John Eaton book review :: M.E. / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / Fibromyalgia : The Reverse Therapy Approach. Book review by Claire, Sleepydust Editor, reviewing 'M.E. / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / Fibromyalgia : The Reverse Therapy Approach' by John Eaton
By John Eaton
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"This book may not be large, but what it lacks in volume, it certainly makes up for by way of mind-provoking ideas. It presents a very interesting and refreshingly different (and controversial) approach to treating ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. Indeed, it has become the topic of heated debate among many sufferers in the ME/CFS & Fibromyalgia community.
Eaton explains how your body stores negative experiences, ‘chemical programs’, in your cells. These chemical programs are activated whenever your body senses similar negative experiences. They act as a ‘warning signal’ to you, signalling that something is wrong and out of balance. These chemical programs warn you about this ‘problem’ by communicating to you via feelings and emotions, and, if continually ignored, via symptoms. It is for this reason why, Eaton argues, symptoms are actually helpful messages that should be understood as opposed to quashed.
This in itself is nothing new. There are many books out there that discuss this concept in great depth. But what is perhaps more interesting is how Eaton then applies this to the treatment of ME/CFS and FMS.
Eaton explains why he believes ME/CFS and FMS is not caused by viruses or by psychological issues, but by an overactive hypothalamus (the ‘master gland’ in your brain). In fact, Eaton refers to ME/CFS and FMS collectively as ‘hypothalamitis’. Eaton argues that ‘hypothalamitis’ is caused by internal/external environmental pressure/s and that your symptoms were brought on because something was ‘out of balance’ at the time.
Using the terms ‘bodymind’ and ‘headmind’, the author argues that your body was actually sending you signals (via feelings, emotions, and finally symptoms) that something ‘was not right’. He says that the more you resisted to make adjustments, the louder and louder the symptoms became.
This cycle continued until, Eaton argues, your system became exhausted and depleted. But your ‘bodymind’, as Eaton refers to it, exists to protect you, and so Eaton explains how your body will continue to product those warning signals (symptoms) so long as the ‘problem’ exists.
Once you resolve the root problem that has been causing this ‘imbalance’, Eaton says that the chemical memory will dissolve, meaning your body will stop sending signals to your hypothalamus (to send out the ME/CFS or FMS symptoms), and thus, your symptoms will stop.
The book in itself is worth a read simply because it describes such an interesting approach to treating this illness. Speaking as a chronically-affected sufferer of ME/CFS myself, I think that the overall concept is certainly one that I think any sufferer should at least know a little about. They can then make their own decision about it, either way, but certainly, I feel that not knowing about this approach would be doing them an injustice.
It is clear however, that some of the concepts in this book do need to be expanded upon and/or need refining. In my mind, this book perhaps reads better as a ‘good first draft’ that needs ‘padding out’ as opposed to a comprehensive piece of work; An account of ‘work in progress’ perhaps. It is because of this that I have given the book 3.5 stars.
I expect that future editions of this book (if there are any plans for them) will ‘fill out’ the interesting concept of ‘reverse therapy’ a little more. It would also be nice to see some independent recovery statistics to back up Eaton’s claims. Until then, I have found that this book, coupled with Dr David Mickel’s book [here...] (about a somewhat similar therapy which was initially referred to as Mickel Reverse Therapy), provide a decent insight into this approach.
As a ME/CFS sufferer myself, both books have certainly given me food for thought. They perhaps open up more questions than they do provide concrete answers: Can a physical, neurological illness such as ME/CFS (or FMS) really be healed using your ‘bodymind’?
My opinion? Cellular healing techniques certainly seem to have been successful in healing a number of other physical illnesses, time and time again. So in my eyes, the exploration of applying this line of thought to an illness where no universal cure has yet been found, can only be a good thing.
Yet, with so many ‘miracle cures’ around, it’s difficult not to be sceptical. It will be interesting to see whether Eaton can substantiate his claims through independent studies, for example. As a ME/CFS sufferer who desperately wants to be cured, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the results would be as positive as Eaton says he is about his approach. "
-- Claire, Sleepydust Editor, reviewing 'M.E. / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / Fibromyalgia : The Reverse Therapy Approach' by John Eaton --
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