Research Published Today on the value of the Lightning Process®
A justified criticism of the Lightning Process® has been the lack of objective research evaluating it’s effects. Randomized controlled clinical trials is what is required to win the confidence of the scientific medical community, and to date, no such trial has been conducted. Many physicians have in amazement observed their patients recover, yet they have been reluctant to refer patients because of their commitment to ‘evidence based medicine’, and the push-back they have experienced out there from some of the ME/CFS societies (who have been rather negative to a ‘cognitive behavioral’ approach to this illness).
A small step toward a more scientific evaluation of the Lighting Process occurred today (9/19/12), as an article by researchers from Harvard University (MA, USA) and Kings College (London) was published in the peer reviewed British Journal of Health Psychology. (I suggest you register to read the entire article as the abstract is not all that helpful)
The article analyzes the experiences of 9 young people (ages 14-26) who had suffered from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome from 2-12 years, and 3 of their parents . Thy were recruited from open advertising on a CFS/ME website in the UK.
Two of the participants reported that they experienced no improvement or even worsening of their symptoms, the remaining 7 experienced significant improvement or reported having completely recovered. Some reported rather immediate and dramatic improvement and others a more gradual recovery. Criticism by the participants included concern over the duration and intensive nature of the initial lectures (up to 9 hrs sessions), and the limited follow-up offered following the 3 day course.
(It is of interrest to note that the participants in this study did their Lightning Process Training in 2007. The program has evolved and has been significantly perfected since then. In my own practice I have now for some time offered 1 year of regular follow-up included in the training fee, and I also make a concerted effort to limit the 3 days of intensive training to about 4-5 hrs sessions. I also make an effort to prepare my clients for the fact that there may be times when they experience relapses of their symptoms – as they, like anyone else, may contract the flue or experience ‘rough, discouraging and energy-draining’ days. I emphasize that blaming yourself never is helpful, and instead offer support to enable my clients to ‘bounce back’.
I personally was among the group who experienced a more gradual recovery, but I do not want my own experience to be a limiting factor for my clients, as it not unusual for clients to experience a more immediate and dramatic recovery).
Also announced today: The Norwegian Institute for Public Health (Folkehelse Instituttet) is planning to perform a randomized controlled trial of the Lightning Process™ in patients with CFS/ME, and has applied for 9 million Norwegian Kr. (~1. 6 millon US dollars) to conduct this study.
I am very eager to see more research published on the value of the Lightning Process for patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome /Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME).
As you may have discovered by now, I’m personally convinced of it’s value, but find it frustrating that this amazing modality is not well known or recognized by the majority of patients suffering with this tragic disease.