Amygdala Retraining is a unique program of specific techniques developed by Ashok Gupta for the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), and related conditions including fibromyalgia and multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS).
Gupta states that he was diagnosed with ME/CFS himself by two seperate medical doctors and to have now recovered by putting into the practice the techniques he developed. He is a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist and Practitioner of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) and holds two Masters degrees. His research into ME/CFS and the development of his amygdala retraining techniques resulted in the publication of a paper on the subject in the peer reviewed medical journal Medical Hypotheses in 2002 (see here).
The basis for Gupta's therapy is the theory that the illnesses it is used for are the result of chronic dysfunction (namely chronic activation) of the amygdala, a region of the brain that is responsible for the body's response to threats, both from emotional stress, as well as physiological and environmental stressors such as immunological threats like a viral infection, or exposure to chemicals.
Gupta believes that predisposing genetic factors coupled with stressors of any kind, to which the amygdala responds, lead to its chronic activation and the production of a viscious cycle of illness. According to Gupta key findings in chronic fatigue syndrome and related illnesses including immune dysfunction, oxidative stress, hypothalamic-adrenal-pituitary (HPA) axis abnormalities, and chronic sympathetic nervous system activation are all attributable to this activation of the amygdala - these in turn leading to secondary illness cycles including adrenal exhaustion, mitochondrial dysfunction, allergies/sensitivities, and increased nitric oxide (NO)production, as well as the typical symptoms of these illnesses.
Amygdala Retraining - The Treatment
The aim of the amygdala retraining therapy is to reduce the reactivity of the amygdala to stressors and therefore break the viscious cycle of dysfunction and disease that has been perpetuated by its chronic activation.
Gupta is quick to point out on his website that his techniques are different to both conventional psychotherapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), and alternative techniques which have become popular for the treatment of the same illnesses including the Lightning Process and Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). Amygdala retraining incorporate elements of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) techniques, meditative techniques, mindfulness techniques, yogic techniques, and many others.
The website states that "The tools and techniques have been custom designed to address the amygdala-based patterns which are occuring in ME/CFS, and therefore cannot come under one particular banner. Some of the processes can really only come under the banner of "Amygdala Retraining" techniques, and therefore it is difficult to describe the techniques without actually being taken through them."
Gupta runs a clinic in Harley Street, London, and also offers a DVD program from his website that takes patients through the amygdala retraining techniques. The clinic reports that preliminary clinical trials are underway in an effort to confrim the effectiveness of the approach.
|Ashok Gupta's Amygdala Retraining Program DVD|