctant to post this..but i will anyway...

    Much of what lfrost says is correct on the view of LP, but please lfrost, feel free to correct me.

    LP does not attempt to tell you your not sick, and is not positive wishful thinking (ignoring your situation of illness) and it has nothing to do with you just "thinking you are sick " .. As a natural pop-culture phenominon, people tend to not "read" and just pick the words out they want.. like "head".. "mind".. "its in your head".. (which allot of us have an immediate connected memory as a bad experience of people and Dr.'s saying that)completely missing the point. Just as you watch fox news, they could completely ruin lives by labeling something wrong. Like if you call someone stupid in front of allot of people enough times, even if they aren't, people will think that. So read, dont just look at " in the mind "..

    You have to understand the power of the Subconscious versus the conscious. LP and others like it, say that illness is not just a conscious thought "all in your head", but an ongoing developing subconscious message that your brain has locked, sending subconscoius unaware messages, that you are attempting to change.(which in turn sends chemical signals (physical)..(like how your body knows to react to a snake in the grass)*(your body can react the same to a stick based on perception) Its like a cascade or collection of memories that your brain has percieved as a tripping mechanism to start "fight or flight", specifically causeing a loop in Adrenalin production. If there's enough of them, your in a constant loop.. This is why it is not just simply negative or positive. If it was, yoru body would be on a constant rollercoaster through every day life. It is collective

    It is not saying your a negative person,,or think negatively all the time(as generally thought of negative thoughts) but your trying to change the pattern of your subconscious ongoing thought, that trips the mechanism to keep your body on a "fight or flight" - "adrenalin loop" or " sympathetic nervous system " continuation (pick whichever one)...If i had to pick why, or reasons to how this affects your body is Adrenalin/fightorflight/sympathetic nervous system changes. Naturally, this is what is called stress in so many words, and not how people percieve stress. When you are stressed, you release Adrenalin, and if your constantly stressed (subconscious message reacting to everything you do in your environment, or perception) your constantly supressing your immune system, supressing sleep stages, digestion, brain function shifts, circulation, muscle contraction (blood flows to muscles instead)-> or RLS...,reprodution problems, body can't heal etc etc. Even not connected to the LP, Stress on the system is just proven to hinder every function of the body, and deteriorate.

    I can understand how people can interpret "Negative" thought patterns as "its your fault your sick", "just think about unicorns and rainbowsand it'll be ok" Its misinterpreted badly unfortunately, and people think its just happy thinking. Nope.... its developed over time, and set in.

    Your basicly coming to grips with patterns you have done over years, that may or may not be your own doing, but what you were taught or percieved as correct !!! But it doens't involve digging all of them up, or having to remember them.

    The subconscious tells you what do do in situations, based on a "MEMORY" that is why they stress to change how you think the outcome will be. Because even thinking about it, can change your "MEMORY" of how your body will respond chemically to it. (calm or stressed).... its automatic...

    Its like my mothers FEAR of driving on the highway. She has a preconcieved vision of how it is going to be (NEGATIVE)..She use to get all worked up, start rambling complaining and break down a bit. I eventually convinced her to start driving on it again, and put images into her head that made her feel more calm and relaxed about it (no anxiety or stress) .. so eventually, since she created a new memory of driving on the highway, it set in as a good or positive reaction.(no stress) Like when someone has been in a horrible accident or crash recetly and landed themselves in the hospital. If they get in a car, thei9r body will immediately start "fight or flight" and they will start feeling Ill. You could even mention a conversation about driving, and they can re-live the expereince. So you get now how mental affects physical?.. its seeded...
    I could go on and on how your endocrine system works in these reactions, and the cascade of physical symptoms arriving through these things. But if i get into too much detail it will spoil, and nobody will read it.

    I hope that helped...

    P.S. .. been realizing more recntly that "when stressed" or "stressed often" is susceptable to starting up a dorment Virus(we all have them),food allergies, electromagnetic waves in the air. So basicly, if your not stressed, your body is in homeostasis, and is not as susceptable to getting ill(or nearly as much). So yes, it is possible to get a virus (going on the virus theory), but it depends on your cells homeostasis. So that has allot to do with why some get sick in a close living proximity, and others dont. Things like EM waves can change your cells and harmone balances, (this is why you hear cell phones are bad)

    [This Message was Edited on 03/17/2007]
  13. Febricula

    Febricula New Member

    Thanks for your explanation. Since it doesn't look like Lfrost is going to return to this thread, I was wondering if you would be willing to share your thoughts about some of the questions I posed above.

