In a nutshell, does it do what it promises? Yes, and no. Did it work for me? No.
I did ACT for 3 months, from August 2014-October 2014. The first month is free, in that you pay and if you don't feel like it's doing anything you can get a full refund and stop. That seemed pretty fair to me, and was a big part of the reason why I jumped in. I figured it can't hurt to try! I went into this with a completely open mind. It made big promises and the reviews on the Facebook page were amazing. The method can seem a little "out there" to some, but I genuinely felt like if THAT many people got well then who am I to judge it or look down on it? Why not give it a try and see if I can add myself to the list of success stories? So, I did this with a completely open heart, just wanting to experience what ever would come my way. Maybe I was even a little bit desperate at the time, because I began this in August which is during the early stages of my health downfall, and at a point where I felt very hopeless. ACT was essentially my hope.
I did not tell anyone I was doing this, and afterwards still didn't share that I ever did it. Until now. Why? Reason #1 was that I didn't want or need anyone's opinions to cloud the process. I wanted to do this and give it my all, and getting flack for it or just hearing a, "oh my friend did that, it didn't work" comment would discourage me. I didn't want that. Secondly, I didn't share afterwards either because at one point I thought I might go back to it. I stopped because I got so ill from it (more on that later), and thought I could finish up at a later date. Now that I know that is highly unlikely I'm willing to talk about the ins and outs of this process.
What is Advanced Cell Training and how does it work?
This was my million dollar question too, because no one really explains what the heck it is until you get into the class. I could not find one review that talked about it in depth, but rather it's just a surface explanation.
The ACT website says: Advanced Cell Training (ACT) is a cellular behavior modification program. This simple and non-invasive healing process can be done from home by phone and internet. There are no pills, herbs, supplements, or machines involved. We have all trained ourselves to do things such as ride a bicycle, dance, play a sport or musical instrument. This is accomplished through focus, intent and practice. It’s called muscle memory, though it is really the cells that retain the information. ACT uses the same premise and applies it to the autonomic systems of the body, including, but not limited to the immune, digestive, elimination, endocrine and respiratory systems. We believe it is actually easier to train the body to do that which it is designed to do, rather than what it was never intended to do. While playing piano and golfing is not inherent in our DNA, our immune system is. Restoring proper bodily function at the cellular level can restore homeostasis. That is when the body processes stress, removes toxins, kills pathogen (viruses, bacteria, parasites), stops overreacting to allergens, and nourishes and protects itself; restored health is the likely result.
Soooo, what the heck does that even mean? Once I got into "class" (via a group conference call) on the first day all was explained. Essentially this is how it works: First we are read groups of code words, usually lasting about 3-4 minutes, which aren't even really words but rather snippets of words put together which the brain understands on a deeper level. For example we might be read IMGBORRELIA818 or something of the sort, which to the naked ear makes 0 sense but to the subconscious it does. There are pages and pages of codes that get read to the class, and they are read at lightning speed. I laid down, eyes closed, and just listened. After that is finished we are instructed to listen to an hour of a repetitive melody to "set" the codes in the brain. We got a CD and could download it to any computer or phone, so it was convenient. I laid down, put the music on and rested. (We also had to tap our thalamus for the first 5 minutes of the music). After the hour is up, you have to call a special phone number and get "set" with a few more words, and then listen to the hour of music again. The whole process (class, codes, music, setting, music) takes about 3 hours total. It seems long, but it's a small price to pay for health so I really was not phased. We met once a week like this, and each week we were to report our progress to Gary. We sent an email that had a list of our top 10 biggest concerns and then we rated how they felt on a scale of 1-10 each week. This is how people see progress, because as the weeks go on the numbers should go down from the 10's where it began to 1's and 0's. Also, during each class call Gary speaks to a few of us on the call personally so we all can follow along on each others progress.
Week 1 - Day 1
Going in to class on day 1 I expected to feel nothing. We were warned of the herxes to come, but I thought there is absolutely NO way in God's green earth that words and music could do anything to me. I really didn't. I guess I was a doubter in that respect, but it just seemed like an outrageous idea. I had conversations with my mom laughing at how stupid that would be. Well, guess who felt like an idiot the next day? Me. Because it knocked me on my butt. While listening to the music I had fatigue and exhaustion hit like no other, and the following 24-48 hours were hell. I am not even joking (but I wish I was). Let me just tell you that I have done a lot of treatment during my many years with Lyme, and I understand herxes, and can usually control them to an extent. But oh no, the herx I got from this ACT class was unlike anything I have ever felt. So intense, lots of pain, lots of everything. Once it eased up I remember asking myself what the heck I got myself into.
