The Perrin Technique Meeting

The Presentation held by Dr Raymond Perrin on Monday February 11th 2008 in Bridport, Dorset.

Dr Raymond Perrin began by asking us if we would mind a more scientific presentation rather than the one he normally would present. The reason for this he explained was because he had been asked to present his findings to a group of scientists the following day at the University of Southampton which had been arranged by Professor Stephen Holgate.

It was almost with one accord that we not only said yes, but almost begged for the scientific presentation when he wondered whether to change his mind. We wanted to know everything about our illness and had come to simply absorb information and understanding. Well that was the reason I was there.

Dr Perrin began by explaining how he got involved with CFS/ME.

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In 1989 Dr Perrin treated a patient with postural concerns. The patient was a cyclist also suffering with CFS/ME. Later the cyclist reported that after his treatments with Dr Perrin his CFS/ME was also cured and the cyclist fully gave Dr Perrin the credit for this. Dr Perrin at first denied this because at that time he apologetically admitted, he wrongly assumed like most people in the early 90’s, that CFS/ME or ‘yuppie’ flu as it used to be called was all in the mind.

The cyclist persisted with his summation, so Dr Perrin looked into the treatment he had applied.

Dr Perrin then went on to describe how Osteopathy was discovered.

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Dr Andrew Taylor Still

I cannot write verbatim what Dr Perrin said so what follows are my findings on the history of Osteopathy.

From Osteopathy a brief synopsis:

Osteopathy was first discovered in 1874 in America by Dr Andrew Taylor Still. Dr Still the son of a Doctor went to medical school and received formal training on completion of which he worked with his father. Dr Still noticed the way his patient’s health and wellbeing was affected by the way they used their bodies.

He abandoned the normal route of medicine that his peers used and conducted research the outcome of which he coined the term Osteopathy.

From Thorson’s Introductory Guide to Osteopathy by Edward Triance D.O. published 1991.

A brief synopsis:
Andrew Taylor Still was born the son of a Methodist Minister. He had some experience of caring for the sick as his father ran a Methodist Mission for Indians in Kansas. Initially he trained for five years to become an engineer but subsequently attended the Kansas City school of Physicians and Surgeons around 1855, later becoming an army surgeon involved in frontier fighting during the Civil war. His medical experiences during the war combined with the tragic loss of his three children to meningitis caused him to become dispirited with orthodox medicine and treatments.
The state of medical practice during this time had no drugs anywhere in America, surgery was a bloody brutal business and anaesthetics such as ether and nitrous oxide were very modern innovations and so not widely available. Dr Still felt impelled to find a more compassionate way of dealing with medical problems. His earlier training as an engineer demanded of him that he find more logical reasons for administration of medicinal treatments. His specialised ability to observe and reason led to an honest disappointment with the practice of medicine. In 1874 he began to use manual techniques officially as they were showing to be remarkably more effective in a very high percentage of cases. He called the techniques Osteopathy.
His alternative approach was undoubtedly influenced by his earlier training in engineering. He frequently presented his theories in engineering terms using an analogy to the newly invented steam engine.

I will not go into the science of his discoveries; the book makes very interesting and easy reading. Basically Dr Still spoke of the principles of balance and the effects of abnormal structure and the body’s own capabilities to heal itself. If a piston in an engine is misaligned then it will not function, the same applies to the body’s structure when through genetic disposition, birth, posture and/or lifestyle the body is thrown out of kilter, causing knock on effects throughout the body.

Back to Dr Perrin and his presentation.

Dr Perrin, after very briefly stating how Osteopathy came into being, then presented the role of the sympathetic nerves. He cited several papers which aided his research into the role of the sympathetic nerves.

Sympathetic Nerves

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Sympathetic nerves from the spine control sweat, blood flow and all organs – the automatic control.


Dr Perrin feels that congestion in the head coupled with spinal misalignments leads to CFS/ME.


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He suggests that there is a build up of pressure/poisons in the brain and spine which are not draining away and found that stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system aided the drainage.


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He discovered mechanical aspects consistent in CFS/ME patients and here he showed us many slides of actual spinal formations. The thoracic spine was flat, in elderly it was rigid and in some there was rotation. Some slides showed deformity of the breast bone. The flat thoracic spine may then over compensate in the lumbar area in some people causing a severe lordosis.

He stated that the symptoms of CFS/ME can start in the teenage years from conditions such as Scheuernann’s disease or Osteochondrosis as these diseases can cause spinal deformaties.

He found that most CFS/ME patients are ‘doers’.

He found that every single one of his patients had a problem with their spine.

Dr Perrin then went on to describe the function of the Hypothalamus


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The hypothalamus works by a system called bio-feedback. Blood enters the brain and the hypothalamus ‘tastes’ the blood as it passes by and checks it for hormones. This then stimulates the hypothalamus to send out more hormones or not.

