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Adrienne Dellwo

Amygdala Retraining for Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

By April 20, 2012

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Research Brief

A newly published study suggests that a mind-body treatment called amygdala retraining may be an effective treatment for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

The small study was the first to look into this method. It involved 21 people being treated at a fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome clinic, 7 of whom had amygdala retraining and 14 of whom received standard care.

Researchers say amygdala retraining participants did statistically better than than the standard-care patients in scores for:

  • Physical health
  • Energy
  • Pain
  • Symptom distress
  • Fatigue

Amygdala Retraining

Amygdala retraining is a treatment method developed by Ashok Gupta, who says he's sought an effective treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome since developing the illness in college.

The amygdala is a small, almond shaped structure buried deep in the brain. It plays a role in:

  • Emotional learning
  • The fight-or-flight response
  • Forming long-term memory
  • Formation of emotional memory
  • The fear response
  • Arousal
  • Hormonal secretion

All of these functions are involved to some degree in fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Gupta says that in people who are predisposed to these illnesses, the right combination of stressors and other triggering factors cause trauma to the amygdala, which leads to a rash of dysfunctions, which cause further damage to the amygdala in a vicious cycle.

Retraining the amygdala, he says, can stop the cycle.

This method is controversial, in large part because it hadn't been scientifically tested. This first study is promising, but it was an extremely small sample size and is far from conclusive. What it does is suggest that larger trials may be warranted.

Here's more information about amygdala retraining:

Have you tried amygdala retraining? How did it work for you? Leave your comments below!

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Comments
April 20, 2012 at 8:22 am
(1) Shmoo says:

It should be noted that there was about a 70% dropout rate in the amygdala retraining group, which means that the success rate of the treatment was in fact very poor and only the minority who found it helpful continued with it.

April 20, 2012 at 9:14 am
(2) Rachael says:

While this all sounds very interesting, I wonder if people who are born “highly sensitive” can actually re-wire their brain. Personality is embedded in the structure of the brain. Being born with a highly sensitive nervous system is not necessarily a disorder, but a biological predisposition. Whether someone is energized or drained by stressors is determined by neuroanatomy and neurochemistry.

Studies that describe the neuroscientific basis of the extraversion/introversion continuum:

*Amygdala gray matter concentration is associated with extraversion and neuroticism.
*Extraversion is linked to volume of the orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala.

Read more: http://samsnyder.com/2012/04/17/the-neuroscience-of-extraversion-and-introversion/

April 20, 2012 at 9:46 am
(3) Tom H says:

I purchased the home version of Mr. Gupta’s Amygdala retraining Program about two and a half years ago. It is an intense retraining program and I made it only about two thirds through it. Even making it that far did help me out and continues to help me a couple of years later. It helped me mostly in how I react to CFS and to Fibro. it helped me to prevent myself from going down the dark and terrible depressing side of having these diseases. I learned to say “No, no, no” to myself when I began to go toward depression and despair. As most of you probably realize, going into depression only makes these diseases and life that much more challenging. This has made a significant improvement in my life in general and has made the use of anti-depressants unnecessary.

I have also used the training to help me learn some of the triggers that lead to crashes. By learning what these triggers are and detecting them early (by noticing subtle shifts in my anxiety levels) I have far fewer crashes and they are shorter in duration.

Having said that, I am still very ill. I found that the training was very difficult to do alone and at home. I think I could have made it all the way through the training had I been in a supportive, community based program with others.

Anything that helps with these diseases is significant.

April 20, 2012 at 1:58 pm
(4) Diane says:

I too gave the Ashok Gupta a good try a couple of years ago. It seemed to me to be based partly on NLP…..I finally sent the programme back as I was not improving. If I can remember it cost about $200 for the programme and I received a prompt refund. I would suggest it may help some and if the refund policy is still in effect you would have nothing to lose except s/h.

Warm wishes for perfect health.

April 20, 2012 at 2:34 pm
(5) Rachael says:

I often wonder if we could re-train the brains of psychopaths whose brains show both structural and functional differences, than those of us who are born highly sensitive. I wonder if we could re-train their brains to be more compassionate, empathic and caring of others? Did you ever wonder why criminals can do the horrible things that they do and not feel any remorse? (Researchers have discovered that there is reduced connectivity between the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala of psychopaths. The prefrontal cortex regulates guilt and empathy, while the amygdala regulates anxiety and fear.)1 I highly doubt that a mind-body treatment would be effective for making psychopaths more sensitive souls. So, why is it that only highly sensitive people are expected to be able to change structural and functional differences in their brain with mind/body treatments?

