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Ashok Gupta Explains the Amygdala Retraining Program for ME/CFS/FM and Associated Illnesses

  [ 186 votes ]   [ 26 Comments ]
By Ashok Gupta* • www.ProHealth.com • July 9, 2009


Ashok Gupta

NOTE: On Friday, July 10 Ashok Gupta hosted a Live Chat Q&A on his work in the ProHealth Chat Rooms. To read a script of that Q&A, click here.

Medical researcher Ashok Gupta has raised much interest with his ‘Amygdala Hypothesis’ for ME/CFS/FM and associated illnesses, and the Amygdala Retraining™ techniques he believes have helped him and many others to 're-set' a chronic over-stimulation of the brain's unconscious alarm and protection responses. He says the techniques do offer hope of improvement or recovery now for many with these illnesses, and further medical research is required to develop supporting treatments.

____________________________

I have suffered from ‘chronic fatigue syndrome’ (ME/CFS) myself. Around 10 years ago, I developed it while studying at University.

Since then, I have dedicated my life to finding an effective treatment for ME/CFS and associated conditions such as fibromyalgia, multiple chemical sensitivities, Gulf War Syndrome, etc. I have been completely well for years, and I successfully treat patients at my clinic in Harley Street in Central London.

To help you understand the process that I believe has helped me and many others to improve, I will look at:

An overview of The Amygdala Hypothesis – a “vicious cycle” that, once triggered by severe stressors in people with certain risk factors can perpetuate neurological overstimulation, physiological dysfunction, and many physical symptoms.

An explanation of many specific symptoms in the context of this hypothesis. (See also the important companion article, "How the Different ME/CFS/FMS Symptoms are Created with Continual Amygdala Stimulation.")

A brief summary of Amygdala Retraining concepts - how patients may break the vicious cycle by applying techniques that encourage the amygdala and associated brain structures to discontinue the hypothesized overstimulation - and pilot results observed at one year.

Links to six free YouTube videos from the Retraining Program DVDs, which cover the entire hypothesis in depth.

THE AMYGDALA HYPOTHESIS

My medical research seems to indicate that ME/CFS is a neurological condition, and may be caused by abnormalities in a brain structure called the “amygdala,” which is deep in the unconscious brain.



One of the amygdala’s roles is to protect the body from potential threats.

• Research on the amygdala has traditionally focused on physiological or emotional threats,

• Whereas recent research is showing that the amygdala is involved in protection mechanisms related to chemical and immunological threats as well.

This hypothesis serves as a potential unifying model for the various observations in patients. I published my hypothesis in the peer reviewed journal Medical Hypotheses in 2002. (It is available to read online here: www.guptaprogramme.com/html/medicalPaper.asp )

Below, I will go through a basic explanation of the medical paper in layman’s terms using the following diagram:




PRECIPITATING FACTORS

Genetic and Environmental Risk Factors (1)
Right at the top, let’s start with the predisposing factors to developing these illnesses - i.e., the risk factors. These may include genetic factors and environmental factors yet to be fully determined.

Then there are two other precipitating factors which contribute to these illnesses developing in someone.

Triggers: Acute Psychological Stress (2) & Viral, Bacterial, or Other Triggers (3)
The start of the illness is often accompanied by psychological or physical stress, as well as some kind of acute physical illness.

• In the case of ME/CFS, that physical illness might be a particularly difficult virus or bacterial infection (e.g., Glandular Fever, gut enteroviruses, etc.), or another kind of illness.

• In fibromyalgia, the physical trauma may be an accident, or ongoing chronic pain in a part of the body.

• In MCS, the trigger may be heavy exposure to a toxin.

There will be crossovers in symptoms between these three conditions, according to the theory. The theory predicts that the pattern of symptoms in the body will be different, but that the underlying cause may be the same. The theory still holds if there is a gradual onset versus a specific onset (see medical paper for further details.)

Gulf War Syndrome may represent a combination of all three illnesses to varying degrees, as at the time there was exposure to immunizations, toxins, and physiological stresses all at the same time.

