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Q&A Session with Ashok Gupta, Developer of the Amygdala Retraining Program™ for ME/CFS and FM - Held July 10, 2009

  [ 159 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • July 13, 2009

Q&A Session with Ashok Gupta, Developer of the Amygdala Retraining Program™ for ME/CFS and FM - Held July 10, 2009

Welcome to ProHealth’s Live Chat with Ashok Gupta. Following are his answers to dozens of questions, and his offer to respond to others via e-mail.

Brief Introduction to Ashok Gupta
After debilitating post viral-infection ME/CFS derailed Ashok’s college career back in the 1990’s, he dedicated his life to finding a treatment for ME/CFS and related ‘unexplained illnesses.’ He became convinced that ME/CFS and FM are very real physical illnesses, likely involving genetic risk factors and initiation by neurological/physical stressors.

He further concluded that in many patients a master gland in the unconscious brain – the amygdala – has become stuck in a ‘panic’ mode, so that it constantly magnifies signals from the body and senses. It responds by keeping the stress response, chemical, and immune systems ramped up. This sustains a complex, vicious cycle of physiological dysfunction and physical symptoms.

He credits his own recovery - and the improvement of many other patients over the past 10 years - to a combination of “Amygdala Retraining” techniques that may control the amygdala’s (and other brain regions’) responses, and change the vicious cycle. These self-help techniques, part of what some call ‘mind-body’ medicine, are derived from ‘Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)’ - and supporting techniques include meditation, breathing, awareness and more.

(For more background on Ashok’s hypothesis, with illustrations, see “Explaining the Amygdala Retraining Program for ME/CFS/FM and Associated Illnesses.”)


ProHealth: Ashok, welcome. We all appreciate your being here, and are very curious to learn about what you have been doing.

Ashok Gupta: To everyone at Prohealth, thanks so much for inviting me!

* * * *

Q: Thank you for being here, Ashok! I wonder, is there a subset of ME/CFS patients that the hypothesis applies to - who may be helped more?

Ashok Gupta: I have found it applying to all ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia subsets, but I am still trying to understand why there are around 10-15% of people who do not benefit at all.

I have not found any particular type of pattern as to who benefits and who does not. It seems to be quite individual.

* * * *

Q: Can you describe your retraining techniques?

Ashok Gupta: The techniques are made up of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), meditation and breathing techniques, all uniquely combined to "retrain the amygdala" - they are very different to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or any other existing therapy traditionally used for ME/CFS.

A patient is taught to recognise the unconscious signals from the amygdala,
and then respond in a different way both physically, mentally and emotionally, sending signals back to the amygdala. There are supporting techniques such as meditation, breathing and self-awareness, as well as basic information on a healthy lifestyle.

Finally, the latter half of the programme deals with reducing stress patterns which could re-trigger the amygdala.

* * * *

Q: How is the amygdala retraining different than cognitive behavioral training? Aren’t you just selling more ‘positive thinking’?

Ashok Gupta: Amygdala Retraining is very different to CBT or positive thinking. In fact many of my patients have already had CBT and can testify to how different it is.

CBT tries to change your thinking. Amygdala Retraining is consistently rewiring the unconscious brain to stop an unconscious reaction.

Think of it this way. When you step into a car and learn to drive, is that CBT/Positive Thinking? No, it is re-wiring the brain to do something automatically; it is neurological learning. So it is with Amygdala Retraining.

* * * *

Q: How many patients have you worked with in your clinic so far? Would you say that results may be better person-to-person than for those learning the techniques through your DVDs?

Ashok Gupta: I have worked with hundreds of patients personally. There are unique benefits in both. The DVDs can be watched again and again. The ideal combination is to watch the DVDs, and then work with one of our practitioners on the phone to iron out any issues and magnify the power of the programme.

* * * *

Q: Ashok, let me ask you this - from your experience did you have constant sore throat while you were sick?

Ashok Gupta: Yes. It was not constant, but I had sore throat from time to time, and it was very unnerving! It gradually went away as I recovered using a primitive form of amygdala retraining.

