My Thoughts on the Lightning Process…

October 17, 2015 8:39 am

I’ve noticed a lot of discussion in the online communities these past few weeks about the Lightning Process, some people considering trying it, others speaking of their experiences of actually going through the Lightning Process programme. I felt the pull to write a little blog post on this topic, with some of my own thoughts and personal experiences.

Hopefully this post will help those of you who are considering trying the Lightning Process along with those of you who have already been on the training but are perhaps not seeing the results you had initially hoped for.

I’m not going to go into huge detail about what the LP is here – there is plenty of information online about that. In a small nutshell, it is a brain retraining programme that has helped many people with ME/CFS. Some to make full recoveries.

The great thing about the LP is that recoveries do happen. Some of them very quickly. These are not to be dismissed. In my opinion, anything that gives some people in the depths of despair with ME/CFS hope is a good thing, and recovery stories do just that.

What we need to bear in mind however, is that ME/CFS different for all of us. From one person to the next, we can experience very different symptoms at a different severity. There are individual reasons for each person as to why we got sick. There are different stages of the illness, as in, you may be in your first week of illness after the initial crash, or you may be six years down the line and noticing small improvements due to learning how to pace or other holistic approaches to healing.

In my opinion, the individuality of each case, will have an impact on whether something like the Lightning Process might work for you.

My own experience is that after my first initial eight years of ME/CFS, I made what I believed to be a full recovery in my early twenties.

This recovery came about due to a number of things. I had learned how to eat well, was juicing daily, meditating and practising gentle restorative yoga, but the big shift for me? Was learning a process pretty much identical to the Lightning Process.

I learned how to shift my body into a healing state and turn off the Sympathetic Response. Belief (in my self, the process and my ability to heal) also had a big part to play in the recovery of my health.

My recovery wasn’t one of those over night things that you so often hear about in the Lightning Process Success stories. It was gradual, over the period of about 18 months, but throughout that time I did experience major shifts. Some of the shifts were really exciting and gave me such hope that it was only a matter of time before I recovered. I also experienced setbacks along the way too. It was definitely not a linear upwards path.

I want to say something at this point before I continue with my own story. There is quite a lot of talk about quick recoveries happening after learning the Lightning Process.  Many people speak of healing occurring in as little as three days.

Whilst I understand this can happen for some people – if their symptoms are caused purely by the maladaptive stress response for example – it is not the case for everyone.

The online hype about quick recoveries can, in my opinion, put a huge amount of pressure on people. It can lead to a feeling of guilt, a feeling of having missed something, and thoughts such as ‘what is wrong with me?’ or ‘why is this working for other people but not me?’ if symptoms are not resolved quickly and the recovery process is taking time.

We are all different. Our healing paths and journeys are all different.

This is one of the reasons why I personally prefer the approach of the Gupta Programme and The Optimum Health Clinic to the Lightning Process. They seem to offer a more holistic approach to healing, with a grounded approach that connects you to your heart at the same time as helping to address limiting beliefs and certain behaviours that can be key factors in our staying unwell.

Gupta and the OHC advice you to do the processes with the simple aim of shifting your body into a parasympathetic healing state, with acceptance that it may take time for the body to physically heal as a result of that. There is an allowing for your own journey to unfold as it needs to, without the expectation of things happening quickly with pressure.

Both encourage you to address underlying patterns such as (achiever/helper tendencies) and emphasise the importance of listening to your body along with things such as meditation to complement the neural retraining processes

This is a wonderfully integrated approach to healing.

Continuing with my own story….so I recovered. I lived a good few years working full time, and being able to do things such as going to the gym and attending high energy dance classes. However, my new found confidence along with my enthusiasm for the world of NLP and books such as The Secret, meant that I thought I was invincible. That I could do pretty much anything and there was no way I could get sick again. I neglected the things that has supported my body in healing, such as yoga and meditation, and quickly fell back into the way of being that had lead to my initial crash.

I was rushing around and pushing myself. Living in a way that was out of tune with my true self and was fully in the throws of my underlying achiever patterns. Once symptoms began to re-emerge I was in total denial and kept going regardless. I was living on a huge amount of adrenaline once my body’s natural energy reserves had dried up and I was using the Stop Process to ‘push symptoms away’ from me, disconnecting me even further from my body.

In 2010 I had a major relapse which I still haven’t fully recovered from (I speak more about this and the lessons I have learned as a result of my experience over here)

This brings me to my second point about the Lightning Process. One of the risks with it, particularly with ‘fast’ recoveries, is that if underlying factors have not been addressed, such as a strong pushing/achiever pattern, or any other factor that lead to a person becoming ill, it is likely, that once that person is physically able to, they will slip back into their old ways of being that lead them to become unwell in the first place.

Illness came to you for a reason, most likely to teach you something.

Our body produces symptoms as a way of communicating to us. If we haven’t learned the lessons we need to know yet, such as to learn how to slow down and live from our heart, how to practise self love or how to stop pushing ourselves to the extremes and live a life of balance, the likelihood is, you may see results with a technique such as the Lightning Process, but your body may well recreate the same situation if you go back into your old hectic lifestyle.

