Multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS) is a hypersensitivity syndrome where people are sensitive to commonly found chemicals in our modern environment (fragrances, household cleaners and air fresheners, petrochemicals, cigarette smoke, car exhaust, etc). The severity of MCS can vary greatly from having mild symptoms like headaches, nausea or asthma in response to things like fragrances, all the way to completely debilitating symptoms that can cause many people to lose their job and ability to work. In fact, 13.5% of people with MCS actually lose employment and are unable to work¹.
MCS is much more common than people think. Large population studies have reported MCS to be as common as 15% among the general population, and some scientists even suggest the true number may be as high as 30%, however only 3 to 6% of the population is actually diagnosed with MCS because this condition is largely unknown to most individuals and doctors¹ ² ³.
MCS can be treated and I can help
Research has suggested that the neural pathways in the brain and nervous system responsible for chronic pain and abnormal pain may be similar to those involved with the sensitization to chemicals that leads to MCS (4). Research has also shown that the activity within the brain associated with pain perception is highly modifiable by interventions such as brain retraining, hypnosis and stress reduction.
I use brain modifying techniques such as EMDR therapy and hypnotherapy to modify (brain) neural pathways to help promote and restore the healthy brain patterns and to reduce or eliminate triggers of stress and symptoms of chemical hypersensitivity. I also support the successful use of third-party brain retraining exercises, such as the DNRS system, or the Gupta Programme, to help individuals fully recover using these systems by overcoming blocks that can prevent them from using these systems fully. Often times, there are mental blocks standing in the way of performing these exercises and I use EMDR to help break through these blocks so clients can re-train their brains successfully for a full recovery. I also use EMDR to target and resolve psychologically traumatic events that may have contributed to the development and or worsening of their condition.
As a person who used to suffer from the most severe form of MCS myself, I have a deep personal understanding of recovery from this condition.
4. Rainville, P., Bushnell, M. C., & Duncan, G. H. (2001). Representation of Acute and Persistent Pain in the Human CNS: Potential Implications for Chemical Intolerance. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 933(1), 130–141. doi:10.1111/j.1749-6632.2001.tb05820.x