I was thinking of something to write about on the last day of the year (and the decade), but could not come up with anything directly related to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. However, there is one topic I cannot ignore in this blog – drugs. It certainly seems that there is an overemphasis on drugs in our times. It is nearly not as bad in my homeland as it is in America, but the majority of people still seem to believe that drugs are the way to health. However, in my opinion they are not.  I don´t think Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and many other diseases can be treated with drugs. At best, drugs can alleviate the symptoms of CFS and FM, but they cannot heal the cause. It may also be true with a lot of other diseases. People with CFS/M.E. are advised to take a huge number of different drugs ranging from antidepressants to blood-pressure medications, which may have adverse side effects.[1] It seems to me that the reason we get so much pharmaceutical propaganda is profit. Business as usual.

A few weeks ago my mother told me something I was surprised to hear. She said that she´s recently heard a lot of people saying that nowadays drugs don´t work on health issues. She said that drugs used to work, but now they don´t. I found it very interesting, and it didn´t take long until I had an experience that confirms this realization. After a few weeks of runny nose, I started having trouble hearing with the left ear. It was as if something was stuck inside it. I went to see my doctor who said that the tube inside the ear was swollen and recommended some anti-allergy pills that would undo the swelling in a week. I bought the pills and started to take them just as I was told. I waited for 5 days for them to take effect, but nothing changed – the ear was still almost deaf. Then I hoped that the last two days of taking the pills would change the situation for the better. But again I had to be disappointed. My ear was in exactly the same condition as it was before taking the pills. Then I finally decided to do TAT on the problem. The first session didn´t bring any relief, but the second one did – the next day I did a more thorough TAT session on the ear problem and it was gone in a couple of days.

Alternative medicine can sometimes do what drugs cannot, but it may also be vice versa. You have to be careful not to trust everyone who promises a cure. It is common sense. But in the case of nonspecific conditions such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, M.E. and Fibromyalgia to which mainstream medicine has found no cure, it may be wise to consider alternative approaches, or at least complementary approaches.

It looks like it is in the interest of pharmaceutical companies to denounce alternative treatments. I believe that if the majority of people would use healing methods like TAT and EFT, there would be little left for drug companies. They would go out of business pretty soon. And I hope that things are going to move in that direction. Medications are known for their horrible side-effects, and very often they have no effect either. So what is the use of drugs? I cannot help thinking that it´s the profit they produce. Let us look at the way alternative methods are presented to us. Let´s take the example of TAT, my favorite technique.

TAT (Tapas Acupressure Technique) is a pretty effective method for dealing with a variety of issues and it was also one of the main methods I used for healing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. But it is not accepted by the scientific community (at least not yet, but a major study is underway). The Wikipedia article on TAT says: „Like other energy therapies, TAT relies on a putative energy for which no scientific basis has been found and no biophysical means of action determined.“ The article also terms TAT a pseudoscience.

I read some of the reference articles in the Wikipedia and had a feeling that these kinds of stories and articles may be sponsored by pharmaceutical companies. And indeed, one of the sources of reference is „An official journal of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.“[2] The Wikipedia article also refers to a highly critical and skillfully crafted anti-alternative treatment article by MSNBC. Apparently, I was not the only one who had a suspicion about its objectivity -there was a comment under the article: “This is the third or fourth article in a week denouncing alternative treatments. Pray tell, MSNBC, which pharmaceutical company is funding this junk journalism?”[3]

I also searched for other sources and found that the study undertaken with TAT was actually more favorable to TAT than the Wikipedia article wants it to look. The TAT weight-loss study describes the results: „At 24 weeks, the TAT group maintained 1.2 kg more weight loss than the SDS group did (p = 0.09), and 2.8 kg more weight loss than the QI group did (p = 0.00), only regaining 0.1 kg. A separation test (0.05 level, 0.95 power) indicated that TAT merits further study.” The study concluded that „TAT warrants further research for weight-loss maintenance.“[4]

EFT and other alternative methods are dealt with in a similar fashion – they are termed pseudo-scientific and silly. Well, maybe they are, but it doesn´t mean they don´t work. I don´t care how many scientist say that TAT doesn´t work. As long as it works for me, it´s OK. Everything cannot be proven scientifically, but it doesn´t mean that those things do not exist or have no value. The dictum “if you cannot measure it, it does not exist” is simply not true. It´s a mistake made by the arrogant scientific mind that has ruled the Western world for the past few centuries.  What would happen to us if we lost our belief in values like friendship, love and compassion?

Methods like EFT and TAT are the greatest threats to the huge profits drug companies are making. But the truth is that these methods work, and people who have experienced them are sure about that. I believe that the truth always wins. I think and hope that methods like EFT and TAT will spread even more and at one point people will realize that drugs are not always needed. EFT, TAT and other methods can potentially revolutionize our notion of medicine itself. Rather than being focused on relieving physical symptoms, future medicine may focus more on the underlying psychological and spiritual issues and resolve physical symptoms by resolving those. I certainly hope that pills will be a thing of the past.

So I think drugs are often useless, especially with conditions like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but I am willing to change that point of view when I hear of someone who recovered thanks to drugs. To say something in defense of drugs, I have to admit that they can be good for reducing the suffering caused by CFS and in that sense useful. But I doubt if there will ever be a drug that heals CFS completely. I feel that as the 2nd decade of 3rd millennium begins, it is just the right time to express my hope that mind-body healing will prevail in the 3rd millennium.

I found Bill Mahler´s take on health and drugs to be entertaining and quite true.

For more information on mind-body healing methods and how to apply them, please check out my e-book“A Manual for Dealing with CFS: A mind-body healing approach.”