September 4, 2011

Woodsmoke Success Story

Woodsmoke used to be the bane of my existence (or at least near the top of the list).
I won't stress you out with the details of just how sensitive I was to it and how much I reacted. Basically - very, very much.

The reactions and degree of sensitivity have been improving over the last few years to the point that it has made my life a lot easier - especially living in a neighbourhood where a number of people heat with wood from October to April and many more have fires in their yards the rest of the year.

Yesterday I had my biggest wood smoke exposure so far and did so well!
I was gardening at a friends house for 2 hours. We had agreed to trade garden in barter for a healing service she offers so I had a specific 2 hours scheduled.
I began weeding in the area she directed me to and within a few minutes, the neighbour started a fire about 12 feet away from me on the other side of a chain link fence. My initial reaction was very stressed because even though woodsmoke has bothered me less for a while, I still choose to remove myself from it's presence if it's very strong. I didn't know how I would react.

It was great! I disliked the smoke but didn't react physically or emotionally (one the ways I used to always react to woodsmoke was intense, sudden anger). I continued gardening for the full 2 hours with woodsmoke wafting through the yard - at times enough to make the air visibly smoky. In addition, the neighbour was periodically smoking a cigarette. I didn't have any reactions to either.

I did have a bath when I got home many hours later but didn't bother washing my hair and was able to sleep the entire night with no reaction and wake up feeling good. I can still smell the smoke in my hair today and am fine with it!

For me, this is a huge success and I wanted to share it here with you.

Healing is possible :-)


  1. Libby! I am so happy to read this post :) I am just very happy for you. You did so well! It is nice to read on your improvments and knowing it will be better and better! Back into the life! Thanks for this good news! Kram Sabrina

  2. thank you so much for sharing my celebration Sabrina!!! Yes - back into the life indeed!

  3. What a wonderful thing to happen.

    Imagine 2 whole hours of the wood smoke Plus cigarette smoke, Plus smokey hair overnight & you still were reaction-free. I'm pleased to the point of silliness - "Wowee Zowee" ;-)

    Thx for posting this. Healing is, indeed possible. And I'll add my proof of this also - I've been wearing an old pair of shorts yesterday & today that (I have discovered) smell like Bounce softener sheets. I used to use the "unscented" kind, but even they have a smell. When I first put them on I didn't notice it. Then when I sat down, I guess my nose was closer to the shorts & I realized I smelled softener sheet smell. And although I didn't enjoy it, I didn't feel panicked or react. So Yay for healing! :-)

  4. Pat, pat, pat on your back, back, back. Moving along, moving along, moving along!

    Lots of love to your improving wealth and health.

  5. "Yay for healing": indeed Katie!
    I'm so glad you shared your bounce-y shorts success here. thank you :)

  6. thank you for the love and pats Mokihana!

  7. Congratulations Libby! So happy for you!!

  8. Libby!!! How are you??? It sounds like you're doing fantastic! I just had a woodsmoke exposure this past weekend and didn't do NEARLY as well as you did! :( In fact, I ended up having a full-on attack that reduced me to tears because I felt like it would never end. (I was trapped in a car with woodsmoke coming in, but didn't know what was going on at the time.) The good news was I was driven to safety, where I was able to get cleaned up. Unlike you, I went for the full shampoo. That's awesome that you did so great with the woodsmoke! I figure you're two years ahead of me in healing, so now I have something to shoot for: improved reaction to woodsmoke :)

    Hi, Mokihana! I've missed both of you & everyone else too.

    -Amestress (Amy)

  9. hi Ames,

    MCS is doing very well! other health issues a PIA but I'm sure it will pass :)
    that full on attack sounds really hard! I'm sorry you had that experience. I'm glad you got to safety (loved the phrase 'the full shampoo' LOL!)
    hey... have you considered getting the DVD program for either Annie Hopper's or Ashok Gupta's program? so far it seems that almost everyone who uses them has dramatic MCS improvements (even people who are worse than us).
    thinking of you and hoping you have awesome improvements soon :)
    and if you celebrate holidays at this time of year, I hope you have a blast (with some kind of organic yumminess ;-)

  10. Hello, new to your blog, and found it on Yahoo search, as I am seeking how to deal with wood smoke. We are moving from FL to the northeast, which means a lot more winter and people heating with wood fires. I have been doing Gupta Program, but still not 100%. What are the tools you have used to recover to this level? Even doing Gupta, I do have some asthma like reactions to smoke, and x-rays show trapped air in my lungs. So, am not sure brain training will help. Maybe you have another key to the healing? Let me know, please? Thank you!

  11. Hello Winged Lady,
    I was so glad to hear that you are using the Gupta program. That's wonderful! And great to hear that you are already seeing improvements.

    Many people have reported reactions resolving from brain retraining even when they are measurable physical reactions such as you described. So I definitely believe that it's possible.

    On the right-hand side bar of my blog, near the top, I have links to a few posts where I've outlined the main approaches I used to heal.

    I believe that each person this individual so my approach may not be your approach, but most of those things are free to try and relatively simple (with the exception of constitutional Homeopathy with a homeopath... But that was not very big part of my healing tool kit at all.) Most of the healing came from the other things and also from dis-identifying with being "ill" or "disabled". I had to no longer have the label of MCS be part of my identity. I stopped reading about it and I cut way back on MCS groups until eventually I did not read or post in them at all. The more I did that, the quicker I healed!!
    And I'm pretty serious about the news thing. It's extremely activating to the limbic system and, in my experience, toxic. If something matters, such as a hurricane coming toward me, somebody that I know will surely mention it! Beyond that, I don't need to know pretty much any of the "news". :-)

    Also, I tried to have fun, get out, enjoy life, meet people.
    If there was an event I wanted to attend and I thought I'd experience symptoms I didn't enjoy during or after, I changed my mindset and said, "okay! No big deal. It's worth it for the enjoyment!"
    And tried to view it as impersonally and dispassionately as I might a monetary transaction. I don't get worked up over the cost of a ticket to a show in super excited to see. There's no big emotional charge or fear. I tried to have a similar feel about physical "costs".
    If I began reacting to much to stay, I tried to be chilled out and proud of myself that I went and stayed however long I did (even if it was one minute :).

    All of those attitudes communicate back to the limbic system (amygdala and company) that no part of the experience is a threat, making my reaction likely to be even less the next time I try.

    Btw, I can now sit next to a bonfire for hours and not even each the smoke from my hair afterward. :-)

    I know that healing is wonderfully possible and I'm excited for you about any continued healing that happens for you.
    No improvement is too small to celebrate!!! Seriously. Celebrate 5 seconds longer before you feel the lung reaction! Celebrate the day when you realize that you've been smelling smoke for a bit but hadn't gotten anxious!
    Please feel free to tell me any of it. :-)
    Wishing you all the best in your new life!


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