Sensitized brain stem. Top three spinal segments. Migraines etc. | ProHealth Fibromyalgia, ME/CFS and Lyme Disease Forums

Sensitized brain stem. Top three spinal segments. Migraines etc.

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I have CFS/ME and just started a treatment that is aiming at desensitizing the brain stem. So far it is the first treatment that I actually can feel the difference whilst being treated. So I just want to share my experience here.

So far what I understand from it is that they have the theory that many of our problems can be related back to an oversensitized brain stem that can cause migraines, headaches, food intolerances etc.

The brain stem has become oversensitized because of the top three spinal segments in the neck not being in the right position.

The only part that is being treated is the neck and it is done laying face down and only light pressure is being given. No cracking or forcing.

The 'nice' thing is, that I could clearly feel when the spots that are causing problems are being touched and that it was slowly wearing of when they where made looser or positioned to where they where supposed to be.

I've had many different treatments over the years, also regular manual therapy, but none have been so clearly giving me the experience of what is going on as this one. Usually I just had to trust that people would know what they are doing and hoping that it would somehow help me improve which often wasn't the case. If this one will, time will have to tell.

I will have four more treatments the coming two weeks and that should be it. Got a neck exercise I should do that unfortunately is making me feel a bit sick right now. But all in all it was a positive experience that hopefully will help me a little to feel better in the long run. Will try and update as it goes.

The method used is developed by a person from Australia named Watson. If others with CFS/ME have experienced this kind of treatment please share.

I am all new to this myself so to avoid confusion please stick to this topic only on this thread but feel free to link to other threads if you want to mention alternatives. Thanks!
Hi Soul,

Thanks for starting this thread. You didn't mention a name for the treatment you're getting, and I was wondering whether it has a specific name or not. I would be interested in googling it, and finding out more. I've long been interested in, and have experienced various kinds of treatment for structural issues. One that I posted extensively on is Atlas Profilax, which is a "re-positioning" of the atlas, the uppermost cervical vertebra, in a way that chiropractors and other practitioners don't know about or use. The following two links will take you to a couple of threads that give a lot of detailed information on my own AP experience.

Atlas Profilax Worked / is Working Very Well for Me

Cranial Nerves - Vagus Nerve - Digestion - Atlas Profilax

Two other structural therapies you may want to consider researching are "Nasal Specific" and "Egoscue e-cises". I may do extensive posts on both of them at some time, as I've found them to be very helpful. --- Again, I would be interested in the name of the procedure you're currently using, if it has one. And I hope it works really well for you.:) --- Thanks.

Best, Wayne


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Hi Wayne, I had my second treatment today and asked for the name. It is called the Watson Headache Approach. Dean Watson himself is only focusing on headaches and migraines right now to get more scientific proof for his method but it seems that the brain stem is connected to many more problems and so the person treating me uses it for many different cases.

I was treated this morning and it is night time here now and interesting to feel is that my neck is all warm and I have CFS muscle aches in my upper arms that are very familiar to me from when I used to be in pain 24/7. My upper arms haven't been touched at all only the neck part. I also have the buzzing as if electricity is flowing through my nerve system. As far as I remember I didn't do much out of the ordinary that could have caused this so I'm guessing it is a result of the treatment.

Pushing the pain spots was pretty intense this treatment but it wears of whilst being treated which is interesting to experience. It looks like it is doing something at least, though today may have been a little too much. Hope it will have worn of tomorrow.


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I had my third treatment this morning. There was a lot of reaction of last treatment. Pain in the arms on the outside for quite a few days and later on it also started to hurt on the ribs near the arm pit. It takes a whole lot of energy but something is happening at least and it makes so much sense since the body is being corrected on a place where so much happens and comes together so it seems quite logical that the whole body reacts to the changes.

I do seem to react differently then the average person being treated since I feel much better the moment I get up though she keeps warning that it is normal to be nauseous and dizzy and such. It is only after a bit that I start to ache again and my muscles start to react. I don't have much energy left for anything else so it's pretty intense.

She also didn't expect me to have more pain trigger points now then I had on previous treatments but it seems that the body is just reacting A LOT to the new situation.

I still experience it all to be very positive though since I never leave the table feeling worse then I did when I got onto it, and all the pain trigger points will have calmed down when I do get up.

So it seems a lot is going on and that gives me hope that it will help improve my situation in the long run, if even only for the migraines. Next one will already be the fourth one so it is supposed to be somewhat better by then. Time will tell. Right now my neck is hurting a lot but that is expected since those muscles are overstimulated and will need time to settle down.


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I had five treatments in all now and though it was interesting it was also very intense and took a lot of energy. So far I don't notice any improvement except for the pain soothing away during the treatment itself. I had my last treatment about a week ago and have a full blown migraine right now and in a lot of pain everywhere and very sick dizzy and weak so unfortunately it doesn't seem to have effected that as of yet.

Still all in all a positive experience during treatment and time will tell if it helps in the long run.