Friday, November 23, 2012

Maternity leave

I am currently on maternity leave after having a baby boy on the 15th November so I won't be posting as regularly as I have been for the next while :-) Please feel free to email me at info[at]energyandintention[dot]com if you have any questions about EFT.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Emotional regulation

Emotional regulation essentially means being able to 'be with' our emotions. It's our ability to self soothe when we're upset, overwhelmed or frightened, or to say no when we're angry, to say yes when it genuinely feels good and we trust our response. But most important of all I think is the willingness and ability to feel what comes up, regardless of what it is, without distracting, avoiding and suppressing what essentially we might not want to feel. It can be difficult to do this if we haven't been taught or had it modelled for us, difficult but not impossible. I think being able to be with and feel our emotions is absolutely essential for our physical, mental and spiritual health in every way.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The importance of vitamin D during pregnancy

This post isn't about EFT but I wanted to share it because it contains such important information. The study by Dr Wagner who talks in the video below showed that a daily dose of 4,000IU of vitamin D reduced pre-eclampsia rates in pregnancy by 50%. It also helped with issues such as preterm labour and birth, high blood pressure and diabetes.



Read this excellent article on mercola.com about vitamin D and diabetes, pre-eclampsia and high blood pressure in pregnancy. Another invaluable and fantastic resource is the research and work of an obstetrician on pre-eclampsia (he calls it metabolic toxemia of late pregnancy, MTLP) called Tom Brewer in which he defines the cause and provides simple nutritional advice whereby this condition can be avoided and reversed http://www.drbrewerpregnancydiet.com/ Please share this information with any pregnant women you may know, it could save them a lot of heartache and unnecessary trauma and stress.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The three things we fear the most

I wanted to share this excellent article from http://www.tricycle.com:

When things upset us, we often think that something is wrong. Perhaps the one time this is truest is when we experience fear. In fact, as human beings, we expend a huge portion of our energy dealing with anxiety and fear. This has certainly been apparent in the present economic upheavals and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We live with an everyday reality that is tinged with personal and cultural anxiety. Our fears are not just the product of global events, however—they go to our very core. On a day-to-day level, fear often motivates how we act and react, and sometimes even how we dress or stand or talk. But fear makes our life narrow and dark. It is at the root of all conflict, underlying much of our sorrow. Fear also blocks intimacy and love and, more than anything, disconnects us from the lovingkindness that is our true nature.



Even considering how prevalent fear is in our lives, it nonetheless remains one of the murkiest areas to deal with, in daily life as well as in practice. This may sound bleak, but what is really the worst thing about fear? Though it is hard to admit, especially if we see ourselves as deeply spiritual, the main reason we have an aversion to fear is that it is physically and emotionally uncomfortable. Woody Allen put this quite well when he said, “I don’t like to be afraid—it scares me.” We simply don’t want to feel this discomfort and will do almost anything to avoid it. But whenever we give in to fear, we make it more solid, and our life becomes smaller, more limited, more contracted. In a way, every time we give in to fear, we cease to truly live.



We’re often not aware of the extent to which fear plays a part in our lives, which means that the first stage of practicing with fear requires acknowledging its presence. This can prove to be difficult, because many fears may not be readily apparent, such as the fear driving our ambition, the fear underlying our depression, or, perhaps most of all, the fear beneath our anger. But the fact is, once we look beyond our surface emotional reaction, we will see that almost every negative emotion, every drama, comes down to one or more of the three most basic fears: the fear of losing safety and control, the fear of aloneness and disconnection, and the fear of unworthiness. Read on

Monday, October 01, 2012

Don't dwell on it ...

This sentence for me has to be one of the most useless things I've ever heard, it's a bit like saying to someone who is very depressed 'cheer up'! It's usually what people say to you to when they are sick of hearing about your story, yet again.

If there are unresolved issues from your past and they are causing you stress (which they usually do without fail), and in trying to resolve them you are in the habit of 'repeating yourself' in your actions, your words, your habits and feeling and thinking patterns, it's time to resolve them, for you.

There is one saying that I've seen a lot lately, which is:

If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present ~ Lao Tzu

I like it when things are kept simple, but the sentiments expressed here are too simplistic for me and even a little smug if I'm being totally honest. I agree with Louise Hay (You Can Heal Your Life) when she says that “the point of power is in the present moment”, because that's the only place we can start from. I find it a lot more empowering than some of the sayings and philosophy going around about 'being in the moment' and so on. Many statements and philosophies lack an empathy and understanding for what many people are going through, in the present. The truth is, most of us want to move on, we just don't know how. It has also been shown that with trauma, memories are not processed for long term storage, so they are always there so to speak, in our short term memory, ever present, awaiting the time for us to fully experience them so we can resolve them. Try some of the following phrases to tap on (EFT short cut diagram and procedure):

Even though others want me to stop dwelling on ... and that makes me feel ... I completely accept how I feel

Even though I can't stop thinking about ... I am open to this being resolved

Even though I feel like a broken record ... the truth is I haven't dealt with ...