This continued on for the next 3 weeks, and essentially that's why I decided to continue on past the first "free" month. There was no doubt that it worked on some level because I reacted strongly and intensely, much to my great doubt. I wanted to continue, because even though the herxing was terrible, I was committed to coming out on the other side. In fact, our class of 26 still had all 26 students going into week 5, which tells me that everyone else likely felt the same way. I was also encouraged because some of the participants already were having massive changes in their symptoms for the better. So, I hunkered down and continued on into September.
Around this time in week 5 Gary realized that I was having a really hard time with the codes, and my body was being beaten up badly. This was, by no exaggeration the sickest I had been from a treatment of any kind. I get how insane that sounds, but it's true. I wasn't able to eat hardly anything, my mom was giving me sponge baths regularly because I couldn't physically move to shower, I had to sleep with my mom for her to watch me at night (had some intense episodes happening), and so much more. I was really freaking out about what the heck was happening to my body because it was intense, and sudden and I wasn't getting relief. At this point Gary spoke to me one on one and said that for some students he gives them "side codes" which are a smaller set of codes specifically created for ME to help ease my herxing and get my body to detox properly. I said sure, did the side codes, and that was the first time I had any ounce of relief. It felt like someone took 100lb weight off of my body, and I was so thankful.
This was short lived though, because by the time I did the codes for week 6, the herxes hit again and stronger than ever. At this point Gary veered me away from the course of the class and said that instead of giving me codes for bacteria, viruses, protozoa etc (which is what we have been getting in class until then), that he would give me codes to work on emotional blocks. Typically the emotional portion of the class doesn't come until much later, but he began me on it earlier separately because he felt that the class codes were much too strong for me and the emotional blocks were what were holding me back.
Now, if there was EVER a time for me to scoff at something, it was now. And boy did I scoff. I thought, "are you kidding me, what emotional blocks? oh good, it's obvious this is a bunch of hokey zen craziness and I'm done here." The idea of emotional blocks impeding my healing was laughable so new-agey to me at the time, and then the idea that code words could fix them and help me was even more absurd. I honestly almost quit at that point, and the only reason I didn't is because I was sitting there at week 6 feeling supremely WORSE than when I began. I felt like I couldn't quit or else I would be stuck in that, and I really wanted to come out on the other side. So, I continued.
Guess who again felt like the idiot the next week when the emotional codes made me herx EVEN worst? Yup, you guessed it, ME. At this point I realized that everything I thought I knew, I didn't know. And I was also ashamed that I was so judgmental about something. My attitude really shifted, and I realized whatever the heck this ACT business was, it was very real. That can't be doubted. Weeks continued, and so did the downward spiral. I had a few moments where I was like "oh good, I'm over this now!" But then I would get thrown right back into it. Advanced Cell Training took my body, chewed it up, and spit it out. I would be on the phone calling the ACT offices, trembling like a leaf, in tears, asking for someone to make this stop. And I kept getting told that it would all go away very soon so I need to keep on, and when it broke I would feel like a new person. I believed in this so much, and I tried so hard to keep going. But by week 12, I couldn't do it. I was a shell of the human that I was when this all began. My body was one toxic jumbled mess, and even I couldn't understand how I got there. At the end of October 2014 I stopped. At the time it was just a pause until I got stronger and could finish, but ultimately it was the end for me.
If you read my main blog, I talk about how I relapsed hard at the end of 2014. Depression, which is something I had NEVER experienced before, reared its ugly head. That, coupled with being the absolute most sick and in pain that I had ever been put me at my low point. In November I missed being a bridesmaid in my best friends wedding, and my soul was crushed. I had so much hope and faith that this program would help me GET to the wedding, not the other way around. Following that I had bouts of severe pancreas and liver issues, leading to several months where I was genuinely unsure how I would make it or climb out of that low point. I never in my life was as sick as I was then.
Now, do I blame ACT fully, or even at all? No, I really don't. Not one bit. And that's because the program did what it said it would. It said it would use words and music to make my body attack and kill pathogens. Did it do that? Yes, I 100% believe it did. But my body wasn't strong enough to handle it. For whatever reason, I was the exception to the rule that ACT works for "everyone." Maybe it would have, had I decided to continue, but I physically couldn't. ACT could be a Godsend for so many, but for me ultimately it was anything but that. I was an optimistic skeptic going in but had that desire to heal and really felt like I could also be a success story along with the others. I don't know why I wasn't, but I can only assume that wasn't in my healing plan, and I'm okay and at peace with it.
This post is not in any way discrediting ACT, because if anything I know it does what it says and I admit it freely. But, it is vitally important for me to put my voice into the mix in case anyone is researching doing Advanced Cell Training and wants to hear both sides. Or maybe, someone is like me and feels like the outsider who doesn't understand what is happening. Have no fear, you are not alone! For some people it just does not mesh well with their bodies.
So that's everything, I think. If I left anything out or anyone has any specific questions please do ask, because I am more than happy to share anything. Or email me, if you would like to ask privately.
All the best,