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
- Symptom distress
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
- 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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