Even though I can't seem to move forward and that makes me feel ... I accept myself anyway

The curious paradox is, when I accept myself exactly as I am, then I can change ~ Carl Rogers

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Mind Body Connection

This is an excerpt taken from myshrink.com by Dr Suzanne La Combe:

In the world of brain research it has not been clinically helpful to distinguish mind from body for a long time. It's perhaps the most important implication of recent neuroscience research - you cannot understand or treat either one in isolation. This intimate relationship between the biological and the mental/emotional aspects of our being has been coined "the mind-body connection". 
When you have a thought, feel an emotion or take action on an impulse, your body responds. The emotional, neurological, glandular and immune systems are all wired together, speaking the same chemical language. Whatever happens in one system affects all others.
For the most part we are unaware of the influence that the mind has over the body, since its impact is overwhelmingly non-conscious. 
When we have a stimulating thought or feeling ("Oh my gosh, I forgot to turn off the stove!") neurochemicals are released into the bloodstream, changing the neurochemistry of the body. 
When habits in thinking and feeling are rigid and unchanging, the same hormonal responses are induced repeatedly in the body. These are ultimately driven into inflexible, uncomfortable states of "dis-ease". 
When you feel stressed, anxious or upset, the body tells you something isn't right. You don't have to be a doctor to know that high blood pressure or stomach ulcers frequently develop following a particularly stressful event, such as the loss of a loved one. 
In fact, when your emotional health is poor you may experience all sorts of physical complaints, such as back or chest pain, extreme fatigue, insomnia, palpitations, sweating, weight gain or loss. Read on

Monday, September 17, 2012

Tapping for frozen feelings

Even though this . . . is frozen, I now allow it to move in, through and out
Even though I couldn’t fully take in . . . I’m tapping for the courage to allow it to move in, through and out
Even though this . . . has not moved in a long time, I am now tapping to allow it to move in, through and out

Make sure to customise the phrases to suit you. EFT short cut diagram and procedure.

TH This frozen energy
EB In my gut (or anywhere else you feel it)
SE It feels hard
UE And dense
UN Because it hasn’t moved in a long time
UC It couldn’t move
CB I didn’t want it in the first place
UA I couldn’t digest it

TH So it got stuck
EB Halfway in, halfway out
SE I just couldn’t take it all in
UE So I froze
UN And that’s okay
UC I did my best
CB I just didn’t know what to do
UA Or feel

TH But now I do
EB Well at least I think I do
SE I can help this frozen energy move
UE With my intention
UN Energy moves naturally
UC When we let it
CB I now choose to let this energy do what it wants to do
UA And go where it wants to go

TH I feel a little afraid
EB Of what could happen
SE What if I feel overwhelmed?
UE Like I have in the past?
UN I can tap for the courage
UC To allow this energy to move
CB And to feel all the sensations
UA As it starts to move

TH And to know that I’ll be okay
EB More than okay
SE I choose to feel peace
UE I choose to feel gratitude
UN For all this
UC For the person I am
CB I choose to feel kindness
UA For me

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Nuts and Bolts of Sobriety

This is a post by Arthur Janov who writes a really great blog on what the true core issues behind various different symptoms are.
I kid you not when I say that the august journal Scientific American Mind, publishes some strange articles. This one, the “Nuts and Bolts of Emotional Sobriety” by Herbert Wray (March 2012), is about being sober. Persons must attain “emotional sobriety” before they get too far along; and that means—hold on!—you must learn to regulate negative feelings that can lead to discomfort, craving and ultimate relapse. The maxim is “Don’t think and don’t drink.” 
What the article goes on to say is that this is a lifelong effort and requires new ways of thinking. There are so many loose intervening variables involved, so many ill-defined notions that I hardly know where to start, except that this appears in an important scientific journal. But if we suss out the hidden text it is “thinking will make you well”. Oh yes, that is not exactly what they are saying but it really is. You need a new way of thinking and where does that come from? And by the way, where does thinking come from, in any case? Thinking is not so deep, not deep enough to change deeply embedded feelings that drive cravings. You can only agree with that notion if you do not understand where addiction comes from, and it is not, not, not from faulty logic, where you just need to change your attitudes, and voila. Ideas and attitudes are late arrivals in the brain and are never strong enough to combat feelings, instincts and sensations, which preceded them by millions of years in evolution. There was this life going on a long time before ideas came along. This is true in antiquity and in our personal development. And we hurt and imprint that hurt long before we have ideas to describe it. Read on

Monday, September 03, 2012

ACUPOINT STIMULATION IN TREATING PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS: EVIDENCE OF EFFICACY

The following is an excerpt of an article by David Feinstein published in 2012 in Review of General Psychology.

Energy psychology is a clinical and self-help modality that combines verbal and physical procedures for effecting therapeutic change. While utilizing established clinical methods such as exposure and cognitive restructuring, the approach also incorporates concepts and techniques from non-Western healing systems. Its most frequently utilized protocols combine the stimulation of acupuncture points (by tapping on, holding, or massaging them) with the mental activation of a targeted psychological issue. Energy psychology has been controversial, in part due to its reliance on explanatory mechanisms that are outside of conventional clinical frameworks and in part because of claims by its early proponents—without adequate research support—of extraordinary speed and power in attaining positive clinical outcomes. This paper revisits some of the field’s early claims, as well as current practices, and assesses them in the context of existing evidence. A literature search identified 51 peer-reviewed papers that report or investigate clinical outcomes following the tapping of acupuncture points to address psychological issues. The 18 randomized controlled trials in this sample were critically evaluated for design quality, leading to the conclusion that they consistently demonstrated strong effect sizes and other positive statistical results that far exceed chance after relatively few treatment sessions. Criteria for evidence-based treatments proposed by Division 12 of the American Psychological Association were also applied and found to be met for a number of conditions, including PTSD and depression. Neurological mechanisms that may be involved in these surprisingly strong findings are also considered. Read on

