Treating chronic fatigue syndrome/M E

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME

If you suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome (M.E.), you will be familiar with the many symptoms which can include extreme tiredness, brain fog, pain, weakness and disturbed sleep. CFS/ME usually develops following a viral infection or prolonged stress.

One of the effects of stress is over-activity of the sympathetic nerves, which leads to slowing down of the flow of lymph through the lymphatic system, the body’s natural waste disposal system. Eventually back-flow in the lymphatic system leads to accumulation of toxins in the brain, which cause the fatigue. Similarly toxin build-up in the muscles and joints can lead to pain and weakness.

It is now possible to treat chronic fatigue syndrome (ME) effectively using the Perrin Technique™, a combination of osteopathy, nutrition and advice on posture, exercise and lifestyle. The Perrin Technique™ was developed by Manchester osteopath, Dr Raymond Perrin, through twenty years of clinical practice and research.

Helping chronic fatigue with The Perrin Technique™

Back in 1989 by Dr Perrin made a chance discovery that he was able to treat ME using techniques he employed in the treatment of back pain. This discovery led him to develop the technique which he has used to successfully treat of hundreds of patients. Dr Perrin has also identified specific physical signs common to all CFS/ME sufferers and these can be used to reach a definite diagnosis.

Once the diagnosis has been made, osteopathic methods are used to improve the drainage of fluid from the brain and spinal cord. The treatment consists of a specialised form of massage which aids drainage of blocked lymphatic vessels. This is complemented by cranial osteopathy, which helps to drain the head. Manipulation of the spine further aids the drainage of toxins out of the cerebrospinal fluid. Massage of the soft tissues in the neck, back and chest direct all the toxins out of the lymphatic system and into the blood, where they are eventually detoxified by the liver.

Many symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome/ME can be alleviated by the osteopathic treatment, but it works best with the active involvement of the patient. Patients are therefore given exercises, a home massage routine and advice about posture, activity management and lifestyle. It is important that patients take control of their lives and make the changes that will speed their recovery. This is facilitated by the support and encouragement of their practitioner. Treatment may take up to a year, but it is effective for the majority of patients, as has been demonstrated in two separate clinical trials.

Evidence-based treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome

Dr Perrin has conducted two studies of the efficacy of osteopathic treatment for symptoms associated with CFS/ME. The first trial was carried out over a two year period at Salford University and Hope Hospital, together with bio-engineer Prof. Jack Edwards and health psychologist Dr. Pat Hartley. This study examined the change in the symptoms following a year of treatment, using self-report questionnaires and muscle testing. It demonstrated that the treatment techniques Perrin had developed did help to reduce the symptoms and restored patients to a much better quality of life.

In 2005 Raymond Perrin completed further research at Salford University’s Dept. of Biological Sciences into the treatment of CFS/ME, together with neuro-biologist Dr. Vic Pentreath. This study repeated the first study and examined possible mechanisms underlying the improvement. Central lymph scans were carried out showing a trend of enlargement in CFS/ME sufferers.

The research findings point to impairment of lymphatic drainage of the central nervous system, which leads to a build up of toxins in the brain and spinal cord. This causes irritation of the sympathetic nervous system resulting in a vicious circle which causes and perpetuates many of the symptoms experienced by the CFS/ME sufferer.

These symptoms include fatigue, reduced concentration, problems with short term memory, difficulty reading, ‘muzziness’ in the head (brain fog), disturbed sleep, dizziness, nausea, head, neck, shoulder, and other joint pain, numbness, pins & needles, anxiety, photophobia, sensitivity to noise, shortness of breath, chest pain and palpitations. Further symptoms of physical fatigue and pain appear to be due to a build-up of lymph in the muscles.

Training and Licensing of Practitioners

Practitioners are monitored and trained by The Perrin Clinic. Once licensed, practitioners are able to treat patients using the Perrin Technique™. Practitioners receive instruction and training on the methods of CFS/ME diagnosis and treatment by Dr Perrin himself.

About the author 

Sorrel Pindar is a fully qualified Osteopath located in Bedford. She also draws clients from the surrounding towns and villages of Bedfordshire, but for the Perrin Technique, patients come from as far afield as Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire.

Sorrel specialise in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome/ME, using the Perrin Technique. For further information about Sorrel visit her therapist page here.

For more information about the Perrin Technique, visit


Perrin RN (1993) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, a review from the biomechanical perspective. British Osteopathic Journal; 11

Perrin RN (2007) The Perrin Technique: How to beat CFS/ME. Hammersmith Press, London.

Perrin RN (2007) Lymphatic Drainage of the Neuraxis in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Hypothetical Model for the Cranial Rhythmic Impulse. Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, 107(06), 218-224

Perrin RN, Edwards J and Hartley P (1998) An evaluation of the effectiveness of osteopathic treatment on symptoms associated with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. A preliminary report. Journal of Medical Engineering and Technology , 22(1), 1-13

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