by Kath

Brain PuzzleInsight and Hope

I discovered, in 1999, that what I suffered from for 30 years was called Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS). Following that revelation I tried a number of recommended therapies with little to no long-lasting results.  My experience was that MCS could not be cured. The most I could hope for were small reversals or respites. Avoidance became my best option.

This all changed on September 25, 2011 when I was introduced to some new to me concepts called Amygdala Retraining and Dynamic Neural Retraining.  After listening to both Ashok Gupta and Annie Hopper describe their theories on re-educating the brain I decided to give it a try. Hopper had personal experience with MCS which made her my first choice. While waiting for her soon-to-be-released DVD series, I spent my time reading articles and testimonials from those helped by either or both of these methods. My curiosity was peaked when I noticed Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT/Tapping) was often referenced in the testimonials as an adjunct to both of the above mentioned retraining programs.

Getting Started

My main concern with starting the at-home Dynamic Neural Retraining exercises was the potential smell of the DVD’s. On the other hand, EFT only required me to use my computer so I felt that there was nothing to lose by giving it a try.  Using the free EFT MCS script/audio provided by Natalie Hill, I threw myself into healing on October 2, 2011.

Creating a Positive Attitude through Gratitude and Forgiveness

Knowing that the amygdala feeds on strong, primary emotions I vowed to maintain only a positive attitude. To increase my odds of success during the healing process I no longer viewed any drama/crime/sad TV shows or movies nor did I listen to any melancholy music. All art which created a feeling of loneliness was removed from sight. I stopped participating in all MCS forums and related discussions. Not constantly reminding myself or re-enforcing the fact that I had MCS helped tremendously.

Negative thoughts can never disappear if you are focused on them….How Your Mind Works

One useful way I found to cut through negativity was to concentrate on gratitude and appreciation. I focused on appreciating the positive aspects of my life by tapping, “I’m thankful for . . . my health, my husband, a scent free home, etc.”  Instead of putting a negative spin on everything, I made an effort to feel gratitude for whatever was happening at that moment. At first, doing this made me feel extremely disoriented but eventually it created a sense of peace and tranquility. Having easily visible statements such as “I have a strong, healthy, robust body, I AM NOT SICK” were also affirmative inclusions in my healing. It was important to always remember that I needed to maintain my positive attitude during both wake and sleep. Tapping on all negative thoughts and emotions allowed positive thoughts to flourish.

Everything I read said that forgiving myself as well as others was a good healing tool. They said that holding onto emotional traumas, anger, sadness, loneliness, pressure and fear created a negative environment in both mind and body. Some of the EFT scripts I used to address these issues focused on individual points while others were all encompassing.

For the first month I spent thirty minutes each morning tapping on the MCS script as well as other pertinent self-help scripts. At night I tapped on the MCS script as well as the same self-help scripts from the morning. The night session also included a variety of non-EFT techniques and always ended with meditation. Applying all of these healing tools took an hour or more each night. All the while I kept my mind open to “seeing” what had triggered my chemical sensitivities.

Moving Forward

Two days after starting EFT I noticed a change in my sensitivity to chemicals. Twelve days after starting EFT I figured out what my original trigger had been: the initial exposure I experienced was during a routine childhood tonsillectomy. My mind stored that event as a traumatic, ether-laced memory. This memory surfaced 21 years later during a stress filled stay in hospital. Upon leaving the hospital I couldn’t explain why I suddenly had “allergies” to food dyes and chemical odours; the only thing I knew for certain was that my life was now dramatically different. My body’s response to discovering this connection (Echo) was a serious reaction/re-enactment of the incident. I was very sick for nearly an hour.  Following the discovery of this trigger I used Karl Dawson’s Matrix Reimprinting (parts 1 & 2) to help “rewrite” the trauma memory which I had experienced. Being aware that intense emotion and repetition were creating new, strong neural pathways prompted me to continue.

As recommended by Natalie Hill, I wrote a personal script describing what I’d discovered and what I wanted to happen.  My personal script became part of Natalie’s original MCS tapping script.  In order to find more clues as to why I was ill I used my personalized script to take me back to the original trauma.  Over the course of the first month I experienced many uncontrollably intense emotional reactions. As new revelations came up spontaneously or during tapping I embraced them instead of trying to stop them from taking place. Each time one occurred I analyzed what it was and why it had happened. I included all of these revelations into either my personal script or the original MCS script.