Neuroscience and sensitivity – our superior colliculus and amygdala

As we know who have one, a highly sensitive nervous system is not necessarily a disorder. A recent news item by ScienceDaily reported on research that may explain more about the neuroscience that underlies high sensitivity.

http://highlysensitive.org/233/neuroscience-and-sensitivity-our-superior-colliculus-and-amygdala/

1) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111122230903.htm

April 20, 2012 at 4:14 pm
(6) Joni says:

I suggest doing this in tandom with another person for support and sharing and not giving up.

If not get together with a friend in person, do Skype.

Adrienne, how about you doing this and letting us know how good it is?

April 20, 2012 at 5:11 pm
(7) betty palmer says:

i purchased the gupta programme i do find it slightly helpfull but hard to stick to by myself i feel sure with the clinic i would stay the course but can-not afford to join .i am still very ill and in pain but am now 70 yrs old and feel i will be like this for the rest of my days .had it now for around 45 years but was a lot of years finding out what was wrong with me .
i have spent a lot of money on differant tablets etc what i have read about but to no avail ,the best thing i took was doctors best d-robose i still take it because although not made me better i think it helps slightly

April 20, 2012 at 7:32 pm
(8) Pr Chris says:

Betty…

Today was my 64th bd. I know how you feel that “this is the way it is and always will be”. It is hard to deal with this. The only optimism is that now various groups in the medical fraternity are more accepting that this exists. The best thing I can suggest, and the best I have found is to live in the present as much as possible, and find a friend who can walk with you.

Peace

Pr chris

April 20, 2012 at 8:08 pm
(9) Mignon says:

I have a great multi-disciplnary therapist who can achieve the same desired outcome just talking with her twice a month. it’s basically reframing how you handle and see your illness and stress, and how you treat yourself. I’ve had CFS and Fibro17yrs. and experience severe pain. There is no cure. But she makes my life a lot easier to handle.

Her web-site is A-Quiet-Mind.com

That’s my 2 cents

April 21, 2012 at 4:32 am
(10) maria says:

This sounds a bit like the Lightning Process run by Ian Cleary (originally created in England by Peter Parker). I’ve had severe ME/CFS for over 20 yrs – unable to work.
Please let me know if anyone who’s very ill like me, has undertaken this training. Its VERY expensive and I’m unsure how to make a decision as I’m on a Disability Support Pension. We’ve all spent too much money in our desperation to achieve wellness or at least better quality of life!
I agree with the comments re positive mind/minfulness and reframing. However it does nothing to help bedridden fatigue , brain fog etc.

Thanks Maria.

April 21, 2012 at 9:45 am
(11) Rachael says:

Your amygdala controls your fight or flight response and is responsible for your response to stress. However excess anxiety doesn’t appear to be caused simply by a hyperactive amygdala. The amygdala–prefrontal cortex network is also affected by the neurotransmitter dopamine. Increasing dopamine could be the answer to reducing anxiety levels. Pet scans have shown that people who have more dopamine storage capacity in their amygdala are less likely to suffer from anxiety.

http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/v11/n12/full/nn.2222.html

April 21, 2012 at 1:52 pm
(12) Diane says:

Betty dearest…. I feel such compassion for you. Please know you are not alone in the aging process with this illness. I have M.E. and Fibromyalgia, homebound with a severe case. Before the age of 51 years I was hip-hopping around sharing yoga, giving seminars all over the U.S. and Mexico…..life was a breeze! I am now 76 years of age, so I’m older than you! I’ve tried everything through the years, supplements, medications, gupta training etc., The best I have found is to know my limits, meditation (thanks to yoga days), changing my thought patterns when I feel I can no longer go on, walk around the house every once in a while, delight in gazing out the window and watching the birds. When it is time for me to leave the planet I’m hoping the physical will be free of symptoms! Please know you are not alone and this website is one of the best. Adrienne does a great job…thankyou Adrienne.

Warm wishes.

April 21, 2012 at 7:34 pm
(13) S. says:

What a waste of time and money this was! There isn’t even any scientific evidence showing that these illnesses are caused by the amygdala. Gupta’s whole theory fails to explain the vast clinically testable physical abnormalities found in people with these conditions. The program is nothing more than cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) under a fancy name that takes the blame off a person’s psyche, thus tricks them into thinking they are not doing CBT. It’s mostly about what is known in psychology as “thought stopping” and “cognitive restructuring”. It has nothing to do with the conditions. Sure, if someone thinks more positively and doesn’t catastrophize their life in the face of illness, this program might help that aspect. A positive and solution oriented outlook on life is always helpful regardless of whether the disease is cancer, diabetes, or CFS/FM. But it’s no cure and doesn’t address the real cause of the illness at all. The basis of the program is:
Stop, Stop, Stop (said aloud when negative thoughts occur)
Visualization of Being Well
Yoga Breathing
Mindfulness Meditation (Insight Mediation akk Vipassana)
Focus less on the body (reduce “body scanning”)
The core of sleep problems is anxious thoughts (conscious)
Drink More Water
Do morning yoga stretches.
Brief meditation in the AM and PM.
Be aware of how you clench your body and say “relax, let go.”
When unable to sleep, say “rest is almost as good as sleep”.
But don’t expect to know that before you get the DVD’s. It’s a BIG secret so you spend they money. If you’re having trouble coping with illness and feel stressed out about it, go for it. But don’t expect it to cure the illness itself. There are far more effect therapies out there.