TRAUMA TO THE AMYGDALA

The combination of these precipitating factors changes the circuitry of the amygdala, making it continually over-stimulate the body (4).

During the trauma:

• The amygdala learns to be hyper-reactive to any symptoms detected in the body, in association with the “insula” (another brain structure).

• This conditioning happens unconsciously without a person actually realizing it is happening.

CHRONIC STIMULATION OF THE AROUSAL SYSTEM

From then on, the amygdala continually over-stimulates the sympathetic nervous system directly (5)

The sympathetic nervous system is the emergency response of the body to threats. When it is triggered, the parasympathetic nervous system (bodily repair, detoxification, digestion, etc.) is switched off and energy is diverted to the emergency.

• It over-stimulates the hypothalamus and the whole HPA (Hypothalamic-Pituitary- Adrenal) Axis, which subsequently downgrades as a result, making it difficult for the body to respond to stress.

• The amygdala also over-stimulates the whole brain, keeping many brain circuits in a state of hyper-arousal. This adversely affects the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain, including serotonin and dopamine.

• There may also be conditioning in the immune system. This means that aspects of the immune system are inappropriately re-triggered in a unique pattern individual to each patient.

• Finally, this over-stimulation causes higher levels of oxidative stress in the body, and a compromised immune system.

A continual unremitting stimulation can cause symptoms which can severely affect every single organ and system in the body, including the endocrine (hormonal) system, and the immune system. (See the Appendix detailing "How the Different ME/CFS/FMS Symptoms are Created with Continual Amygdala Stimulation.")

Furthermore, continual stimulation can cause secondary effects in the body, which then lead researchers to think that those physical observations are the cause of the condition, whereas they are simply symptoms of a deeper underlying brain abnormality.

SYMPTOMS AND SECONDARY ILLNESS CYCLES

Hyper-arousal of the body then causes the symptoms (6) and creates Secondary Illness Cycles (7).

Over-stimulation can cause adaptation in receptors so that systems are down-regulated, or certain systems may simply exhaust due to over-stimulation, as is the case with the adrenal glands. Nitric oxide levels may rise (as per the observations of Professor Martin Pall), which can cause a whole host of secondary effects and symptoms in the body, including mitochondria dysfunction, perpetuating the entire vicious circle. Because the immune system is responding inappropriately, opportunistic viruses such as HHV-6 have the opportunity to flourish, increasing symptoms.

Finally, at 7, secondary illnesses such as allergies and chemical sensitivities can occur due to the hypersensitivity of the entire system.

Where I differ from Professor Martin Pall’s Nitric Oxide hypothesis of ME/CFS and other “unexplained" illnesses is that in his NO/ONOO- hypothesis, the Nitric Oxide effects are mainly local.

• I do not believe that this could explain such a pervasive illness with such wide-ranging symptoms.

• Instead, I believe that the Nitric Oxide theory reflects yet another secondary illness cycle rather than the underlying cause of the condition.

Sympathetic over-activity means that sleep rhythms are affected, so the restorative “delta” sleep required for bodily repair is not effective. This has also been shown in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, an illness where the amygdala has also been heavily implicated. This causes a patient to feel unrefreshed the next morning, causing severe exhaustion, and contributing to pain in fibromyalgia.

PERPETUATING FACTORS

These symptoms are detected by the sensory thalamus/cortex and the insula cortex - the parts of the brain that receive incoming information from the senses (8).

And to complete the cycle, incoming signals are magnified by the amygdala, which keeps the brain and nervous system in a state of hyper arousal. (9)

• The insula may be involved in interpreting the emotional meaning of the symptoms, and passing that representation on to the amygdala.

• At 9, the amygdala is traumatized by any symptoms that it detects in the body, and instantly re-stimulates bodily systems at 4 again.

Note that this central nervous system sensitivity (and resultant abnormal sensory processing causing heightened pain awareness) is gradually becoming a more accepted hypothetical model in fibromyalgia. This then perpetuates into the vicious circle as in the diagram.