During the first two weeks I was able to handle being around most chemical odours but occasionally, due to stress, anxiety or an excessively obnoxious odour, I returned to my old ways of reacting (ie. headaches, dizziness, brain fog, neck pain, anxious/aggressive behaviour or retreat). To lessen those responses I learned to immediately tap on what was bothering me…saying it out loud and continuously tapping until my symptoms disappeared. I felt weird tapping in public but I figured it couldn’t be any worse than talking to people while wearing my canister mask, backing away from someone while holding my nose or any of the other odd coping techniques I’d been using throughout the years.

By the sixth week I only spent half an hour a day tapping. The number of chemical reactions I experienced had reduced dramatically and I was able to resolve any flair-ups very quickly.  At the two month mark I tapped once a day to the MCS script which also included my personalized script. Realizing that my symptoms were greatly reduced and what still bothered me was easily controlled was both liberating and empowering. I was beginning to feel like a lighter version of my former self.

The end of the second month presented two interesting phenomena. The first was, when tapping to get rid of a headache the headache would move to a new location…it could move 3-4 times.  I just altered my tapping script to identify the new location. After a few occasions of playing this “game,” my amygdala gave up trying to win. The second thing I discovered was that I no longer needed to physically tap in order to quickly reverse a reaction.  Instead, all I needed to do was speak directly to myself internally while visualizing the tapping spots.

I found that I was able to quite easily walk around in all types of big box stores, stand in line at the bank and grocery store, visit the library as well as go into people’s homes without holding my nose or feeling as though I needed to get away as soon as possible (“fight or flight”). I could now walk near the cleaning products isle in any grocery store without holding my nose, becoming anxious, getting a headache or feeling as though I was about to choke. I no longer needed to race home to change my clothes and wash my hair. I no longer needed to take any of my trusted homeopathic remedies.

Thinking, thinking always thinking

By far, the hardest thing to do was learning how to quiet my brain. Meditation helped a bit but I always seemed to wander off in thought or became distracted by an internal monologue (“mind chatter”) during that quiet time. The third month was when I made a breakthrough. On December 7, at 6:15 AM the switch in my brain turned off. By using Matrix Reimprinting, after waking from a very strange dream, I was able to figure out why my mind was never calm or at peace. After decades of listening 24/7 to an internal monologue I finally experienced what silence sounded like. Guided meditation has now become a pleasurable experience.

Note: Approximately two weeks after my mind chatter was silenced it tried a few times to reassert itself. All I needed to do when I felt this happening was to say NO! internally, which made it instantly stop.

Wood smoke

Ever since the economy tanked in 2008 more and more people in my neighbourhood started burning wood during the winter. It had become the bane of my existence because the smoke kept getting into the house from every little nook and cranny. It was a nightmare getting in and out of the house because the rancid odour coming from wet wood burned in energy efficient stoves polluted everything. This winter I can barely smell the smoke outside, and inside, I can’t smell a thing.

This way to recoveryAble to Cope on my Own

On December 17, 2011 all of my hard work was put to the test when our furnace needed to be fixed. It was a late night appointment which to me was the most dreaded kind. My normal way of coping with repair men was to avoid their presence and then air out the house for at least an hour after they left by putting fans in windows and opening doors.  This time I was the one who let him in.  At first I could tolerate the personal care products he was wearing but eventually it became too overwhelming. I asked my husband to handle the rest of the appointment. While the work was being done I tapped on my concerns about the repair man being in my scent-free home. By the time he left I didn’t need to air out the house because I couldn’t smell a thing. I slept soundly that night and didn’t wake up with a headache or feeling dizzy.

Prior to this event I’d been wondering if I should continue tapping on the MCS script or not. Since I was uncertain about the exact length of time needed to rewire my brain I didn’t want to stop tapping. After the repair man episode I knew the time was right to stop. Since then I’ve been able to handle any infrequent chemical related symptoms or concerns quickly and easily.

On December 23, eighty-three days after I started tapping, something quite remarkable happened. While in the grocery store I found myself standing less than a foot away from a very large display of assorted scented candles. While next to the candles I had smelled a faint odour but I wasn’t sure where it was coming from. Normally I would have smelled the candles before I got near the aisle but this time I only noticed their existence when I began to walk past them on my way out of the aisle. Being so close to something that smelly would normally have given me a serious headache or brain fog but not this time, I felt great…better than great really, I felt like I imagine I used to before becoming chemically sensitive.

