So you’ve got CFS/ME? You’re probably hungry to get well. But whats on offer?
To satisfy your appetite I present Part 1 of the Recovery Path Menu. Containing a range of healing protocols from leading CFS/ME Specialists around the world. Feast upon their ideas! Chew through their assumptions! But be sure to send back anything that seems under cooked. And always, always tip the waiter…
- This information evolves and these protocols may already be past their used by date (you would hope so in the ever developing field of CFS/ME).
- In months to be come it will be fascinating to see how just XRMV and its other viral cousins factor into each of the protocols below.
- Don’t overwhelm yourself all at once, digest this slowly.
- Just because its not listed does not mean it doesn’t exist. I just haven’t come across it.
- Most of these are a comprehensive approaches to recovering from CFS/ME. But each one has specific focus which defines them.
P.S. These are in no particular order. Each approach has it’s own strength and weaknesses. Personally I think it’s essential to listen to both your intuitive and rational mind when making any decision about choosing a health care practitioner.
Ask questions, be clear about your expectations and make sure you’re really being heard.
Niki Gratrix protocol
Overview– Niki Gratrix is a nutritional therapist and coach based in the UK who helps people optimise their levels of energy and wellbeing. Since helping to found the Optimum Health clinic in 2005 she has had a strong interest in working with people to recover from CFS/ME.
Focuses primarily on: Holistically treating every aspect of the individual with a focus on nutritional and psychological well being.
Method: A comprehensive approach using a wide range of alternative therapies.
Estimated time until clinical results: Between 6-18 months for deep-seated and lasting results.
Available Published Studies: None currently available (that I know about).
My 2 cents: Niki is a very committed and knowledgable practitioner. She takes a truly comprehensive approach when composing her protocols for individuals and operates from a place of heart. Her ongoing education reflects her commitment to stay on the cutting edge of complementary medicine.
Dr Kenny De Meir Leir’s protocol
Overview- Dr Kenny De Meir Leir is a Belgian Doctor specialising in the treatment of CFS/ME. He was originally a professor of physiology but went on to become one of the leading international researchers of CFS/ME consulting with around 4000 patients each year.
Focuses primarily on: Restoration of the Gastrointestinal system
– Th1 & Th2 rebalance
– Restoration of hormonal balance
– Restoration of correct intestinal flora
– Decrease in PKR’s & restoration of immune competence.
Estimated time until clinical results: 6 months
Available Published Studies: Scientific papers available here. However they are not so reader friendly.
Publications: Supposed to be currently writing a book.
Further info: 20 minute video Interview with De Meirleir explaining his view.
Good article summarising the De Meir Leir approach (from 2007 so a little dated)
My 2 cents: This chap has been in the game for a long time. He is intelligent, knowledgeable and is an interesting mix between researcher and clinician. Is experimental in his approach to treatment and makes use of a wide range of pharmaceuticals.
Dr Jacob Teitelbaum’s SHINE protocol
Overview: Dr Jacob Teitelbaum is an American physician who himself recovered from CFS and Fibromyalgia many years ago. He has since spent his medical career researching and treating CFS through a methodology which he has developed and evolved over time called the SHINE protocol.
Focuses primarily on: Hypothalamus dysfunction
Method: Application of his protocol focusing on Sleep-Hormones-Infections-Nutrition and Exercise
Estimated time until clinical results: 6 months
Available published research: Effective Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia—A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Intent to Treat Study
Publications: From Fatigued to Fantastic (Book)
My 2 cents: The SHINE protocol is a good basis to work from, wrapped up in slick marketing with a catchy name. Personally I really dig this Doctors style and he wins big points for a quote in his book from Joseph Campbell advising you to ‘follow your bliss’ in life.
Dr Sarah Myhill’s protocol
Overview: Dr Sarah Myhill is an English doctor who has specialised in chronic health disorders and specifically CFS/ME since the 1980’s. She is secretary of the British Association of Ecological Medicine.
Focuses primarily on: Mitochondrial dysfunction (the little furnace’s in energy cells)
Method: A comprehensive approach focusing on pacing, diet, avoiding infections and supplementation (specifically around Mitochondria). Article available here.
Estimated time until clinical results: 1 year
Available Published Studies: Chronic fatigue syndrome and mitochondrial dysfunction
Publications: CFS Book (download for free here)
Further info: Dr Myhills website (see fatigue section for CFS/ME)
My 2 cents: A truly committed woman with a sensible and comprehensive approach to recovering from CFS/ME. I’m endeared by the picture on her website where she is happily leaping over some hedges on the back of a horse. Any happy horse riders are fine by me.
The Optimum Health Clinic Protocol
Overview – This is a clinic based in London that specialises in the treatment of CFS/ME also offering their services internationally through long distance protocols. Set up by Alex Howard who himself recovered from CFS and staffed by professionals who have all overcome the condition themselves.
Focuses primarily on: Nutrition and Psychology.
Method: A comprehensive approach.
Estimated time before clinical results: They estimate around 80% of patients experience significant improvement after 3-9 months.
Available Published Research: Clinical study with a UK university underway but no results yet published. Case Study available to read here.
Publications: Why ME? A book written by the founder Alex Howard available here.
Further info: Website available here
My 2 cents: This clinic is the open minded Generation X approach to recovering from CFS/ME. Many of the staff have healed themselves and I continue to learn from all the great information they put out. Alex’s personal journey and cheesy sense of humour is truly inspiring.
Breakspear Hospital UK Protocol
Overview – The breakspear hospital is a private hospital situated in the UK specialising in Allergies and Environmental Medicine.
Focuses primarily on: Cytokine shift.
Method: ‘Identyfing causes and searching for infectious agents through specialised laboratory testing and offering treatment’.
Estimated time before clinical results: Not Available.
Available Published Research: I could not find any but here is the anecdotal story of a well to do young lady in the UK who was really helped by their approach.
My 2 cents: They appear to have a number of Doctors who really know their stuff and offer an allergy neutralisation therapy which has changed many peoples lives.
Prof Rich Van Konyenburg Protocol
Overview – An independent researcher from the USA focusing on glutathione depletion as the central cause of CFS/ME.
Focuses primarily on: Blocks in the methylation cycle and glutathione depletion
Method: A specialised nutritional protocol primarily utilising antioxidants
Estimated time before clinical results: 6-9 months
Research, Publications & Further info: A link to the awesome site aboutcfsme.com where all the info on Rich Van K’s work can be found.
My 2 cents: I’m glad Rich has tPAYG Summary Flying Souls 2011-12hrown his intellectual weight behind the CFS/ME recovery bandwagon. He is smart and has put forward an interesting hypothesis which is being absorbed into many other peoples thinking. Glutathione appears to be the antioxidant on peoples lips all throughout the medical world.
Dr Paul Cheney’s Protocol
Overview – Dr. Paul Cheney is a physician based in the USA. He is a heavy weight in the field of CFS research and has been working in the field for over 25 years.
Focuses primarily on: Cardiac issues (2005) & Genes.
Method: ‘An individualized, multidimensional approach using many traditional elements along with a strong focus on cutting-edge attempts to shift gene expression. We also investigate shifting the corrupted genotype using stem cells.’
Estimated time before clinical results: I couldn’t find any information on this.
Available Published Research: Available via paid subscription here. Has published over 35 peer reviewed articles.
Publications: See Cheney research website listed below
My 2 cents: Love him or loathe him, this man warrants your respect. Dr Cheney is one of the worlds leading researchers on CFS/ME and has been at it since the get go. He is expensive, controversial and isn’t afraid of pushing the envelope.