April 22, 2012 at 8:50 am
(14) Meg says:

The Mayo Clinic in Rochester is also conducting a study of the Gupta Program. I believe results will be published next year.

I purchased the program at the suggestion of my doctor who has had a number of patients who have had good results with it. While it did not “cure” my CFS it definitely helped – and would likely help more if I were disciplined enough to continue to sue it regularly. However, within the first week of following the program I felt better with much more energy! I found myself able to do things I had not done in a long time – like go shopping for clothes. What I did have to be careful of was not over-doing. Because I felt so much better I did do too much and felt not so well for a few days – but bounced back fairly quickly. I would say that I am far from “normal” but certainly better.

April 22, 2012 at 2:04 pm
(15) Rachel says:

Frontal lobotomies were once performed on over 50,000 patients as a logical remedy to unexplained illnesses. When researchers finally pinpoint the source of Fibromyalgia, recommendations such as these will be regarded as cruel and absurd as well.

April 23, 2012 at 4:52 am
(16) Pete says:

In my opinion one of the big problems with any study involving ME and CFS is that the terms are used as a diagnosis for a group of similar symptoms when no other physical reason can be found. So it could be that subsets of ME/CFS sufferers have these symptoms for different reasons, some correctly linked with the body being stuck in a chronic stress loop, others possibly linked to some biological pathogen yet to be fully understood.
Our brains can really re-wire themselves, it’s called Hebb’s Rule and it is now commonly understood that the brain does re-wire based on our thoughts. It explains the adaptation of neurons in the brain during the learning process. In many ways the brain really is like the rest of the body in respect that if we stopped using one of our arms the muscles in that arm would atrophy and become weak, the arm eventually difficult to use, while the arm we do use becomes stronger and easier to use. Our brains function in a similar way, the activation of brain cells via our ‘thoughts’ leads to increases in synaptic strength between those cells making it easier and faster to think those thoughts.
I became interested in all this when my wife was diagnosed around 10 years ago. She is one person who has certainly made a long term recovery from understanding all sources of stress in her life mental, emotional and environmental and working to manage and reduce them. Subsequently she now leads a full and enjoyable life and is able to cope with increases in stress without having any ME CFS symptoms.
I do not believe she is alone either, we have met many others since, who have made good recoveries using techniques taught by courses such as Gupta’s Amygdala Retraining, Kate Simpson’s The BodyMind Programme and Phil Parker’s Lightning Process etc that are all based on similar theories and principles.
I hope study encourages those still suffering to believe recovery and at least improvement is possible and ‘look outside of the box’ for answers like we did.

April 23, 2012 at 7:05 am
(17) claire says:

I believe positive thought patterns can do much to help the brain feel like you’re recovering any illness, I’m not so sure about fibromyalgia, but I’d love to be offered a chance to beat it, and I’m sure the majority of sufferers of this and M.E, to which it is related according to my doctor, have found that distracting their frame of thought can cushion a flare, etc I don’t think any of us are stupid.

However I would love to be well off so my finances weren’t strangling me now I can’t work, because I’m sure if money were no object, at least I would’nt have to worry about my mortgage, now that would do a lot to ease my stress levels…less pain all around

April 23, 2012 at 8:06 am
(18) Rachael says:

Studies shows that introverts and extroverts show activity in different brain structures, which mirror wildly opposing aspects of personality and that those hoping to change their social personas may have no say in the matter. One of the biggest differences between introverts and extroverts is how they react to stress. Introverts have a biological need to re-charge their batteries; something that doesn’t fit into this non-stop world that “extroverts” have created. People who have “MORE” dopamine storage capacity in their amygdala are less likely to suffer from anxiety and stress. I suspect these blessed people are more likely to be “outgoing” extroverts, who start out each day with a full tank of “dopamine”.

