Our thoughts are constantly creating patterns of electrical energy that
cause the release of hormones, neurotransmitters, and other chemicals
in the body, which we feel as emotions. The first manifestation of an
emotion, either positive or negative, is a change in the body’s
When there is a
disruption in the body’s electrical flow, such as the "fight or flight
response", we feel it. If the electro-chemical disruption continues, it
can lead to emotional distress and, eventually, physical problems. When
the electrical disruption is removed, the distress stops.
Acupressure, a self-care tool that can be learned in
minutes, works by neutralizing disruptions in your body’s electrical
system, which then stops the chemical chain reaction and frees you from
emotional and physical discomforts. As you gently tap or press on a
point, neural receptors under the skin convert the pressure to an
electrical impulse that is transmitted to the brain. It is the same
thing as using a TV or VCR remote-control, or tapping a key on a key
board to send an electrical signal to the computer.
Current research has validated this ancient oriental
system. In the late Eighties Dr. Roger Callahan, a psychologist,
combined elements of quantum theory, kinesiology, and acupressure to
bring rapid relief for trauma, addictions, and phobic disorders. He
called his method Thought Field Therapy.
Recently, Stanford-trained engineer Gary Craig has
found that certain meridian spots on the body can be identified as
"short-cut" tapping spots, which may easily relieve emotional and
physical stress. He calls his tapping system EFT for Emotional Freedom
Technique (see www.emofree.com).
EFT uses a simple-to-learn combination of acupressure tapping,
affirmations, and psychological-reversal statements in order to create
a return to emotional stability.
a similar fashion, clinical psychologist Larry Nims, also trained in
the Callahan techniques, developed BSFF, for Be Set Free Fast (go to
the Web Site: http://www.besetfreefast.com
). BSFF is a method for eliminating the negative emotional roots and
self-limiting belief systems which are embedded in the subconscious
mind, and which are "locked" together by specific energy circuits.
TAT (Tapas acupressure Technique) was developed independently from the
other energy therapies by Tapas Fleming, who was originally trained in
traditional Chinese acupuncture. See her web site: www.tat-intl.com
TAT is an accelerated information processing technique, which has shown
promise in the treatment of traumatic stress, allergic reactions, and
negative fixed emotional states. The combination of the client's
attention and the activation of certain acupressure points opens up the
flow of held information and allows the brain to process the material
What is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)?
EMDR, according to their Web Site (www.emdr.com),
is a method that can accelerate the treatment of a wide range of
pathologies and self esteem issues related to both upsetting past
events and present life conditions. Controlled studies of victims of
Vietnam combat, rape, molestation, accident, catastrophic loss and
natural disaster indicate that the method is capable of a rapid
desensitization of traumatic memories, including a cognitive
restructuring and a significant reduction of client distress. There are
more controlled studies to date on EMDR than on any other method used
in the treatment of trauma.
In 1987 psychologist
Francine Shapiro literally stumbled upon the connection between eyes
moving back and forth and the processing of disturbing thoughts. She
discovered that these eye movements seemed to calm down the disturbing
thoughts. She then developed a protocol in her work with PTSD survivors
(particularly Vietnam vets) to help them to process and release trauma
Typically, PTSD symptoms such as nightmares, startle reactions, and
rage attacks are reduced using EMDR, along with the accompanying
negative core beliefs that trauma victims often have.
The Strategic Developmental Model of EMDR, developed by Maureen Kitchur (www.kitchur.org)
targets the healing of emotional wounds in a systematic fashion,
speeding up the tangible and long-lasting results of the EMDR method.
The neutralization and integration of past traumas during treatment
results in a reduction of anxiety and compulsive activity, freeing up
more positive behavioral choices in the present.