A new therapy that blends osteopathy and NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) can help children with mild chronic fatigue syndrome and ME, a study has found.
The Lightning Process offers an effective alternative to standard treatment for a problem that affects nearly 3 per cent of all children, who miss, on average, a year's schooling.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is the standard treatment for chronic fatigue and ME (myalgic encephalitis), but children who have CBT with the Lightning Process see a much faster and greater improvement in symptoms such as fatigue and anxiety. After a year, they also suffer less depression and their school attendance has improved, say researchers from the University of Bristol.
In a trial that involved 100 secondary school children aged between 12 and 18, half of whom had CBT plus the Lightning Process and the rest just had CBT, and their progress was monitored after six and 12 months.
Even though the Lightning Process isn't available on the National Health Service and a course costs around £620, it's still good value, the researchers reckon.
It's the first randomized trial into Lightning Process, which was developed by osteopath Phil Parker, and was initiated after lead researcher Esther Crawley had been asked about it by many parents.
Most now accept that CFS is a physical condition, often brought about after a viral infection, and the Lightning Process works with body movements to stimulate the brain to open up healing neural pathways.