* * * *

Q: What exactly were your symptoms when you were ill? Did you really have ME/CFS?

Ashok Gupta: I had all the classic symptoms, and was diagnosed by an NHS CFS Specialist Unit in the UK, having excluding all other possibilities. I had severe physical/mental exhaustion, sore throats, post-exertional malaise, pain in joints, difficulty concentrating/memory, and many others.

* * * *

Q: Ashok, was there a specific point in your research when you became convinced amygdala retraining was really possible?

Ashok Gupta: Yes, my personal journey, and around 10 years ago when I started working with patients. Some patients would get almost miraculous changes over a short period, others would not. So I realized that if I could just refine the process, then the vast majority of people should be able to retrain.

The main change in the hypothesis is the importance of a brain structure called the “insula.” It sends messages to the amygdala, giving an interpretation of signals from the body. Research in 2005 has shown that the insula and amygdala are involved in conditioned immune responses.

Now my research is focusing on two areas - trials on Amygdala Retraining Techniques, and brain imaging.

* * * *

Q: Does the change in your hypothesis regarding the insula cause any changes to the Amygdala Retraining therapy?

Ashok Gupta: No, the insula simply tells the amygdala what the symptoms represent as fuelled by the amygdala. It is the amygdala that fires off the sympathetics, and controlling this involves a neuron connecting from the pre-frontal cortex to the amygdala. There is evidence of this in animal studies done by various neuro-scientists.

* * * *

Q: Surely the nervous system can't be the cause for such awful CFS symptoms? Can it?

Ashok Gupta: The nervous system is the software of your body - it controls everything. So any change in its functioning can cause widespread disruption, as well as impacting on the function of the immune system. Please have a read of my hypothesis on ProHealth website.

* * * *

Q: Have you done any work with fibromyalgia patients, and if so how do you think results compare versus ME/CFS patients?

Ashok Gupta: My trials have been on ME/CFS patients, I am looking to work with institutions to test the programme with Fibromyalgia patients as well, as I find it just as powerful for Fibro.

* * * *

Q: I know you developed this program because you had ME/CFS symptoms. But from what I’ve been reading on the message boards, if anything, more fibro patients think they’re gaining benefits from the techniques. Your view?

Ashok Gupta: That is interesting! Again, I think the outcomes should be pretty similar across both groups. I wonder if ME/CFS patients require more help with phone coaching to maximize the effects.

* * * *

Q: What is the difference between ME/CFS and Fibro in your theory?

Ashok Gupta: They both manifest slightly different symptoms in the body, but a similar underlying neurological process may go on in the brain.

ME/CFS is “amygdala conditioning” following bacterial, viral or toxic trigger.
Fibromyalgia follows a physical injury or accident, or other chronic pain syndrome. (There is more on this in my article, “How the Different ME/CFS/FMS Symptoms are Created with Continual Amygdala Stimulation.”)

* * * *

Q: Have you been able to tell if those with severe or chronic stress, anxiety, and depression are more likely to benefit than those with an infectious trigger and immune abnormalities – more like the Canadian ME/CFS diagnosis?

Ashok Gupta: I have found both groups benefit and recover. I personally fitted into the latter category, and so do most of my patients. They have immune abnormalities and infectious trigger.

* * * *

Q: Are there any particular personality or physical factors that you think are associated with greater or less likelihood of success? And how long does it normally take to see if anything is happening?

Ashok Gupta: It requires a psychological commitment to doing the techniques. If someone is not ready for that, or is overwhelmed with depressive thoughts, that can sometimes stop a person from putting it into practice. Also a person needs forbearance to do it, as there will be ups and downs.

Physically, it doesn’t matter what state someone is in. We have had people who’ve been bed bound who have recovered. People can get initial results within days, for some people it takes months. That is why commitment for at least 6 months is important.

* * * *

Q: I have had fibro for 20 years and my pain just keeps getting worse. Now I get extreme pain from any cold air on my shoulders - it happens even with over cooled stores. Does this sound like a brain overstimulation problem?

