Saturday, January 27, 2007

Here we go again.

Close up amaryllis

Another newspaper article praising Reverse Therapy.

'I used reverse gear to beat ME'

Hundreds of thousands of people have their lives blighted by ME, or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Could the condition be reversed by changing our behaviour? Health Editor Barry Nelson meets a North-East convert.

This kind of thing makes me really cross. The article goes on to describe how a nurse recovered from ME/CFS by using initially Mickel Therapy, and then going on to Reverse Therapy.

It describes her as being diagnosed early in 2004 after becoming sick with ME/CFS following a life-threatening illness. She had by then been in a wheelchair for something over a year from what I can make out. So given that she is now, in 2007, completely cured, and has also had time to qualify as a Reverse Therapist, I imagine she was ill for around 3 years. People are more likey to make complete recoveries within 5 years of the precipitating illness.

Overall, there is wide variation in the duration of illness, with some people recovering in less than two years, while others remain ill after several decades. Those who have been affected for several years seem less likely to recover; full recovery after symptoms persist more than five years is rare. (Report of the CFS/ME Working Group to the Chief Medical Officer, page 17 of the PDF)

So basically I feel she was improving anyway, which is why Reverse Therapy "worked" for her. I'm glad she's got her life back, but I am very wary of these almost evangelical sounding "therapies" where when you don't recover it's your fault, you didn't do it right, you don't really want to get well.

As soon as she started having therapy and following the Reverse Therapy path, Lyn started to feel better. She had ten therapy sessions in total, some at home in Durham, some in Newcastle and some in Edinburgh.

Now a fully qualified Reverse Therapy practitioner, Lyn, now 48, is keen to help other ME sufferers in the region. "You need to have a diagnosis of ME which excludes other conditions and unless you are committed it is not likely to work, "

she warns.

But for her, following Reverse Therapy was "a joy" rather than a chore. "It actually makes you more real. I'm still excited about it ," she says.

Sessions cost £80 each.

No wonder she's so excited about it.

I've written about charges for these so-called therapies before.

You can download information on training as a Reverse Therapist. Here's what it costs:

Course Fees

The current UK fee is £1650. Licensing Fee – including 1-year Clinical Supervision (Optional): £950. Reverse Therapy UK is a registered training provider and Career Development Loans in settlement of fees are available to applicants who meet the criteria.

Dr Eaton PhD, who invented Reverse Therapy in 2002, has his own blog - here's what he has to say about Helping a client get well. However, I think that maybe Dr Eaton should be the recipient of one of these!

I should add that not quite all of the article is as loopy as the therapy claims. It has a very good description of what I call "lead legs" (or "it feels like gravity suddenly doubled") or as another blogger calls them velo-gubbed legs!

"About the third day into my illness I felt an incredible heaviness in my legs,"

says Lyn. "It felt like your batteries had run down. I was getting pains in the back of my calves and it felt like I had just run a marathon."

I can relate to that! ;-)

We went over for a meal with my parents last Sunday. It was very windy by the entrance to the flats.

Windy West Kirby 1

Someone was having fun out there though! Sorry this is a bit blurry, but it just wasn't possible for me to hold the camara steady in the wind.

Windy West Kirby 2

Monday, January 15, 2007

Amarylis and dancing

I'm so happy, my amarylis has come into flower again this year. It's on a very tall stem, so I've only taken a picture of one flower. It's always a thrill when something you've tried to keep going flowers again!

Amarylis Jan 15 2007

A bit before Christmas I read about Tilly and the Wall. I fell in love with their music, and actually ordered their new CD and 7" vinyl. Rainbows in the Dark always makes me feel happy! So much so that I danced around the living room with John to it last night. Today I can barely walk, but the lightening of spirit that dancing brought is still with me. Must be over 15 years since I last danced!

Bad Education is one of the tracks on the vinyl (as well as on the CD). Fantastic track, flamenco stamping, the video is very in the spirit of Lola, (Kinks, Ray Davies) though very different musically.

I love anything that takes me back to The Kinks in the 60s. I remember staying with my Grandmother in Harrow around 1965. Went to visit my Great Auntie Gertie who lived in Muswell Hill, and I was thrilled to spot (from the top of a double decker bus) Ray Davies standing on a street corner. Auntie Gertie was very amused that I was so pleased to have spotted a "famous pop star", but insisted on calling The Kinks "The Creepers" for the rest of her life.

