The course that Annie Hopper did to cure her MCS


I was planning to write about other things on this blog, but news of the Limbic Recovery Foundation ( and makes me think the topic of “brain retraining for MCS” is worth revisiting.

Annie Hopper said in an interview on Planet Thrive:

“The Dynamic Neural Retraining System was developed from a combination of what I had learned over the past 20 years while employed in the health and wellness industry, as well as from all of the information, treatments, therapies and research I experienced and studied during my MCS days.”

More specifically, she wrote in 2008:

“In March 2008, my next door neighbour had given me an article from the Globe and Mail about a woman who had debilitating light and sound sensitivities as well as severe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. She had gone through a three day brain training process and as a result had completely recovered from her illness and was able to lead a normal life again.
When I read the article I realized that we had two things in common. She had an equally bizarre illness and that scientifically, we also had similar brain function.”  …
… in July 2008, I took the same training and it taught me how to manually change my brain function and structure. After the end of the second day of the course, I could no longer smell or taste chemicals in products anymore, nor did I have the host of other associated debilitating symptoms of exposure. I was able to alleviate all symptoms of MCS.”

I have found a Globe and Mail article about a woman with severe CFS, light and sound sensitivities who had recovered after doing the Lightning Process. The article is ‘Medicine: ‘Talk Therapy’ takes on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Coming soon to Canada’ by Zoe Cormier, published 8 March 2008 ( Unless the Globe and Mail published another article that month about three day course that cured a woman of severe CFS, light and sound sensitivities, it seems likely that Annie Hopper did the Lightning Process.

I put a few links to descriptions of the Lightning Process in this post:

Since then one small study of the Lightning Process has been published. There were nine participants, who may not have been a representative sample of young people with CFS for various reasons. There were no objective tests to measure improvement. The researchers wrote, “The more extreme position taken by the Lightning Process in denying the limitations of the illness seem to produce divergent results in various young people; some found it liberating and therapeutic, whilst others did not respond well to it and were left feeling guilty and blamed.”

The University of Bristol Centre for Child and Adolescent Health is currently conducting a feasibility study of the Lightning Process in 12-18 year-olds. The study protocol explains more about the Lightning Process than you are likely to find elsewhere. It says,

“ – The theory session will include taught elements on the stress response, how the mind-body interacts and how thought processes can be helpful and negative. The language used by young people will be discussed and in some cases challenged. Young people will be encouraged to think about what they may be able to take responsibility for and change. The taught sessions are followed by a group discussion.

– The practical session is used to put some of the skills learnt into practise. Young people identify a goal they wish to achieve (such as standing for longer) and are then given alternative ways to think about and prepare for this. This involves using different cognitive (thinking) strategies before and during the goal is attempted.” (

When interviewed on BBC Radio, Professor Leslie Findlay, an NHS neurologist who also ran the National ME Centre (a charity) and had his own private practice offering a range of approaches including exclusion diets, nutritional supplements and hypnosis, said of the Lightning Process, “It will help those whose subconscious or conscious stress responses are perpetuating the illness.” (

In the UK the Advertising Standards Authority has upheld complaints about two websites about the Lightning Process: and The websites have been changed.



  1. “After the end of the second day of the course, I could no longer smell or taste chemicals in products anymore . . .”

    No kidding?! So either the chemicals are not in the products to begin with, or her olfactory system was damaged. This woman doesn’t even know how to feed us a line of BS!

    • The sense of smell can be changed with training: However, since people with MCS react to chemicals, not smells of chemicals, reducing the sense of smell isn’t treating MCS.

      • The sense of smell can be changed with training, but NOT with two days of training that more than likely has nothing to do with the training that has been used in these studies. This is very much like the idea that because neuroplasticity exists, that DNR IS neuroplasticity.

    • steve4477

      No way it could work in just 2 days

  2. I just gave the link as an example – you’re right it’s not likely to be the same sort of training. I think it would be much easier to turn the sense of smell off or down. I think it could be done with hypnosis, similar to the way the perception of pain can be changed.

    • Right. And speaking to one of your other points, all you’d be doing by reducing your sense of smell is turning off the red flags that tell you something MIGHT trigger a reaction.

      • Yes, for people who have physical reactions to low levels of chemicals being able to smell them is very useful.

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