Healing Hands Around Earth Distant Healer, Philip Chave, Spiritual Healer. Sharing the healing experience online since 2003. Phil Chave, healer, therapist and counsellor
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What is Guillain-Barre Syndrome?



The Guillain-Barre Syndrome........I have to confess, I didn't know what this was until just a few days ago. During February, 2004, I had occasion to do some healing work with a lady who had suffered a paralytic episode due to Guillain-Barre Syndrome. It is a complicated disease, difficult to diagnose, and mercifully rare. As yet, there is no known cure for Guillain-Barre Syndrome. So ........




What is the Guillain-Barre Syndrome? ...Pronounced, ghee-yan bah-ray, Guillain-Barre Syndrome is a neurological disorder in which the body's immune system attacks part of the Peripheral Nervous System. You may recall that the Peripheral Nervous System (PNS) is the part of the nervous system which consists of everything but the brain and spinal cord, which we call the Central Nervous System (CNS).

All the nerves and nerve cells outside your Central Nervous System make up your Peripheral Nervous System. These include the spinal and cranial nerves, ganglia, and plexuses. Their task is to relay information from your brain and spinal cord to the rest of your body and from your body to your brain and spinal cord.
The PNS consists of 12 pairs of cranial nerves, which emerge from your brain, and mainly send messages too and from your head and neck, lots of which include our senses. It also contains 31 pairs of spinal nerves, which branch off from your spinal cord and supply the rest of your body, such as the organs and muscles.
With the help of our peripheral nerves, we are able to carry out voluntary and involuntary actions, like picking up a fork, clapping our hands or riding a bike. These are voluntary actions.
In contrast, our heart beat and intestinal functions occur without our conscious control. These are involuntary actions and are regulated by our autonomic nervous system. The autonomic part of your Peripheral Nervous System ensures that all our internal organs and glands function smoothly.

Now that we have established why the Peripheral Nervous System is so important to our wellbeing, we can see why Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) is such a devastating disorder.

Characterized by muscle weakness, paralysis of the limbs and breathing muscles, onset of the disorder is sudden and unexpected. GBS can develop over hours or days, or may take up to a month. Symptoms are progressive, increasing in intensity until certain muscles can't be used at all. Occassionally, a patient can become almost totally paralysed. Once the disorder interferes with breathing, blood pressure and heart rate, it becomes a medical emergency and hospitalisation is the only option.

Though possibly life threatening due to symptoms, most patients will recover from even the most severe cases, with perhaps a residual degree of weakness.

Who is at risk? ...Though rare, Guillain-Barre Syndrome can affect anybody, any age, any sex. Mostly it affects patients a few days or weeks after a respiratory or gastrointestinal viral infection, or following recent surgery. No one knows what triggers GBS in some people and not others, nor what sets it in motion.

What happens? ...The body's own immune system begins to attack the body itself, rather than it's normal enemy, foreign material and invading organisms.


The target appears to be the myelin sheath, which surrounds the axons of many peripheral nerves. Sometimes the axons themselves are the target.
  • Axons, are nerve fibers that are capable of rapidly conducting impulses away from a neuron (nerve cell). Axons can be very long, in some cases over a metre in length, and can carry impulses at a rate of anything up to 100 metres per second or greater.
  • The Myelin Sheath of a neuron consists of fat-containing cells that insulate the axon from electrical activity. This insulation acts to increase the rate of transmission of nerve impulses. A gap exists between each myelin sheath cell along the axon. Since fat inhibits the propagation of electricity, the signals jump from one gap to the next.
Thus, nerve impulse, speed, strength and accuracy are degraded to the point where signals do not reach the muscles, and the body cannot respond to commands originating in the brain. Equally, sensory signals from the rest of the body and outside the body are interrupted before they can reach the brain, and the brain begins to fail to respond to internal and external stimuli. Alternatively, the brain may receive incorrect signals, that result in tingling or pain sensations.

Perhaps where Guillain-Barre is preceeded by viral infections or the like, it is possible that the immune system treats changes in the nervous system tissue as a foreign threat to the body. It may also be possible that a viral or bacterial infection steers the immune system into making incorrect choices when deciding what is foreign material or an invading organism. Working on this problem may keep neurological scientists, immunologists and virologists busy for some time.

