Case Studies in Reverse Therapy
CASE STUDY 1: Anna Hemmings MBE has a particulary inspiring story.
"Have you ever woken up when you don’t feel ready to start the day? Have you ever felt that you haven’t had enough sleep? The energy is there but you just don’t feel like activating it? ...That is where I was in April 2005 – I had chronic fatigue syndrome."
In 2005, Reverse Therapy helped Anna recover from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), enabling her to go on to win a record 6th World Championship in the Women's Kayak Marathon. Read her moving and inspiring story on her website.
Today, she helps people from all walks of life improve their physical health and performance, personal fulfilment and quality of life through a new service called Beyond the Barriers. Find out more about this service here.
CASE STUDY 2: Dave Smith - British Olympic Bobsleigh Team - writes
My name is Dave Smith, and I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in 2005 when preparing for the 2006 winter Olympic Games in Bobsleigh. My symptoms came on over a long course of time, during these times I was sure it was due to training hard and being an athlete. I watched my Olympic dream disappear as I returned from an Olympic training camp in Calgary.
Once home I found myself sleeping up to 16hrs a day with no motivation and strength to do anything. This was a very low point in my life; going form been very fit to rock bottom was heart breaking.
Shortly after a receiving information on Reverse Therapy from Anna Hemmings, I had organised my 1st session with Kathleen Haden. I was very optimistic and focused on getting better and back to life, as I knew it before chronic fatigue.
It was not long into my 1st session I could see how this was going to work and get me healthy again.
It was great to speak with someone who listened and believed in the illness, this provided lots of support to me and really helped me to find the trigger points that led to my illness.
Over a few sessions, I chatted with Kathleen and spent lots of time changing my life and creating a balance between mind and body. I focused on removing my trigger points from my life and started back training in the gym after 9months out. It was not long until I was feeling and looking so much better from the help I got from Kathleen. This gave me all my drive back I needed, to get back to life as an athlete.
Life today is amazing for me thanks to Reverse Therapy, I feel very positive, and relaxed with a complete mind body balance, this approach has had a positive effect on all areas of my life and I now have more energy than I have ever had. I am back living life as an athlete competing for Great Britain, studying at Bath University and coaching with all my focus and energy giving back to me from Reverse Therapy
CASE STUDY 3: Reverse Therapy for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Mrs Eileen Martin writes:
I had M.E. for six years and when I first saw Dr Eaton I was unable to walk and had to be ferried everywhere by my daughter in a wheelchair. I was constantly exhausted, ill and in pain and had no life at all to speak of.
The first session was difficult as I found it difficult to concentrate on what Dr Eaton was telling me. But Dr Eaton wrote down some things for me to get started on: short exercises in emotional and bodymind awareness and some simple physical activities lasting (to begin with) for a couple of minutes.
From the second session on I made more rapid progress. I started to notice when the symptoms got worse and when they got better and became much more aware of what my body was reacting to. In the main symptoms got much worse when I was bottling up my emotions, or when my body noticed that I was worrying about illness instead of doing something for myself.
Reverse therapy taught me to be much more careful in considering my own emotions and speak up for my needs. As soon as I started to do this my Bodymind began turning off the symptoms - which I now know were there to warn me, in the first place, that I was in danger of being overawed by other people. After a few months I was back on my feet and able to walk a fair distance. That year, for the first time in five years, I was able to celebrate Xmas and New Year without needing to stay in bed. My family are so pleased and happy for me. As my daughter says, I am now back to my old 'bubbly self' once more. I am now getting my life back and it is a real joy to be able to spend time looking after my grandchildren again. As well as that, I recently attended my youngest daughter's wedding and danced at the reception until 2 in the morning!
I cannot recommend Reverse Therapy and Dr Eaton highly enough - and I am writing this to encourage all M.E. sufferers to book an appointment straight away - you only have your illness to lose!
CASE STUDY 3: Reverse Therapy for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
CASE STUDY 4: Reverse Therapy for Fibromyalgia
Mrs PJ writes:
I have had Fibromyalgia for over 25 years. During that time I was a full time nurse in a very busy unit & had a hectic family life. I couldn’t understand why I had developed severe stabbing pain in my muscles, fatigue, tingling sensations in my head & spine. I also felt as though I had a virus & my immune system was not working properly.
My GP said I had Fibrositis and that there was very little he could do to help. Eventually I went to see a Rheumatologist who took several blood tests all of which were normal & told me I had Fibromyalgia. I got the impression from the medical profession that really it was all in the head, in other words it was a psychological rather than a physical condition. How frustrating & hurtful this makes you feel.
