RECOVERY FROM MULTIPLE CHEMICAL SENSITIVITIES (MCS) AND ELECTRICAL HYPERSENSITIVITY SYNDROME (EHS)
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MCS may be the resulting symptoms of conditioned trauma in the Amygdala, Insula and the limbic system in general following specific or general exposure to a chemical. Electrical Sensitivity may also results due to a conditioned trauma in these brain structures.
Many patients have successfully treated their MCS using the DVD Gupta Programme Home Study course. As an example you can read about someone’s recovery experiences by clicking here: MCS Recovery Els Valkenburg
The Gupta Programme is a treatment available anywhere in the world, and comes with a one year money back guarantee. If you notice no improvement in your MCS or EHS after 6 months, you can return it after 6 months, and for up to a year from purchase, for a full refund, no questions asked.
Written by Ashok Gupta, Clinic Director
My hypothesis is that MCS is a neurological disorder caused by conditioned trauma in the amygdala and insula, involving similar pathways that are hypothesised in ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia.
There is likely to be a genetic pre-disposition to developing MCS which may influence mechanisms that are described within this page, or maybe peripheral to them. It should be noted here that I do believe that MCS is a real physical illness, and that the amygdala’s role is to co-initiate protective physiological and chemical defence responses, in addition to emotional ones.
The amygdala is responsible for detecting threats to the body, and initiating appropriate responses to mitigate those threats. The insula modulates sensory experiences and information about the physiological state of the body. During a particularly stressful period in someone’s life, the amygdala is on high alert responding to emotional and physical threats. If the level of alert of the amygdala is particularly high, and the person is exposed to a toxin at the same time, a conditioned trauma can occur in the amygdala in association with the insula. (Please see main explanation page and medical papers for the exact neurological process). This exposure may be a one-off exposure or a repeated exposure. (If there is repeated exposure, there is a theory called “kindling” which occurs in epilepsy, which might help explain how the neurological process itself works).
This conditioning occurs because when the amygdala is on high alert, it is very prone to learning new fears and sensitivities. Even if the original toxin did not present a threat to life, the amygdala will “err on the side of caution” in it hyper-anxious state, in order to protect the body.
From then on, any exposure to the original chemical, or any chemical which holds a vague resemblance to the original trigger, will initiate an over-stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system by the amygdala and hypothalamus, as well as specific reactions to mitigate the threat of the toxin.
There will be two types of symptoms for MCS. The first will be milder forms of symptoms which are present in ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia. These include exhaustion, “brain fog” (short-term memory problems, difficulty concentrating) and muscle pain (other symptoms are listed on the main explanation page). The second type of symptom will be specific to the chemical, whereby the body initiates a specific protective response. These symptoms can include difficulty breathing, skin irritation, hyper-sensitivity to smells, etc.
Some excellent research by Professor Martin Pall has proposed that NO/ONOO cycles are responsible for various illnesses including MCS. From my research, I hypothesise that these observations fit with the Amygdala Hypothesis, but may be secondary illness cycles which certainly worsen symptoms and contribute to peripheral sensitisation, but may not be the primary cause. Certainly Professor Pall has stated that stressors are likely to increase the NO levels in the body to the point that stress can trigger the vicious cycles. He believes that these vicious cycles, once initiated, are the cause of continuing illness. I would propose that these cycles may worsen the impact on the body, but it is the vicious cycles in the brain which are the primary cause of on-going illness and chronic stimulation of the NO/ONOO cycle (via chronic stress), and that the limbic system of the brain is where the conditioning of the system occurs. Further research is required to clarify whether the NO/ONOO cycles are primary causes of the illness once triggered, or yet a further secondary cycle which reinforces the primary cycle in the brain.
The continuing over-stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system can cause secondary illnesses and issues, and is likely to suppress the effectiveness of the immune system.
The amygdala will also over-stimulate the brain, causing repetitive negative thoughts and feelings about the reactions, which themselves become hardwired into the brain. This reinforces the vicious cycles.
The thalamus will magnify incoming signals from the olfactory (smell) and gustatory (taste) senses, and in fact our sense of smell is the sense which is most likely to stimulate a response in the limbic system, according to the latest neuroscience.
This conditioning means that the whole circuit becomes hard wired, and chronic. The brain continually over-responds to any chemical or odour which reminds it of the original sensitising chemical. On top of that, the brain may generalise even further and begin to react to other very different chemicals, if it begins to get signals from other parts of the brain that this is an appropriate response.
In summary, MCS is a conditioned response of the brain to a chemical it thinks is dangerous. It is a mistake that the brain makes and creates an over-protective response. And any messages which occur in the brain which support this conclusion, reinforce the brain’s responses. MCS is a real physical disorder with real physical symptoms, and is not psychological in nature.