Ashok Gupta: It certainly could be. It sounds like the brain has become hyperactive to all sensations, and then tightens up the sympathetic nervous system in response.

* * * *

Q: I certainly would like to retrain my amygdala if at all possible, but is it possible at age 55, after 30 years with CFS?

Ashok Gupta: Yes, it is possible. What matters is if you are ready to commit to retraining for a period of time no matter what happens. We have had patients recover after decades of illness, you can imagine how grateful they are!

* * * *

Q: Has your program helped anyone who has been COMPLETELY bedridden and incapacitated from CFIDS and all its perks?

Ashok Gupta: Yes, we have had bed-bound patients recover, by putting small bits of the programme into practice, and then increasing the energy levels, and then putting more of the programme into practise, and so on - they are often the most grateful due to huge shifts in functioning.

* * * *

Q: If a person is able to improve, do the symptoms ever come back? You believe you have fully recovered, so do you think this is a ‘cure’ in the traditional sense, or is there still a chance of relapse?

Ashok Gupta: I have never described my treatment as a cure. If someone fully recovers using my programme, they can reach 100% health. And once at this stage, they have to make sure that they still use the tools occasionally, and have a healthy lifestyle.

Because the amygdala is still sensitive for around a year after a full recovery, excessive stress can trigger minor dips, so moderating personality traits that cause a person stress is important. Also, introducing exercise slowly is crucial.

* * * *

Q: Do you still have to do this technique at times with yourself?

Ashok Gupta: No, because I have fully retrained my amygdala with respect to ME/CFS! I do use the training for other things occasionally, for other patterns I recognise in myself that are not to do with being ill.

* * * *

Q: Has amygdala retraining been done before for other conditions? Or is this something you developed? How important, and why is it, to do the full version of AR? I've been on the program x1month and have seen great results (for CFS).

Ashok Gupta: I have found that amygdala retraining is useful for a variety of conditions related to ME/CFS and Fibro, including Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). But it was originally developed for ME/CFS.

* * * *

Q: Cort Johnson says on his blog that practicing your program over the past year helped him “tolerate more physical activity without relapsing.” But when he doesn’t stick to it he gets hyperactive and benefits slide. Would you say this is typical?

Ashok Gupta: Some people really have that commitment to stay focused, others find it tricky. For some people who have had it a long time, a concerted period of consistent use of the tools is what will lead to a full recovery.

No-one says it will be easy! But the results are really powerful. If the amygdala’s been “playing its tune” for a long time, it may take time to “rewire” the brain effectively & for the long term, so consistency and persistency are key no matter what. I tell patients to keep going with the programme UNTIL they reach a recovery.

* * * *

Q: Are there any scientific studies to support the effects of these techniques?

Ashok Gupta: I conducted a Clinical Audit with 33 patients, the results of which have been accepted by a peer-review journal, and will be published sometime this year. There has been a delay with the journal; it was supposed to be published in June 09.

The audit showed that two thirds of patients reached a full recovery or close to that mark after one year, and over 90% made an improvement.

* * * *

Q: Any plans to develop independent clinical data?

Ashok Gupta: We have spent years refining the therapies until we felt they were as powerful as they could be. Getting an independent institution or researcher interested, and then gaining funding, is a time-consuming process. But rest assured we’re working hard to make that happen.

* * * *

Q: Do you think your retraining technique lends itself to a clinical trial? And what would it take to run one?

Ashok Gupta: We are currently working on developing trials, we are in the early stages but are optimistic that we will be able to announce something soon. The trials will be on the efficacy of Amygdala retraining treatments versus a control - which likely may be an existing cognitive behavioral therapy/graded exercise therapy/lifestyle intervention programme.

* * * *

Q: We’re all curious, of course, to know how Dr. De Meirleir’s hydrogen sulfide theory fits with Dr. Pall’s, Rich Van K’s, Dr. Bell’s, and Dr. Myhill’s thinking about the physiology of ME/CFS. Do any of these tally with your vicious cycle?