In the end I felt that I had to just get on with it as suggested by my GP, so I did just that, I put on a brave face & got on with everyday painful living. In fact none of my colleagues & most members of my family knew I was unwell. I kept it all to myself & continued to help others as I had always done.
Little did I know that keeping my problem to myself & not asking for help was not doing me any good.
During my first Reverse Therapy session Lyn explained in the most simple and understandable way why we have pain & that an area in the brain called the hypothalamus goes into overdrive if we ignore emotions and symptoms sent by our body to warn us of a difficult situation we need to act upon, & how this can lead to pain. She explained, also, how important it was to have variety in life including having fun, something I had forgotten about long ago. Lyn assured me that Fibromyalgia is a physical illness based on neurological & hormonal changes & not a psychological disorder – Wow, at last I felt I was listening to someone who knew what they were talking about.
Although I found ‘Bodymind’ difficult to understand at first, I stuck with it following all Lyn’s advice. I can honestly say that she has changed my life, I now have the tools to deal with any situation that life throws at me to help keep me keep free from pain, I feel I can now look forward to the future, it was worth every penny.
If anyone in the medical profession reads this then I strongly advise them to read John Eaton’s book. It really does make sense. Most people with CFS/ME & Fibromyalgia are not malingerers, time wasters, hypochondriacs. We need help & thank goodness someone has finally found the answer.
Case Study 5: Reverse Therapy for M.E
On Monday 24th October 2005 I awoke and found that I could do virtually nothing. I lay in the bed in a cottage in Church Stretton, Shropshire. I had come here with my wife to try and recover, but instead I had got worse. When I got out of bed, I could only collapse on the floor: I shuffled to the bathroom and climbed onto the toilet. Later I shuffled down the stairs, clambered onto a chair and slumped on the table. My wife got me some soft fruit segments which I could just about get into my mouth, but could not chew. I could bare no noise, I could not bear to read or even look at anything, I could talk only in a slow whisper, and could only understand if spoken to slowly.
We had returned from our family holiday on the last day of August. I had felt worn out and in need of a rest, but had struggled to relax as I had felt obliged to spend precious time with the children. I had had a mild throat infection/cold over a few days while away, but nothing special. On return, I had been straight back into work, and the following week I was travelling in Turkey and Eastern Europe. But I knew I could not keep going: I wanted to just go to bed, landing in Vienna for 30 minutes before flying to Czech I received a phone call to tell me that another person was dropping out from helping at the youth club on Friday night, so I issued the instruction to cancel the evening: meanwhile, I found my name being called for the plane… While picking up the hire car in Prague to drive an hour and a half to the hotel late at night, I received a further phone call – someone was struggling with getting the projector at church to work properly, so I went through the start up procedures again …. This was my normal life, but now I felt, “Can no-one else do these things?”
The following Monday I went to my office, but felt terrible. For once I came home on time and went to bed early. I set out the Tuesday morning, but simply could not face going to the office, so went to the doctor’s instead. I worked from home for the next 10 days – working hard for an hour or two, then going to sleep. On the following Friday, the doctor signed me off for 2 weeks with “Post Viral Debility”. I led a service at church on the Sunday, and then rested as the doctor instructed: but I was quickly worse than when I started. By the Tuesday, I could not bear to read, and could only hobble to the toilet: this was my first “frightening” day when I wondered what on earth was going on: I had no obvious injury or illness, yet was disabled. Some days I was able to read: I would then read some of the Bible which seemed to help, or I was also reading “Grace Awakening”. Other times, I could not read – only lie and think or pray.
Over the next weeks, I made some slow but steady progress, but it was after my relapse in Church Stretton that I felt this could not carry on and I needed to do something. I had rested, and I only seemed worse for the rest. I returned to the doctor despite having only seen him a week before. He told me I was silly to have gone away for the weekend – albeit only a 20 mile drive and only with my wife for a rest. However, before I left, he suggested I might like to look up Reverse Therapy on the Internet and see what I thought as one of his friends had had ME and had used Reverse Therapy successfully.
I was desperate to find a solution. I spent the afternoon reading on the internet, and bought John Eaton’s Reverse Therapy book. It made sense. I had that feeling that this was it. It fitted what I had experienced. Reading the book, I knew that actually I had warning signs of this for a long time – I had had irritable bowl, some headaches, I had been amazed at my immunity to illness, I had been eating just to keep myself going, not because I enjoyed it, I was feeling more and more that every thing I did was because I had to and not because I enjoyed it, I had even collapsed 12 months before for no apparent reason, I had felt for months like just taking a day off and sleeping….. And even after extensive rest, I seemed to be able to fall into the worst of it again.