He then went on to explain the Lymph.


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The role of the lymph is to carry molecules to the lymph nodes for breakdown to smaller particles and the lymph then drains those away to the thymus which empties into the subclavian veins and then back into the blood.

Nutrients are carried by the blood from digestion in the gut and are filtered. The blood can only take tiny particles through the capillaries; anything larger enters the lymph for breakdown by the various lymph nodes and eventually the liver.

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The lymphatic system drains in only one direction. At this point Dr Perrin showed a moving diagram of the lymphatic flow and the operation of the lymph vessel. The sides of the lymph vessel looked like the gills on a fish which opened to let in the lymphatic fluid, the ‘gills’ closed and the lymph was pushed up towards an opening vavle with non-returning flaps so that once the lymph had passed it could not flow back – a little like the venous blood flowing in a vein. This lymph is taken to a lymph node for breakdown and then to the liver for full detoxification.


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In the brain there is no ‘true’ lymphatic system but the blood/brain barrier is so large that toxins cannot enter so protecting the brain.

But the hypothalamus can allow large molecules in along with the hormones from the blood when it ‘tastes’ the blood for hormones. The cytokines from disease are not drained away and these toxins can damage the blood/brain barrier. So another drainage system is required.

Large molecules drain through vascular spaces in the brain.

Originally it was assumed that the fluid in the brain and spine did not drain, however in the days when it was allowed tests were carried out on rats with a dye that proved that the fluid from the brain did drain from vascular spaces in the brain.

See: Neuropathy Faculty Medicine University of Southampton – Kida S Pantazis A Weller RO 1993. Also see Knupf & Cserr 1995

Thoracic Duct

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Professor John Kinmouth discovered a pulse in the Thoracic duct.
Originally it was assumed that the thoracic duct did not have a beat and that only the heart muscle did.
Prof Kinmouth discovered a beat in the thoracic duct during a surgical procedure and found it to pulse 4 beats to a minute.
He discovered that it could also pump backwards causing a backflow, therefore causing ‘varicose’ lymphatic’s which in turn put pressure on the valves in the lymph vessels causing swellings.
Dr Perrin showed a slide of a patient with obvious lines or swellings in the area of the chest just underneath the right clavicle. Using an Arthur Conan Doyle technique aka Sherlock Holmes’ ‘elementary my dear Watson’ Dr Perrin realised that they couldn’t be veins because they weren’t blue and they couldn’t be capillaries because they weren’t pink or red. It therefore only left lymphatic’s that it could be. He also showed on the slide how the lymphatic capillaries were blocked in places and swollen in others. He emphasised that not many people with CFS/ME will show these signs although they can be palpated (felt) by Osteopaths trained in the Perrin Technique.

Consistent Physical Findings

Dr Perrin listed his findings that were consistent with all his CFS/ME patients:

  • Spinal problems
  • Palpating (‘seeing’ using trained fingers/hands) lumpy lymphatic’s
  • Tender point in the region of the left nipple
  • Abdomen tenderness in the coeliac plexus
  • Radiating pain in the T4/T5/T6 area of the upper back
  • Reduction of sacrocranial rhythm (sacrocranial rhythm is broadly speaking the impulses felt from the pulse from the drainage of the lymph)

Dr Perrin mentioned the JAOA Journal of American Osteopathy Association and several articles with reference to skin conditions of those with CFS/ME and that CFS/ME patients have pupil dilation which is a clear sign of sympathetic nerve disturbance.

Increase in health in patient group (CFS/ME patients having the Perrin Technique)
No difference to health in control group (CFS/ME people not having the Perrin Technique)

Dr Perrin and his team found it an incredibly significant result.
AfME – Action for ME – were involved in the research.

Dr Perrin’s slides were measuring torque against time using the quadriceps group of muscles. When the data was plotted, the area covered on the graph was measured and showed improvements.

Treatment Plan

Dr Perrin’s treatment plan includes:

  • The Perrin Technique including specific exercises to be conducted at home
  • Pacing
  • Omega 3 + 6 especially Prof Puri’s VegEPA
  • Co-factors – Vitamins
  • Milk Thistle

The presentation finished and questions were invited.

Can you help those who are bedridden with CFS/ME?
Dr Perrin spoke of the case of a person bedridden for 7 years who was helped into his treatment room and after a series of treatments is now well. (I apologise but I was distracted at this point and didn’t hear the exact details of this answer.)

Why do you suggest Omega Oils?
Omega 3 + 6 speeds up the healing of cell walls. Prof Puri has conducted extensive trials and research and written a book.

Why is psychology used to help those with CFS/ME?
Psychology can help but not with the illness itself but to help cope with the effects of being ill.