As an artist, all my life, I have been very aware that when under stress, or too much stimuli, I had a biological need to withdraw and restore myself. Could one of the reasons introverts have a biological need to re-charge their batteries be because they have less dopamine storage capacity in our amygdalas? Were we actually designed to be more sensitive? Is that why many of us with ME/CFS are now “running-on-empty” (dopamine depleted) because we have been expected to keep up with “extroverted machines”, when we never physically or biologically meant to?

Read more about how dopamine is released under stress and modulates processing of aversive stimuli:

http://www.mendeley.com/research/dopamine-in-amygdala-gates-limbic-processing-of-aversive-stimuli-in-humans/#page-1

April 23, 2012 at 8:49 am
(19) Rachael says:

CBT, the Lightning Process, Gupta’s Amygdala Retraining and all mind/body treatments will probably help most people, (to some degree) who are suffering from chronic, debilitating illnesses. But, whether it is cancer or ME/CFS meditation, calming thoughts, and the likes will benefit both of these conditions by easing stress, but will cure neither of these physical illnesses.

April 23, 2012 at 1:23 pm
(20) Pete says:

Racheal – I completely agree that introverts need to withdraw to re-charge their batteries, but I know plenty of introverts who are quite healthy. Although I’m also fairly sure if they were forced into the life of an extrovert that they would be less healthy. Equally some extroverts I know absolutely hate spending time alone and find that equally as stressful.

However, saying that reducing stress cannot ‘cure’ any physical condition debatable. For example hypnotherapy, which involves no conventional physical intervention is a clinically proven treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which as any sufferer will tell you is a very physical phenomena. Just read reports by Professor Whorwell who has completed many peer reviewed clinical studies and actually worked to get hypnotherapy mentioned as treatment by NICE.

On a more fringe note, there has also been report recently where a doctor said there was “tentative evidence that hypnosis prolonged the lives of cancer patients.” http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3642764.stm

Here is another article on how mediation can change our DNA and improve our immune system: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/04/14/2746189/meditation-relieves-caregiver.html#storylink=cpyttp://www.miamiherald.com/2012/04/14/2746189/meditation-relieves-caregiver.html

When talking about ‘cures’ people often ignore the fact that the body has the ability to ‘cure’ itself of many things and often does when allowed to. It is what our immune system is designed to do.

April 23, 2012 at 4:28 pm
(21) Robert says:

Rachael: it depends whether or not the illness is caused purely by stress, or if the stress is triggering or making a physical illness worse. In my own case I had severe CFS/ME which seemed to be caused by stress, and I managed to recover completely. I didn’t use Gupta or any other programme – I just figured it out myself.

It sounds like Gupta’s programme is very similar to CBT, although there is some dubious stuff about the amygdala which is unproven. I would recommend to people to just use CBT, as it is more scientific and it is generally free in most countries with proper health systems (i.e. outside the USA :)

April 23, 2012 at 6:47 pm
(22) Rachael says:

Agreed Robert: All people who are suffering from chronic fatigue, stress, or depression are not suffering from ME/CFS (Canadian Consesus Defintion), which I have and are being lumped together under one umbrella. By treating my ME/CFS like an autoimmune illness, I have been able to improve my illness immensely (immune system suppression), but like Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis or Lupus CBT and the likes may help ease some of the symptoms of these illlnesses, but will not cure any them. I’m sure Gupta’s program benefits those who’s illness is entirely related to stress and does not fall under the Canadian Criteria for ME/CFS in which you must have post-exertional malaise/fatigue and autonomic, neuroendocrine and immune manifestations.

The Canadian Clinical Case Definition is summarized as follows:
http://www.cfids-cab.org/MESA/ccpc.html

April 24, 2012 at 9:50 am
(23) Pete says:

Rachael; I do agree that introverts biologically need to withdraw and recharge themselves and find it stressful being with groups of people. Equally I know extroverts who become very stressed when left in their own company for too long.

However, I’m in less agreement over whether changing our thoughts could ‘cure’ physical conditions. My wife certainly is completely symptom free and has been for years, even though we have had stressful times since her recovery. She does get the old cold, just like anyone else, but has a full life that she likes. We do practice much of what we learned during her illness though and continue to learn how best to manage stress. That just seems sensible given how many serious conditions such as cancer are linked to stress.

BTW did you know that in a recent report it was suggested that hypnotherapy may prolong the lives of cancer sufferers and many people with sclerosis on their nerves have no physical symptoms?

“There are some studies and there are some encouraging results from these that hypnosis can probably improve the survival of cancer patients.” -Dr Christina Lioss

April 24, 2012 at 9:58 am
(24) Pete says:

BTW When my wife was diagnosed with ME/CFS there was not a debate over which criteria was being used. The Doctors initially started using CFS, then it slowly morphed into ME depending on who she saw. She did have auto-immune problems though and I clearly remember her GP saying her immune system was attacking her thyroid and she would need medication for the rest of her life. However, for several reasons, she never took the medication, and her thyroid has been fine for years. One of her specialists, Prof Pinching, actually said it was probably the CFS/ME and by the time she saw him things were improving, by slowly addressing all aspects of stress in her life (chemical, environmental, emotional etc) and dealing with them. Prof Pinching’s advice was keep doing what your doing because it is obviously working!

