A unique way of diagnosing chronic fatigue illnesses should be made available to every GP in the country, according to the British doctor who developed it.
New research, published in BMJ Open, has concluded that a relatively simple physical examination could transform the way conditions such as ME are treated.
Currently around 250,000 people in the UK suffer from ME and experience disabling fatigue as well as a combination of other symptoms including muscular pain, concentration problems and intolerance to exercise.
The Perrin technique, that looks for five physical symptoms, was tested on people in the northwest of England.
In the tests on 94 people, 86% of patients who had the condition were successfully diagnosed.
Standard examinations carried out by an experienced doctor identified only 44% of cases.
Dr Ray Perrin, an osteopath and neuroscientist based in north Manchester, told Sky News he had spent 28 years pursuing his theory and was delighted to have seen the first signs of evidence-based recognition.
He said: Every GP in the world could potentially benefit from this to speed up diagnosis – currently it can be very slow and frustrating.
His technique is based on the principle that toxins within fluid in the brain or spine column do not drain away as they should.
His technique stimulates the fluid motion through massage of the soft tissues in the head, neck, back and chest to direct toxins out of the lymphatic system and into the blood, where they are detoxified in the liver.
Eventually, with no poisons affecting the brain, the sympathetic nervous system begins to function correctly and health is restored, Dr Perrin said.
Former ME patient Olivia McDonald, 25, from Clitheroe in Lancashire, told Sky News the technique had transformed her life.
She said: It made an enormous difference, at one stage I missed two whole years of my schooling, I didn’t want to talk, listen or communicate with people, I felt so isolated.
Since her diagnosis and treatment with the Perrin technique, Ms McDonald has rebuilt her life, got back into full-time work, climbed Mount Kenya and travelled the world following Manchester City football club.
However, the ME Association told Sky News it still could not endorse the technique pioneered by Dr Perrin.
In a statement, it said: With no current drug treatments available, patients are often desperate and will do anything, pay anything for treatments which are at best scientifically unproven and at worst, damaging.
It is collaborating with Oxford University to pursue further research – something welcomed by Dr Perrin.
(c) Sky News 2017: Massage technique ‘speeds up’ diagnosis of chronic fatigue illnesses