FACTORS DETERMINING SYMPTOMS & SEVERITY

If the circle becomes particularly vicious, a patient can become bed-bound. If the cycle is milder, the patient may be able to function to a varying degree. The symptoms in each patient will depend on three factors:

• The severity of the conditioning effects in the amygdala and associated brain structures.

• The specificity of the conditioning; that is, what symptoms and what reactions were going on in the body at the time of the original trauma.

• The specific timing of the trauma – although symptoms can change over time.

Due to the secondary effects of the condition on the body, food intolerances can develop, as well as general sensitivities. This is because when the brain and body are on high alert, the amygdala (in association with other brain structures) is prone to learning new responses to stimuli it would not normally care about.

When the sympathetic system is aroused, digestive and detoxification systems are turned down or switched off, which may explain why many patients complain of feeling “toxic” inside.

A patient will also find that stress can exacerbate the symptoms - simply because it “speeds up” the vicious circle, and the body does not have sufficient resources to deal with that stress. The stress can be mental, emotional or physical.

With some patients, the conditioning effects are not particularly severe, which is why some patients seem to regain their health through general changes in lifestyle. For others, the conditioning in the brain is severe and causes chronic long term illness.

RETRAINING THE AMYGDALA – BASIC CONCEPTS

I wish to emphasize that I believe ME/CFS, fibromyalgia and MCS are real physical conditions, and are in no way psychological. The sensitivity conditioning mainly occurs unconsciously.

As I indicated above, Gulf War Syndrome may represent a combination of all three illnesses to varying degrees, as at the time there was exposure to immunizations, toxins, and physiological stresses all at the same time.

Currently, I do not believe that there are any pharmaceuticals which could target such a specific reaction in the brain. Most pharmaceuticals or supplements target the symptoms rather than the underlying cause. If the conditioning effects are mild, successful treatment of symptoms may bring full recovery, but in the majority of cases, this will probably not occur.

The unconscious brain reaction involved in amygdala dysfunction is not normally under a patient’s control, but I believe that some novel “brain retraining” techniques derived from NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), breathing, meditation techniques, and others, can target the reaction and control the amygdala. The techniques are highly specialized, and do not fit under any one category, which is why I refer to them as "Amygdala Retraining Techniques."

Luckily the amygdala constantly communicates with other parts of the brain, and that’s where retraining can take place.

In animal models, it is understood that the amygdala can be controlled with new neurons being formed, connecting from the pre-frontal cortex to the amygdala, to subdue and control its reactions.

• Some studies have shown that patients with ME/CFS have lower grey matter volume in this part of the brain (pre-frontal cortex).

• Other studies have shown that regular meditation can increase the volume of this part of the brain, showing that “brain” exercises can alter the structure of the brain.

All the Amygdala Retraining techniques are now available as an interactive DVD recovery programme.** I found that most patients could not afford to come to the clinic for treatment, so I wanted to create something that was affordable and easy to use at home.

PILOT RESULTS TO DATE

I recently conducted an initial Clinical Audit on the techniques, and the study seems to show that over 90% of patients significantly improved as a result of the treatments, and that two-thirds of patients (67%) reached a full recovery or close to that mark within one year. The average number of years with the illness was 10.5 years.

This paper has been submitted for peer review and will be published in a medical journal later in 2009. There was no control group - as this was simply an initial pilot to stimulate funding for a larger randomized, controlled trial.

FREE VIDEOS DETAILING THE HYPOTHESIS

If you are interested in finding out more about the hypothesis, you can view videos online at YouTube which are taken from the home-study programme and cover the entire hypothesis in depth:

Session 2: PART 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEtyMHbf08U

Session 2: PART 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYuOXdjaSJY

Session 2: PART 3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GKA3h56VWc

Session 2: PART 4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JU-rOvhTZxA

Session 2: PART 5
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YhI9eXkTic

Session 2: PART 6
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01srRrDqj54


Finally, see the accompanying article, "How the Different ME/CFS/FMS Symptoms are Created with Continual Amygdala Stimulation," for an explanation of each physical, emotional, and cognitive symptom commonly associated with these and related illnesses.
___
* Ashok Gupta's Amygdala Retraining Clinic - Harley Street Solutions, LTD - is located at No.1 Harley Street, London W1G 9QD, UK. To contact the clinic, visit www.guptaprogramme.com or e-mail Info@guptaprogramme.com.