Ashok Gupta: Yes, in my mind they are all “secondary cycles.” The primary cycle is the overstimulation of the sympathetic nervous system and re-triggering of aspects of the immune system. The secondary cycles (H2S, NO, etc) simply magnify the problem but are not the root cause.

Finding excess H2S in the urine of patients does not mean that this is the cause of the symptoms, it simply shows that bodily hyper-arousal may affect the bacterial mix in the gut, which then causes excessive H2S, which in itself causes secondary effects in the body.

* * * *

Q: We FM patients have been hoping Drs. Wood & Holman would find a treatment based on their ‘dopamine’ or ‘hippocampus’ theory of FM pain. Does this tie in with your vicious cycle, and do you think a dopamine antagonist or other drug might ever help?

Ashok Gupta: Once again, dopamine issues in the brain are secondary to the primary cycle. Amygdala hyper-arousal may disrupt appropriate levels of dopamine in the brain, as is the case with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).

So a dopamine antagonist may help in the short term, I’m not sure it will deal with the underlying neurological processes.

* * * *

Q: Does AR help with detoxifying the body?

Ashok Gupta: My hypothesis states that detoxification processes in the body are turned down when the body is in hyper-sympathetic mode. Therefore toxins will accumulate, making researchers think that these toxins are the cause of the condition, when in fact they are secondary issues.

With amygdala retraining, the parasympathetic system comes to the fore, thereby allowing the body to naturally detox, much more powerfully than any supplements could provide for. Evidence for toxins does not inhibit the effectiveness of amygdala retraining.

* * * *

Q: How does your theory fit in with the times CFS was found in clusters of people such as Nevada in the 80's?

Ashok Gupta: This is a tricky one to answer. I think that clusters represent a very small percentage of the overall number of people who contract ME/CFS, so there may be a different disease process going on.

Or it could be that this particular virus for whatever reason makes people more prone to neurological amygdala conditioning - just a hypothesis, but as I said, I believe clusters are a very small percentage of overall numbers of patients.

* * * *

Q: Many people go through traumatic stressful periods in their lives, and a virus, but don’t get CFS! Why?

Ashok Gupta: It is probably a bringing together of a number of factors, including genetic, environmental, psychological and immune. Together they create the “perfect storm” where the amygdala and the insula become sensitized, and ME/CFS or Fibromyalgia results.

* * * *

Q: Should antibiotics and antiviral medications be continued while on your program? Do you think they help?

Ashok Gupta: I advise people to keep everything the same as they use the programme. I'm not sure how much they help; in a few cases there seem to have been recoveries but I can't really comment further.

* * * *

Q: Can your program help me if I also have severe Lyme disease? I’ve had ME for 10 years & got Lyme twice in the past few years.

Ashok Gupta: I want to conduct research with Lyme patients, as I hypothesise that chronic Lyme disease may reflect opportunistic latent bacterial reactivation due to an overall suppressed immune system, stemming from amygdala hyper-arousal.

So evidence of the bacteria in the body in itself does not mean that it is the cause of all the symptoms. It could simply be evidence of overall immune suppression. Many patients have a mix of latent viruses and bacteria which are at higher level in the body than in a normal population.

I have some anecdotal evidence that Lyme patients are being helped using my programme, but no research or evidence as yet.

* * * *

Q: I'm awaiting your course in the mail and am very hopeful. But what about my 11-year-old daughter? Is there a pediatric program available? She has been suffering from CFIDS/ME for over 6 years and now even needs oxygen support on a daily basis.

Ashok Gupta: For children, we have no specific programme, but will look to develop one. Instead we encourage the parents/guardians to learn the programme themselves, and then teach their children the specific techniques, or watch the DVD together with them & interpret

* * * *

Q: Is the success rate of your program as good for people who have been sick 20-30 years as for those who have been sick 10 or less years?

Ashok Gupta: Yes, it is possible to retrain no matter how long you have been ill. What matters is if you are ready to commit to retraining for a period of time no matter what happens. We have had patients recover after decades of illness.

