Chronic Fatigue – March 2013

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Registration for CAM Conference (open to all practitioners) and refreshments: 11.30 – 12.00


12.00 – 13.00: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME, Systems Biology and Diseases of Meaning

Niki Gratrix

In her presentation, Niki will cover issues with diagnosis – the difference between fatigue and depressive disorders, the different types of fatigue and stages of illness. She will cover the latest theories and focus of the research in the area of fatigue including the Kindling and Oxidative Stress Theory based on a psychoneuroimmunological model, genetic polymorphisms, patent foramen ovale (PFO) , pyrroluria and porphyria, energy depleting personality types and emotional trauma. Niki will then speak about the latest research and practical applications of physics and quantum physics including earthing, the work of Dr Todd Ovokaitys and applications of laser technology. Lastly she will cover the need for a wider model of health beyond functional medicine model including discussion of Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory, evolutionary biology and “diseases of meaning.”

About Niki Gratrix BA (Hons) Dip ION mBANT NTCC CNHC

Niki is currently the UK’s leading nutritional therapist working with patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome(CFS)/ME. In 2005-10 she co-founded and worked as the Director of Nutrition at The Optimum Health Clinic which won the CAM award for Outstanding Practice in 2009 and specialises in the treatment of CFS/ME.

Niki has worked with thousands of patients with CFS/ME and now trains practitioners on her three day Optimum Energy Coach certification programme. She writes regularly for trade journals and health magazines and speaks internationally at conferences. She is currently the Vice Chair of BANT (the British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy).


Lunch: 13.00 – 14.15

including special guest talk from successful business coach, Mark Shields

We are pleased to announce that Mark has agreed to join us at this CAM Conference to present his CAM Coach workshop where you will discover secrets, strategies and key principles to ensure your success as a CAM Practitioner.

His talk with cover the top ten principles in achieving success as a CAM Practitioner and will include –
Service level agreements , joint ventures , Power of communication , Modelling Success , Social Media , newsletters , Business Goals , The importance of a website , Effective Charging , The importance of self-belief and confidence.

About Mark Shields

Mark is The Founder of The Life Practice Group. He is nationally respected as a successful Life & Business Coach, Media Expert, Author and Motivational Speaker appearing regularly on TV and Radio.

He has now worked successfully with thousands of clients from the Entertainment Industry that include TV Presenters, World Champion Sportsmen, Senior Business Leaders, Famous Musicians and Senior Government Politicians.

His latest best-selling book written with CAM magazine Editor Simon Martin has achieved international success and recognition and can be purchased at The CAM COACH reveals top tips and secrets from the experts on how to successfully set up and run a successful CAM Practice. Full details on all Marks courses can be found at
and he can be reached on 01462 431112.

14.15 – 15.45: Psychology and ME/CFS: Not all in the mind…

Alex Howard & Megan Arroll

In this interactive session, Alex Howard will explore the role of psychology in ME/CFS, held in the context of a wider integrative framework. Joined by Dr Megan Arroll, Alex and Megan will also discuss some of the recent research conducted at The Optimum Health Clinic and suggestions for the future of the area based upon this.

Alex will begin by sharing his own personal journey with ME/CFS, along with exploring some short exercises with the audience to give them a “felt” sense of the psychological experience of ME/CFS. Alex will then explain the role of cognitive and emotional factors in this complex group of illnesses. This will include an exploration of the “Maladaptive Stress Response,” and treatment approaches for working with this pioneered at OHC, along with the various psychological subtypes and predisposing factors from a psychological perspective as understood by this integral approach.

Alex and Meg will go on to discuss recent research published by the OHC team in the British Medical Journal Open, and how this relates to nutritional therapists working with ME/CFS. Finally, they will share their thoughts for the future of ME/CFS both in terms of treatment and research, along with some of the exciting possibilities this holds for the wider CAM community.

About Alex Howard

Alex Howard is Founder and CEO of The Optimum Health Clinic, one of the world’s leading integrative medicine clinics, with patients in over 35 countries. Alex founded OHC after his own life-changing experience of ME/CFS, which inspired his first book, “WHY ME? My Journey from ME to Health and Happiness? In 2009 the clinic team won CAM  magazine’s “Outstanding Practice Award” for their integrative and innovative approach.  Alex is also creator of Secrets to Recovery, an online support programme for ME/CFS with over 1,000 members, along with a number of other online coaching programmes. In addition to his work as a psychological therapist, and CEO of OHC, Alex is also an active researcher, having co-authored papers with OHC Director of Research Dr Megan Arroll in publications such as the British Medical Journal Open, Psychology and Health and Journal of Integral Theory and Practice. Alex is deeply passionate about the field of integrative medicine, and about inspiring other practitioners to invest in the research desperately needed to move the field forwards.

About Dr Megan Arroll

Megan Arroll (B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc., Ph.D., FHEA, C.Psychol., C.Sci., AFBPsS) is an experienced researcher who runs an independent research organisation<img alt=”” src=”” width=”182″ height=”228″ align=”right” border=”0″ />, Simply Research, and has worked in the fields of education, technology and most extensively health research. Megan’s Ph.D. topic concerned sub-grouping in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), a condition that she still investigates in depth as the Director of Research at The Optimum Health Clinic in London. Megan specialises in both quantitative and qualitative methods, and she has utilised numerous methodologies to extend the knowledge base of ME/CFS. Recent publications with Alex Howard include:

Arroll, M.A., &amp; Howard, A. (2012). A preliminary prospective study of nutritional, psychological and combined therapies for myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) in a private care setting. BMJ Open, 2(6), doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001079

Arroll, M.A., &amp; Howard, A. (2012). “The letting go, the building up, [and] the gradual process of rebuilding’’: Identity Change and Post-traumatic Growth in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Psychology and Health.


Refreshments: 15.45 – 16.15


16.15- 17.15: Clinical Lessons from Brain Imaging…What it tells us we need to focus on

Professor Basant Puri MA, PhD, MB, BChir, BSc (Hons) MathSci, MMath, FRCPsych, FSB

This lecture will consider recent evidence from brain imaging studies in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) to establish whether or not this disorder is associated with biochemical changes and/or with structural brain changes. The results of a recent study by my group will be presented. The aim of this study was to investigate the possibility of structural brain changes by conducting the largest voxel-based morphometry study to date in CFS. High-resolution structural 3-T cerebral MRI scanning was carried out in 26 CFS patients and 26 age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers. Voxel-wise generalised linear modelling was applied to the processed data.

About B.K Puri

Prof. B. K. Puri received his primary and postgraduate degrees in Medicine from the University of Cambridge, and carried out post-doctoral work in molecular genetics at the University of Cambridge and in imaging at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School at Hammersmith Hospital, London. He is the author of over 40 books and almost 200 papers.


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