Got sidetracked there by YouTube - so many 60s bands, a delight for me of course! But one of my all time faves is Itchycoo Park by the Small Faces. Great to see it available online!

Monday, January 08, 2007

I should be asleep, but I'm not.

Was reading the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition, and was particularly struck by this one:

#80 If it works, sell it. If it works well, sell it for more. If it doesn't work, quadruple the price and sell it as an antique.

Never give up! Never surrender!

Thank the lord for BBC 3 - they're showing Galaxy Quest right now. Nice film to have a laugh and wind down to.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

How to part patients from their money

After a heavy week watching my items not selling on eBay (well, three did in the end, two didn't), this morning I decided to while away a few hours reading the links posted by Dr Crippen in the first BritMeds of the year. As expected, an interesting mix. However, one item did lead me further:

"Advice from Lady Sonja, from the department of loony-tunes, that you should lobby your GP to get
reflexology on the NHS "

Usually I scan down to see what else people have been blogging about, and here's what I found in a recent entry on Lady Sonja's blog - A Successful Cure For Chronic Fatigue And Fibromyalgia.

Now this plain makes me cross. Here's what Lady Sonja has to say in her final paragraph:

"In Mickel Therapy the therapist supports sufferers of CFS and fibromyalgia to take the steps necessary to stop their body sending them symptoms. By taking actions based on what their body is telling them, people can cure themselves of the debilitating symptoms and return to normal living."

Mickel Therapy is one of several similar "therapies" for ME/CFS, others are Reverse Therapy and the Lightning Process. The Mickel Therapy claims to have successfully treated over 400 clients, at a success rate of 92%.

Greg Crowhurst has written much better than I can about these "therapies" for the 25% Group, the national charity for those severely affected by ME, and their carers.

Initially Dr David Mickel (an ex-GP) trained with Dr John Eaton (Psychology PhD) as a therapist delivering Reverse Therapy. There is a very enlightening blog written by Adam Del-Monte giving some details of the Reverse Therapy treatment he received from Dr Mickel. After training in Reverse Therapy with Dr Eaton, Dr Mickel fell out with him, and left to found his own Mickel Therapy. Shades of the Freud and Jung schism?

I am shocked by the cost of these therapies.

What is the cost of Mickel Therapy treatment?

"This will depend on the area you are seeking treatment in but generally the fee is between £80 and £100 per session. This is paid at the end of each session." And according to Action for ME, treatment continues for 8 sessions for 75% of patients, longer for the rest.

I am shocked by the training undergone to be able to provide these therapies:

Mickel Therapy:

What kinds of qualifications does your staff hold?

Mickel Therapists only require one qualification and that is to have successfully completed the modular training and be in full supervision under Dr Mickel.
Because Mickel Therapy is innovative and unlike any treatment in existence that we aware of, previous experience of other treatments is unnecessary and can be a hindrance.

Not to mention the cost...

If you look at this document, you will find "Course Fee: Total of £1600 plus VAT" for an intensive 6 day course.

So for £1600 (plus VAT) you can be set loose on ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia patients and charge them up to £100 a session for a minimum of 8 weeks... Sounds considerably cheaper (for NHS) than using the NHS. I'm amazed Patricia Hewitt hasn't thought of it yet - gotta be less hassle than funding the current clinics.

How to train as a Mickel Therapist...

I am also struck by the Ferengi like thoughts here:

"Training should be viewed as an opportunity to provide valuable reduction in the suffering caused by the conditions that Mickel Therapy currently treats. It should also be viewed as an opportunity to expand into the self employed world of health provision. The terms and agreement details the fees involved in this. All potential therapists should have read this and accepted its terms before embarking on training in Mickel Therapy." (my emphasis)

Yes! Guess the Ferengi reference gives me away - I am outed as a Trekker. One of these days I will give you my thoughts on how the team on Startrek NG comply with (my inner Borg coming out there I think!) Belbin's ideas on Team Roles. Remember, Resistance is futile!

Update Tuesday 9 Jan 2007
The Daily Mail has run a story about the Lightning Process today.

Monday, January 01, 2007

2007 - Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Cosy Fire

There's a nice comfy chair to the right of the photo - come and toast your toes at our open fire!

Wishing you all the best for 2007.