Monday, August 27, 2012

EFT for insomnia

There are many different reasons for insomnia, but anxiety is probably one of the most common. When you can't get to sleep or you wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep, and can't stop thinking, worrying and ruminating over things, you're experiencing anxiety. Anxiety also shows up in the body as a tight stomach, racing heart, general feeling of humming or being 'plugged in' to an electrical current that you can't switch off which can all be overwhelming. Lack of sleep can be very wearing and stressful. Try this script to help you relax and customise it for your own situation, as anxiety is usually at the bottom of insomnia. Following the personal peace procedure is really helpful to dissolve anxiety, as anxiety is usually a long term response to unresolved issues. EFT shortcut diagram and procedure.

Even though I can't get to sleep because ... I accept how I feel

Even though I wake up during the night and can't get back to sleep because ... I accept how I feel

Even though not being able to get a good night's sleep makes me feel ... I accept how I feel even though it's hard

Top of the head: I can't sleep
Eyebrow: My thoughts start racing
Side of the eye: And keep me awake
Under the eye: They keep me alert
Under the nose: To any danger
Under chin: And the danger is ...
Collar bone: I just can't stop my mind from turning
Under the arm: And that makes my body feel ...

Top of the head: When something happens during the day
Eyebrow: I can't switch off
Side of the eye: I have fights with people in my head
Under the eye: Wishing I had said something
Under the nose: Or done something
Under the chin: I can't seem to protect myself properly
Collar bone: I'm trying my best
Under the arm: I'm trying too hard

Top of the head: And it's exhausting
Eyebrow: But I don't know another way right now
Side of eye: I feel overwhelmed by all this
Under the eye: It's a never ending cycle
Under the nose: That I can't seem to stop
Under the chin: What if I stop trying?
Collar bone: Stop struggling
Under the arm: That feels ...

Top of the head: I know there are underlying reasons why I feel this way
Eyebrow: And I need to address them
Side of the eye: And that makes me feel ...
Under the eye: There are reasons I can't relax
Under the nose: And I can dissolve those reasons with EFT
Under the chin: And give myself a break
Collar bone: From all this stress
Under the arm: That feels hopeful


Monday, August 20, 2012

The power of being in the relational moment


Diana Fosha on bringing out clients' dormant resilience from Psychotherapy networker. Blog post: The Alphabet Soup.


The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places ~ Ernest Hemingway

Monday, August 06, 2012

Conclusions


When things happen in our lives we come to conclusions about ourself, life and others and these conclusions become the beliefs that form our truth about who we believe we are. If we were neglected or abused we might believe we're worthless, unlovable and unacceptable and it can be very hard to dissolve these beliefs that feel like the truth of who we are. If you're working through something like the personal peace procedure, it's really useful to ask yourself what conclusions you came to about yourself as a result of different events so you can dissolve beliefs that do not serve you or who you truly are at your core.

Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around ~
Henry David Thoreau

Monday, July 30, 2012

Acting out your feelings

Whenever we don't acknowledge or feel what we feel, we tend to act it out instead. And we might not even be aware of how we act out our feelings, but others usually are. There is an important distinction to be made between feeling an emotion and expressing an emotion. It might not be safe to express an emotion but we can still feel it and release the charge that that emotion holds. We do a huge service for ourselves by feeling our emotions. If you find it difficult to feel some emotions, you can use EFT to help you.

The emotions aren't always immediately subject to reason, but they are always immediately subject to action ~ William James

Monday, July 23, 2012

It is good to look after myself

A few weeks ago I read the following passage from Oriah Mountain Dreamer:

"Sometimes, saying a soul-felt "Yes!" to life, to making the choice to be fully alive, present in your life, body and heart is about knowing where to say, "No." This isn't always as easy or as clear as it sounds. Often life-draining beliefs, behaviour, roles and responsibilities were learned so young that they don't feel like a choice - they feel like just what is. Challenging this "reality" with new choices can stir up shame and anxiety. To keep making the choice for life, to keep saying "Yes!" to who and what we are and to what serves life requires great courage and a willingness to keep breathing and walking more deeply into our own lives".

And it was exactly what I needed to read at the time. I thought to myself that looking after ourselves is so important, because if we don't, it's hard to look after others in a healthy way because we'll feel resentful and will most probably be "helping" for the wrong reasons. Oftentimes saying No to others is saying Yes, a big Yes, to ourselves. It's a bit like when you're on a plane and the steward tells you to put on your own oxygen mask before you put it on your child for example, it might sound counter intuitive, but if you can't breathe, how will you take care of who you need to take care of?

