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The techniques we use to treat the higher resting stress.

It is impractical to try to re-enact a past environment. What is needed is a way of achieving this change quickly allowing us to continue with our modern lives, which is where psychotherapy has a part to play. The therapist allows the patient to make the changes necessary to reduce their drive/anxiety. A simplified and abridged explanation of how this is achieved follows: The therapist will first allow the individual to find the initial experiences that have led to the resting stress and the patient will be able to view these experiences in retrospect. This induces a change in perception of these memories, as they reconsolidate, so reducing the degree of drive/anxiety produced. The reduction of the drive/anxiety leads to less resting stress and this then leads to a curtailment of the physical symptoms produced as a result and so recovery from the condition. This is, we believe, a natural process that we have, through the information bombardment and stress of modern life, forgotten.

The technical name for the technique we use to treat ME/CFS is curative hypnotherapy, but it is important to be aware that the term hypnotherapy used in this context is very easily misunderstood. Curative hypnotherapy is entirely different to the magic trick using hypnosis that can be seen on stage, where there is the appearance of a loss of control. During our therapy sessions the patient remains fully in control and aware, the feeling is quite similar to that of day dreaming. In fact the patient needs to be aware as they need to be able to view past experiences in retrospect to achieve the change necessary. The patient merely feels pleasantly relaxed and can easily end the session, should they wish to, at any stage. There is, therefore, unfortunately no magic cure but instead a steady improvement in the condition to full recovery. The technique is a way of achieving psychotherapeutic results much more rapidly and by this we mean over a period of weeks/months as opposed to a lifetime.

Occasionally some patients have a couple of other concerns about curative hypnotherapy. Firstly, will they have to reveal any details about their past experiences to the therapist? The answer to this is no. The technique is ‘content free’ i.e. the therapist has no need for knowledge of the details of past experiences for therapy to take place. It is the patient that needs to become aware of those experiences for that change to occur, not the therapist. As the patient is in full control, they are perfectly able to choose not to reveal any information they wish to keep to themselves anyway.

The second concern is experiencing unpleasant events from the past. The aim of the technique is to resolve the misunderstood past experiences. The misunderstanding is unlikely to have led from an unpleasant event as we would have thought through an experience of that sort in the past and come to a resolution ourselves. We all have unpleasant experiences but it’s the misunderstanding that leads to the problem and that is what we are treating with curative hypnotherapy, so any unpleasant memories can usually be avoided.

There is growing evidence to suggest that other forms of hypnotherapy can help to a degree with ME/CFS, a selection of which we have referenced for further reading should you wish50-53.

* More approaches to treating the higher resting stress.

 
 
 
 

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