Some people believe that MCS is not due to the body’s reactions in and of themselves, but due to the fact that we live in a more toxic environment. Certainly I agree that we do live in a more toxic environment, with many chemicals which can do us harm in large quantities. However, if it was purely down to the chemicals themselves, then those specific same symptoms would be present in the population at epidemic levels. Why do some people develop MCS, and others who are exposed to the same chemical, do not? It is because it is the “brain’s programming”, its “software program” if you like, which gets altered during a traumatic event. After that initial sensitising event, that person’s brain will respond in a different way.
Furthermore, it is likely that the more prone someone is to a hyper-aroused amygdala (e.g. history of anxiety, panic disorder etc), the more prone they are to developing MCS because the amygdala is more sensitive to new threats.
The good news is that these reactions can be “retrained”. The brain can be rewired, and I believe that Amygdala Retraining is one of the most powerful ways of doing this. It is hypothesised to involve creating a neurone which projects from the pre-frontal cortex, to the amygdala, to control its reactions whenever the chemicals are detected.
Even though the Gupta Amygdala Retraining DVD programme was originally created for ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia, I am now recommending it for patients with MCS based on anecdotal reports of success with it. The money back guarantee still stands if using the programme for MCS. I am looking to conduct trials of my own to test its effectiveness, so if you are aware of institutions who would be interested, please ask them to email us at [email protected]
In addition to the DVD programme, there are supplemental exercises specifically for MCS, which come in addition to the programme. Please email [email protected] with “MCS EXERCISES” in the subject line after you have bought the programme, and they will be emailed to you.
TESTIMONIALS FROM MCS USERS
“I have been on the program for a couple of months now. I AM 63 YEARS AND HAVE SUFFERED FOR OVER 3 decades with what I NOW believe started with CFS and then switched to MCS. I started the program slowly and am so impressed with the results I am having. I am scared to jinx anything by stating how well I am feeling. I am amazed at this program and another guy and myself are trying to introduce your program to other MCS suffers in our group. I can only say Thank You for your insight and for the format that you have put it in. My goal is to one day meet you and visit your clinic. I have tried countless other treatments and this one is so very safe and the results come if a person just keeps at it. I find it so sad that people decide that something won’t work even though they themselves haven’t given it a chance. Once again a Thank You from the bottom of my heart!!!!”
“Dear Ashok and Staff, Just a note to let you know that I have had my first success with using your program. I know that you probably get a lot of feedback from people with Chronic Fatigue, but I have MCS. I have had severe MCS for eight years and have been too frightened to go into most public buildings or even outdoor parks for almost eight years. It’s been much worse in the past four years as my illness progressed.
Well, this week I went into a grocery store and its bathroom (we chose a relatively safe one but it still was very scented), the dentist (lots of chemicals) and my dog’s Veterinary clinic. I got through them all using the “soften and flow.” I did the soften and flow to make sure my body and mind were relaxed before entering any of these places and kept it up as much as possible while inside and after coming out. Coming out of these places can sometimes be the worst part because that’s when I realize how much scent I have on me. I just kept up the s and f and observed my body begin to react and then focussed my mind on that part of my body with the s and f. It worked really well.
Before doing your exercises I would have “freaked out” the minute I smelled anything which would have, of course, immediately sent my brain reeling (that’s why I couldn’t go anywhere – my brain would get so “toxic” that I couldn’t think, speak or walk properly after an exposure). It’s interesting that while chemicals are toxic, and I blood tests show that I do have a lot of them in my system, my reaction to the smells was what made my reactions so bad.
This week my brain was fine. I smelled the smells but kept up the s and f and just noticed how calm I could stay in their presence. No “neurotoxic” reactions.
These were first baby steps, though quite huge for me. I won’t pretend that I’m cured or that I am even willing to go into more heavily scented places right now. But I have conquered one level of fear. I’ve been in fight/flight not only for the eight years of my illness (since the 9/11 Trade Center Towers were attacked in New York City) but much longer. So I have a lot more work to do on my brain. Just want to thank you for giving me the tools.”
“When I got the Gupta dvds, I totally “got” it. Stop the negative thoughts and stop the amygdala from firing and then there will be no reactions. The negative thoughts were what protection “for my well-being” was!
So NOW I do the Gupta routine, really FEELING the glow of future self and gratitude and certainty. And when done, I muscle test…. asking if my amygdala has stopped firing! If it has, I can move on with my day. If it hasn’t, I can redo the stop-stop-stop and pay more attention to the feeling of joy and health and happiness and sometimes even the ridiculousness of all this.
