When I first heard of mind-body healing approach to CFS, I found it difficult to understand how my disturbed inner life could cause the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or which emotions were causing symptoms and why, but I had no doubt that it was the case. As I learned more about the approach of Reverse Therapy, I started to understand that the emotional distress that causes the symptoms of CFS can be deep-seated and not necessarily readily available for examination. The causes can be buried deep within our bodies and minds, so it is necessary to go deep if we want recover using mind-body healing methods.
The underlying assumption of mind-body medicine is that by healing our emotional traumas (and dysfunctional life situations) we can heal our bodies. These traumas may be suppressed and denied so we may not know that they are there or what they are, but our bodies do. Therefore we need to make contact with the body and rely on the bodymind knowledge. Having thus gained insights into why we feel the way we do, it is possible to do something to change how we feel. You can read more about mind-body medicine here.
I used the ideas of a Reverse Therapy as the basis for my recovery. The idea of RT is simple – it basically means re-learning to live in accordance with one´s bodymind intelligence. It is a really simple process that even children can understand, but adults often find difficult to follow. It is very simple, but it doesn`t mean it`s easy. It requires us to live our lives in a completely different way than we are used to, which is not effortless, at least in the beginning. But I can tell you that the efforts are worth-wile. My own healing occurred thanks to this theory and therefore I am confident that it will help others, too. The theory makes a lot of sense and the main thing is that it works. Before learning about Reverse Therapy I had lost all hope in conventional medicine because it mainly deals with results (symptoms) rather than causes and therefore simply does not work. Unlike mainstream medicine, mind-body medicine addresses the causes and thus heals illnesses in a much more rational way. Instead of sweeping the problem under the carpet so to speak, it sweeps it out of the room altogether. I hope that mind-body healing techniques will be more utilized in future psychology and medicine.
Reverse Therapy is based on theories and practices of psychobiology (a medical science that deals with the connection between the mind and the body), and psychoneuroimmunology (which investigates brain, behavior and immune system reactions). Reverse Therapy owes its existence to the life-long commitment of such famous psychiatrists and psychotherapists as Dr. Milton Erickson, Dr. Ernest Rossi, Dr. Hans Selye, Dr. Eugene Gendlin, Dr. Esther Sternberg, Dr. Candace Pert and the abovementioned British doctor John Eaton. They all contributed to the therapy in their own specific ways and the result is an “educational process that teaches clients how to understand and work with Bodymind so that it no longer needs to produce symptoms in order to warn, guide and protect the individual.” In Reverse Therapy, the patient has a very important role to play and therapists are there only to assist them to heal themselves.
Reverse Therapists are facilitators. Reverse Therapy is an educational process and not a „therapy‟ in the traditional sense. In it we teach clients how to get well using the Reverse Therapy process. We then support them in their work on self-healing. Reverse Therapy is not a „cure‟ but a method through which self-healing can be achieved. Although the Reverse Therapy method is simple to apply it can be hard work.
-John Eaton “Reverse Therapy for Health” pg. 34-35
This approach is akin to what Dr. Stanislav Grof sees as the role of therapists in future psychology, which gives me hope that these ideas will be more widespread in the future:
The main objective of holotropic strategy of therapy is to activate the unconscious and free the energy bound in emotional and psychosomatic symptoms, which converts these symptoms into a stream of experience. The task of the facilitator or therapist in holotropic therapy then is to support the experiential process with full trust in its healing nature, without trying to direct it or change it. This process is guided by the client’s own inner healing intelligence. The term therapist is used here in the sense of the Greek therapeutes, which means the person assisting in the healing process, not an active agent whose task is to “fix the client.”
–Stanislav Grof, M.D. “Psychology of the Future: Lessons from Modern Consciousness Research” p. 27
Mind-body healing is based on the idea that our bodies already “know” how to be healthy, or in fact that we actually are healthy by our nature. So our role is just to “get out of the way” and enable the inner healing to happen. We can do that by removing all obstacles to healing and learning to live our lives in accordance with our innermost feelings. It is necessary to regain the connection with the deeper part of ourselves.
It is really all there is to it. No magic, no hocus-pocus, just LISTENING to your body and its emotions and sensations and then acting on the wisdom they are trying to get across. Perhaps the best news for everyone who is suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is this: recovery from CFS can be completely free! Mind-body healing techniques can be learned and applied with quite little effort. Once you know the principles of Reverse Therapy and have learned a wonderful healing method like EFT or TAT, you have most of what you´ll need for full recovery.
Please check out my e-book “A Manual for Dealing with CFS: A mind-body healing approach. You can purchase the e-book from here.