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Dr Raymond Perrin’s Voyage of Discovery

Blog post written by Dr Raymond Perrin, author of The Perrin Technique 2nd Edition and The Concise Perrin Technique.

 

The background to The Perrin Technique

In 1989 a cyclist came into my clinic complaining of back pain. He also told me that he had been suffering with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) for 7 years and had been out of cycling for all of that time. I explained to him that, as an osteopath, I could help his back problems but couldn’t do much for his ME/chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), which in those days was also known by the terribly derogatory name of ‘yuppie flu’. We were trained to believe that ME was very much a psychological disorder and that, with tender loving care and more exercise and time out of the office, the young upwardly mobile professionals so often affected would return to their healthy former selves. How wrong we were!

With treatment to the cyclist’s postural problems, his back pain diminished but amazingly so too did his ME symptoms and within a few months he was totally symptom free and able to return to his beloved bicycle.

 

The Perrin Technique: The theory

After helping this patient, I embarked on over three decades of clinical research into ME/CFS, including a doctoral thesis into the cause and treatment of this disorder that continues to baffle most clinicians, scientists and patients. In the early days of my research, I came up with a theory that formed the basis of my PhD thesis and my first book, The Perrin Technique, published by Hammersmith Press in 2007; this theory was that ME/CFS was due to a physical disturbance of the lymphatic drainage of the brain and spinal cord. This, I hypothesised, led to a build-up of toxins within the central nervous system, leading  to a disturbed autonomic nervous system (the nerves that control automatic functions of the body such as blood flow, the heart and gut function).

At the time, my theory that this autonomic dysfunction caused a reversal of lymphatic flow from the brain and spine, leading to toxic overload of the brain, went completely against medical and scientific thinking, as according to all the main authorities there was no lymphatic drainage of the central nervous system to go wrong in the first place. It was recognised that we had the lymphatic system to take away larger molecules that could not drain directly into the blood, but this was deemed unnecessary in the brain as the there was a natural protection, known as the ‘blood-brain barrier’, that stops large particles entering the brain, and so blood vessels in the brain were thought to be sufficient to flush any small particles away. We know very differently now!

 

The Perrin Technique: The facts

Join me in my voyage of discovery in The Perrin Technique 2nd Edition in which I describe how scientific breakthroughs over the past 14 years have  finally caught up with my original theory; we now have irrefutable proof of the existence of the lymphatic drainage of the brain (AKA the ‘glymphatic system’) and masses of evidence showing how  this drainage can be disturbed by a combination of physical, emotional, immunological and/or environmental stressors, leading to ME/CFS and fibromyalgia (FMS), and how a reversal of neuro-lymphatic  drainage can lead to physical diagnostic signs. In my 2nd Edition I include many references to the supporting scientific papers and to my own published research.

The Perrin Technique 2nd Edition also explains why every patient with ME/CFS or FMS is different and detail over 100 symptoms with an explanation of why patients suffer from each of these, such as :

Hyperosmia (changed sensitivity to smell): This is a common symptom of ME/CFS and FMS. The olfactory pathway is one of the main neuro-lymphatic drainage points in the cranium. The increased neurotoxicity and/or inflammation in this region will result in irritation of olfactory nerves leading to a heightened sensitivity to smell in some patients, with others finding a lessening of their senses and in some a total loss of smell and taste (see anosmia).

In addition, I discuss many other conditions that can occur together with ME/CFS and FMS and consider other therapies that may be of benefit together with The Perrin Technique as part of the jigsaw-puzzle of recovery.

 

Two Perrin Technique books

With the publication of The Concise Perrin Technique this month (August 2021) there will be two up-to-date books describing how to reverse problems with neuro-lymphatic drainage using manual techniques. The core of both books is a comprehensive game plan for helping patients return to health plus a step-by-step guide for manual practitioners to carry out the required treatment. Both books also answer many practical frequently-asked questions such as: What are the dos and don’ts for patients with ME/CFS and FMS?

However, I am acutely aware that ME/CFS and FMS can badly affect the cognitive ability of sufferers and that many of my patients find reading and comprehension difficult or impossible tasks, especially when it comes to long texts. Consequently, I have written The Concise Perrin Technique as a short, more focused guide to the Perrin Technique aimed specifically at patients who simply want to know the key facts about ME/CFS and FMS, how to diagnose these conditions and how to treat the underlying problem, without using scientific and medical language and long explanations.

Both The Perrin Technique 2nd Edition and the new The Concise Perrin Technique show how successfully to beat ME/CFS, FMS and other similar, emerging conditions, including Long-COVID. Correcting neuro-lymphatic drainage may also help many other neurological disorders – further research is underway.

If you wish to comprehend the underlying science and gain an in depth understanding of issues related to ME/CFS and FMS, then The Perrin Technique 2nd Edition is waiting to be read; if you want just the basics of the Perrin Technique and how to put these into practice, then The Concise Perrin Technique is for you.