** Amygdala Retraining is available as a home study interactive DVD Recovery Programme, which includes DVDs, a CD, and a book, as well as access to a recovery forum and further support. The programme comes with a one-year money back guarantee. For further details, visit www.guptaprogramme.com.

Note: This information has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is for general information only, and is not meant to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure any illness, condition, or disease. It is very important that you make no change in your healthcare plan or health support regimen without researching and discussing it in collaboration with your professional healthcare team.




Discuss This Article Post a Comment 


At last someone is getting to the Source of the whole problem!
Posted by: fnx3
Apr 29, 2009
At last someone is getting to the Source of the whole problem of FMS/CFS etc & it is happening in my own lifetime - Hooray! Oh man this is exciting to read the start of this line of treatment - I have felt for awhile now that the problem lay deep in my brain. And I am sooooo sick of gp's prescribing me anti-depressants which just blanket the brain imbalance for a few months until it just all busts out once again. I am definitely going to read his website & bookmark it & watch it - thank you ProHealth for publishing this article :)
Reply Reply

Cost.....
Posted by: slevah
Apr 29, 2009
Any chance we could get a discount on his program through Prohealth??
Reply Reply

I've recovered myself from CFS with this program, and I'm convinced this hypothesis is correct!
Posted by: island-grace
Apr 29, 2009
Myself (f/53), having suffered from CFS for four years, came across the Program in the end of 2007. I tried it and recovered from the illness very much in the way as described and promised by Ashok on his web site, within 6-9 months. I consider myself fully well now and can do all the things I like. I'll always be grateful Ashok did this groundbreaking research and would develop it further into a DVD course accessible to other sufferers. I'm perfectly aware how miserable my life would otherwise have continued to be to this day! Based on my own experience of recovery and present understanding of the matter, I'm convinced Gupta's explanation of the mechanism of the illness is basically correct. I even see his findings having the potential for a new approach to the healing of other chronic illnesses up to now considered uncurable and life-long, in whose genesis and course the amygdala most certainly also plays a role. I wish this compelling new knowledge a speedy affirmation and dissemination for the benefit of the countless long-term sufferers.
Reply Reply

the awesome and the tragic.
Posted by: eljulia
Apr 29, 2009
It is indeed very exciting and promising, this concept of retraining the amygdala to heal our fibromyalgia and ME symptoms. The sad bit is that unless we can hand over a couple hundred bucks we can benefit only from the explanation of how the amygdala causes the problems. To go further and learn the actual retraining requires money, difficult in this economic climate. I realize Dr Gupta should reap benefits of his work, but unless a person has extra money WE can't benefit.
Reply Reply

 
I share your cocern
Posted by: CWB
Aug 3, 2009
I just added a comment to the website with resources for the same training, but for less $$. I'm not sure if this post "posts" publicly or if it's just emailed to you, but I wanted to be sure to respond ot others with the concern I share.

 


