The difference between clinical ecology and conventional medicine becomes apparent as soon as one enters the waiting room. In my office, (or instance, the physical setup is adjusted to the needs of the susceptible person. This is done to provide a more hospitable environment and also because test procedures undertaken in the office itself might be ruined by chemical exposures.
No smoking is allowed, and this rule is strictly enforced. Signs to this effect are posted not only in the waiting room but in the bathroom as well, where confirmed tobacco addicts may be tempted to depart from the rule. Care has been taken in the selection of office furniture. Wood and leather are used extensively, not plastic or synthetics. Office machinery is kept to a minimum in order to avoid the kinds of fumes and odors which frequently foul the air indoors. Almost all of the typewriters, for instance, are manual, not electric. The copying machine was chosen because it emits the least amount of environmental pollutants. In fact, it is rarely used. Even the partitions are made of hardwood and not of any building material which gives off gases, as plastics often do. Nurses, secretaries, and other employees are instructed to refrain not only from smoking but also from the use of perfumes, scents, and after-shave lotions. We have little trouble in this regard, however, for almost all office personnel themselves have food and chemical susceptibilities, and are chosen with this fact in mind. Because of their own experience, they can provide more help and understanding to patients than those who are not aware of environmental disease in a personal way.
The office is located high above Lake Michigan, and the air is about as good as one is likely to find in a big city like Chicago. For heat, we employ portable electric heaters. In a sense, then, a patient’s treatment begins as soon as he enters the office itself, since the environment is conducive to recovery.