What Are The Symptoms of Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS), Mold Illness, CIRS & Electrical Hypersensitivity Syndrome (EHS)?

My hypothesis is that MCS, Mold Illness, CIRS and EHS are neurological disorder caused by conditioned trauma in the amygdala and insula, involving similar pathways that are hypothesised in ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia. We call these types of conditions, "Neuro-Immune Conditioned Syndromes (NICS)".

2 Types of Symptoms

Type 1

The first will be milder forms of symptoms that 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). 

Type 2

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.

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A Happy Client

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

My Amygdala and Insula Hypothesis For These Conditions

Written By Ashok Gupta MA(Cantab), MSc. Clinic Director.


Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), CIRS & Mold Illness

These conditions can encompass a wide range of symptoms, which some individuals tend to link to environmental causes. The condition is also known as “environmental illness,” "sick building syndrome,” or “idiopathic environmental intolerance.”

They 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, mold or other threat. 

Common symptoms can include: headache, fatigue, nausea, congestion, dizziness, itching, sore throat, sneezing, chest pain,  heart rhythm changes, muscle stiffness or pain, diarrhoea, breathing issues, gas, bloating, confusion, trouble in concentrating, skin rash, mood changes and problems with memory. 

Unfortunately, the condition is still not widely understood or accepted by any health experts & medical institutions. At this stage, there are no reliable tests to diagnose these sensitivities. And many doctors don't even agree that these conditions are even a medical illness despite its devastating effect on the sufferer 


Electrical Hypersensitivity Syndrome

Electrical Hypersensitivity Sensitivity (EHS) is characterized by a wide range of non-specific health problems that individuals attribute to low-level exposure of electromagnetic fields (EMF). These sources can include computers, TV monitors and mobile phones

Much like MCS, EHS may also result due to a conditioned trauma in the Amygdala, Insula and the limbic system in general following exposure to an electrical field.

Common symptoms can include sleep disturbances, skin issues such as burning sensations, prickling, and rashes, muscle aches and pain, stress, fatigue and headache. 

The severity of symptoms varies between individuals. Some report mild symptoms while others can be so severely affected that they are forced to change their entire lifestyle to avoid EMFs. 

Much like MCS, the condition still widely misunderstood by the medical profession which can, unfortunately, add to the stigma & isolation faced by sufferers

A Genetic Disposition?

There is likely to be a genetic pre-disposition to developing these conditions, which may influence mechanisms that are described within this page, or maybe peripheral to them. However, our genes are not our destiny, as emphasized by the latest developments in epigenetics. Therefore a genetic predisposition does not necessarily mean a person cannot heal and improve.

What Are The Roles of The Amygdala and Insula?

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.

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 Amygdala and Insula hypothesis serves as a potential unifying model for the various observations in patients. You can find out more below.

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I suffered from multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), fibromyalgia, electrical sensitivity and food sensitivities. I was sick for a decade. I lived in my basement with the electric off, hiding from everything. During the winter I slept in a vehicle in the driveway so my family could be in the house with the heat on. I went to one of the doctors in the country that is among one of the foremost knowledgeable in the disease. I was treated with provocation/ neutralization therapy, sauna therapy, hyperbaric therapy, nutritional IV’s, food rotation diet, a crazy amount of supplements, etc! I spent $80,000 cash in an effort to get better. The therapies mentioned above helped me some but I just kept getting worse. Then – my wife found Ashok Gupta’s program (https://guptaprogram.com). I bought it and didn’t think it would work. It sat on my desk for over a year until I was SO desperate that I would try anything! So, I tried it… within 2 weeks 50% of my issues resolved. Then they started to cascade and disappear. I was shocked and amazed. Within 6 months I had my life back. It turned my life AROUND! I am CURED of my ills. It saved my life. Who am I, I own a real estate investment company… worth many millions. I am a graduate of Cornell University, an Ivy League school. Ashok saved my life.