Here are some statements that you could say out loud and tap on if they resonate, watch out for any tailenders (objections):

It is good to look after myself


I am selfish if I look after myself


It is good to put myself first (you can add qualifiers like "sometimes", "once in a while" and see if they feel more comfortable)


It is selfish to put myself first


It is okay to say no to others


It is okay to say yes to myself (even if that means saying no to others)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Triple warmer stress reduction technique

This is a wonderful technique from Donna Eden for calming the triple warmer meridian (thyroid meridian and also known as the gamut spot in EFT) and is very easy to do.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Questioning yourself

Do you question and second guess yourself a lot? It can be exhausting can't it? The reasons we question ourselves incessantly can be many, but not having had our needs recognised, validated and fulfilled are probably at the top of the list, so whenever they arise we question them and ourselves for having those needs.

Questioning ourself over and over again can be a sign of a lack of self esteem, self acceptance and self trust click on the links for tapping scripts you can tap along to.

As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live ~ Goethe

Monday, July 02, 2012

Even though I don't know why

Sometimes we don't know, at least consciously, why we feel the way we do, why we have an issue, why we can't lose weight, why we procrastinate and that's exactly what we tap on, whatever is there.

Even though I don't know why (I can't lose weight, I have this "..."), I accept myself anyway

Top of the head: I don't know why I have this ...
Eyebrow: I could guess
Side of the eye: And my guess would be ...
Under the eye: But maybe I'm wrong
Under the nose: And maybe I'm right
Under the chin: I can acknowledge whatever it is
Collar Bone: Is there
Under the arm: I know because I feel it (I have it etc)

Top of the head: There is some reason I feel this way (have this ..., can't lose this weight etc)
Eyebrow: And I don't know what that is
Side of the eye: Maybe I don't need to consciously know
Under the eye: Because my unconscious knows
Under the nose: And if I acknowledge its presence
Under the chin: And accept its presence
Collar bone: I might find some relief
Under the arm: Instead of having to fight it and the reasons why it is there

Top of the head: Some part of me knows why
Eyebrow: I can acknowledge that
Side of the eye: And that feels ...
Under the eye: I can acknowledge how that feels
Under the nose: I am acknowledging its presence in my life
Under the chin: For whatever reason
Collar bone: And that feels ...
Under the arm: And that's ok

Continue tapping until you find relief and movement, trust what comes up and if you still don't know the reason, or reasons, acknowledge the presence of whatever it is in your life even if you find it difficult to accept. You can always tap on the reasons you find it hard to accept whatever it is.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Being tuned in

As Gary Craig says, EFT works better when we are tuned in. In my experience I have found that to be very true. It can feel like we are going through the motions if we are not tuned in or associated with whatever we are tapping on and we certainly don't get the movement and shifts that we do when we are tuned in and really feeling what needs to be felt.

The reasons for not tuning in can be many, not feeling safe enough 'to go there', being dissociated and so on. Tapping with someone else who is able to help you access what you might not want to, is invaluable. In essence it is the ability to not shy away from pain, to embrace it instead, knowing that what we avoid grows bigger and more painful.

Ronald Ruden writes about EFT "It is interesting that this inhibition occurs only when the animal is in an activated state", in other words, being tuned in to the disruption enables us to dissolve the disruption. EFT is very powerful when we are tuned in.

References:
Ruden, R. (2007). A model for disrupting an encoded traumatic memory, Traumatology 13: 71–75.

Monday, June 18, 2012

An Interview with George Lough, Ph.D., on Somatic Experiencing

Clinical psychologist Dr. George Lough talks about an approach to trauma known as Somatic Experiencing. He says that trauma is really any experience, a life experience, that overwhelms the nervous system's capacity to deal with it. In the healthy nervous system throughout the day, there's kind of a cycle of arousal and relaxation. It looks like a gentle wave going throughout the day. And when you get kind of activated, the sympathetic nervous division of the autonomic nervous system's sympathetic comes into play and gives you energy and makes you responsive and able to do what you need to do. And then the parasympathetic takes over and you go into rest, digestion, sleep. And so that's the normal kind of way the nervous system is acting. If there's a traumatic experience or even just a difficult life experience -- even a child falling off of a bicycle or something like that can count in this. It can cause disruption in the nervous system regulation. So from the healthy regulation nervous system, this traumatic event comes in and it creates fear and anxiety, fear, and a sense that things are not okay, that you have to be on guard, you have to be careful, you have to be worried. And it can create a hyperviligance and a constriction, a feeling of helplessness like you talked about with the dogs. And so your nervous system tends to be stuck on or stuck off. People are in a freeze, and they can't respond. Read on

Monday, June 11, 2012

Using EFT for stress

I really like the Chopra Centre's definition of stress: stress is how we respond to not having our needs met.

Our need could be for a good night's sleep, a meal, warm clothes or someone to listen to you.

How do you respond to not having your needs met? Make a list of your unmet needs. List every event that contributed to not having having your needs met and start tapping on them. If you find it difficult to be specific at first, start tapping generally on an unmet need, and see what comes up.

Monday, May 21, 2012

I don't want to feel

Acknowledging what you don't want to feel, paradoxically helps nudge you closer towards being able to feel those emotions and accept them. Tapping on the truth is extremely powerful, you're giving yourself permission to feel and be the way you are right now, which is huge step towards acceptance. One of the biggest things we resist or fight is difficult to feel emotions, so we don't feel them, or at least consciously we don't, but subconsciously we do. They start to leak into our lives in all sorts of ways and one of the most obvious ways is how they manifest physically in our bodies as conditions, dis-eases and so on.