I started making contact with a Reverse Therapist, and we struck up a good relationship straight away. We looked back over the last few years in our discussion: I had already reviewed this based on the book, and tried to pick out possible triggers. During our discussions, I would respond emotionally to things with a watering of the eyes and an increased running of the nose (by this time I had a major polyp problem in my nose and sinuses). We quickly established several areas of concern:
- I was frustrated at work because I had been doing the same job for 5 years (very long compared to previous jobs), I felt I was undervalued after seeing others move jobs, and felt underpaid after applying for similar jobs elsewhere, I had some poor employees who were causing problems, I was covering for other’s poor work, I had not been appraised for several years, and I was frequently on my own with no one else in the office.
- I was frustrated at church because I was not able to do what I really wanted to do and as soon as I was getting involved in an area it was difficult to extricate myself.
- I was struggling at home with continually feeling that any time I had should be spent with the family rather than doing my own things.
Reverse Therapy is based on symptoms being an immediate communicator of the “bodymind” being over-ridden by the head mind: they are bodymind’s way of complaining. I quickly found how true this is and started to learn to read my bodymind. For example; one day I felt I wanted to go for a cycle ride. However, I decided to just go for a walk as I did not want to get sweaty and have to shower etc. I went out of our back garden and started walking down our lane. However, within about 10 paces, I had come to a halt with my legs becoming unbelievably heavy. I knew there was only one thing to do – go for a cycle ride. The moment I turned around, I was fine – I walked back to the house, got on my bike and went for a 3 mile ride. Or again; I started taking regular walks, and I noticed that frequently on the way out I was fine, but as soon as I was starting back my legs would ache – I needed to walk further. There are many other examples to show that my body did not want complete rest – it wanted exercise, freedom, and enjoyment.
By Christmas, I had discussed my work situation with my employers, I had talked about my role in the church with the minister, and I had made progress in the family. We had a full house for Christmas with various family members staying – all without problem. I started back to work in early January after just 3 sessions of Reverse Therapy. To start, I was strictly working a maximum of my contract hours, but once involved, I quickly built up to my previous level: I started travelling again, and sometimes working the long hours. I had two more sessions, and then “signed off”.
I now consider myself 99% better. Sometimes I get symptoms - leg aches, irritable bowl, heaviness of movement - progressing in that order if I completely ignore them. But I know that I can deal with them. To avoid the symptoms, my body needs balance of mental, physical, emotional and spiritual activities. This I try to do!!
I have only had one major issue since I have been back at work: I had one of my problem people in my office and we were going through some shoddy work. I got up to come round to his computer and I could not move. Seeing my obvious plight, he offered to give me a lift home. I was able to reply, “No, we will finish this meeting in two minutes then I will go out for a walk.” We finished, and I went out for a walk round the block absolutely fine.
I know what it’s like to be considering Reverse Therapy – it seems a lot of money to put into what might prove to do nothing. I took my chance, and have not looked back. The best money I ever spent – I would pay for others to do it, but I think it is actually best for you to take the risk, be committed, and see for yourself.
Case Study 6: John Aitken writes:
My belief that I must succeed drove me to illness; and my insistence that I must be self-sufficient at all costs kept me there. My activities became extremely narrow. I was purely focused on training to be a Mental Health Nurse. The more tired I became the more I concentrated on this – reinforcing the problem. In fact one day I remember an old school friend asking me what I did to have fun. I was speechless. I didn’t have any fun. I slowly became more and more exhausted.
I made an appointment with my GP, who arranged for blood tests and a depression study. These were clear and he diagnosed me (by exclusion) with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/M.E. I was devastated. I had previously made a joke that I was going to start an M.E. support group, but I couldn’t be arsed – that back-fired. At first I couldn’t get out of bed. It was like having a devastating hangover and the flu at the same time. I couldn’t believe this was happening to me. I had always been so active. How long was this going to last for? Would I have to consider being incapacitated for the long term? I looked on Google for more information and was completely overwhelmed – and my symptoms increased. Shit!! I had all the common CFS symptoms and couldn’t believe this was happening to me – I had always been a high achiever
All my dialogue was internal: “I have got to make the best of it” “How come other selfish people get away with it without getting ill?”. In fact since doing a person-centred counselling course, I believed that it was my role to do all the listening. I devalued myself and assumed that it was my sole function in life to be supportive of others.
Then I discovered Reverse Therapy and my life turned around.
This process highlighted the importance of paying attention to my emotional needs and my own personal truths rather than all the rules and expectations that I had inherited.
In summary, I was not expressing my emotional needs and was not having enough fun in my life. Reverse Therapy helped with this by showing me how my body reacts and causes symptoms. It taught me how to respect my symptoms as a clear message that something was not right in my life. That I needed to correct something in order to respond to my body’s needs. I now know how to be well.