I muscle-test asking “Is my amygdala firing?” If yes, I do stop-stop-stop routine. If vacillating, I do it again. If I get a strong response of NO the amygdala is not firing, I just go on with my day.
The timing for receiving this treatment couldn’t have been better. Having to exist in the circumstances I have found myself these past 2 weeks would have been really really really tough if I were still reacting. I had people in the house to inspect, to pack boxes, to load the moving van… then we were on the move for the 4 day drive, staying at less than desirable rooms along the way. I am not eating organic food while we travel. And yet!!!…. I am well! Our move went well but my big big big big BIG news is that I no longer have mcs! I am cured! I now am working on curing the cfs. Please tell everyone on facebook that I am well and that the move was good and that as soon as my computer is connected (grrr) I will be back and tell THE WORLD!!! IT FEELS SO GREAT, AND FUN, AND FREEING, AND EXCITING… to be well again.”
“I am a long time environmentaly sensitive patient of Dr. Rea’s. The first two weeks of using the Gupta protocol were striking for me. I immediately felt more calm in my body, and my sleep improved. I noticed that the lymph nodes in my groin were swollen most of that time but since I felt better… I had more energy, better sleep, and more mental clarity, I didn’t worry about them. I realized that I was just detoxing on a level that I hadn’t before. I also started having fun and exploring safe creative outlets for myself. I hadn’t realized how starved I was for that, and how much it would contribute to my healing overall. The boost it has given me has been phenomenal for my inner peace, my physical healing, and improved progress overall with my exit from this illness.”
I am able to read newspapers without getting annoyed about the smell of the ink (I just don’t seem to smell it that much anymore). I take packages that are delivered without worries. Since about two weeks I use the soap in public places (I had not done that for about three years). And last weekend I actually did not bring my own neutral soap anymore when I went into town, and I washed my hands at a public toilet with their soap. And it was okay. I will probably not start using that soap in my own home, because I like the more non-chemical stuff also because it’s better for our environment, but the point is, that I am able to use the other stuff when I come across it. And I am able to be okay with the other people’s perfumes (even when they leave a bit on my face after they kissed me). This makes life much easier and carefree”. 35-year-old female from the Netherlands
“I have seen that a core belief of people with MCS is “the world is a hostile place.” I have heard this belief often stated in various words in MCS posts on other forums. I believe this pattern of thinking is what engenders an exaggerated amygdala reaction to environmental chemicals. Toxins in the environment confirm this belief and the reaction builds as in the other stress illnesses. This is the pattern I work on the most.
Personally I cannot separate MCS from food intolerances. I have both and they seem fundamentally related to me. After studying the program I begin to suspect that lively family arguments during dinner when I was a child may have contributed to food sensitivities. I have done nothing to attempt to desensitize myself systematically from chemicals and foods. My experience is that working the program is causing the sensitivities to diminish on their own. I push myself into eating more and more foods as I improve and back off from time to time when I pushed too far. This seems to work. The chemical sensitivities are diminishing on their own. I spilled gasoline yesterday and was not ill from it even without a mask. As is to be expected times of stress result in more symptoms. I have found that, when I can, adding physical meditation (dancing meditation in my case) greatly ameliorates my brain fog.” User name Serendipity
“Your program has been miraculous for me. It has completely cured me of MCS and greatly improved my life overall. I ordered the program and started on January 4, 2012. I focused on it intensively for three months. By that time I was 85-90 percent cured. For Easter weekend I flew to Maine, USA to see my mother. I was able to be in airports, sit in planes, stay in a hotel room (although a little problematic), and rent a car. I was crying in the airport. In April I started a new job which requires being in many locations. I do it without a problem. July 4, 2012 was my six-month target date and by then I had almost forgotten about MCS. I hosted a family reunion and we went into restaurants and stores and other public places.
One really has to commit to doing it non-stop and going to the dark side. So often I would say, oh this session is not for me, I have this covered. Then I would do it and be blown away. The results, though, are transcendental – cure, oneness with God on a daily basis, improved relationships, and a new perspective on life.
The MCS, though, is gone. It is over – I am done with it. I work for a cleaner world but smell the toxic smells and tell myself that for me they are the smell of freedom.
Even when I was very sick, I suspected that the MCS experience was a gift. It was very hard, but the message was powerful. Now, given this cure, I am even more grateful for this experience, for the need to go deep and deal with so many things. I am overwhelmingly grateful to you, Ashok, and think of you as my Guru although we have never met. You enable us all to be brave warriors, to go forth and do what needs to be done. If there is every anything that I can do for you, please don’t hesitate to ask.” JM, New Mexico, USA