* * * *

Q: When you say your patients show improvement, do they improve with less fatigue, cognitive function or what can one expect?

Ashok Gupta: The symptoms improve right across the board, whatever they may be. Some go before others, it’s unique to each patient. The main issue is compliance with the techniques, I encourage people to keep going with everything until they make a full recovery.

* * * *

Q: So would you say that this brain retraining might also help improve sleep?

Ashok Gupta: Yes, recent studies have shown that a bad night's sleep, lots of anxious dreams or nightmares, can be traced to amygdala hyper-arousal using brain imaging at night. Therefore once you have calmed the amygdala during the day, then it will be calmer at night. Patients find that sleep rhythms gradually come back to normal with patience, and deep delta wave restorative sleep returns.

* * * *

Q: Someone on the message board mentioned that you suggest a technique for relaxing before sleep. Can you describe or explain that?

Ashok Gupta: Listening to the audio CD before sleep can help. There is a guided meditation, and a mindfulness technique called “Soften and Flow” which help the mind and body unwind for sleep. There are other small tips and tricks which I can’t go into now on the live chat as they require a deeper explanation.

* * * *

Q: Can your program help severe migraines?

Ashok Gupta: I'm not sure because we have not tested it with this. If people have migraines as part of their ME/CFS, then yes, these symptoms also moderate at the same pace as the illness.

* * * *

Q: Is it true from your research that type A personality are prone to contract ME/CFIDS more than other types, and why is that?

Ashok Gupta: I would say yes. Although people who are not could as well, it's all about influences that affect how stressed the amygdala is. So essentially any personality trait which keeps the amygdala on high alert for many years, makes someone prone. This could be Type A, conscientiousness, childhood traumas, etc.

* * * *

Q: Hi Ashok I bought your DVD programme a few weeks ago. It is fantastic. Your explanation of CFS makes so much sense, and I believe this is a definite answer. However, I’m having a few problems. I seem to have sometimes 5 or 6 negative thoughts a minute!

Ashok Gupta: Retraining the brain’s responses can happen quickly for some people, for others it can take a few weeks or months. Be patient, keep going, the intensity of signals from the amygdala will lessen over time as it is retrained.

* * * *

Q: Dr. Barbara Keddy believes FM is an expression of neurological overload and hyper-arousal in “ultra-sensitive people” - particularly women. Her theory ties in nicely with the amygdala theory, but do you agree patients may be basically hypersensitive? [See “Fibromyalgia and Ultra-Sensitivity – Could Neurological Overload Be the Cause of Fibromyalgia?” by Barbara Keddy, RN, PhD.]

Ashok Gupta: It is much more complicated than this. Yes, some people may have been ultra-sensitive before the illness, but some may have become ultra-sensitive after getting the illness, because the amygdala ratchets up the sensitivity of the brain and the emotions a few notches after conditioning.

After the initial trauma, patients can become ultra-sensitive to any mental, emotional or physical stress. Being ultra-sensitive before the illness can make someone more prone to getting it. However, “sensitivity” is a broad term; there are probably many sub-groups within that.

“Neurological overload” is not enough to explain what is happening in the brain. Because even once you remove all stresses and strains from someone’s life, they still may have the condition.

What is unique about the amygdala hypothesis is the feedback loop creating a vicious circle.

* * * *

Q: I have evidence of active chronic infections in my body (HHV-6, etc), how can amygdala retraining possibly do anything to alleviate that?

Ashok Gupta: When the body is in sympathetic mode due to hyper-arousal by the amygdala, the immune system becomes imbalanced, and may become down-regulated or up-regulated inappropriately, allowing opportunistic viruses to flourish. Patients report that these return to normal after amygdala retraining. Once the amygdala has been retrained, the parasympathetic system kicks in and allows the immune system to return to its normal balance, and deal with these underlying infections.

Prof. [Garth] Nicolson has recently found similar levels of chronic viruses in the blood of people suffering from Autism, to that of the blood of ME/CFS patients. Autism has also been linked to amygdala hyper-arousal.

