How the Lightning Process helped my ME/CFS

How the Lightning Process helped my ME/CFS

I (Natalie Harrison) unknowingly suffered from ME/CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) for years before finally finding a GP who diagnosed me with this debilitating illness. After struggling to start and run my Business I decided to share my experience through Kiri10 and it is now becoming a platform to encourage others to speak openly and seek help when needed. Through doing this I connected with a customer who explained her daughter had CFS and used the Lightning Process to cure herself of the illness. Cure herself I thought? Surely not. 

So, what is the Lightning Process? It is a training programme that trains participants to rewire their thoughts through specific techniques. The Lightning Process was developed by UK osteopath Phil Parker, after he found that patients with long-standing ailments seemed stuck in a persistent stress response, which could be overcome by harnessing the power of the mind-body connection.

I immediately jumped onto Bianca’s (a Christchurch based Practitioner) website, Neurospark to read more about the Lightning Process or LP as I now call it. I had, for the most part of 2022 been making significant life changes to manage my symptoms, they helped to some degree but I was still living in fear of “crashing” (This is known as post-exertional malaise (PEM), where-in symptoms become much worse). I had already started to do research into mindset, meditation and how the mind-body connection can influence one another. This means that our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and attitudes can positively or negatively affect our biological functions. So, at this stage I was keen to try anything that would help me live a healthier, more fulfilled life. 

I messaged Bianca to connect and find out more, after the initial consultation over the phone, I knew this was exactly what I had been looking for. Bianca was lovely and professional, I felt instantly at ease. She explained she became a Practitioner after suffering from chronic pain, doing the Lightning Process herself and being in absolute awe of how well it worked. I booked in the personalised one on one training soon after our phone conversation (you can also do group training). 

The training is held over 3 days, LP combines teachings from neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), life coaching & simple principles of physiology (endocrine system and neurotransmitters) and principles of osteopathy. LP aims to help your brain build new neural pathways that – with practice – can eliminate symptoms from your life. You can read more about the core concepts of the Lightning Process here

Day 1 - Bianca begins firstly by acknowledging that although in some cases of people who have completed the training, results are instant, “it’s not a miracle” and to get the results I want, I will have to knuckle down, put in the work and be consistent - all of which I was more than willing to do.

We start by talking through all the “things” I wanted to overcome with LP, it’s funny as I came to Bianca for help with my CFS, but after much discussions she had deduced (she has a keen sense for what may be underneath) that I was struggling with perfectionism, self-belief, anxiety, overwhelm and generally being very unkind to myself. She tells me that for the training to be effective I have to believe I deserve to be healthy – an odd statement you might think, of course everyone deserves to be healthy, but in fact this was one belief I struggled with. 

“You’re not flawed, you’re not broken,” Bianca told me. “In fact, you’re a genius – a genius at unconsciously and automatically reproducing the same response on demand day after day. See!” she exclaims, “You have the ability to excel. And if you can do that, you can also NOT do that. I’m going to teach you how to fail at being a genius at your ‘things’.” She continues to explain “It’s the same as when you’re driving, ever got to your destination and thought wow, I don’t remember getting here, when you do something on a regular basis it becomes an automatic response, that’s all your brain is doing with these symptoms”. 

I was then encouraged never to speak of my things again, why? Because the brain hears everything. I’m taught to speak in a more positive language. So, I replaced terminology such as “tired” and “stressed'' with phrases like “not-awake `` and ''un-calm `` all my brain hears is ''awake `` and ''calm ``. By using these techniques, we get our brains into homeostasis – which is the brain's ability to repair. 

We delve heavily into neuroplasticity and science, even though it’s pretty complex, Bianca and the LP’s training is created in a way that it’s easily understood, she uses metaphors like above to help the connections. 

Finally, I was taught the Lightning Process, this was a mixture of physical movements and vocal affirmations. She explains how I can stop a thought or feeling in its tracks and choose new neural-pathways, positive, and good pathways. By implementing these I can strengthen and help my brain build positive pathways and remove the old negative ones. She tells me to take a mental note of what happens for the rest of my day after the training as she’ll be asking me to describe this to her the next day. 

Day 2 – Bianca begins by asking me to describe to her in detail what I did after leaving her home. I described my afternoon and evening; I expressed I was slightly disappointed in myself because I went home and had a nap. I told her about some other things I did but this was the main topic I talked about. She made me realise that my brain had instantly gone to the negative again, rather than looking at all my positives and wins that day. She made me realise that I had left out the fact that I napped outside in the sunshine with the cats – which in fact most people would nod off when relaxed in the sun – I didn’t nap in the bedroom with the curtains closed, underneath the covers like I normally would - I cooked dinner with my partner (normally when doing fatigue I wouldn’t help) – I went to watch him play football (we left at 7pm, my normal bedtime) – When we got home I played with the cats and dogs for a good 45 mins and got into bed at around 10.30pm (unheard of during the week).

“So, you see” she says “You had lots of wins and you can do this every day, choose to see the wins and positives, rather than choosing to see the negatives”. 

The remainder of the training was putting the LP techniques into practice and learning more of the science, it was truly fascinating. 

In the 4 weeks since I completed the training, I can say it has been absolutely life changing for me, I have done more in the last 4 weeks than I have in the last few months. I'm more confident than I ever have been, it feels like I've finally woken up from a really long, bad dream. Everything looks brighter, I'm noticing colours of things I never did before, which I know sounds weird, it feels like I've been walking through fog my whole life and suddenly I'm finally through it.

I would strongly suggest you do your own research and look into this fully if it sounds of interest to you, as with everything in life it may not be or work for everyone, but I’m so glad I found Bianca and the Lightning Process, I’m now looking forward to the future and what this looks like. 

You can read more about Bianca and the Lightning Process here.

*Disclaimer: this is not a paid partnership or endorsement; I am simply sharing my experience in the hopes it encourages others to open up if they’re struggling and to find something that may work and help them. 

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