Ashok Gupta's Amygdala Retraining Program
Posted by: dotmac
May 2, 2009
I am a 64-year-old FMS/CFS/ME patient for over 15 years. I have researched and tried many different treatments over the years. Before Ashok Gupta’s retraining program, the only thing that made a difference for me was Dr. St. Amand’s Guaifenesin protocol (see What Your Dr. May Not Tell You About Fibromyalgia by R. Paul St. Amand and Claudia Merek). Yet even with some recovery with the Guaifenesin protocol (which I still follow) I still had relapses into the CFS to an extent that frequently kept me from living a normal, active life. It caused problems at work and at home. When I first read about Ashok Gupta’s theory and technique, I was intrigued because he employed concepts from Neuro-Linguistic Programming. (I have an undergraduate degree in psychology, and I am a certified practitioner in NLP as well as a Dr. of Clinical Hypnotherapy.) He also employs mindfulness meditation which has already been scientifically shown to be beneficial to health. I was skeptical at first because although Ashok Gupta is a medical resercher he is not an MD, so I studied his theory and took it to two doctors for their opinions—a psychologist and a neurologist. Both responded very positively. And the psychologist that I talked to has already begun referring other patients to the program. I recently attended the IACFS/ME conference in Reno where Ashok did a poster presentation. I watched him explain his theory to numerous MD’s and researchers and heard many comment that “Ashok Gupta has certainly done his homework.” Since I learned the Amygdala Retraining Technique, I have been virtually symptom free for well over a year. And even more important, I no longer live in fear of symptoms and relapses. I know how to manage symptoms that arise from the stresses of life and illness. I can manage symptoms in a way that no longer feeds into a self-perpetuating vicious cycle. And the bottom line….I can do what I want to do (or don’t want to do—like scrubbing floors!) I can make plans and travel. I can walk four hours at my favorite art fair. And I can dance. So thank you again, Ashok Gupta!
Reply Reply

Medical Researcher
Posted by: AAA123
May 6, 2009
Is Dr Gupta an MD as he says he treats patients? What medical field has he qualified in to become a medical researcher?
Reply Reply

 
Gupta
Posted by: MissMarple
Aug 21, 2009
As far as I can tell, going by evidence on the web, for what it's worth, Gupta is not an MD, and has not claimed to be one, despite having offices in Harley St. His BA from Cambridge is in Economics. There are plenty of anecdotes testifying to success, but there appears to be no evidence in support of his programme (a double-blind study would be impossible, given its nature, but some statistical analysis of its success rate would not, even allowing for variables such as the initial seriousness of the illness in patients who try it, what medications they are taking, and socio-economic status—the programme is expensive). He has apparently not published anything about it in a peer-reviewed medical journal. He is a business man. This does not mean his programme doesn't work, but I for one will be waiting for hard evidence before I contribute to the purchase of his holiday home or his yacht.

 


Amygdala explanation
Posted by: jess
May 6, 2009
I would like to know if this program can help someone who has been ill for 30+ years and a possible explanation as to why my children seem to have CFS/Me. They have had problems since they were young children. Jess
Reply Reply

Amygdala, ME & NLP
Posted by: Concernedmum
May 6, 2009
If this is so good, why not offer it free, let the results speak for themselves & then charge? When 1000 ME sufferers (real ME sufferers) are cured, then financial succes is guaranteed, or do a proper clincial trial & publish. I am fed up seeing " miracle" cure claims, which usually end up with desperate carers/patients paying over lots of money. I took my daughter to a Harley street clinic specialising in NLP, and whilst it reduced the anxiety caused by having ME, 6 years later she is not in any way cured. In fact she believes NLP was counter-productive, as it left her feeling that if she only tried harder, she would "beat" this illness & be well again. I've read about ME being called atypical polio. Would anyone recommend NLP or reprogramming of bits of the brain to cure polio? Sorry to sound so cynical, but I have spent lots of money on so-called cures, and none of them work. ME is like a jigsaw puzzle, and until we really know what causes it, how can we hope to cure it?
Reply Reply

 
I share your cocern
Posted by: CWB
Aug 3, 2009
I just added a comment to the website with resources for the same training, but for less $$. I'm not sure if this post "posts" publicly or if it's just emailed to you, but I wanted to be sure to respond ot others with the concern I share.