Try tapping on these sentences, or choose the one that resonates most with you right now:

I don't want to feel _______

I want to avoid feeling _______ because it makes me feel _______

It's too difficult/painful to feel ________

I give myself permission not to feel _________ for as long as I need to

I completely accept myself for not wanting to feel _________

Not feeling this emotion has helped me __________ (list how it has helped you)

Not feeling this emotion hasn't helped me __________

I would not look upon anger as something foreign to me that I have to fight ... I have to deal with my anger with care, with love, with tenderness, with nonviolence ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Monday, May 14, 2012

Using EFT for allergies

An allergy or intolerance is something our body, or immune system, reacts to because of real or perceived danger. Brent Phillips, who does theta healing has a lovely statement that I like to use when using EFT for allergies, it is:

I have the Divine/Creator/God/Universe's perspective on this ... 

You can use whatever word that feels right for you and then insert the substance that you are allergic/intolerant to and start tapping on all the points. We often develop allergies/intolerances when we don't feel safe at a core level, so addressing allergies from a safety perspective is very important. A very good tapping shortcut that Stephen Daniels shared on Gary Craig's DVDs is to tap the karate chop point and under the nose back and forth until the allergy/intolerance subsides.

*If you have a true allergy such as a peanut allergy use this protocol alongside any medical attention not instead of*

Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety ~ William Shakespeare

Monday, May 07, 2012

Why we need others to heal

Most of our wounds were created in our relationships with others and most of our wounds will be healed in our relationships with others.

Having a relational home as Robert Stolorow puts it in his book Trauma and Human Existence, is necessary for you to feel safe enough to connect with your hurts. If the relationship, whether it be with a therapist, friend or family member is not safe, it will be difficult if not impossible to heal your hurts. Trusting comes from feeling safe and even when you can't trust yourself, you will know when it is safe to put your trust in someone else, trust that knowing however small it seems to you. It is a doorway for you to enter a safe place where you can finally be heard, mirrored, validated and empathised with.

Peter Levine talks about going for a walk and suddenly being flat on the ground, hurt and frightened after a car had hit him in his book In an Unspoken Voice. It was only when a woman, who was gentle, calm and kind came and held his hand and was 'just with him', that he felt safe. He says that maybe he might not have recovered so fast and might even have developed PTSD had this woman not provided this safe place for him to feel cocooned. As a result he was able to begin discharging some of the frightening sensations and emotions characteristic of immobilisation/freeze that were coursing through his body at the time.

Harville Hendrix talks about three steps to establish contact, connection and communion in Receiving Love: Transform Your Relationship by Letting Yourself be Loved which can be applied to any relationshipThey are:
  1. I am listening so carefully that I can mirror back to you what you've just said.
    To mirror, I exercise my capacities for separate knowing and receiving.
  2. I affirm you and your right to have these feelings and hold these opinions.
    To validate, I exercise my capacities for connected knowing and giving.
  3. I can enter into your world and feel what you are feeling.
    To empathise, I exercise my capacities for connected knowing and giving.
We can mirror, validate and empathise through dialogue but as Peter Levine's example shows, sometimes words aren't necessary. We can transmit the same messages non verbally with just our presence, that's how powerful relationship can be for healing.

When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen ~ Ernest Hemingway

Monday, April 30, 2012

A Neurologist’s Explanation for Trauma, Dissociation and Chronic Pain

Taken from traumahealing.com

During his keynote address to the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, Dr. Robert C. Scaer invited fellow clinicians to “look beyond the dysfunctional behavior apparent in many PTSD patients to the neurophysiological and autonomic dysregulation that is the source of their symptoms and eventually their disease.”

“Medical science must shed the concept that a symptom, not measurable by current technology, is ‘psychological’ and therefore invalid,” he stated, and encouraged physicians to reject the pejorative implications of the term “somatization” and to stop further traumatization of patients by subtly implied rejection.

Referencing extensive research carried out over several decades, including that of Dr. Peter Levine in the field of somatic experiencing (SE), Dr. Scaer proposes a model of PTSD linked to “cyclical autonomic dysfunction.”

Case In Point: Whiplash Syndrome

According to Dr. Scaer, Whiplash Syndrome constitutes a model for traumatization rather than physical injury; many of its symptoms and clinical manifestations are in fact a universal, animal response to a life threat in the face of helplessness.

This hypothesis is based on the occurrence of dissociation at the time of the motor vehicle accident in the form of numbing and an altered state of awareness, often attributed to concussion.  Scaer reminded the audience that individuals who actively dissociate at the time of a traumatic event are much more likely to develop subsequent symptoms of PTSD than those who do not. Furthermore, he added, children are especially prone to dissociate at the time of a traumatic experience.

Whiplash Syndrome has proven very difficult to treat. Individuals who develop it after a whiplash trauma suffer continual headaches and pain, reduced movement at the back of the neck, tingling in the arms, lumbar pains, fatigue, sleep disruptions and reduced libido. Moreover, in a small percentage of people, these symptoms can persist for months or even years before settling. Yet, even then, residual long-term neck discomfort may be experienced.

