Eighteen months of Gupta Amygdala Retraining™

Some “brain retraining for MCS” devotees have criticised me for daring to say anything negative about the DNRS and Gupta programs without having done them myself. So here is a comment from someone with MCS who tried the Gupta program:

Doing the Gupta Amygdala Retraining (affiliate), for 18 months under the supervision of a mental health professional did not cure me, or did it significantly reduce my chemical or mould sensitivities on an ongoing basis (short term relief for achieved), but it did teach me to calm my anxieties about the symptoms and pain considerably.  This did improve my quality of life and it did turn down the volume of my pain somewhat, to a level that was much more tolerable.  (well most of the time!)

Unfortunately, although some people with MCS report a full recovery doing a program like Gupta Amygdala Retraining, I do not believe it will lead to full recovery for all of us. Nor do I believe it is sensible for everyone to completely stop chemical and trigger expoure minimisation completely. When I did this (for 18 months) my sensitivities actually became worse.

Thinking yourself sicker

The author of the blog The Dainty Peach was eventually diagnosed with a congenital bowel condition completely unrelated to food and chemical sensitivities. Had doctors diagnosed it earlier she maybe she wouldn’t have suffered so much from anxiety or wondered if she had MCS at all. On 4 September 2011 she wrote:

I was researching non toxic, organic living room furniture when I stumbled upon some links for multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). Sometimes I will research a condition and it will sound like there is some overlap with the symptoms I usually experience, and I will be a little freaked out that that could be what’s wrong with me. Not so with MCS. I’m convinced it’s what I have. Well, pretty convinced.

I downloaded the book Chemical and Electrical Hypersensitivity: A Sufferer’s Memoir by Jerry Evans, and read it on my iPad. I started reading it at 8 or 9pm last night, woke up at 8am and finished it off around 3pm today. …

I don’t want to get ahead of myself or anything….but I am scared/anxious/scared again. … Not sure how safe my work is for me. Working with a whole bunch of computers? Makes me think that maybe I shouldn’t go to work tomorrow. Or ever again.

Continue reading

Treating MCS: What really works

(This article first appeared in Sensitivity Matters December 2003, so it doesn’t include treatments that have been developed since then, most notably Martin Pall’s protocol.)

The September 2003 Environmental Health Perspectives contained an study by Pamela Reed Gibson about the perceived effectiveness of various conventional and alternative therapies tried by 917 people with MCS contacted through the Chemical Injury Information Network and MCS support groups.* 82% of the people who completed the questionnaire were female, 95% were Caucasian. Their ages ranged from 20 to 82, with a mean age of 53 years.

They described the severity of their MCS as:
Mild ………………..7%
Moderate …………32%
Severe …………….45%
Totally disabling ..13%

They believed the cause of their chemical sensitivity to be: Continue reading

Obsessive fragrance wearers

Asking people to refrain from wearing fragrance around you because it gives you asthma, headaches or other symptoms should be simple. It often is, but some people are extremely difficult about it. If you’ve ever thought some people were irrational about their fragranced products you’re not wrong. 

There are those who are literally obsessed with perfume, such as:

I’ve had pretty bad ocd [obsessive-compulsive disorder] since I was a kid but it comes and goes. For the past year I have developed serious ocd about my fragrances.

For starters I feel an absolute need to display all of my fragrances. This includes mini’s all on their own separate tray and two transparent candle holders full of samples. I windex and wipe all of them at LEAST once a week. I’ve never been a particularly materialistic person. I could care less about jewelry and fancy clothes, but for some reason I’m so attached to my perfumes. I’ve bought three in the past week. Financially this isnt that bad for me, but where will it end? I almost feel like I wont be satisfied until I smell every perfume ever made, I always feel like the most beautiful scent in the world is out there just waiting for me and I’ll never find her.

Every time I use one, I have to rub off my finger prints and place it back in the exact same spot it was before. I also cant leave the house without a sample or a roll on in my purse. I have nightmares about house fires or break ins. I dont live in a particularly bad area and my family and I have been victims of fire before so we’re extremely careful, but still this thought comes to mind. I’m moving from Michigan to Texas soon and instead of flying I’m actually renting a car just so I can be sure my perfume gets there safely. And after I get settled in I’m getting a doberman just in case someone even thinks about breaking in my house. I could care less about my electronics or my small crystal collection, but if anything happened to my perfume I think I would have a nervous breakdown.

I think I have a problem

and this woman: Continue reading

DNRS, obsessive compulsive disorder and MCS

Annie Hopper, who “has years of experience as a Core Belief Counsellor, Life Coach, Workshop Facilitator, Keynote Speaker, Newspaper Columnist and featured guest as an Emotional Wellness Expert on talk radio” now calls herself “a Limbic System Retraining and Rehabilitation Specialist.” She developed the Dynamic Neural Retraining System™ (DNRS). The DNRS website claims that “Limbic System Rehabilitation [is] A viable treatment for: Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Electric Hypersensitivity Syndrome, Chronic Pain, Gulf War Syndrome, Anxiety, Food Sensitivities, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome.”

So what do people doing DNRS actually do? There is very little information available unless you pay US $249.95 for the DVD program or US $2995 – $3495 for a “Live In-Person Seminar.”

Linda Worthington, a DNRS success story, wrote,

I have been working with the Dynamic Neural Retraining System program for just over 3 months. In that short time I have begun to see exciting progress. One of the keys to this, in my belief, is Annie Hopper’s gentle but firm insistence on expanding one’s “comfort zone”, adding back electricity, chemicals, etc., in a mindful and intelligent way, using the program to eliminate the fear and avoidance that was typical of our response in the past.