How is Guillain-Barre Syndrome treated? ...We have already mentioned that there is no cure for GBS. However, several treatment options are available, but due to the nature of this disorder, these are highly individualized and closely monitored in hospital.
Treatment mainly consists of watching for fluctuations in a patient's body functions while the nervous system recovers from the damage done by the immune system. Part of this may include heart monitors and respirators to assist bodily functions.
Plasmapheresis (a process which separates the red and white blood cells from the plasma) and high-dose immunoglobulin therapy (intravenous protein injections) may be necessary in some cases. Manual movement of limbs to maintain flexibility and muscle strength can help the patient to recover their ranges and speed of motion quickly.

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Following apparent recovery of GBS, some patients experience recurrences in the form of abnormal sensations, typically in the limbs, as it is normal for the longer nerve fibres to suffer damage over much longer lengths than some of the main body nerves. These sensations may consist of numbness, tingling, burning, skin 'crawling', pain, muscle spasm and cramp. There may also be long term emotional problems and exhaustion or muscle fatique.

Will Spiritual Healing help patients with Guillain-Barre Syndrome? ...I am happy to try Spiritual Healing or Distant Healing on anything. There is little wrong with any of us that I have not found is helped in some way by Spiritual Healing. It was not appropriate to help this lady, because, thankfully, she got better and experienced few physical recurrences, quite some time before I knew her. That it has remained in mind and has had an effect on her at a deep, emotional level, was undeniable, and we did work at that level, which I have been told did an immense amount of good.

Article Update:

Are there long-term consequences for Campylobacter Infections?
Most people who get campylobacteriosis (symptoms include vomiting & diarrhea) recover completely within 2 to 5 days, although sometimes recovery can take up to 10 days. Rarely, some long-term consequences can result from a Campylobacter infection.

Some people may have arthritis following campylobacteriosis; others may develop a rare disease that affects the nerves of the body beginning several weeks after the diarrheal illness. This disease, called Guillain-Barré syndrome, occurs when a person's immune system is "triggered" to attack the body's own nerves, and can lead to paralysis that lasts several weeks and usually requires intensive care. It is estimated that approximately one in every 1000 reported campylobacteriosis cases leads to Guillain-Barré syndrome. As many as 40% of Guillain-Barré syndrome cases in this country (USA) may be triggered by campylobacteriosis.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Div. of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases) 2005

This e-mail came from a man called Frank. I would like to share with you Frank's courageous story.
----- Original Message -----
From: frank
To: [distant healer email address removed for spam reasons]
Sent: Thursday, March 31, 2005 12:22 AM
Subject: Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Dear Phil,
I am a 69 year old male and a 2 time survivor of lung cancer.
In 1999 I went into hospital for lung cancer surgery. The surgery went well, but I developed a severe staff infection throughout my body. I was put into a medically induced coma and on full life support.
After being in this coma for three months, I awoke and was almost completely paralyzed. All I could do was move my fingers a little. I was on a breathing machine and a feeding tube to my stomach. After coming off the breathing machine and feeding tube, I was put into a rehab unit and diagnosed as having the guillian barre syndrome. I spent 3 months in 2 different rehab hospitals and came home on a wheelchair. After about another 2 months of in-home therapy, I was able to walk about 40 feet, using a walker, and able to stand upright for about 8 minutes.

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As I am a former competitive body builder, I began to work out with very light weights at home. After about 6 months of that, I joined the World Gym. I have been working out now for about 2 years, gradually building up my strength, and have improved greatly. However, I am limited in walking long distances and endurance type activities. No doubt the lung surgery and the emphyzema (level 6 on a 1-10 scale) has had a great deal to do with that.
I am experiencing some after effects such as; sudden pains in my limbs, pain in my feet while standing, pain in the bones of my posterior while sitting on a hard surface, some tingling and numbness in my hands and some sexual difficulties.
My doctor has put me on hormone replacement therapy (Depo-testosterone) which has greatly helped in relieving some of these after effects. Over the years, some of these symptoms are gradually diminishing, and I feel that I owe that to; one hour of strength training 5-6 days per week, and the hormone therapy. Frank.

Note: Clearly, Frank has used his strength of will, determination and light exercise training, to overcome many of his symptoms and is an inspiration to other sufferers. Please also be aware that Frank's GBS was very serious because it was complicated by many other factors. Most other patients with GBS will not be affected as seriously, or in the same way as Frank. I just wanted to make that clear!


Weird spellings: gillian bar syndrome, gillian-bar-syndrome, guillian barr syndrome, guillian-barr-syndrome, gilean barre syndrome, gillean barre syndrome, gillean-barre-syndrome, gillain barre syndrome, gillain bar syndrome.

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DISCLAIMER: This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.

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