 


Update ...
Posted by: fnx3
May 11, 2009
Hi again - OK - I just watched/studied the first 3 free sessions of the Amygdala retraining program. It was quite a labor, trying to concentrate for so long - 3 hours! over 6 sessions. But anyway I am glad I did because I could then form my own opinion about the whole "thing" & that is: Firstly, his only study was with CFS patients/people - I have Fibromyalgia, CFS is a symptom of Fibro. I would feel much more confident about his own complete confidence in his success rate if I could see some more statistics re people with Fibro. Plus, I found out that he is a trained Hypnotherapist & Neuro-Linguistic Programmer. A ha! and you can really feel that even in the first few sessions - he keeps telling you that you must "trust" him & that you must "believe that you will get better" - almost hypnotising right there! So I also wrote to him & asked about a study with Fibromyalgia people, etc. And I won't be handing over ANY money until then.
Reply Reply

 
in response to fnx3
Posted by: Valetudinarian
Jun 29, 2009
You said "CFS is a symptom of Fibro". Is this what you meant? I think you may have meant that CF - chronic fatigue, rather than CFS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a "symptom" of fibro.

From my understanding, fibro and CFS are the same syndrome, except fibro is expressed mostly with pain and CFS is expressed mostly with fatigue.

Having CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) is a far cry from having CF (chronic fatigue).

 

 
I share your cocern
Posted by: CWB
Aug 3, 2009
I just added a comment to the website with resources for the same training, but for less $$. I'm not sure if this post "posts" publicly or if it's just emailed to you, but I wanted to be sure to respond ot others with the concern I share.

 


Some problems from personal experience
Posted by: pmr12
May 13, 2009
Ashok does seem to have come up with a plausible explanation for some of the problems with ME/CFS. However after trying the Amygdala retraining for over a year I would urge caution in one respect. As someone who has had some back problems in the past, I have found that the repetitive actions in the Main Amygdala retraining session have frequently caused significant back problems by the end of the session or the next day. These problems have sometimes lasted over a week before they began to subside. Anyone with back/spine problems should be rather cautious and Ashok should perhaps include a warning over this with the programme. The issue might also affect 'The Lighning Process' as well since I did see a comment in an ME journal (Action for ME) from someone who had tried that and had some back problems. Those with more severe ME may also perhaps need to be careful of straining weakened arm muscles. I do wonder if having back problems during a period of post viral fatigue might contribute to the illness becoming a longer lasting ME/CFS. Periods of long lasting back pain might help in the development of the vicious figure of eight cycle Ashok describes in his theory, providing the amygdala with sustained periods of greater than usual pain.
Reply Reply

 
Disregard Back Problem Caution
Posted by: budacon
May 13, 2009
I have been on the program for quite a while and cannot imagine how anyone could possibly receive a back injury from using this program. There is nothing physical about it, except for standing up briefly while reciting a few lines after symptoms. And the standing is not required if you're unable to do it.

I would disregard that caution.

 


Amygdala Hypothesis and RLS
Posted by: sbloomwood
May 15, 2009
Does Dr. Gupta feel or has he talked at all about the possibility than Restless Legg Syndrome is tied into this syndrome? Anyone out there with info on this? My partner has FM and RLS bad and I am so sick of watching him take pain meds and anti-seizure drugs and everything else out there that just wreck his ability to actually do anything and don't help the symptoms enough
Reply Reply

 
RLS and FM
Posted by: nana33
Jun 18, 2009
Hi, in responses to the comments about RLS and FM. I have had RLS as long as I can remember and FM for about 20 years. As a child I experienced "growing pains" for years. I currently take clonazepam for RLS. Problem is once I take it I can not stay awake. I also have problems during the day if I sit still, read, or am not moving I fall a sleep. I can't read much , (including this article) as I keep falling a sleep. I am sleeping most nights unless hip or shoulder pains keep me awake. If I sleep all night on my back then the pain is less. (But not comfortable on back). Any thoughts.... I believe the clonazepam works on the brain as for seizures. Could FM be a connection to seizures, or Parkinsens. Most of my pain is in the form of burning and very sensitive as if it is bruised. I have been treated over and over for tendititis which does not improve. Maybe because it's not really there ??? Your thoughts??? Thanks , Nana

 