* * * *

Q: Do you have any thoughts about how Restless Legs Syndrome might be tied into this and whether your program might help? My partner has FM and RLS bad. The pain meds and anti-seizure drugs are disabling and don’t help the symptoms enough.

Ashok Gupta: RLS can be caused by iron deficiency, or other purely physiological explanation, so check with a doctor first. If RLS is occurring in addition to FM, I would hypothesise that sympathetic over-stimulation may be a contributing factor, and dealing with that first may alleviate the RLS. More research is required.

Patients often describe tingling sensations in the muscles, not only the ones in the legs. This is likely to be the nervous system producing irregular sensations due to a lack of balance because of over-stimulation.

* * * *

Q: It makes sense about brain/amygdala etc. not working well together with rest of the systems as: immune, nervous, endocrinology etc. It’s just hard to believe how much power the amygdala can have?

Ashok Gupta: It used to be thought that the hypothalamus was the master gland, but in fact the hypothalamus receives a lot of its instructions from the amygdala - it is the amygdala that decides the core reaction, the rest of the brain carries out the instructions, especially via the HPA axis.

* * * *

Q: I got CFS 6 years ago and it has gradually got worse and worse. How would your theory explain this?

Ashok Gupta: CFS is a disease of ups and downs, because it works in cycles. So you have vicious cycles and virtuous cycles, and the faster the cycle works, the more ill someone can get.

* * * *

Q: Does the programme help with associated anxiety?

Ashok Gupta: Yes, the programme helps you understand the link between physical, mental and emotional stress, and how that impacts on your physical health. Anxiety can make symptoms worse, and therefore some later sessions of the programme help a patient combat stress and anxiety.

* * * *

Q: Could amygdala retraining help a CFS patient with autonomic symptoms such as severe Neurally Mediated Hypotension and POTS? I tried meditation and relaxation exercises, but it made symptoms such as low blood pressure worse & made me feel a lot worse.

Ashok Gupta: Yes, we have had patients benefit who have these conditions, which may also be linked to sympathetic hyperarousal. In terms of relaxation techniques, occasionally this can happen when people have low blood pressure. But by using some of the other techniques first, the benefits of the meditation can eventually be realized.

* * * *

Q: Do you have a general professional practice, or is it all geared toward CFS/ME?

Ashok Gupta: My specialism is in treating ME/CFS and Fibro, and in the past I also used to treat anxiety, stress and panic.

* * * *

Q: A friend of mine did the lightning process and it actually made him worse. How are your techniques different?

Ashok Gupta: My programme is very different to the Lightning Process, although there may be some crossovers because we are both using some aspects of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). My programme incorporates pacing, & is balanced and encourages people to do it at their own pace. This works best.

* * * *

Q: What exactly is the difference between Mickel RT or “reversal therapy” and your program?

Ashok Gupta: My programme is completely different to Mickel and Reverse Therapy. They believe symptoms are messages from the unconscious mind to change something. I think the symptoms are due to conditioning effects in the nervous system and in the immune system.

Mickel and Reverse Therapy do believe that the sympathetic system is over-responding, but for completely different reasons to the amygdala hypothesis.

I suspect that if and when patients do improve using their techniques, it is in fact an indirect mild form of amygdala retraining.

* * * *

Q: Are there medications that can do the same thing your program does, only quicker?

Ashok Gupta: No, I don't think there ever will be! Because a medication can moderate levels of neurotransmitters, but it would be difficult for it to rewire neurological pathways.

* * * *

Q: Will the amygdala respond to hypnosis? Would that not provide more rapid changes?

Ashok Gupta: I don’t find that it responds that well. I have tried hypnosis with ME/CFS patients in the past, but I find NLP much more powerful and direct. That's why there is no hypnosis or hypnotherapy in my DVD programme at all.

* * * *

Q: Are you saying that it’s all in the head? ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia are real physical illnesses.

