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Another Stanford/Wise-Anderson Protocol Success Story

Posted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 9:39 am
by HuckFinn
I'd like to relate my story to encourage others that there is indeed plenty to be hopeful about. After experiencing extremely debilitating CPPS in 2004, I've spent the last year and a half focusing all my energies on getting better. And I've now reached the point in my recovery where I can say, yes, I have my life back and feel very good most of the time, with only a little discomfort the rest of the time--not tormented anymore by my condition, but merely mindful of it and willing to make relaxation and stretching as much a part of my daily regimen as showering and brushing my teeth.

Here's my story:

In late 2003, I started developing scrotal discomfort and hesitant urination, which my urologist wrongly diagnosed as a prostate infection. I was otherwise healthy and in my 40s. He put me on Cipro and Bextra, and over the next five months, my symptoms waxed and waned, gradually worsening. In May 2004, all hell broke loose in my pelvis--horrific pain in the rectum, tip of penis, lower abdomen, and my urinary system nearly shut down entirely, with ferocious electrical pain running up and down my urinary tract. My urologist responded basically by shrugging and upping my dosages.

I started working the phone, calling various clinics around the U.S. that dealt with prostatitis. Through this website I learned about the Stanford/Wise-Anderson Protocol. I talked to Dr. Wise, read his book, and felt--based on what my body was telling me--that his approach made sense. I attended the Stanford/Wise-Anderson Protocol clinic in June 2004 and found the experience invaluable. To those of you who are hesitant about attending his program, my advice is to go.

From July 2004 through January 2005, I launched into the Stanford/Wise-Anderson Protocol regimen full bore and experienced a fair amount of improvement, punctuated by occasional severe and debilitating setbacks. Three steps forward, two steps back. One particularly nasty setback in early Jan. 2005 had me nearly back to square one, and I was very depressed that I had lost all the gains that had taken me a half year to accrue. Amazingly, however, I managed to shake off that flare-up after only about three days as if it hadn't even happened. During those setbacks, I was doing as many as four or five relaxation sessions a day. I'm not sure if it helped to do that many, but it at least made me feel like I was doing something.

Starting in February 2005, I noticed that the flareups seemed less frequent, less severe, and less prolonged. Fom that point on, I began having steady though incremental improvement on a month to month basis. One step forward, no steps back. The pain gradually lessened, going from chronic to occasional jabby twinges that would strike once of twice a day, and then less and less often. I noticed that my urine stream began getting stronger and I was peeing less frequently.

In October 2005 (16 months after my CPPS first went nuclear), my urinary ability suddenly returned to near normal (say, 90 percent of normal) and has maintained that improvement ever since. That was a major event for me, because I could finally stop worrying whether I could find a bathroom when I needed one. Now, I have a normal urine stream, normal urinary frequency, and only occasional mild urinary urgency. I notice a slight sputtery hesitance with my first pee in the morning and the last one before bed, and also whenever I try to pee when my bladder is less than half full. But most times, I pee just like a normal person again.

Since October 2005, I've continued to experience incremental improvement from month to month. During the daytime I would characterize my symtoms as virtually absent, unless I'm under stress. At night, starting around 7 p.m., my symptoms invariably crank up a bit, to a pain level of about a 2 out of 10--nothing awful, but enough to be a nuisance. My urination even at night is normal. But I do have some mild perinneal and rectal discomfort (I wouldn't even really call it pain.) Each morning, like clockwork, it's gone and doesn't come back until about 7.

What's been my strategy in achieving this improvement?

1. I've followed the Stanford/Wise-Anderson Protocol unwaveringly--typically doing three relaxation sessions a day rather than the recommended two. I've never missed a day.

2. I do the SP-recommended stretching exercises.

3. I do external and internal trigger-point therapy. For much of this period, I used a Theracane to do the external work on a daily basis. I underwent internal therapy once a week. For the last few months, I've dropped that frequency for both external and internal down to about once every three weeks, but I'm still doing it and still find it helpful.

4. Psychological counseling. At Dr. Wise's suggestion, I found a therapist who uses a technique called EMDR. This particular therapist mixes the EMDR with cognitive therapy, and I've found this combo approach extremely helpful. I've been seeing this therapist for about a year and a a half and plan on continuing the sessions probably through 2006. Without it, I'm sure I wouldn't have made as much progress.

5. Valium. I take a half pill, no more frequently than once every three days. It makes my evening symptoms completely vanish. When used sparingly, I've found it helpful. The few times I've used it more frequently than once every three days, valium loses its kick. So I've been scrupulous about using it sparingly.

6. At various times, I've also tried a variety of different supplements--some seemingly helpful, some not.

In my opinion, the SP relaxation, stretching, trigger point, and psychological therapy are responsible for the improvement. I've also taken some drastic steps to reduce stress as much as possible. For the last year and a half, my wife and I have been living on her salary exclusively so that I could take time off work and focus on getting better. She's been an incredible source of encouragement, and also lends a hand literally when it comes to the trigger-point sessions. Her help has been crucial.

The main message that I want to pass along is that of hope and patience. You guys out there who are currently suffering, listen up: You will get better. You will get better. You will get better.

