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How alternative treatments may trick ME/CFS patients5 min read

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5 min read
Macbook and a stethoscope on a table

People with ME/CFS can be an easy target group

So, you have been reading about some alternative treatment for ME/CFS online. Maybe a friend or family member suggested it to you.

“You could at least give it a try!”, they said.

It sounds a bit wacky.

You read even more. You read the testimonials from happy people who have “got their lives back”. Compelling backstories about just how sick they were. And you think “WOW, they were just like me!”.

You dive deeper into the “science” behind the program. You read that even the creator of the program used to have ME/CFS! Surely, he/she would not trick other patients, right?

Now, it sounds a bit less wacky to you.

But… you have read how amazing this program is but you still have no clue what it really is about. ME means something about inflammation of the spinal cord… how can this online program cure a serious illness like that?

You go back to the testimonials. They’ve got their lives back! Maybe you can too? You notice that they even have a money-back guarantee!

Maybe it does not matter what it is. If only it works! And if not, I get my money back!

… Well, at least some of the money. It said something about they would take 30 % just for administrating the refund. But still!

You are hyped! Maybe you will finally get better! You buy the program and are eager to start.

As days, weeks, months go by and nothing happens you start to question yourself.

The instructor constantly mentions how other people gets better. Am I doing it wrong? Was it because I skipped that one meditation practice or did not eat celery this morning?!

After a year with no improvements you decide you want your money back. You contact them and find out the refund was only partial and furthermore that it was only possible the first month.

Sounds familiar?

You will see variations of this story in every patient forum about ME/CFS. You will see people say “but… there were tons of testimonials about people recovering!”.

We want to make it very clear that it is EXTREMELY easy to fake testimonials. The creator of the program can literally write them themselves!

This excerpt is from the FTC about scam treatments for cancer:

“Bogus marketers often use trickery and vague language to take advantage of people. For example, testimonials in ads can seem honest and heart-felt, but they can be completely fake: in fact, they may not disclose that actors or models have been paid to endorse the product. Even when testimonials come from people who have taken the product, personal stories aren’t reliable evidence of effectiveness.”

Sounds familiar? There is more...

“A money-back guarantee doesn’t prove that a product works, either. Even if the guarantee that you’re promised is legitimate, a money-back guarantee definitely is not a reliable substitute for scientific evidence that a treatment is safe or effective.”

It is well known that cancer patients are preyed on too. Lets take a look at the methods they mention that the bogus marketers use:

  • Trickery and vague language
  • Testimonials
  • People who endorse the treatment publically
  • Money-back guarantee

You know who also use those exact methods? Every paid treatment program for ME/CFS ever.

So, without linking to their sites, lets take a look at the money back guarantee for the programs. We will start with ANS REWIRE.

ANS Rewire has a a money back guarantee. Here, you can get a refund (minus the administration fee) within 30 days of enrolment. However, the program itself takes at least 6 months. And as you go along the program, they will tell you it will probably take longer.

So, when you are desperate, do you think you will ask for a refund when you are not cured after doing 1/6 of the program? No, you will feel you will have to give it a full try. And they know.

Now, what about DNRS?

Sure enough. DNRS comes with a guarantee. A guarantee the customer can use after six months of daily training (again, they advise you to keep going indefinitely) and minus an administration fee + shipping.

Aaand Gupta?

Yes, unsurprisingly, the Gupta program also has a guarantee after 6 months of daily training. In essence, they are all the same. A money back guarantee may seem like a good thing for a desperate patient. It will make them feel in control. But in reality, these guarantees are not straightforward at all.

Conclusion

If you were in perfect health, you would laugh at sites with crazy health claims. You have to stay true to yourself and ask yourself honest questions.

Do you really think these 15-20 private companies exist to help people? Do you think they would be so secretive then? Why do these programs have a huge team of people working for them? Do they really need a marketing team? Why do they have “affiliate programs” where bloggers get paid to mention their program? Is it not weird that they only deal with illnesses that have no official cures yet?

Ultimately, it can be difficult to take rational decisions when you are very ill. Hopefully this site can help you. Read more about what to look out for here.

If you want to suggest a program or want to contribute to the site – feel free to contact us! 📨

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