April 24, 2012 at 10:57 am
(25) Rachael says:

Pete: I think a lot to do with if you recover or not from CFS is just how far have your dopamine stores been depleted. Is it past the point of no return, where your condition has become a full-blown autoimmune illness, or will reducing stress in some individuals make them well again, stabilizing neurotransmitters? Dopamine is released under stress and modulates processing of aversive stimuli. PET scans have shown that people who have more dopamine storage capacity in their amygdala are less likely to suffer from anxiety and stress related conditions, I believe this people are probably extroverts.

Reducing stressors (which come in many forms; (vaccines, toxins, viruses, surgeries, exercise, stress, alcohol, smoking etc, anything that eats up dopamine stores) usually will make ME/CFS feel better, but once they go back to doing the activities that made them sick in the first place (like in my case aerobic exercise and aspartame), they will become ill again; dopamine depleted and the immune system becomes hyper-responsive (autoimmunity).

April 24, 2012 at 11:15 am
(26) Rachael says:

Pete: Here’s an interesting article on fibromyalgia and dopamine; how illnesses once considered mental illnesses like Parkinson’s Disease are today validated as physical illnesses, once the reason behind the illness is found:

“After centuries of disrespect and scorn, no one questions the validity of Parkinson’s disease today. It is ironic that the same neurotransmitter, dopamine, appears to play a control role in another enigma: fibromyalgia. The historic similarities are striking as evidence of dopaminergic control mechanisms begin to emerge with respect to pain, sleep, arousal and the autonomic nervous system. Each of these central nervous system functions are relevant to fibromyalgia, but hopefully FM will be sorted out and effectively treated more quickly compared to Parkinson’s disease patients.”

http://www.fmpartnership.org/Files/Website2005/Learn%20About%20Fibromyalgia/Articles/Dopamine.htm

April 24, 2012 at 11:33 am
(27) Rachael says:

How in control are we, of the illnesses, that we are likely to end up with in life? I often wonder if we could re-train the brains of psychopaths whose brains show both structural and functional differences, than to those of us who are born highly sensitive. I wonder if we could re-train their brains to be more compassionate, empathic, feeling and caring of others? Researchers have discovered that there is reduced connectivity between the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala of psychopaths. The prefrontal cortex regulates guilt and empathy, while the amygdala regulates anxiety and fear.)1 I highly doubt that a mind-body treatment would be effective for making psychopaths more sensitive souls. So, why is it that only highly sensitive people are expected to be able to change structural and functional differences in their brain with mind/body treatments?

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111122230903.htm

April 24, 2012 at 12:52 pm
(28) Rachael says:

Neuroscience and sensitivity – our superior colliculus and amygdala

A recent news item by ScienceDaily reported on research that may explain more about the neuroscience that underlies high sensitivity, but to the mainstream media – and probably psychiatry in general – this news story was framed in terms of “dysfunction”.

[From Two Brain Structures Key To Emotional Balance Especially In Threatening Situations, ScienceDaily (Oct. 23, 2009)]

As we know who have one, a highly sensitive nervous system that is, it is not necessarily a “disorder”, but an innate, biological brain structure difference, that actually makes us more highly sensitive.

http://highlysensitive.org/233/neuroscience-and-sensitivity-our-superior-colliculus-and-amygdala/

April 24, 2012 at 3:40 pm
(29) Robert says:

Rachael,

Although my illness appeared to be caused by stress, I definitely did have Canadian Criteria CFS/ME (with post-exertional malaise/fatigue and autonomic, neuroendocrine and immune manifestations, as well as various other physical symptoms).

I think you need to do some more research on stress.

April 24, 2012 at 4:30 pm
(30) Rachael says:

Robert: Did you have a resting heart rate of 110 bpm and a blood pressure rate of 90/50? Well, I did! All the CBT in the world was never going to change that, but I found agents that did. I now have a normal heart rate and normal range of blood pressure. If I didn’t do what I do (because i have tried) my heart rate goes up and my blood pressure goes down and my ME/CFS returns with a vengeance.

Maybe, your illness hadn’t gotten to the point where you were completely dopamine depleted (like I was) and by reducing stress you were able to improve your illness. BTW, I’m glad that reducing stress worked for you, as I hope it may for work for others. I also went from having an extremely severe case of ME/CFS (bedridden for two years), but my autoimmune illness ME/CFS has improved because of the things that I take not because of CBT, or stress management..