These subsequent clinical symptoms are explained by theories of limbic “kindling,” Scaer said. Kindling, he explained, is the name given to the phenomenon of the progressive development of self-perpetuating neural circuits. The symptom can be produced in rats by repetitive time- and frequency-contingent regional electrical brain stimulation. The behavioral expression of kindling in humans may include epileptic seizures and is also a model for a number of clinical syndromes, including PTSD. Read on

Dissociation: the escape when there is no escape ~ Frank Putnam

Monday, April 23, 2012

Awareness and Introspection

Excerpted from Peter Levine's book In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness:

Though frequently used interchangeably, awareness and introspection are two very different creatures. Stated simply: awareness is the spontaneous, and creatively neutral experiencing of whatever arises in the present moment – whether sensation, feeling, perception, thought or action. In contrast, introspection is a directing of our attention in a deliberate, evaluating, controlling and, not infrequently, judgemental way. Introspection, while often valuable (and the essence of many talk therapies) can in itself become interfering, taking us far away from the here and now. The unexamined life, according to Thoreau, may not be worth living. However, introspective examination can become pathological, contributing to increased rumination, inhibition, self-consciousness and excessive self-criticism.

Awareness might be likened to seeing a glowing ember emanating the light of its own internal combustion. Introspection, on the other hand, is like viewing an object illuminated by an external light source, such as a flashlight. With awareness one directly experiences one's life energy as it pulsates and glows. In introspection, one sees only a reflection of the contents of one's life. Confusing thought and awareness, or equating them, is at the root of so much unnecessary human suffering. Insight, while important, has rarely cured a neurosis or healed a trauma. In fact, it often makes matters worse. After all, knowing why one reacts to a person, place or thing is not, in itself, helpful. Indeed, it is potentially harmful. For example, breaking out in a cold sweat when your lover touches you is distressing enough. Yet, having this same reaction, over and over, even after understanding why it occurs, can be further demoralising. Comprehending that what happened was merely triggered by an earlier event, while repeatedly having to endure its uninvited intrusion, can add crippling feelings of failure, shame and helplessness.

On the other hand, “simple” awareness, along with a fortified tolerance for bewildering and frightening physical body sensations, can seemingly, as if by magic, prevent or dissolve entrenched emotional and physical symptoms.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE)

I highly recommend David Berceli's tension and trauma release exercises which are very easy to learn from his DVD. Here is more on how the exercises help us to release any frozen energy from our bodies that manifest as trauma symptoms http://traumaprevention.com/2009/06/27/neurogenic-tremors-the-bodys-natural-response/:

Neurogenic Tremors (The body’s natural response)

It is not uncommon in many cultures to hear phrases such as: I was so frightened my jaw was quivering. I was shaking all over my body and I couldnt calm down. When I was giving that speech my legs were really shaking. My hands were shaking so bad I couldnt hold anything. I was so angry I shook all over. The experience of trembling is not only commonplace in our culture but it is a common experience to many mammalian species. This familiar, albeit disconcerting, experience is known as neurogenic tremors. It is well-known and documented that neurogenic tremors are a common result of a traumatic event.

Although there are no precise estimates of the incidence and prevalence of neurogenic tremors, clinical experience suggests that it is not rare (Chou, 2004). The neurogenic tremors commonly reported in PTSD are also recognized as diagnostic features of Panic Attacks (300.21), Social Phobias (300.23), and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (300.02) in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR, 2000).  The onset of these tremors can often be attributed to a traumatic event (Walters & Hening, 1992; Smaga 2003). Even though it is well accepted that body tremors are commonly present in a number of psychological illnesses, the purpose, etiology and potential therapeutic value of these tremors has received little attention in relation to the number of cases reported. Although the patho-physiology of tremors has made significant progress, many hypotheses on the purpose and value of these tremors are not yet based on sufficient data. Modern psycho-physiology needs to develop and test various hypotheses as a way of developing a rational medical theory and therapy to address this phenomenon (Deuschl et al., 2001). Read on 

Every muscular contraction contains the history and meaning of its origin ~ William Reich

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The true message

I'm reading a book at the moment called Therapeutic Communication: Knowing What to Say When by Paul Wachtel who talks about the main message that a therapist/practitioner conveys to a client. He believes that this message is always accompanied by a meta–message, or what I like to call, the true message. This meta-message communicates the true feelings and attitudes of the practitioner towards the client and it is this meta–message that has the greatest potential for therapeutic transformation or failure according to Wachtel.

People pick up on what we say, and in particular what we don't say, by our facial expressions, posture, gestures, dress and so on, and this is true in all walks of life. We have different ways of 'knowing' and 'receiving' information. We also pick up on what people say, and what they really mean, by our intuition. We usually feel this knowing as a bodily sensation or sensations if we are tuned in and we can all tune into our intuition and bodies with practice. Our body never lies.

Some might argue it is about perception, it is how we perceive things that other people say that determines how we interpret their message and while this is true to a certain extent, we know what we know. I believe it is crucially important to learn how to trust our knowing and intuition which is the same as trusting our self. If we are used to being criticised, questioned and having our feelings minimised we won't have very much self trust, so it is a very important issue to tap on. You can find a tapping script on self trust here.

References:
Wachtel, Paul, L. (2011). Therapeutic Communication: Knowing What to Say When, Guildford Publications, New York.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Using EFT for type 2 diabetes

One of the best resources I have found for type 2 diabetes is Dr Ron Rosedale. His articles on Insulin and its Metabolic Effects and Diabetes is not a Disease of Blood Sugar are excellent and fascinating reads on how important the role of insulin is in the body. Elevated insulin levels are highly associated and even causative of: heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer, obesity and many other so-called diseases.

