Northern Virginia (NOVA)
CFS/M.E., FMS, OI & Gratitude
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Jonathan Gilbert, NCCAOM

Compiled from Group Meeting Notes and Emails

Table of Contents:

Introduction & Contact Information

Mr. Gilbert came to our support group's attention in late 2003. Since, he has been a respected practitioner and regular speaking guest until 2008. Gilbert advocated for CFS patients on CFIDS Lobby Days 2005. He was a volunteer at our 2005 kNOw MORE CFS Education and Empowerment Seminar, and he hosted showings of the film about FM for Fibromyalgia Awareness Day in 2007.

For those with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, and Fibromyalgia, Jonathan Gilbert developed specific programs of support and treatment. These integrative programs are no longer offered, though consultations in private practice are.

Gilbert's 12 year apprenticeship in Oriental Medicine in a rare and effective form of herbal medicine for chronic disease makes him specially qualified to prescribe custom chinese herbal formulas.

Jonathan Gilbert has been an exam writer for the certification body for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, NCCAOM, Links for Gilbert and his articles, speaking engagements, biography, and more can be found below.

Contact information:

Jonathan Gilbert, NCCAOM  (301) 215-4177
Consulting Herbalist
The Gilbert Clinic (TGC)
7315 Wisconsin Ave, Suite 760E
Bethesda, MD 20814

(TGC is in the East Wisconsin Towers of Bethesda Crossing, which is between the West tower and the Hilton Garden Inn on Waverly St.)


Quoting Jonathan Gilbert, Acupuncturist

Needing space to heal

     "My chosen field of work is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). ... In this brief article, I wish to explain holistic medicine from a TCM perspective and show how immensely suited it is to the FM state. In my view, it can provide an answer both in tis medications and in its overall approach to the diseases. I understand the gravity of this claim, and I can point to a record of 10 years of successful clinical experience as its proof."
     "Because FM involves a state of exhaustion, the last thing the the body requires is more demands upon it or further stimulation. The body needs a metaphorical 'space' in which to heal. Physical stresses from internal physiological imbalances have to be removed, and the 'playing field' leveled once more. ...  This approach has the ability to provide long-term results."
     "From a TCM perspective, FM is similar to many emerging maladies that have no single pathological cause because they are the result of numerous different stressors that have led to a reaction in the human body. FM has many different presentations or combinations of symptoms as there are causes. ...   To effectively heal the patient we have to take the laboratory out of the FM treatment and reintroduce the human being into the process."

Breaking the Paradigm
Resolving the Causes Of Fibromyalgia,
Not Just Managing The Symptoms
FM Frontiers: 2005, Vol 13, No 3
FM Partnership

Much more than physical

      "In our experience, the only way a patient with FM can be effectively treated is to work concurrently with modalities that address the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of the patient. ... We firmly believe that the patient must also be a member of the clinical team ...   ... the patient should be aware of the treatment process being undertaken and positively contribute to it. This sounds like a common sense approach, but it is actually rarely practiced by clinicians and patients. ..."

     "... Humans are much more than physical bodies, and understanding the broader influences on health and well-being are crucial to creating health (creating a balance between mind-body-spirit and environment) in the FM patient. There is growing evidence that mental states affect physical health by inhibiting the immune system and....    Multiple studies have shown that beliefs have the power to heal or destroy. This natural healing system is an untapped reservoir for creating well-being."

     "First Stage - Eliminate Toxicity: ... It is because the patient is battling different forms of dysfunction simultaneously that the initial phase... is designed to restore functioning and to regulate different systems of the body
at the same time .... This is essential so as not to merely manage...but to re-create health."

     "Second Stage - Rejuvenation: This is the stage which we work directly on the patient's recovery from the primary symptoms of pain and fatigue associated with the syndrome. It is a period of nourishment and rejuvenation of the nervous system...."

     "Third Stage - Towards Total Health: ...There is a return to normal functioning.... However, at this point it is still relatively easy for a recurrence of ill health to occur, especially if the patient has been in an FM state for an extended period of time. The body can still retain a 'memory' of dysfunction and revisit that place unless there is reinforcement, both physically and emotionally, of the success that has been achieved.  ..."

     "... The goal is healing and health, and so by definition, the result is actually the absence of treatment once health has been found again."
Part II - FM: Arresting The Cause,
Eliminating The Symptoms

FM Frontiers: 2005, Vol 13, No 4
FM Partnership

Regulate and stablize

      "Up to the present time, both conventional and alternative medical systems have offered little to the CFS patient other than management of symptoms, one by one, without any real sign of long-term alleviation of the condition. Our practice differs by addressing the overall body-mind relationship and integrating Chinese, naturopathic, psychotherapeutic and allopathic practices. Why? Because its the only clinical approach we are aware of that looks at CFS, not in terms of management, but only in terms of restoring health."

     [In the First, most demanding stage of the three stage program]
     "...we attempt to regulate the body's various systems ...  we initiate a detoxification of unwanted substances that have accumulated and a restoration of normal absorption and excretion. This doesn't involve the use of cathartic substances common in alternative health care. Rather it depends on practices that regulate or stabilize the body processes in the patient, ultimately allowing the body to resume these functions.
     At an emotional level, we work to cleanse acquired habits that may have gotten in the way of healing. We also work to create the emotional context for making the necessary changes to accept and find health.

     "... The holistic approach reaches outside the clinical room and outside our current realm of medicine. .. it complements [what has gone before]. Using this approach, we have repeatedly shown that CFS is a treatable and recoverable condition. There lies the beginning of hope."
Perspective on Integrative Treatment.
Includes Q&A interview with 3 patients.

The CFIDS Chronicle: Spring 2006

Articles from same patient journals about TGC and Gilbert:

Q&A Perspective with 3 Gilbert Patients, Online Bonus Article

On The Frontier, A New Model for Treating CFS. Last Page of Treatment: Clinical Care for CFS.
CFIDS Chronicle Special Issue 2005-2006

Notes from Presentations by Jonathan Gilbert, NCCAOM

“Stress Talk -- Broadening Perspectives on Stress” -- by Jonathan Gilbert

The NOVA CFS/ME, FMS, & OI Support Group hosted a May 2008 Teleconference for Awareness Day. Check out the audio recording of part II by Mr. Gilbert, and see detailed summary of many of the ideas. It can be found on the website called "When Pushing Stops Working."


Audio & Slides

“Okay as Who You Are” -- by Jonathan Gilbert

The September 2009 audio presentation to the Loudoun FM and CFS/ME Speaker Group has a detailed summary of many of the ideas discussed by Mr. Gilbert. 

Audio & Photos

“Why We Stress, Why We (Need) Art" -- by Jonathan Gilbert

July 2010 presentation to the Richmond Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association.

Photos with Notes


Web Links for Acupuncturist Jonathan Gilbert

Contact links

Articles about Gilbert, mentioning The Gilbert Clinic:

By Jonathan Gilbert, NCCAOM

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Updated October 17, 2014