April 25, 2012 at 1:34 pm
(31) Pete says:

Hi Rachael, I respect your beliefs regarding your condition. All I can re-iterate is that my wife was diagnosed with CFS/ME and did have auto-immune problems and she also passed out a lot, even once while laying down. I clearly remember her GP saying her immune system was attacking her thyroid and she would need medication for the rest of her life. However, her thyroid has been fine for years and she does not now take anything special for it, and she has been running her own business which has at times been stressful and has kept her self fit exercising etc.

When she was ill she initially took a lot of supplements and had osteopathy and homoeopathy, but reducing and working through issues that caused stress made the largest difference to her symptoms

We do however now believe in eating healthy and living a balanced life. We rarely drink coffee, eat mostly fresh organic food often raw and generally choose bodycare products as natural as we can get. If she goes out and eats non-organic processed food or washes her hands with strong SLS based soaps she no longer gets symptoms though.

Who knows what her dopamine levels were like when she was ill or even now for that matter. However, science has proven that behaviour and thought can change the physical structure of the brain much like exercise increases the strength of a muscle. I have seen it said that there is a study to show yoga increases dopamine production. Is it possible then that the areas of the areas of the brain that make dopamine could improve their production given gentle stimulus?

April 25, 2012 at 2:30 pm
(32) Robert says:

Rachael: I did have severe problems with high heart rate and low blood pressure (POTS, autonomic dysfunction, irregular heartbeats, etc.), and my neurotransmitters were COMPLETELY out of whack. So if you’re thinking that I didn’t have ‘proper’ CFS then you need to think again.

A lot of people have something against stress as an explanation, but it is the only theory that actually fits.

April 25, 2012 at 3:54 pm
(33) Rachael says:

Robert: and Pete: I’ve been saying this for years now, that CFS and fibromyalgia are both caused by problems with the neurotransmitter dopamine . I’m sure anyone who knows me from this site will attest to that fact. Did you see the CFS news article(s) yesterday that ME/CFS appears do be a disease affecting the basal ganglia and dopamine metabolism? Here’s one of the articles from PROHEALTH. I posted some comments there too under my name spelled backwards.

“These findings add to our understanding of biological factors that may play a role in chronic fatigue syndrome. Since the basal ganglia use the chemical dopamine as their major neurotransmitter, dopamine metabolism may play an important role in understanding and changing the course of this illness. (Parkinson’s disease, for example, is a movement disorder known to be tied to the death of dopamine-producing neurons in the basal ganglia.)”

http://www.prohealth.com/library/showarticle.cfm?libid=16928&vote=finished#discuss

April 25, 2012 at 4:25 pm
(34) Rachael says:

Pete: I’m glad you respect my beliefs regarding my condition.. Because my beliefs, my years of research and my discoveries have taken me from being an invalid to a high-functioning individual. I gave up on doctors and their “psycho babble” many years ago. I don’t have to sit around and meditate, or try and change my patterns (re-wire my brain) because what I take has done this for me. I’m glad though that you wife is doing better.

Robert: I’m not saying that stress doesn’t contribute to this illness, what I am saying though is that if you have become so dopamine depleted and that dopamine has been lost forever all the “happy thoughts” in the world is not going to change this now physical illness.

I became sick while exercising aerobically and drinking way too many diet colas (aspartame). Aspartame can change dopamine levels in the brain forever, especially in those who may be genetically vulnerable because of neuroanatomy and neurochemistry. I’m still glad stress management worked for you, but what I take has worked for me also. So, we both win!

April 26, 2012 at 6:11 am
(35) Chronic Pain Treatment says:

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Thank You so much for this information

Fibromyalgia Symptoms

April 26, 2012 at 4:02 pm
(36) Robert says:

Rachael,

No, there is no plausible mechanism for aspartame permanently changing dopamine levels in your brain. Most likely you suffered overtraining due to exercise (i.e. stress). Stress will cause temporary changes in neurotransmitters, but it is reversible. Believe what you want :)

April 26, 2012 at 5:01 pm
(37) Rachael says:

Robert: You can believe what you want … I will continue to believe what I know. My condition was no more reversible than Parkinson’s disease is by thinking “happy thoughts” and what I know, and what I have done has made me 90% better. You can’t run a car without fuel I’m afraid. So, get over yourself; if stress management worked for you, that’s great, but it was not about to work for me.