The precursor to type 2 diabetes is insulin resistance which is when our cells become resistant to the effects of insulin. In other words, the body's cells are not listening to insulin so it cannot do its job properly. This is because the levels of insulin are too high in the body, it is akin to going partially deaf after years of listening to music that is too loud. This is where type 2 diabetes can seem the same as type 1 diabetes but it is not. In type 1 the pancreas produces no insulin, in type 2 the pancreas produces too much insulin, only the cells are not responding to it. Eventually, the pancreas can stop producing insulin, but this is a last resort and does not have to happen. There is so much you can do to prevent insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes by making healthier lifestyle choices to lower your insulin levels and keep them at optimum levels.

Cleaning up our diet is the first step and we can start by reducing foods that can cause insulin levels to spike such as refined carbohydrates, grains and sugars. Regular exercise helps improve our cells sensitivity to insulin, so keep active. Keeping our stress levels low is also very important, as when we are in fight or flight mode, we release cortisol and adrenaline which causes our blood sugar to elevate. The pancreas has then to release insulin to bring down blood sugar to safe levels. If the cycle of stress keeps occurring, over time, excess sugars will be stored as fat, mostly abdominal fat, because the body cannot clear the sugars fast enough as the cells have stopped responding to insulin correctly. Elevated insulin levels can also lead to chronic inflammation and cause a wide range of chronic health issues. All chronic disease is due to a miscommunication of messages between and within cells according to Dr Rosedale.

Try the following set up statements:

Even though I'm insulin resistant and that makes me feel ... I choose to listen to my body and all of its signals

Even though I haven't been listening to my body because ... I accept that it has been hard to hear what it has to say because ...

Even though I have all these symptoms (list them) and they make me feel ... I accept how I feel

Even though I have type 2 diabetes and I feel ... I accept myself anyway

Even though I am chronically stressed and can't seem to deal with stress, I choose to accept that I'm doing my best for now

Even though I just can't relax, because ... I choose to breathe into any discomfort I am feeling

Even though it is difficult not to fight my discomfort or how I am feeling, a part of me wants to just eat (or whatever else gives you comfort from stress) so I don't have to feel any stress, I deeply and completely accept myself anyway

The human body is not a single being, but a vast and beautiful community; a living republic of cells and bacteria, all working in harmony towards the continued survival of the being we call you ~ Ron Rosedale

Monday, March 26, 2012

I can receive

Many of us have issues with being able to receive due to not feeling deserving or worthy. How easy and comfortable it is for us to receive love, a compliment, acceptance, happiness, money or gifts tells us a lot about how we feel about ourself.

Say the following sentence out loud:

I can receive ... or It is easy/comfortable for me to receive ... (love, happiness, acceptance etc).

How true is it on a scale of 0 to 10? 10 being true and 0 not being true at all. When did you first feel that it was not okay to receive love? or gifts, or acceptance? Are there walls of defense around you to keep things that don't feel safe to receive away? But at the same time you crave them? Write your memories, feelings and any conflicts down and start tapping on them.

Gracious acceptance is an art - an art which most never bother to cultivate. We think that we have to learn how to give, but we forget about accepting things, which can be much harder than giving.... Accepting another person's gift is allowing him to express his feelings for you ~ Alexander McCall Smith

Monday, March 12, 2012

Unmet needs

What are your unmet needs? You mightn't have ever asked yourself that question. But if you think about what you struggle with, being accepted, being loved, being heard, that will lead you to the answers. Try tapping on the following set up statements and see what comes up.

Even though I needed ... but never got ... I accept that need

Even though I need ... and it still hasn't been met, and that makes me feel ... I love and accept myself

Even though this need (needs) makes me feel ... I accept how I feel


We need others. We need others to love and we need to be loved by them. There is no doubt that without it, we too, like the infant left alone, would cease to grow, cease to develop, choose madness and even death ~ Leo Buscaglia 

Monday, March 05, 2012

Being present

I am following the 21 day meditation challenge by the Chopra centre and last week one of the meditations was on healing the heart. The four needs of the heart are: attention, affection, appreciation and acceptance.


The order of these needs is important because without attention I don't think the others can follow. Being present with ourself or others is essentially paying attention. Leonard Jacobson wrote a lovely piece on substitute needs and talked about presence as our true need. Paying attention, particularly when we're in pain or because it feels really difficult not to want to run away, is loving ourself. Try these set up statements and tap on whatever feels right:

Even though it's hard to pay attention when ... I completely accept my reasons

Even though I can't stay present with ... it is completely ok

Even though I want to run away from ... I completely accept myself anyway

Monday, February 27, 2012

Our past is our history

I am a bit sick of hearing: get over the past, don't live in the past, the past is the past, be in the moment, the present is all you have. I think what is really being said is “I am sick of listening to you” which can be very isolating. If we find it difficult to get over our past, there's usually a reason, and a good one at that.

Our past is our history. History can teach us a lot about people, nature, where we came from ... it's good and it's bad and everything in between, but being ashamed of our past is essentially the same as being ashamed of ourself.

