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.
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, "
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:
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.
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.