Aspartame decrease evoked extracellular dopamine levels in the rat brain: An in vivo voltammetry study:

In conclusion, this work provides a real-time measurement of evoked extracellular DA levels in the striatum before and after the administration of a single high dose of aspartame. Aspartame consistently decreased evoked extracellular DA levels.

http://muskingum.edu/~brianb/cv/aspartamepaper.pdf

PS I can provide more evidence/studies if you like, just let me know. I sense in you that you have a biological need to have the “last word”. Am I right?

April 28, 2012 at 2:15 am
(38) Andrew Porter says:

I tried the Amygdala retraining as a so called cure for ME/CFS, and did so through Ashok Gupta in London, UK. It had absolutely no impact or benefit, despite many visits to Ashok Gupta. In addition, with my illness being acute onset following a tonsillectomy and infection in the area subjected to surgery, the only element that has been shown to be 100% correct is neurological malfunction, in particular my autonomic nervous system. This is why the only drugs that have an impact are those that bypass the autonomic nervous system, therefore the reason for ill health is neurological damage, damage that Amygdala retraining cannot help.

As ME and CFS are descriptive terms only, without a universal, agreed underlying cause, means that many so claimed cures are incapable of dealing with those, like me, who have proven neurological damage. This is why the book, Betrayal by the Brain, Dr Jay Goldstein MD has been so useful in my case, as it provides full details of the neurological reasons for my ill health, what needs to be done, and it does not involved Amygdala retraining for very good reasons!

April 28, 2012 at 1:05 pm
(39) Susan H. McIntyre says:

I can’t help but wonder if fibromyalgia and its increasing prevalence is also a warning about the speed of our lifestyle. Whether a person has high sensitivity, ADD, chemical sensitivities, or fibromyalgia, we look to cure them rather than look at the way we all live. Does anyone know if the fibromyalgia rates are similar in other cultures? Just thinking out loud….

August 13, 2012 at 1:51 am
(40) tatt says:

many of those with chronic fatigue have vitamin D deficiency. All bed-bound people are likely to be vitamin D deficient. That needs to be treated as deficiency can cause immune problems, digestive issues and sleep problems. I’m recovering from chronic fatigue on a programme that includes vitamin D, probiotics and magnesium. Magnesium is needed to deal with stress and is readily absorbed through the skin. Reducing sugar with help good bacteria colonise the gut. This is my second recovery, the first involved a gluten free diet and I had a normal life for 5 years after that before excessive exercise made me ill again.

It is possible to recover from fatigue, but not if you rely only on doctors.

November 1, 2012 at 1:27 am
(41) Anne says:

I miss the Rachael and Robert discussion !

November 12, 2012 at 4:27 am
(42) Jane says:

After 15 years of severe CFS and two years of unmanageable MCS (chemical sensitvity) I ordered Gupta because one friend after another was recovering. I’m in my 5th month. I no longer have MCS and while CS is a harder battle for me, I am 3/4′s of the way there. Gupta’s program is giving me my life back!

December 13, 2012 at 4:55 pm
(43) Karen says:

I had Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Electrical Sensitivities, Food Allergies and more for 17 years.

It started with just the first two and then spread, which is frequently typical. I just discovered Dynamic Neural Retraining System http://www.dnrsystem.com.

The system is grounded in appropriate education and cutting edge neuroplasticity exercises which can correct this Limbic System impairment. It is working well for me, although I have not yet finished the 6 month commitment. I HIGHLY suggest you research this one.

April 3, 2013 at 7:50 am
(44) Racheal B says:

I’ve just invested in the Gupta programme.

I was diagnosed with CFS / M.E and Fibromyalgia 18 years ago, and have had several episodes after the initial glandular fever which caused it. It takes me two years of severe illness before I recover – with less energy each time than I had before, until the next relapse.

The truth is I believe in this – and I expect to make a decent recovery. I’m not sure if it will keep me healthy longterm, that I won’t know for a while – but there is a lot to be said for self development and changing who you are inside. It’s how you react after the initial virus / emotional stress has gone which will determine your quality of life. So, if all this turns out to be is a coping mechanism for when I am ill, it is still worth it.

August 19, 2013 at 5:56 am
(45) Mick says:

Hi everybody.
I came across this site by chance and just thought that I could, perhaps share my insights into the Gupta program.
I started being ill about 5 years ago with constant back pain and fatigue which just got worse an worse. Eventually I had a complete breakdown at work and for about 6 months never left the house. I also went through the whole GP non diagnosis process and was prescribed anti depressants etc which made things drastically worse.
I should mention that prior to the onset of these symptoms I had been very fit,running most days and even teaching Tai chi. Looking back I can now see that a multitude of stresses had built up in my life over quite a few years until my nervous system became overloaded.
In desperation I started researching the Internet for information and soon discovered that other people with my symptoms had been diagnosed with ME. My wife spotted the Gupta program and said it might be worth a try so I paid for the course (£99). I must say I was impressed with the whole package and my initial feelings were hopeful as I was used to practising meditation. I started practising immediately and I was fortunate in that I had the time and space to give it a good go.
Perhaps my positive attitude towards it helped( I am a great believer in the power of belief) but I very soon noticed a definite improvement in my condition. It is not a miracle cure, I did have to put a lot of time and effort into it and had frequent relapses in the early stages but over a period of about 3 years of practise I became fully functional again.
I am aware that I need to watch my stress levels and not overdo physical activities but apart from that I lead a normal life.