This is not an anti Lightning Process post. Far from it. But it is a post that I hope makes you stop and think. If you are someone who has been lucky enough to recover, hopefully this post may remind you to carry on nurturing your health and to stay connected to your body as opposed to the path I took.

If you are considering the Lightning Process, I wish you the best of luck, but if you are someone who doesn’t see results quickly, remember there is nothing wrong with you. Everyone’s recovery is different and there may be other things you need to do alongside a brain retraining technique. There may be other lessons to learn….and that’s okay.

The aim is ultimately for a strong, sustainable recovery. Not a ‘fast one’ that may not last. A process such as the Lightning Process may well help you reach a place of full health, but we are all different as this is what we need to bear in mind. 

Trust your intuition on this and follow the path that feels right for you.


With Love,



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Below are links to the various brain retraining programmes I have mentioned in this post


The Gupta Programme


The Optimum Health Clinic


The Lightning Process


  • Louise says:

    Great post Emma. A well thought through post.

    From a viral onset and pain as main symptom person. Who really needs to learn to listen to her body but finds life often in my way!!

  • Emma says:

    Glad you enjoyed it Louise.

    I hope that as time goes on, you find yourself listening to your body more easily.

    It’s a process. A lesson that takes time to learn (its taken me years and I still most definitely slip up from time to time!)

    Great to have you here and thanks for taking the time to comment

    Emma x

  • vicky says:

    Thank you so much, Emma,

    your post is a great reminder for me. I am in the non-linear but generally heading in the right direction stage of recovery and know from the past that it is at this point when I can easily fall prey to having too high expectations of myself and also having others expect too much of me (and me not wanting to let them down!!)

    Ultimately keeping to my diet and meditating every day have been shown to be the two most important things I can do for myself and my recovery, and as soon as those areas of my life start to suffer in any way I know I must re-evaluate my other activities and put my priorities back in order.

    Also, once I am in a slightly better place energy-wise I find it hard not to be competitive with myself and get frustrated by slow recovery – I imagine this is something a lot of people struggle with – I am hoping that keeping up with the meditation will help me to stay off the route of self-sabotage and allow me to accept what is, and heal in my own gentle and peaceful time.

    All the best with your continued recovery

  • Teresa says:

    This was very helpful. I’ve been reading very slowly about LP. It’s as if I’m keeping it on the back burner as a possible miracle but I’m too afraid to believe it for fear of being disappointed.

    I agree that we all have varying contributors to this illness. I believe that some of mine fall squarely on sympathetic over stimulation so I feel an NLP would be helpful but the LP specifically has felt off to me. Again, maybe I’m afraid of disappointment or maybe I’m just not meant to do that specific approach. I’m grateful that you have shared others.

    I’m also glad that you have reinforced the importance of meditation. I’ve been beyond great at self care when it comes to my diet and resting but I’ve been checking out with reading to cope and I tend to live in fantasy land a lot. I know I need to discipline myself to be more present here and now.

    Thanks again for a well thought out and beautifully written post. So very inspired.


  • Emma ~ consciously healthy says:

    Vicky ~ I totally relate to where you are at. It’s strange that ‘in between stage’ isn’t it? Where you can begin to do a little bit more?

    Of course it’s lovely in some ways! But also is where we really have to watch out for old patterns creeping back in and make sure we continue looking after ourselves, and as you mention, make sure we don’t get sucked into doing more than our current levels allow!

    Takes a lot of self discipline this recovery malarkey doesn’t it!

    Lots of love to you, and thanks for taking the time to share your experience

    Emma x

  • Emma ~ consciously healthy says:

    Teresa ~ Thank you for your comment lovely

    Take your time with all this. If nothing else, I hope this blog post reinforced the importance of letting your recovery path unfold at it’s own pace.

    I’ve found I’ve learned (and continue to learn) different things at different times. With you, it’s great you notice that maybe you could work on being more present. Perhaps that’s the next step for you? Having had a period of time where you live in fantasy land and checking out, has probably been a coping took that you’ve needed through some of your darkest days.

    Maybe you could just start with a tiny amount of meditation a day. To just begin dipping your toe into being present!

    As you said, the LP etc isn’t going anywhere. Your instincts will tell you if and when you are ready for that or a similar programme.

    Lots of love to you

    Emma x

  • Rosie says:

    Yes this is so similar to my thoughts about the Lightning Process!! I found it helped a bit, but took a lot of work; then I relapsed too. I experienced a lot of feeling like I was missing something or doing something wrong as these people who’d got better in the blink of an eye seemed positive it was the whole answer and you just had to try harder if you weren’t 100% yet. Like you, I think this condition is caused by different factors in different people and I’m not someone where it was entirely a maladaptive stress response – actually I was always known for being an extremely calm person amongst my friends, although I admit some of the illness symptoms and experiences gave me great anxiety. I think the results of the clinical trial of the Lightning Process at Bristol University tell us a lot more about the reality of it – a 10-15% improvement over 6 months or so.

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