From the Brighton Argus, 22 February 2008. Story by Rachel Wareing.
A former City financier who lost the ability to walk is training for a 10K run after recovering his health "almost overnight". ME sufferer Maurice Humphrys endured extreme fatigue for two years, and was unable to walk or stand for six months before he undertook the Lightning Process.
The £500 therapy has attracted controversy because there is no scientific evidence to prove it is effective.
But for Maurice, there is no doubt it works.
The day he began the three-day course, which is based on neuro-linguistic programming and hypnotherapy, he was able to walk a few steps around his garden.
Now he enjoys mountain climbing and is preparing for the Sport Relief run in Brighton next month.
He said: "Four days later I was able to cycle from my house into the village and within a couple of months I was completely mobile.
"It was so quick. From the outside it seems like a miracle but it was really hard work. It’s like a tool and once you’ve learned it you’ve got to continually apply it."
The 27-year-old believes his illness was caused by stress. He was struck down with a virus while working in corporate finance in the City, spending up to four hours a day commuting from Brighton. He went home to his parents in Cambridge to convalesce but his condition did not improve and he was diagnosed with ME.
Doctors could only suggest breathing exercises and physiotherapy, which did not help, and neither did homeopathy, acupuncture, reiki or kinesiology.
He heard about the Lightning Process on BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine show, but the GP on the show dismissed it and so he initially forgot about it. Then in May 2006 he heard another show featuring a woman who had experienced dramatic results. He signed up a month later and was so impressed by its effectiveness he decided to learn to teach it.
He now lives in Elm Grove, Brighton, and is working as a life coach, hypnotherapist and Lightning Process practitioner.
The theory is that some ME sufferers are caught in an adrenaline loop, and the process is designed to break the loop. When people are under stress or catch an infection they release adrenaline, the fight or flight hormone. In some sufferers the adrenal glands continue to work overtime and this weakens the systems of the body, resulting in exhaustion.
ME Research UK has pointed out that there has been no research which proves that ME sufferers have excess adrenaline.
Tony Britton, of The ME Association, said his charity does not recommend the treatment, which first appeared three years ago.
He said: "It’s the latest fad and has a huge amount of marketing behind it. The inventor, Phil Parker, is licensing practitioners across the UK and abroad.
"We have had some good feedback and it works for some people, but not for everybody.
"There’s no scientific evidence to show how it works. We like to see a good discussion in peer-reviewed medical journals before making an assessment. We don’t know, for example, whether people who receive good results are able to maintain that recovery."