August 27, 2013 at 6:39 pm
(46) Arlene says:

I have just started working with a CFS coach who also uses the Gupta retraining method.
After two weeks I do feel more energetic with less brain fog but maybe its because now I jump out of bed first thing each morning and walk outside for 20 mins. That is, the early exposure to sunshine might be resetting my internal clock .
And yes, I have found that Vit. D helps me feel better.
We’ll see.

September 9, 2013 at 3:13 pm
(47) loading... says:

When someone writes an article he/she maintains the thought of a user in his/her
mind that how a user can understand it. So that’s why this piece of writing is
amazing. Thanks!

October 25, 2013 at 2:37 am
(48) __ _____ __ says:

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want to suggest you some interesting things or advice.

Perhaps you can write next articles referring to this article.
I desire to read even more things about it!

October 31, 2013 at 4:47 pm
(49) _____ __ says:

My partner and I stumbled over here from a different web page and thought I might as well check things out.

I like what I see so i am just following you. Look forward to going over your web
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November 13, 2013 at 9:11 pm
(50) porterquyc.crowdvine.com says:

Mint Motorbike blog I enjoyed it cheers

November 29, 2013 at 3:20 pm
(51) ___ _______ ___ says:

Hi there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of
my previous roommate! He constantly kept preaching
about this. I most certainly will forward this article to him.
Fairly certain he’s going to have a good read. I appreciate you
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December 30, 2013 at 7:32 am
(52) Linda says:

Although it did not complete the job, this program took me from almost totally disabled to functioning, in 6 months. I then switched to Annie Hopper’s similar but expanded program and achieved 99% health. I had suffered from MCS, EMFS, CFS and possibly Fibro. I must disagree about the ineffectiveness of the Gupta program – but I will not attempt to speculate on the reason it worked as well as it did… I am just very grateful that it did.!

NB: Today I find that the website for the Gupta program and the Facebook page are both offline. ?

February 11, 2014 at 9:34 pm
(53) Ian says:

I was diagnosed with CFS and invalided out of work in 1996. By 2007 I was at least 90% recovered, due mostly to adjusting diet to handle multiple food intolerances, high salt and high- 2g pd – Magnesium intake.

During 2008, my minor chemical sensitivities increased rapidly to full blown MCS. Donning a carbon face mask eliminated my reactions, but my life was becoming very restricted. I began the Gupta Program in late 2008. Two months later, after a gradual reduction in my sensitivity , I had the most intense reaction ever.

But it was my very last reaction. I have had no MCS since early 2009.

For more than a year my MCS stopped, I practised the Gupta techniques very assiduously, hoping that my food intolerances would diminish. This did not happen.

I have no insight at all into what triggered my MCS. I am just thankful to Ashok Gupta that he provided a program that worked.

February 24, 2014 at 3:03 pm
(54) strata says:

I purchased the course in November and I’m practising the techniques all the time, every day. I am just into my 4th month and would say my symptoms have improved 30-40% so far.

I am really impressed with Ashoks research and the way his DVD package has been put together. I find it sad that some people see it as just being told to “Stop stop stop”.

The course contains 12 sessions on DVDs which you can keep returning to. Ashok is straight to the point but friendly, informative and easy to understand. I feel he has helped me become more in control of my condition and has taught me to react differently to my symptoms.

Make no mistake, this course takes effort and persistence but the supporting DVDs are all you need to keep you going. In the first few weeks I felt a bit better and started over doing things and ended up in bed but the course is really helping me manage things so much better.

It puts you more in control. It has absolutely nothing to do with positive thinking!!!! I hate all that crap and would totally not be into it if was anything like that. It’s more about stopping the thoughts that are unhelpful to your energy levels and changing your focus.

One of the techniques in the course “Soften and Flow” has really helped me so much when I am flat out. It helps you to accept what’s happening and tries to train you not to add fuel to the fire.

I’m hoping things keep improving as I continue to practise all the techniques.

Just to let you all know Ive had the condition for 7 years, was bedridden at times and when I first got ill could hardly walk.

Good health and best wishes to you all

Strata

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