Looking forward to seeing how this works
Posted by: Robiteebob
May 21, 2009
I came back (Late January) from being with my hubby on his sabbatical to be nabbed by our church pastor with the 'miracle' recovery of one of our congregation members. She had been severely disabled by multiple chemical sensitivity but, having tried amygdala retraining was almost back to full health. Her husband has a PhD in psychology, is a psychologist and looked carefully into this programme before they forked out their money. My doctor, who goes to the same church, also insisted I visit Ashok Gupta's website. Four weeks after that doctor's visit and I find it begin discussed here. Time for me to get serious. Tonight we watched the first two sessions and ordered the DVD (believe me the cost looks worse in NZ dollars). I have a masters degree in psychology and it makes sense from both that point of view, and from my observations of my illness. Still I'm in a 'wait and see' mode. I want to make some comments on the comments already made. Gupta says he has kept the cost down. But US$190 does seem steep when the cost of pressing a DVD is minimal. I guess it costs to have a professionally made DVD, and I hope he's putting some of it back into his research. In one of the first two sessions he guarantees that if we trust him (and the programme) we *will* get better, but elsewhere admits the programme has around a 80-85% success rate. Not a biggie - I wouldn't have brought it up if he had moderated his claim a little (instead of will be he used probably, or highly likely would have done). There could be all sorts of good reasons for why it doesn't work for all. To concernedmum - he does offer a money back guarantee. My concern with this guarantee is that I have a strong seasonal effect and so in six months time am *bound* to be feeling better because it will be summer in the southern hemiphere. Six months does not give me enough time to assess this programme without that effect. AAA123 asks what's his medical training. I haven't looked into this but he feels like his training is more in the psychological field (I think he would probably say neurological so he's want to not be associated with 'it's all in your head' group. Acutally, the cause is in our head it's just an illness more in line with a tumour, than something that we can think our way out of). It does get me a little concerned that he's not directly medical, but then again it doesn't have him in the medical midset that hampers so many of our doctors from understanding our illnesses. To fnx3: I'm not worried about his lack of focus on FMS. From my observations there are more differences between sufferers of FMS OR CFS/ME than *between* the groups. I believe it's virtually the same illness, just with different causes/jump in points. REsearch will tell I guess. [REad with a tone of voice of someone who is trying to understand your arguement, not someone who is trying to attack you.] I don't get your aha point about him being a trained hypnotherapist or NLPer. The way you made the point it's as if you are trying to find something 'wrong' with his approach and this is it. Why? What's wrong with either of these things? From reading one interview, he came to these therapies *because* he was sick, and their approach made sense to him. What's wrong with them if they are helping a large proportion of his patients get better? I'm greatful that he had the openmindedness to try them, espcially if they are key to the therapy that *most* of us need to get better. More than enough ... Robyn
Reply Reply

 
Costs of DVDs
Posted by: CWB
Aug 3, 2009
I just added a comment to the website with resources for the same training, but for less $$. I'm not sure if this post "posts" publicly or if it's just emailed to you, but I wanted to be sure to respond ot others with the concern I share.

 


Huh?
Posted by: Robiteebob
May 21, 2009
What did I do wrong to lose all my paragraphs? I *hate* solid text. grrr
Reply Reply

 
losing paragraphs
Posted by: nana33
Jun 18, 2009
UGUH, I know the feeling, and I never know how it happens. Hang in there.

 