This will seem strange to people with MCS who don’t have fear to eliminate. It gets stranger. This is the most detailed explanation available for free that I’ve found, from a lecture by Annie Hopper: Continue reading

Autism, chemical sensitivity and Environmental Medicine

 

(This article first appeared in Sensitivity Matters September 2015)

A new study has found that mothers with chemical intolerances were three times more likely than other women to have a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and 2.3 times more likely attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

It is good to see this study in a mainstream medical journal, but the link between chemical intolerance or sensitivity and autism comes as no surprise to people familiar with MCS.

Studies have linked autism to a variety of chemical exposures, notably pesticides. Many cases of MCS have been caused by chemical exposures, often pesticides. Martin Pall’s nitric oxide/peroxynitrite (NO/ONOO) theory explains how various classes of chemicals, including pesticides, can initiate MCS and in his 2007 book, Explaining “Unexplained Illnesses”, he suggests, with supporting evidence, that autism could also be an NO/ONOO disease.

There are many families dealing with both MCS and autism, and the much maligned Environmental Medicine doctors who treat people with MCS have also been treating people with autism effectively for decades. Continue reading

Gupta Amygdala Retraining™ really is just anxiety treatment

 

Ashok Gupta’s ‘Which tools to use when?’ is about when to use the various Gupta Amygdala Retraining™ techniques. It is 1,374 words long and this is the number of times the following words appear:

Anxiety 4
Anxious 1
Fear 1
Worries 6
Worrying 3
Worry 1

Here are some examples: Continue reading

Who benefits from “brain retraining for MCS”?

 

Three years ago I wrote a list of possible explanations for the improvements that some people have reported from “brain retraining for MCS”. In July that year Julie Genser wrote about thirteen “brain retraining success stories”, so I thought it would be interesting to look at the available information and see if any of my possible explanations apply.

Could some or all of their improvement be due to a period of avoidance? Could they have recovered more than they realised before they tried “brain retraining”? Did they suffer from anxiety and benefit from “brain retraining” as a way to reduce anxiety and physical symptoms of anxiety? What about stress? Could they have been misdiagnosed?

Thilde Jensen: Julie Genser wrote about Thilde Jensen’s recovery in an article posted on Planet Thrive on 18 August 2011. The article talks about Thilde’s chemical exposures while living in New York, and her move to Arizona and then five years living in an ecovillage to avoid chemicals. It also says, “The stress of not working coupled with the stress of 9/11 took its toll.” and “Then the Iraq War started, which was very traumatic for her. She started sensitizing to everything in her environment. First it was car exhaust and books. Then cigarette smoke and perfume.”

(In an interview published last year Thilde Jensen said about Annie Hopper’s DNRS program, “But it is not a cure… Still, I am able to be in the world again, I am able to go out without a mask, and I am able to use a computer again, with limitations. I got a lot of my life back, but not everything…”) Continue reading

Treating MCS with dextromethorphan

 

Martin Pall’s book, Explaining “Unexplained Illnesses”, and the treatment protocols based on his NO/ONOO- (nitric oxide/peroxynitrite) cycle theory, mainly focus on using nutritional supplements for treatment. However, Pall mentions a number of medications that act as NMDA antagonists and are already or may in future be used to treat MCS and/or other multisystem illnesses. One of these is dextromethorphan which is available in over-the-counter cough suppressant medications.

Dr Donald Dudley reported in ‘MCS: trial by science’ that dextromethorphan hydrobromide

does significantly decrease symptoms on olfactory exposure to volatile short-chain carbon compounds in MCS patients. It has been used by the author in more than 30 of these patients with significant positive effect.

Pall reports in Explaining “Unexplained Illnesses” that a number of physicians in Washington State have observed similar responses, and of the six MCS patients who had tried dextromethorphan that he spoke to, five had found it stopped or decreased symptoms. Some people with MCS don’t tolerate the normal dose. However, some of these people do tolerate and benefit from half or a quarter of the adult dose. Continue reading

The course that Annie Hopper did to cure her MCS

 

I was planning to write about other things on this blog, but news of the Limbic Recovery Foundation (http://planetthrive.com/2013/05/limbic-recovery-foundation/ and http://limbicretraining.com/contributors/limbic-recovery-foundation-formed-by-dnrs-graduate/) makes me think the topic of “brain retraining for MCS” is worth revisiting.

Annie Hopper said in an interview on Planet Thrive:

“The Dynamic Neural Retraining System was developed from a combination of what I had learned over the past 20 years while employed in the health and wellness industry, as well as from all of the information, treatments, therapies and research I experienced and studied during my MCS days.” http://planetthrive.com/2009/10/rewiring-the-chemically-sensitive-brain/

More specifically, she wrote in 2008:

“In March 2008, my next door neighbour had given me an article from the Globe and Mail about a woman who had debilitating light and sound sensitivities as well as severe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. She had gone through a three day brain training process and as a result had completely recovered from her illness and was able to lead a normal life again.
When I read the article I realized that we had two things in common. She had an equally bizarre illness and that scientifically, we also had similar brain function.”  …
… in July 2008, I took the same training and it taught me how to manually change my brain function and structure. After the end of the second day of the course, I could no longer smell or taste chemicals in products anymore, nor did I have the host of other associated debilitating symptoms of exposure. I was able to alleviate all symptoms of MCS.” http://www.castanet.net/news/Emotional-Rescue/42368/Multiple-chemical-sensitivity-cure-2 Continue reading