 

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The Return to Education: A Guide for the Student Recovering/Recovered from CFS/ME

When returning to school, college or university after suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome/ME the student should avoid both mental and physical over-exertion. On some days even the minimal mental or physical effort can be deleterious and the student has to learn to accommodate during what may be a long process of recovery.

With CFS/ME in school children much information can be found on The Tymes Trust website here.

With CFS/ME and fibromyalgia all cases are different, with students all requiring unique requirements which makes the education plan and management more difficult. The dysfunction in the hypothalamus and the disturbed autonomic nervous system affect different systems and parts of the body and mind. Often there is a problem in getting up in the morning to be in time for school or lectures due to a disturbed circadian rhythm.

The other problem with all patients is the waxing and waning nature of the illness and this has to be understood by educational establishments, with students sometimes having to take off days when their symptoms worsen even though they seemed pretty healthy. They may occasionally look healthy and attempt to fit in with the educational system and school/ university student life but are often in a much more serious state of health then they let observers believe.

Unlike some psychological illnesses, CFS/ME patients retain their motivation but struggle with post-exertion malaise. The student will often try their best to carry on but their symptoms worsen with continued attempts to over-exert themselves.

As the Tymes Trust says on their information page: ‘Most children and students with CFS/ME are able to make some progress academically if education is suitably modified. However, they may be unable to follow the usual timescales for Key Stages and examinations etc. Therefore, it is important for schools to plan for the long term.’

Home tuition and/or online lessons are often needed in severe cases, reducing the extra strain that any examinations will inevitably place on the student.

It is imperative that both in school and further/higher education the relevant teachers and lecturers know about the students health problems even if they are in the past, just so there is a level of understanding for not pushing too fast and empathy if the condition deteriorates.

Recovering patients need to pace themselves, even if they are virtually symptom free. The student requires as much extra time as possible in their course work and to be given regular rest breaks during any examinations with the maximum extension to the time period allowed when sitting for any examinations.

I always advise rest breaks and small snacks and water when they take their examinations to reduce the symptoms of dehydration and hypoglycaemia which are common in CFS/ME and FMS.

Patients well enough to live in student accommodation should try as much as possible to find the quietest and least stressful environment to live in and, even if completely recovered, should avoid too much alcohol and too many late night events etc, making sure that their fellow students understand that they are not just being party-poopers.

Other measures that usually help are the use of a rest/recovery room when needed plus the student should be given easy access to lessons or lectures such as parking spaces near to the college/university entrance, and use of elevators rather than having to traipse up and down many flights of stairs all day.

Blog post written by Raymond Perrin, author of The Perrin Technique. Discover more about the upcoming Second edition here. 

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CFS/ME: Are you sleeping too much?

CFS/ME: Are you sleeping too much

Difficulty with sleep is common for people with CFS/ME. Some people find they are sleeping too much, while others find they are not sleeping enough. If you experience problems with sleep there are several things you can do to help yourself.

There is no such thing as an ideal amount of sleep. For example, some people need 10 hours, while others only need five. An average night’s sleep is around eight hours. When the amount of sleep someone is getting is causing an increase in fatigue that is when it becomes a problem.

When people first have CFS/ME they often over sleep. People who have had CFS/ME for a longer period of time often go from over sleeping to not being able to sleep enough, despite high fatigue levels. Continue reading CFS/ME: Are you sleeping too much?

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Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome at the BMA Medical Book Awards

We’re very proud to announce that Dr Sarah Myhill’s book Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome was highly commended in the Popular Medicine category at the BMA Medical Book Awards 2015. The book has quickly become one of our best sellers and is helping Sarah’s groundbreaking chronic fatigue syndrome protocol reach thousands of people around the world who wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to learn the tests and treatment methods she’s worked so hard to develop. It was up against some pretty stiff competition in its category so it’s a real achievement to have been highly commended.

Dr Myhill (middle right) with her team at the BMA Medical Book Awards for her book on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Dr Myhill (centre right) with her team at the BMA Medical Book Awards

Sharing expert knowledge about areas of medicine and health that aren’t so well represented by the mainstream is our goal at Hammersmith Health Books, and Dr Myhill’s book is a perfect example. In it Dr Myhill explains the importance of mitochondria and their role in every aspect of our lives, showing how we fail if they fail. She shows how their activity can be measured and how her recently published research supports her programme for mitochondrial recovery spelt out here as the basis for recovery from CFS/ME.

Congratulations to Sarah and her team who helped produce the book and support the many hundreds of chronic fatigue syndrome patients who visit her clinic and countless more who seek her advice and help remotely.

Dr Myhill's book Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome was highly commended at the BMA Book Awards 2015

If you’d like to learn more about Dr. Myhill’s work visit www.doctormyhill.co.uk or join the Facebook group to meet other CFS/ME patients and get inside info on the protocol.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is now on sale in paperback and ebook formats from £4.50