Research From Professor Martin Pall

Some excellent research by Professor Martin Pall has proposed that NO/ONOO cycles are responsible for various illnesses including MCS. From my research, I hypothesize that these observations fit with our Hypothesis, but may be secondary illness cycles which certainly worsen symptoms and contribute to peripheral sensitization, 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.

Our Brain and Body Get Caught In A Vicious Cycle

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, Mold Illness and EHS may be a conditioned response of the brain to a chemical or electrical field that 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. These are real physical disorders with real physical symptoms, and is not psychological in nature.

The Conditioned Response

This conditioning occurs because when the amygdala and insula are 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, these brain structures 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 brain, as well as specific reactions to mitigate the threat of the toxin.

What Is The Role of A Toxic Environment In These Conditions?

Some people believe that these conditions are not solely due to the body’s reactions in and of themselves, but due to the fact that we live in a more toxic environment; 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 these conditions, and others who are exposed to the same chemical, do not? Even if we have a genetic predisposition to not detoxing effectively, our genes are not our destiny, as explained through epigenetics.

Instead, the over-reaction is because of the “brain’s programing”, its “software program” if you like, which gets altered during a traumatic event. After that initial sensitizing 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 a condition because the amygdala and insula are more sensitive to new threats.


The Good News Is That The Brain Can Be Retrained Out Of These Reactions

The good news is that these reactions can be “retrained”. The brain can be rewired, and I believe that Amygdala & Insula Retraining (AIR) is one of the most powerful ways of doing this. It is hypothesized to involve creating safety neurons which projects from the pre-frontal cortex, to the amygdala and other brain structures, to control its reactions whenever the chemicals are detected.

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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.

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A Happy Client

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.

How Can I Recover From Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Mold Illness, CIRS And EHS?

Our highly successful and well known international Workshops, Home Study courses and Webinar series, have helped hundreds of people all over the world recover.


The Brain Can Be Rewired For Health And Happiness

The brain is not fixed in its responses, it can be rewired. Neuroscientists call this “Neuroplasticity” and it is one of the hottest topics in science at the moment.


The Treatment Involves A Series Of Brain Retraining Exercises

These are designed to “retrain the Amygdala & Insula” and other parts of the brain that are stuck in a state of hyper-arousal.


What The "Brain Retraining" Treatment Involves

The treatment is online, drug-free, delivered step by step, takes about an hour a day and you are fully supported every step of the way. It has drawn inspiration from many areas of coaching and therapy, including NLP, Meditation, Timeline Therapy, Breathwork, Parts therapy, Visualisation, Inner-Child work, Holistic Health Practises and many more. We fit these tools under the banner of "Amygdala and Insula Retraining", or AIR Techniques.


We Value Holistic Health Practises As Part Of Your Healing Journey

The Brain Retraining techniques are coupled together with holistic health practises such as Pacing, Sleep, Nutrition, Mindfulness, Relaxation, Sunlight, Meditation to honour the whole mind. body and soul within the journey to health and happiness.

Our program is friendly, gentle, customizable and expert-designed & delivered for those with chronic illness.

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I completed the Gupta Program two years ago. I had suffered from multiple chemical sensitivities and electrical sensitivities. I have a lot of fatigue. And a friend of mine had great success with the Gupta Program, and she highly, highly recommended it. So, I tried it. I was very diligent and committed, and I found that I grew tremendously in the program. I had done lots of yoga, lots of therapy, lots of other modalities, but nothing really helped to transform myself like the Gupta Program did.

I now have far less electrical sensitivities. Very minor, if any, multiple chemical sensitivities. But mostly, I just feel better. I feel stronger emotionally. I feel like I excavated my true self with the program. It was a program of self-knowledge and self-discovery, and I’m really grateful that I did it. Good luck to anyone who tries it. It was wonderful. Thanks. 

Be supported every step of the way through this expertly designed neuroplasticity and holistic health course that is backed by science and encourages pacing, relaxation & self-care as its top priorities!

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