    I understand what you're saying about adrenalin and subconscious thoughts, but I don't understand how changing these things would impact the physical things that are wrong with me and a lot of other CFS patients. (Like heart problems, sleep dysfunction, pernicious anemia, etc.) Are the people who created LP saying that these other problems don't exist, or that fixing the brain in the ways they claim can fix everything else that is wrong with the body? Stress is a big factor in making illness worse, but I find it pretty hard to believe that simply alleviating stress in the way LP describes can *eliminate* disease. There is more to illness and bodily dysfunction than just stress. This sounds akin to the "cancer personality" and other now-discredited theories about specific diseases are the product of maladaptive personality traits.

    Also, it occurs to me, that understanding illness in this way provides an automatic explanation for why LP might not work for certain people. Clearly these people want to be sick or are not trying hard enough. As someone who has known a lot of people with serious illnesses (and has seen some very positive-thinkers die despite their determination to get well), I have problems with this. In fact, I think the stress of thinking properly all the time and blaming yourself if you still don't feel well is pretty significant. (I talked about this more in a previous post on this thread.)

    That's why I was asking whether LP is intended to be a supplement to a thorough physical evaluation and treatment, or a replacement for it. Because it seems to be advertised as a replacement, and I just can't make sense of that.

    thanks for your help,
    [This Message was Edited on 03/17/2007]
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    [This Message was Edited on 03/17/2007]
  14. Clay2

    Clay2 New Member

    I read a study somewhere that said the people with best outcomes with cancer (given the same treatments) were those that worked hard at meditation and envisioning success.

    The second best group were those in total denial.

    Those who fared worst were the negative thinkers.

    If this LP thing raises some people from the worst group to the group with the best outcomes, it would be worth it to them. If you are already in the first group, it might not be.
  15. Scapper

    Scapper New Member's about time someone actually told us this "mysterious" process. I guess the "making such a huge deal out of it and being so secretive" was all part of the marketing strategy!

    Kal-el -- Thanks for spelling it out!

    Febricula -- I loved your last line -- I was hysterical :) BTW, you have reached the point where I SO would love to be! That delicate balance between knowing when to assert myself in a healthy way and when it's actually unhealthy pushing......followed always by the inevitable crash (regardless of how much I TELL MYSELF I WON'T!!!)

    That level of "true acceptance" -- NICE! AND GIVING IT AWAY FREELY (or should I send the check to your p.o. box :):):)

    I'll get there!

  16. Scapper

    Scapper New Member

    Thank you for further detailing this!


    Makes sense to me! I would love to find a practitioner to walk me through this type of work. The subconscious is powerful beyond our conscious comprehension.

    I have to admit, it's a tough balance to not slip into the denial or pushing with this type of thinking though. If I envision myself well and my outcome well, it's only natural that I'm going to DO MORE physically.....that's when my body takes over and rebels, regardless of my mental state.

    I guess that's where doing all of this with a professional would help.

    Thanks again, Scapper
  17. Kal-El

    Kal-El New Member

    Not to start a debate, but my studies of CBT show that it can and does cure several psychological illnesses including depression, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disoder, and may be of some benefit to bipolar disorder and coping with loss or illness.

    Remember, CBT does not just address the cognitive aspect of the illness, but the behavioral as well.
  18. Mini4Me

    Mini4Me New Member

    I would like to think that I had the freedom to express my opinions on this subject, but alas, I've been recently reprimanded twice now so I feel that if I say anything I'll get one of those unfriendly reprimands in my email.

    Unfortunately, when you try to respond to one of those reprimands, it comes back saying it is "undeliverable".

    I am a very loving, caring, intelligent person who has much to offer, but I feel that someone here does not want me to speak on such topics as this.
  19. Defor

    Defor New Member

    Hi, I have posted this elsewhere on this site but just in case you missed it....
    There is a clinic in the UK called the 'Optimimum Health Clinic'. They have produced sets (of four) cd's that you can use at home. One is called 'The Sleep Inducer' for brainwave balancing to enable you to correct the Theta and Delta patterns during sleep because when you sleep you heal! The other one is specifically for people with ME/CFS and is entitled, "Learn to Relax, integrated brainwave balancing. Special ME edition.

    They explain how we are 'stuck' in the 'flight, fight and freeze' response and what it does to our body....(no wonder we are shattered and our immune system is low!)

    The clinic was founded by Alex Howard who wrote the book "Why ME?". He had ME himself and is now fully recovered. The clinic don't ask "What causes ME?" but they do ask "Why am I not healing?"
    All you have to do lie back and listen to the cd' how simple is that?
    The website address is
    They do mail order (UK code) Tel:0845 226 1762
    They retail at £29.99 each set(not sure what that is in dollars) but they are worth their weight in gold.

  20. sydneysider

    sydneysider Member

    I was reading somewhere recently that illness might have something to do with not having emotional needs fulfilled.

    I'm wandering if the lightening process works only when done in conjunction with the care and attention shown by the people that are teaching it. Maybe these two factors together bring a good result.