Same benefits avaiable at lower cost or even no cost at all
Posted by: CWB
Aug 3, 2009
I appreciate Dr. Gupta's research into the causes of our particular condition and the mechanisms that may work in healing. But I am concerned that many of us may not be able to afford the DVD's. Well, the process is available, sometimes for free, but certainly for less. Gupta, as well as William Collinge who has also written on this subject for Prohealth (and sells helpful, less expensive CDs) are building on the work of the pioneers at the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Clinic at U Mass Medical School who started this field of medicine verified by Western scientific tests in the US more than 20 years ago. I just completed an 8-week once/week class taught by a local therapist who trained with Kabat-Zinn, and there are now hundreds of medical practitioners in the US trained to offer classes teaching the same techniques. I noticed a flyer for free classes through my HMO--so you know that this is becoming mainstream and is not some New Age hocus-pocus. One can also learn this on their own through books like Jon Kabat-Zinn's "Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness" and "Coming to Our Senses." It's important to note that while the technique comes from Buddhist philosophy, the practice of mindfulness is not a religious act. No one is suggesting that we all become Buddhists to enjoy better health. Here are links to other resources. MBSRC at UMass website, with pages dedicated to peer-reviewed research links: http://www.umassmed.edu/Content.aspx?id=42434 A good overview article: http://www.shambhalasun.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1859 You can easily find websites that offer Kabat-Zinn's (and others’) books and guided meditation CDs, but I've seen them all at Borders, so there's no special "spiritual" place anyone has to go to find the materials. Other authors and CDs can teach the same idea with the same benefits. But really, you don't have to buy a book or DVD, or even understand the mechanism of illness or healing to enjoy the healthful benefits of meditation. You just have to practice meditation. It's similar to yoga--you do the pose to achieve the stretch, not the stretch to achieve the pose. You just practice meditation and the benefits come.
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U Mass Medical School research of mind-body medicine
Posted by: CWB
Aug 3, 2009
Adding to my last post about the pioneering body-mind work at U Mass Medical Schools's Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction Clinic: I completely understand the concern and caution in our community of these approaches sounding like another way of saying our illness is all in our head. Mindfulness meditation is not another purely psychological approach. The early UMAss scientific studies did begin with psychological conditions, but went on to focus on and document positive clinical outcomes in other diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. The more I read about mind-body or body-mind medicine, the more I understand that we are all one big organism--and most closely, one big brain. The organs are the feelers for the brain, what fuels well-being--a very physical state, not so much a mental one (think about it; you feel well-being more in your gut, literally, than in your head). When we read about "neural pathways," that's not just the nerves in the brain, it's the brain's feelers throughout the body that are being re-trained in meditation. I also want to be sure to state that I am not quesitoning Gupta's sicence or training. It's rigorous and scientific--as well as empathic. He's lived this. All of us Prohealth subscribers have had moments when we realize we know more about our condition, have read more scientific papers on it, than some of the doctors we've been sent to. In that light, Gupta is a god-send; both one of us and one of them. I also want to state that while I'm concerned that the DVD cost is too high for most of us who are disabled and unable to work, Gupta's program is way less than what it costs to visit some of the specialist MD's whose articles we gobble up here. I've looked into a few, and none would see me unless I was able to pay substantial test fees out-of-pocket, upfront, on top of travel and accommodation expenses to see them, as well as commit to follow-up visits with more of the same financially. Their office staffs are clear that costs start upward of $1,000. One would have been close to $10,000 for the first visit! And the forms sent to me in advance of these potential visits were all about the money, devoid of compassion. Of course I couldn't go! And yet I appreciate the work these doctors have done--even if I can only afford to log on to a free website to learn of it, print it out, and share with my open doctor to try a new protocol on our own.
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MBSR
Posted by: budacon
Aug 16, 2009
Just a couple quick corrections to some previous posts:

Gupta is NOT a doctor. He did have CFS, but is a laymen like the rest of us, who did informal research on his own and developed this program.

Mindfulness Meditation (as practiced in MBSR) is an aspect of the Gupta Recovery Program, but is not the core of it. The main aspect of the program comes from NLP (neuro-linguistic programming). In this program, daily meditation serves as an adjunct to calm the nervous system down so that the targeted NLP techniques will have maximum impact in reversing the negative conditioning which Gupta believes perpetuates and is the cause of CFS.

It is not sufficient for a person to simply develop a daily meditation practice and expect this condition to go away. Though it might offer some relief, it probably will not yield any sort of cure.

But you never know.

 


Does it work for you?
Posted by: ALwalker
Jul 29, 2010
I have MCS (multiple chemical sensitivity) and CFS/FM, and MCS causes me lots of pain as there are chemicals everywhere. I would love to try the Gupta Amygdala Retraining program and hope it will help with my MCS problems. So has anyone got better with their MCS after using the program? Thanks a lot.
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