But as Dr. Wise rightly says, his approach is a slow fix, not a fast one. In my mind, I initially assumed that a year of SP would do the trick. Not for me it didn't. It really took closer to a year and a half, and I'm still diligently working toward whittling away those naggging evening symptoms. But given where I was in May 2004, I measure the progress I've made thus far in light years.

Best wishes to all of you who are just beginning the journey that I started in 2004. Hang in there. You will get better.

Posted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 10:36 am
by scotsman
Superb progress :-D and many thanks for taking the time to post your story :icon14:

I'll leave your post in this section for a few days to allow people to ask questions before moving it into the 'Success Stories' section.


Posted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 11:12 am
by robertpagen
Thanks for the detailed post. You are a lucky man to have such a supportive woman. Please address if the post sexual side effects have improved.

I too had taken the drastic step of taking off work for 6 months from Jan to june 2003 to initiate recovery. It is a good move if it is practical.

Be well,


Posted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 11:32 am
by conradin
Would you be able to explain what EMDR is in details?

Posted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 11:53 am
by webslave
More about EMDR:

A total break from work and a supportive wife are two advantages I enjoyed too.

Thanks for the case history :-D

What's EMDR? Answer

Posted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 8:23 pm
by HuckFinn
You asked about EMDR. Given that I've undergone it for a year and half, you'd think I could give a nice, succinct explanation of what it is. Actually, it's very hard to explain. Even in offering a description, the whole thing sounds so "alternative" that I wouldn't have ever dreamed of trying it were it not for Dr. Wise's strong encouragement, and were it not for the documented research backing up its effectiveness.

I guess the closest thing I could compare EMDR to is hypnosis. In essence, you sit in a chair facing the therapist. The therapist then moves his/her hand from side to side and asks you to follow the motion with your eyes. (Instead of a visual stimulus, the therapist may also ask you to hold electronic gizmos in each hand that produce alternating vibrating sensations like a cell phone.) You're then encouraged to let your mind free-associate, and something about the alternating, rhythmic sensory input going back and forth from one side of your body to the other induces some amazing mental connections and insights. In my case, each EMDR session takes about 10 or 15 minutes.

You're conscious the whole time, sort of in a daydreaming state, and somehow or other--in ways that I don't even think the experts really understand--your brain makes connections that have a therapeutic benefit. EMDR is often used to treat people suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome, and it has had excellent results in that regard. Typically, people whose stress stems from a single discreet event (a car crash, for example) respond more quickly than individuals whose PTSD stemmed from chronic trauma (childhood abuse, for example.) As I said in an earlier email, I've been doing EMDR as part of my ongoing therapy for about a year and a half and assume I'll be doing it for some time to come.

In my own case, I did in fact experience physical and psychological abuse as a boy, and there's no question that those early experiences taught me to be physically and psychologically guarded, thereby cranking up the level of muscular tension in my body and setting the stage of CPPS. For me, learning new, healthier, more relaxed ways of dealing with life has been an integral part of my recovery from CPPS. Just as the Stanford/Wise-Anderson Protocol gradually alleviates the physical tension, the EMDR/cognitive therapy has helped ease the psychological stress that causes my body to tense up.

Post-sexual side effects

Posted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 8:50 pm
by HuckFinn
For whatever reason, post-ejaculatory symptoms have not really been a problem for me, except during the initial, horrifically painful month or two when my CPPS was at its worst. During that phase, ejaculating produced significant perinneal pain, and my pelvic area was so constricted that no ejaculate would come out. Very scary. But those problems cleared up fairly quickly, and starting about three or four months into my recovery, I really didn't have any problems associated with ejaculation.

Nonetheless, I decided that ejaculation put stress on my injured pelvic muscles that they just didn't need, so I've kept it to a minumum and still do, since I still have some healing to go.

Posted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 12:29 am
by webslave
Your endorsement of EMDR is very interesting. It looks like a potentially valuable strategy for many members of this forum.

Very helpful post

Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 6:58 pm
by goodthx
Thanks for such an encouraging post. Sounds like you have good therapists. What city or state are you in, if you don't mind saying?


Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 2:43 am
by Richie
I am also undergoing EMDR and will post results soon. Recommended for Trauma victims, in my case childhood abuse.

Another Stanford/Wise-Anderson Protocol Success Story

Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 6:21 pm
by lukesky
What types of exercises did you do with your Theracane???


What type of exercises with Theracane?

Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 11:16 pm
by HuckFinn
WHen I attended the Stanford Clinic, PT Tim Sawyer helped me locate various external trigger points lurking in my lower abdomen. I had quite a few, particularly on and around an appendectomy scar that I got when I was about seven. Others were located elsewhere in my lower abdomen and as far north as the vicinity of my navel.

I used the Theracane to work those trigger points, and they were definitely active, because when I pushed on them with the Theracane, I could easily trigger my CPPS rectal, perinneal, and tip-of-penis pain. After locating each external trigger point, I would press and hold for about 60 seconds.

Now, a year and a half later, I really can't find those those trigger points anymore. I'm not sure if they've gone away for good, or if they've simply gone dormant. Either way, they aren't causing me any problems or flare-ups. In recent months, I've cut back on the external trigger point sessions to about once every three weeks, just to keep tabs on what's going on down there. So far, so good.

On my own, I also located some external trigger points in my perinneal area and sitbones, and I work on them using the Theracane and by sitting on a hard ball.