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.


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