Healthy and Happy in 2012:  Three months to the day after starting EFT

To all extents and purposes it appears, while not 100% better, I now have the freedom to go wherever I want, whenever I want, without always worrying about what’s going to happen to me. I still spend time nightly healing old wounds related to the original trauma incident, however, I haven’t found it necessary to tap on the MCS script since stopping in December.

Although not happening nearly as often or as powerfully as in the beginning, negative thoughts still try creeping in. As far as I can tell, keeping an upper hand over this emotion is paramount to maintaining good health.   Stress and anxiety can also play a role in reversing forward motion in your healing. Pay attention to these emotions; if it appears as though they’re becoming dominant I found that tapping “Let it Go” on each point worked well to bring about a calm state of mind.

Going Maskless

While at work I’ve been wearing simple charcoal masks for 11 years and a canister mask for 9. I got the best results from the canister mask but it had many inherent problems for which I always needed to make allowances. On January 25, 2012 I discovered that I no longer needed to wear a canister mask. Simple charcoal masks worked just fine and the best part was that I didn’t need to wear them continuously. Keeping in mind all of the information I gathered while suffering from MCS, I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able or even want to go completely maskless.

Interesting Point

Tail-enders are what is generally referred to as conflicting thoughts which come up while positive tapping. For example: if you tapped “I am open to receiving good health” while in your head following that statement you heard “Yea, right, in my dreams,” that thought is called a tail-ender. Sometimes positive tapping is one of the most effective ways to uncover unrecognized limiting beliefs and hurdles which are holding you back subconsciously. It’s great when this happens. They’re a clear point on which you can tap to release deep seated negative beliefs and emotions. I had many tail-enders when I first started but as I addressed each issue, they finally stopped.

How to Begin YOUR Healing Journey

Make your own individualized program using a variety of EFT tap along videos, Solfeggio and healing frequencies, chakra realignment videos, Reiki attunement music and instructionals on Inner Child healing, as well as meditation exercises. They can all be found for free on YouTube as well as scattered on websites throughout the Internet.

Keeping notes of what happens to you during your journey can be very illuminating and well worth the effort. Being charitable is a great way to feel good about yourself. However, this is a hard thing to do when you can’t be in a scented environment or you have no extra money to donate. A free and unscented way to look beyond yourself is by taking advantage of the many click to donate Internet sites. Care2 is a great place to get started.

Those ready to think outside of the box might want to examine and consider one of these innovative healing treatments for themselves. The time it takes a person to see results when using any or all of the brain retraining programs is individual. A small amount of daily personal time, persistence and a tolerance for repetition is all you really need. Success is measured by how symptoms diminish or disappear. Most people have remarkable results, while some don’t find it helps at all. Remember, if you have a serious health issue, use EFT or any other self-help technique with common sense. Check with your personal physician or counselor before discontinuing any treatments or medications. For those who think that brain retraining is a scam, all I can say is that EFT worked for me on many levels and it was FREE!

LINKS

How long do the results last with EFT?

Resisting change or not seeing improvement after tapping? Listen to this for insight.

For those with a sensitive body or temperament the Touch and Breathe (TAB) method is a gentle tapping option.

For a detailed explanation of what Fight or Flight and Mind Chatter are and how to get control over them, read this article.

Learn how to personalize EFT opening statements (examples provided).

If you need more in-depth help or think that you might get better results working with someone, Lisa Snow is highly regarded on Planet Thrive. She is an EFT practitioner specializing in food and chemical sensitivities.

How to discreetly tap in public.

Emotion-Focused Therapy: A Clinical Synthesis

This study led NASA to conclude that our brain requires about 30 days of consistent application of neural conditioning techniques to operate from a new neural orientation.

Train Your Mind ~ Change Your Brain by Sharon Begley
About Kath
Kath first shared her recovery story in the now defunct Dtox Radio community. She finds great enjoyment in tending her backyard garden; she and her husband always look forward to eating the fresh, organic vegetables and fruits which it offers. Kath hasn’t traveled in decades but looks forward to taking it up again now that being away from her home for more than a day no longer presents a problem.

Recovery photo © Sharpshot | Dreamstime.com

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