I now live my life according to my emotional truths and not the learnt psychological rules that I have assimilated from society in general. I am much happier and stimulated by life again. Like everybody else I have bad days but I quickly bounce back and have more fun.
Case Study 7: Reverse Therapy for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Dear Dr Eaton
At the end of your book, -'ME, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia - The Reverse Therapy Approach', you mention that you would like anyone who has been helped by your book alone to contact you. I am 20 years old, a student at University of St Andrews, and was diagnosed with CFS very recently- the worst of the symptoms occurred last April when I had a relapse of glandular fever.
I read your book in September and within a week of reading almost all of my symptoms were gone. I went from not being able to brush my teeth without having a racing heart, not being able to have lunch with family without having a headache/sore throat and sleeping for the rest of the day- to having none of those symptoms except the fatigue (also to a much lesser extent). What really helped me was the positive way in which your book was written- I read some related material on the subject by Dr John E Sarno (The Divided Mind), but his was not very comforting and focused on "repressed rage" in the unconscious as a major cause for these type of illnesses, rather than portraying it as you do, as a positive relationship between the Headmind and Bodymind.
The second thing that really helped me from your book was that I understood how my illness worked. Before, I was always scared- if I do too much, I will get sicker, under the impression that it is something like a virus or the flu. But reading the explanations of how CFS usually affects the body made it much more understandable- your box on the immune system also made so much sense as to why my glandular fever, which I had contracted 3 years before, became reactivated. When reading the book, everything just made sense! Instead of being afraid of my symptoms, I understand how and why they are there. And actually putting reverse therapy into practice is so important for me- I have always been so repressive when it comes to my emotions my whole life. My little brother has IBS and the things I have learned are helping him too.
So for that I really want to say thank you for changing my life. I had a friend who had CFS years before I met him, he's the one who told me to read it because you helped him too- he is now fully recovered, and has been for years.
Case Study 8: Steve Paul writes
My name is Steve and I would like to share my fantastic experiences with Dr John Eaton and his amazing Reverse Therapy system.
I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) in September 2014 and whist not being bed ridden at my lowest point like some, I was certainly quite fatigued and limited physically in what I could do each day. I would regularly suffer payback fatigue if I undertook a physical task i.e. short walk and would more or less not be able to help my wonderful wife with any tasks around the house full stop. Working 8-5 was my sole priority, apart from investigating my illness (which actually contributes to your fatigue as I was to discover.)
Enter Reverse Therapy! Wow, once I heard about it I couldn't wait to understand it and see how it could help me. I discovered Dr Eaton’s introductory book online (M.E., Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia: The Reverse Therapy Approach) and whilst reading it set about arranging my initial Skype consultation with Dr Eaton. As I live in Australia it would be rather expensive to see Dr Eaton in person and I found the Skype sessions were the perfect solution. With no need to visit a practitioner’s rooms I could arrange a consultation to suit me in the comfort of my lounge room.
The findings of my first consultation absolutely astounded my wife and I! What an amazing concept RT is. Dr Eaton is a breath of fresh air and gets right to the point. I thought his straight forward approach was fantastic. It really was quite amazing to start looking at my thoughts and how they effected / caused my fatigue. As with most new concepts I went through a period of learning and would discuss my individual occurrences with Dr Eaton at my next appointment. What started to happen still gets me excited when I recall the change in my energy levels. I started walking more and within about a month’s time we went away for a long weekend in beautiful Tasmania and I basically walked all day, every day without even thinking about fatigue. Sure, my legs were a bit tired, but that’s only because they hadn’t done so much exercise in 15 months!. Well, that weekend was the turning point for me and I started to slowly get back into my passion of mountain biking. Several months after progressively increasing stamina I am more fit than most of my friends again.
Dr Eaton also teaches you how to get in touch with your own Bodymind so that you understand why you feel a certain way and to then act on that feeling so that your Bodymind doesn’t have to create worse symptoms in order to get your attention. Figuring out what your Bodymind is trying to tell you took a little learning but I’ve had some nice results of release when I’ve acted correctly on feelings.
So as you may have guessed life is definitely on the up for me now and Reverse Therapy has been a massive part of that. Whilst I am still seeing my CFS medical specialist and still have medical matters to resolve, I am doing so without fear or fatigue. I would recommend RT to anybody with CFS / ME and Fibromyalgia. In fact it could help everyone. Dr Eaton has a remarkable background and is able to assist in other areas of psychology if you need i.e. anxiety issues.
Case Study 9: Online Case Study
Read about another client's experience of Reverse Therapy on the SleepyDust website for CFS and M.E Sufferers below:
Click here to read Online Case Study