Ashok Gupta: I definitely believe they are real physical neurological illnesses, and the root cause is a malfunction in the brain. This malfunction then causes the rest of the systems and processes in the body to also malfunction, causing all kinds of secondary illnesses in the body. Rewiring the brain to overcome this malfunction is tricky. But I would describe “amygdala retraining” as “brain retraining.” Essentially you are using unique neurological processes to train the brain in a different direction.

* * * *

Q: Have you had any feedback from neurologists about the AR hypothesis?

Ashok Gupta: Yes, overall at the Reno IACFS conference, the reception was positive. The neurology process I am describing is not controversial. What needs more proof is its application to ME/CFS.

* * * *

Q: What are your plans for the future with amygdala retraining?

Ashok Gupta: I plan to publish the results of trials, and then look to train other practitioners to deliver the treatments to patients in person, as well as offer supporting coaching.

I also want this treatment to be funded by insurance companies and national health services around the world, since patients often have very little money.

* * * *

Q: Are there any doctors in the United States that are knowledgeable about and working with your program?

Ashok Gupta: There are currently doctors who are recommending the programme to their patients, but not directly working with me. We are looking to train up more practitioners around the world who can work one on one with patients – deliver the treatment and follow-up coaching.

* * * *

Q: I saw in the ProHealth message board that Dr. Charles Lapp in North Carolina might get involved in some way. Is this accurate?

Ashok Gupta: Yes, it is true that I am currently working with Dr. Lapp to secure a trial and funding now that you ask (!), but I was not going to announce anything until we had the go ahead!

* * * *

Q: Do you see patients still?

Ashok Gupta: Currently I am working on trials, but I have trained practitioners at my clinic who work one on one with patients by phone or face to face, once they have bought the DVDs.

* * * *

Q: How is training received in the clinic different than the DVD?

Ashok Gupta: There is hardly any difference at all, we say the same things. If we do a one on one, people have to remember everything, but a DVD is much more flexible and can give you a lot more information, combined with follow-up phone coaching.

* * * *

Q: How does one go about getting into this program?

Ashok Gupta: The programme is available as an interactive DVD series, with 12 interactive video sessions and accompanying Manual and supporting materials, which can be ordered on the website, or by calling 011 (if from the US) 44 845 475 1 475. Also, now all DVDs sent to the USA/Canada will play on all DVD players there.

* * * *

Q: How much does coaching cost in US dollars?

Ashok Gupta: The follow up coaching costs around $75 depending on the exchange rate at any time!

* * * *

Q: I can't watch a TV screen for a long time, and find it difficult to concentrate. How can I use the programme?

Ashok Gupta: A lot of the programme is myself speaking, so you can simply listen to a lot of it rather than watch it. Furthermore, if concentration is an issue, the DVDs are split into sections so you can watch small sections of 15 minutes to 30 minutes at a time.

* * * *

Q: How much time do I have to commit to the program every day?

Ashok Gupta: We recommend a minimum of 30 minutes a day in one sitting, together with other tools and techniques which are used throughout the day. The tools are flexible and are designed to fit into a normal day, so even if you generally busy with other things, the programme can be incorporated into your life.


ProHealth: Looks like we're out of time. Thank you, Ashok, for joining us today, and to everyone who attended. To learn more about Amygdala Retraining, visit Ashok's website

Ashok Gupta: If I did not have a chance to answer your question, please e-mail us directly at and we will answer it as soon as possible. You can also watch the first few hours of the DVDs for free online by signing up at

Thank you Mr. Gupta for your presentation, and Holly for facilitating, and everyone who asked questions to help explore the subject. Thank you for all of your work to help us.

Very interesting! Thank you!



“Explaining the Amygdala Retraining Program for ME/CFS/FM and Associated Illnesses”

“How the Different ME/CFS/FMS Symptoms are Created with Continual Amygdala Stimulation”

“Unconscious Amygdalar Fear Conditioning in a Subset of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Patients,” Gupta A. Medical Hypotheses, Nov 12, 2002

Note: This information has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is generic and is not intended to prevent, diagnose, 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.

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