The Man Who Lived in a Tent

Ideopathic Multiple Chemical Sensitivity:A Case Study Presented to SCEH

By Eleanor Laser

Sometimes a client’s effort to improve his home can destroy his health. This was the case with Larry, a client who had the wooden floors in his house refinished. Unfortunately, the chemicals used for the work provoked an intense auto immune response called idiopathic multiple chemical sensitivity. The fumes triggered rashes, flaking skin from extreme fatigue, and leaking from Larry’s groin. Bottom line, he could no longer live in his house. Desperate, Larry relocated to nine different hotels, a futile effort since the symptoms followed wherever he went, and Larry wasn’t alone. Eighteen million Americans live outdoors in tents due to multiple chemical sensitivity, a syndrome that impacts many but, ironically, leads to isolation.

It can also lead to an emergency room where an ER physician referred Larry to me. When Larry contacted me he had two questions, first, “do you wear perfume?” and second, “do you have wood floors?” I answered both questions and Larry made an appointment. He arrived, sat down, and proceeded to explain what had happened. Larry and his wife had a nautical store with a pool in the back. As part of their business, they taught deep sea diving and traveled worldwide on diving adventures. As Larry described their life, he uttered one critical sentence - “I would rather be underwater where I feel safe and comfortable than anywhere else.” Hearing this with my “third ear,” I saw that Larry’s passion could be utilized for his therapy and I took him on a dive in hypnosis. First, I dressed Larry in his gear and put the tank of filtered air on his back. Next, I asked him to breath in the filtered air and explained that with each breath the filtered air would cleanse his immune system. Ultimately, all his symptoms would float away in the water.

As I kept repeating this, I tapped Larry’s right shoulder. After tapping and describing the sea life and richness of the colors underwater, I then tapped his left shoulder to remind him of this experience whenever he walked into his home and smelled the noxious odor of the sealant. This is an NLP technique called collapsing anchors. Used in combination with the hypnosis dive, this pair of techniques allowed Larry to return home - and stay there – after just two sessions.

This approach may well be a breakthrough for others living with idiopathic multiple chemical sensitivity, its horrific symptoms and dire consequences. It was certainly a breakthrough for Larry, so much so that he assisted me in the SCEH presentation because he wanted to share his powerful, healing experience with others, just as I want to share the exhilaration and inspiration of helping this client and presenting our experience to SCEH.