little miss reverse

A journey from ME/CFS to health using Reverse Therapy and Lightning Process

Monday, July 31, 2006

The difference between pacing and RT

A while ago, I had a discussion on the RT forum about what I think the difference between pacing and RT is. I thought I would put my ideas on this blog incase anybody might find it useful:

Recovering from ME is like finding your own particular pick 'n mix. Before I found RT and discovered that it worked for me, I believed that pacing was the way forward and applied it very succesfully to my life. It helped me to recover a hell of a lot, but then I relapsed really badly, recovered again and then relapsed again. It addressed the symptoms but not the causes for me. It was also a top down approach based on past experiences, rather than a bottom up approach based on how I felt in the present. I also found a lot of anxiety and feeling like I'd let myself down when I woke up feeling ill again, in pacing. It was quite a harsh life, timing activities and saving energy. I often felt like I wanted to continue with something but feared how bad I would be the next day, so didn't do it.

I found that RT was like pacing but with you body making up the rules rather than your head. Much better for me and far more kind and forgiving and far less fear, which may have been a big factor in keeping me stuck in the symptoms cycle.

What do you mean by top down and bottom up approaches? In what way is pacing based on past experiences?

In my experience, in pacing you work out using your head/intellect how much you will be able to manage to form your baseline and then you stick to it. So that is why I describe it as top down, as it is coming from the head, which overules the body. You increase your activity when you no longer experience symptoms in your baseline activity. The judgement is an intellectual one based on how doing particular activities has affected you in the past. The 'feeling' aspect of pacing is around how the symptoms feel, so you may have felt really ill, so choose not to do that activity. I used 'Better Recovery from Viral Illnesses' by Darrel Ho Yen (I think that's his name) as my bible during the first 3 years of my illness and it did work really well, but you have to be quite strict with yourself, limit yourself for it to work and there was a lot of frustration at having to hold myself (my desries) back and fear of relapse. I was always fearful of relapse with pacing.

In RT, the decisions come from your desires, from your gut (if I had to place it) which your head then puts into action, so that is why I call it a bottom up approach. The decisions about what to do are based in the present moment, not based just on how the symptoms feel, but on how the desire/need feels too. So that is why they teach you not to stop when you have symptoms, but read your card and then act on what bodymind or your desires want. If you are able to successfully put this into action, it irradicates the fear based on 'overdoing it' that you get when you are 'pacing', because you are allowing your body to guide you.

Monday, July 24, 2006

New girl

Well I did get the job and I started today. I wasn't at all anxious until I got within about 100m of the place then I felt a little bubble rising. I have felt a bit tired but OK. I think I was tired anyway as I've been to a wedding over the weekend.

About 1pm I started to feel a bit of tension, but ate my lunch and it went away. Sometimes it's easy to forget that BM is in charge of all the physical things like telling you when to eat, drink, get cool, get warm, rest or be active.

It's hot and I need a rest now as it's back to work tomorrow. I think this is going to be easier than I anticipated.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

It was symptoms

Well, I thought it might be, but yes I did have some symptoms yesterday. I used to call it fatigue as it was usually accompanied by feeling fatigued, but it was slightly different this time. I still had that horrible tension across my shoulders and up over my scalp, a headache, puffy eyes, and bit of a slow brain, but I still managed to go to work, go for an interview and then go dancing. I had to sit out of dancing towards the end, so my energy was lower than usual, but not fatigued as such.

I'm pretty sure it's the whole work thing. I do have some underlying anxiety about it but I believe it is chemical memory stuff. I've been more busy in the last month than I have been in the 4 years and at times have pushed my limits with no appearance of symptoms. This week, things have gone back to my normal level of activity, now that my Spanish class has finished and the exhibition is over, so activity wise, I'm doing less. I think for me, when I got ill, a lot of chemical memories were set up because I had just started a new job, then started to decline. A lot of the things that happened when I became ill, happened on the way to work or at work or about work, so work is a problematic area for my BM.

Again, I'm just going to have to give it a go like I did when I started temping and see what happens. I'm sure they will go away once BM sees that I am taking care of myself. I was quie clear at the interview about what I was willing to do and not willing to do to, so I just need to be assertive about my own needs.

Saying all that, I haven't got the job yet. Talk about confidence! I'm just calling it forward planning.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


I had an interview for a summer job today. Yesterday, I started to get a bit anxious and my headmind was convincing me that going for this job was a bad idea. I recognised that it was coming from the head, not the gut so I decided to put it aside until after I had the interview.

I have had some symptoms of anxiety today, but when you've had an illness that has so much anxiety attached to it, it's hard to tell what is plain anxiety and what is a symptom of the illness. I've had a bit of tension and the bit behind my ears hurt a bit. I know I always used to get this as part of my M.E. but is it just anxiety or a return of symptoms? Can't decide, but I'm going to be a glass half-full person and say that I'm still completely symptom free.

The interview went well, it's my first in almost 5 years. I will be an official member of staff, not a temp like I am at the moment, if I get it. A couple of months ago I didn't think I'd be up for that until at least January. It's also for about 12 hours a week, double what I'm doing at the minute, but I know I can cope with it now.

I'm wondering...if I get the job...will it set off some chemical memories? I think it is possible with this tension that I have at the moment. I'll have to wait and see what happens. But until then...I'm 7 weeks clear!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


6 weeks clear.

Still been busy. Weather has wiped me out a bit, but only as much as others.

Got an interview for a summer job next week. It's 10-12 hours per week, so that will be about double what I'm doing now. It's not all with young people so it should be a bit less tiring.

Feel like I'm on track for my plan to be off benefits and New Deal by the end of the year. Hoping to continue temping in the School I'm working in, from September then in January get a permanent job working 15-20 hours per week. On top of that I'm hoping to go freelance as a photographer gradually over the next year aswell. I don't intend to go back to working full time in one job, I think I need the variety and flexiblity and less of the stress that 37hrs per week gives you. I want to have time and energy to do the things that I want and that I enjoy doing.