ME - a different approach

Rob Mesrie looks at reverse therapy

Ten years ago John Eaton PhD devised a treatment for ME, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia (FM). The results achieved have been astounding. The same method has also been used to treat a variety of non-specific illnesses including food intolerances.

The basic idea
Although ME/CFS/FM symptoms can be quite different, the cause of them and their ultimate treatment is similar.
Reverse therapy teaches that the symptoms of ME/CFS/ FM (and many other non- specific illnesses) are real, not imagined. They are the result of a specific glandular disorder. This disorder is caused by an imbalance in the way a person is leading their life. Low-level symptoms are created by the body as a warning to change the way that person is living. If this warning is ignored for too long, certain glands burn out, resulting in the symptoms of ME/CFS/ FM. When this imbalance is corrected, symptoms will reduce and ultimately disappear.

Headmind and bodymind
Reverse therapy teaches that we have two intelligences – the ‘headmind’ and the ‘bodymind’. The headmind talks to us in pictures and words. It agonises over the past and worries about the future. It makes sure that we follow the ‘rules of society’ – being polite, finishing our plate, not speaking until we are spoken to etc.
We also have a bodymind, which is very different. It is very much in the present. It talks to us in a different language – in the language of feelings, sensations and emotions. It wants us to get all our needs met and to live a fulfilled life.

Reverse therapy teaches that feelings and emotions are generated by our bodymind to signal us to take action. Anger for example is often telling us to respectfully assert our boundaries. When we proactively act on these signals, perhaps using the intelligence of our headmind, the bodymind no longer needs to generate these emotions. So it turns them off. Rather like a baby crying – until you figure out what she wants (and then act on it!), she will continue to cry to get your attention.

Where does it go wrong?
Sometimes there is a conflict between headmind and bodymind. If for example headmind says it is rude to be angry and bodymind feels we need to speak our mind, there may be a conflict. Many times headmind is so strong that we suppress our feelings and take no action to get our needs met. (Have you ever bitten your tongue holding back on speaking your mind?) When this happens, bodymind will generate stronger and stronger feelings and emotions desperately demanding action to be taken.

When this happens consistently for too long, the glands producing these feelings and emotions burn out. Now we enter a vicious circle of more demand for stronger emotional signals and less and less capacity to produce them. This vicious cycle creates burnout in certain glands resulting in the malfunction of a very delicate balancing act.

Some more detail
A delicate balancing act keeps us healthy. The hypothalamus, situated in the mid-brain, influences almost every organ in the body. The key function of the hypothalamus is to co-ordinate the actions of the nervous system, the muscles, gut, circulation and the immune system, along with the body’s energy reserves, so that a balance can be maintained.

By releasing hormones to the pituitary gland and in turn to the adrenal glands, both the sympathetic nervous system and immune systems are stimulated. Constant overstimulation however, leads to adrenal burnout. As a result, cortisol is not produced in sufficiently large quantities, leading to the hypothalamus demanding that the adrenals work harder – a vicious cycle leading to chronic immune system and sympathetic nervous system dysfunction.

Symptom explanation
Here are just a few of the many possible symptoms of these reversible conditions and their explanations.

Muscle fatigue and pain: constant adrenalin release leads to muscles being overworked (even when ‘resting’), resulting in a build up of lactic acid and then pain. (Although you think you are resting, in terms of micro-movements, its like running a marathon every day).

Viral/bacterial infections are not the cause of the condition – they are an effect of an overworked immune system following the imbalance in the hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal axis. Being on ‘red alert’ for such a long time results in a breakdown in the effectiveness of the immune system function allowing an opportunistic virus to attack. (The British Army can’t operate on red alert for too long and neither can your immune system).

Food sensitivity. Stimulated by the sympathetic nervous system food is rushed through the gut, increasing acid and bowel contractions and inflaming the bowel wall. (Toothpaste being squeezed too firmly can find cracks in the tube to exit from and end up in the most unwelcome of places). Again on red alert, reactivity to perceived toxins is stepped up – even when no toxins exist.

Complicated or simple?
Some of the details may seem complicated but the essence of reverse therapy is remarkably simple. This is all sufferers really need to know:
• Your bodymind is telling you your needs are not being met.
• When you listen to it and act on it, your symptoms will reverse and in time disappear.
• If you feel you know what your bodymind wants you to do, go ahead and begin to act in accordance with this message.
• If you need help translating and acting on the messages from your bodymind, see a qualified reverse therapist.
In over 1,000 cases medically diagnosed with ME/CFS/ FM, over 80% of clients reported their symptoms largely or completely gone. We have now opened up this way of working to other non-specific conditions.

For more information: or 0870 626 0100 for a list of practitioners
ME/CFS/ Fibromyalgia – The Reverse Therapy Approach by John Eaton.
Rob Mesrie is an accredited reverse therapist – you can find him at 020 7586 2935


Click here for more articles

First publihed in 2008

Back to top