When I was first researching the Process, I became frustrated that I couldn't find an exact description of how it all works, and became sceptical -- are they hiding something? Now, having completed the Practitioner training, and met scores of people who have made remarkable recoveries using the Process, I understand why it really does take three days to explain and experience the Process as it applies to you.
Below are some Frequently Asked Questions about the Process.
Lightning Process FAQ
What is it?
The Lightning Process is a remarkable 3-day training programme based on the principles of Neuro Linguistic Programming, Osteopathy, Clinical Hypnotherapy and Life Coaching. Over 3 consecutive days clients learn techniques designed to enable them to powerfully influence and re-train their Autonomic Nervous System -- the automatic way that the body reacts to various external and internal stresses. In working to change this automatic response, the aim is to influence other physiological systems so that they once again begin to work in harmony.
Who can it help?
The Process has been well-publicized in relation to ME/CFS; Esther Rantzen's daughter Emily and Austin Healey's wife Louise are amongst the many who report having recovered from ME after attending the Lightning Process training. See their testimony here.
However, the process was not originally designed just for ME/CFS. It is intended to be useful for any condition where people want to create and sustain change.
Other conditions for which trainees have attended the LP include:
Until detailed controlled trials and studies are designed, implemented and examined (see here for example), numerical or statistical claims about effectiveness cannot (legally) be made, even if all a practitioner's clients feel they have made complete and full recoveries from their conditions. But until then, many practitioners and ex-trainees will often be happy to tell you their real-life stories.
Like many people who were new to the LP, the thing that convinced me it was at least worth investigating further was knowing someone personally who was very very ill, who told me they were well again having done the training.
Is it like any other therapy?
LP combines a number of techniques, but it's not a therapy. It is a training programme, and the skills you learn on the course can be used in all aspects of your life. Although there are elements of many approaches, it is different from straight CBT, Mikkel or Reverse Therapy, or Graded Exercise Therapy.
How does it work?
The LP is intended to help people make the absolute most of the ability of our thoughts and actions to influence our body's innate capacity to heal. The Process is designed as a way to intervene in, and re-train, the reactions of the Autonomic Nervous System to bring it, and other body systems (such as musculo-skeletal, endocrine and immune systems) back into their 'normal-state' balance.
For some of the theoretical basis of the LP, see the main website here.
Does this mean my illness is all in my mind?
No, but the mind can be very valuable in creating the best conditions for quick recovery and being well. There are many contributing factors to illness, including genetic factors, viruses, environmental pollutants, nutrition, etc. However, I think the Lightning Process, and other techniques, show just how powerful and adaptable our bodies and minds can be in helping to overcome the effects these other factors can have. Doing the LP does not mean avoiding taking other sensible steps to promote wellness!
Is it easy to learn?
Yes. The techniques used in the Lightning Process can be learned quickly and easily. Your trainer will ensure that you have a clear understanding of the process and you will be given plenty of opportunity to practise the skills.
Will doing the course make me well?
The course itself does not make anyone well! Like most trainings and interventions (medical or otherwise), unfortunately there cannot be any guarantees -- it would be great if there could. However, testimonies such as those from Austin Healey and Emily Rantzen attest to our belief that many of those who implement the techniques make massive changes in their mind and body during 3 days.
For example, I have a personal friend (her story is here) who describes being wheelchair and bed-bound for nine years with medically diagnosed ME/CFS, and reports recovering fully after first developing her own meditation routine and then attending the Lightning Process training in 2007. She now works as a teacher and trains the LP herself.
Do the changes last?
Practitioners believe that if a person gets changes from using the LP, then those changes will last as long as the techniques are applied, which becomes much easier as they become automatic. For some people this happens very quickly; others find they need to consciously apply the techniques for a while longer.
How is the course structured?
The course takes place over 3 consecutive days. Each seminar lasts approximately 4 hours, with short breaks. Some people find the thought of this a bit daunting, but are pleasantly surprised to find how easily they manage it, especially as they learn the basic process on day 1.
Depending on the practitioner there could be between 1 and 10 people on a course. Personally I think four is about ideal.
How much does it cost and what does this include?
I charged £600, which is about the basic rate. Some advanced practitioners charge more. This included the 3-day training course, and follow-up telephone consultations at intervals throughout the next year. Different practitioners may offer different types of follow-up and/or special rates in certain circumstances.
Where are courses held?
There are practitioners all over the country. Head Office happens to be in London, but you should never be too far from your nearest practitioner. See the LP website for a detailed map.
How do I apply?
See the LP website, look up your local practitioner(s) and contact them directly.