What do you know about Mickel Reverse therapy?
They are separate therapies now Mickel and Reverse and stand alongside other therapies like the Lightning Process. They are all a form of NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming). Mickel wrote a book which basically didn’t make any sense. The Lightning Process uses NLP and Hypnotherapy. Dr Perrin mentioned that he was on the same NLP course as Phil Parker and he then gave an example of NLP.

[Before I tell you what his example was, I mentioned the example to my family at home and one thought was that Dr Perrin’s example gave the wrong impression of NLP and another thought was that NLP encourages you to focus on the positive. This may help you understand Dr Perrin’s example]

Dr Perrin asked us to choose three things in the room that were green. Anything. We duly chose. He then asked us to close our eyes. It was important to close our eyes and not open them until he said. He then asked us to remember the three green things and asked one woman with her eyes closed to name the three green things she had chosen. She had been quite elaborate, one green thing was the dark green stem of a daffodil, the second the green coat of the person sitting in front of her and the third was the lime green stem of the same daffodil. The rest of us named the green things we had chosen in our heads. Don’t open your eyes, Dr Perrin reiterated. He then asked us to think of three blue things in the room. Keep your eyes closed. No one could think of one blue thing. Open your eyes he said. We all laughed.

Dr Perrin’s shirt was blue, the seats we were sitting on were blue and various people were sitting next to people with blue coats. He said: “This is what NLP does, it is a form of brain washing. It blocks out that which you have been told to block out and concentrates on the things you have been told to concentrate on. However this can be dangerous. One man became suicidal because his body was telling him he was ill and his brain was telling him he was perfectly well.

[The suicidal man is an extreme case. NLP can be a useful tool in corporate situations and in individual cases can help one to rationalise and work it out. I believe that to just concentrate on the positive can be detrimental as in the example above. The mind/body balance is too big a subject to enter into here.]

How long does the Perrin Technique take before someone is well?
Progress can be slow and for a full recovery you are looking at about 2 years.

How many of your patients have recovered completely?
90% are helped to some degree. 30% make a complete recovery.

Sometimes I feel infected, is it the toxins that are causing this?
It isn’t the toxins that are the problems but the body coping with what it perceives as toxins that is the lymphatic system unable to drain the larger molecules through the body because of congestion.

I have been given drugs to control the thyroid and adrenals and now feel perfectly well, why isn’t everyone with CFS/ME on these drugs?
Not everyone with CFS/ME has the same symptoms so not everyone has thyroid and adrenal problems. However the hypothalamus controls the thyroid, adrenals etc which is why the Perrin Technique will also eventually aid the hypothalamus to function better.

Will the successful effects of the treatment help food allergies to disappear?
Allergies/Intolerances are made worse when given up completely as the body loses the ability to make the enzymes to break down the food.

Does this mean I should eat the allergens I suspect from time to time?
You should speak to Dr Sarah Myhill who has a programme to help people with their allergies.

The Presentation and Questions drew to a close with tea and coffee offered and an opportunity to chat with each other and Dr Perrin.

The point I feel here is that Dr Perrin has hit the nail on the head with regard to his research on the cause of CFS/ME.

For me personally this comes with so much relief.
Like many other sufferers of this baffling illness I have felt poisoned which led me to suspect so many things.
I have felt infectious which has kept me away from people at times.
I have felt like I was going mad and my husband would continually reassure me that I wasn’t.
And then I wondered if I had a brain tumour because of the pain in my head.

I have been ‘doing’ the Perrin Technique with Tim Williams and although at times I feel worse and feel like I have gone backwards on the whole I feel more able and I noticed today that the aches and pains I used to suffer with are considerably less.

It then occurred to me that the sensation of pain everywhere which I can never pin point and that feels like ‘flu’ is possibly the congestion in the lymphatic system.

Dr Perrin’s research makes so much sense with the first bonus for me of thinking differently about this illness (reasoned positivism because of scientific research) and then with the second bonus of the added reasoned hope of getting better because of Dr Perrin’s own technique and treatment programme.

Thank you so much Dr Perrin for your hard work and research and dedication concerning CFS/ME.

Lymphatic Drainage of the Neuraxis in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Hypothetical Model for the Cranial Rhythmic Impulse
Raymond N. Perrin, DO (England), PhD

An evaluation of the effectiveness of osteopathic treatment on symptoms associated with myalgic encephalomyelitis. A preliminary report.

Doctor takes the stigma out of yuppie flu

One thought on “The Perrin Technique Meeting

  1. Hi Marianne,

    Thank you very much for all the information you wrote about Mr Perrin’s presentation. I’ve found is book excellent but it’s always good to review his theory and know more about his answers to people’s questions. It must have cost you a lot of energy to write all this! Thanks. I’ve had 16 treatments now and still go weekly. I feel less “ill” after the treatment (in the beginning I had very strong reactions) but my energy didn’t improve yet. Good luck with your further appointments.

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