Being in the present is important, it is where our power to change things lies, but not at the expense of forgetting our history. Forgetting, erasing or pretending our past doesn't exist doesn't feel healthy to me, integrating it and learning from it feels a lot better. Being at ease with our past is a sign of being at peace with who we are and where we have come from.

If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday ~ Pearl Buck

Monday, February 20, 2012

EFT helps me to feel ...

What emotions do you find yourself shying away from? When you feel what is a difficult emotion, try saying when you tap “tapping helps me to feel ...”.


Ask yourself how you know that the emotion you're feeling is fear and not anger for example. What helps you to identify it as fear, what do you feel like when you feel afraid? What do you feel like when you feel angry? jealous? guilty? Keep tapping until you feel the emotion starting to move, leaving you feeling calmer and more able to feel uncomfortable and difficult emotions without becoming overwhelmed by them.

Your tapping might go something like this;

Top of head: Tapping helps me feel this fear
Eyebrow: Even though I don't want to feel it
Side of the eye: Because it's frightening
Under eye: It feels like it could take over
Under the nose: And sometimes it does
Under the chin: And then I panic
Collar bone: And it feels awful
Under the arm: I have to do something to not feel afraid

Top of the head: Because it feels so frightening
Eyebrow: I feel afraid
Side of the eye: I feel afraid
Under the eye: How do I know I feel afraid?
Under the nose: Because I feel it ... (knot in throat, tight stomach, sweating, shallow breathing, tap on how fear shows up for you in your body)
Under the chin: My stomach is in knots
Collar bone: It feels constricting
Under the arm: This fear feels constricting

Top of the head: It feels like it's in control
Eyebrow: And I'm powerless
Side of the eye: It's very hard to do anything but feel afraid sometimes
Under the eye: It's so hard to feel this fear
Under the nose: But I feel it
Under the chin: Otherwise I wouldn't know what fear feels like
Collar bone: I'm afraid of what fully feeling this fear could do to me
Under the arm: So I have to avoid it ...

Or you can keep it really simple and say "EFT helps me to feel fear" as you're tapping on all the points.

If you surrender to the wind, you can ride it ~ Toni Morrison

Monday, February 13, 2012

Coughing to be heard

Have you ever had a dry, tickly, chronic cough that lasted longer than a month? What do you think caused it? If you have ruled out any medical causes or allergies, consider that you might be straining to be heard.

Feeling heard is one of the biggest issues many of us deal with and if we don't feel heard it can manifest in different ways. Louise Hay, in You Can Heal Your Life, says coughing is a desire to bark at the world: “See me! Listen to me!”.

Rate how true her phrase feels when you say it out loud, 10 being true and 0 being false: “I am noticed and appreciated in the most positive ways. I am loved”, if you have any tailenders or objections to this statement you can start tapping on them.

being heard is so close to being loved, that for the average person they are almost indistinguishable by david augsburger

Monday, February 06, 2012

Relief or peace?

We all tend to take our health and other things for granted when we feel good. When we feel sick or something comes up we may realise how much we might have taken something for granted.

Sometimes we need relief in the moment because we feel overwhelmed and that's ok, more than ok. But sometimes we ignore what's underneath and instead of going for peace we go for moments of relief and then go back to our old ways of doing things. And the pattern keeps repeating ...

Looking at the reasons as to why we might want to ignore something is really useful. Fear can be a big reason as can any other emotion you find difficult or uncomfortable to feel. It's a good idea to first work on the strongest emotion (or whatever else you feel might be relevant) around an issue before working on the issue itself. Rate how strong the emotion is from 0 to 10, 10 being the strongest charge it has for you and start tapping. EFT diagram and procedure

Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek but a means by which we arrive at that ~ Martin Luther King, Jr

Monday, January 30, 2012

Feeling heard

It is really important to me to feel heard and to hear others. I think it is one of the most important factors in any relationship, including the relationship we have with ourself, we often don't hear what we're feeling. I came across this really lovely article by Carl Rogers that I really related to and wanted to share it here. Excerpted from www.listeningway.com

Experiences in Communication
by Carl Rogers

In my own two-way communication with others there have been experiences that have made me feel pleased and warm and good and satisfied. There have been other experiences that to some extent at the time, and even more so afterward, have made me feel dissatisfied and displeased and more distant and less contented with myself. I would like to convey some of these things. Another way of putting this is that some of my experiences in communicating with others have made me feel expanded, larger, enriched, and have accelerated my own growth. Very often in these experiences I feel that the other person has had similar reactions and that he too has been enriched, that his development and his functioning have moved forward. Then there have been other occasions in which the growth or development of each of us has been diminished or stopped or even reversed. I am sure it will be clear in what I have to say that I would prefer my experiences in communication to have a growth-promoting effect, both on me and on the other, and that I should like to avoid those communication experiences in which both I and the other person feel diminished.

The first simple feeling I want to share with you is my enjoyment when I can really hear someone. I think perhaps this has been a long-standing characteristic of mine. I can remember this in my early grammar school days. A child would ask the teacher a question and the teacher would give a perfectly good answer to a completely different question. A feeling of pain and distress would always strike me. My reaction was, "But you didn't hear him!" I felt a sort of childish despair at the lack of communication which was (and is) so common.

I believe I know why it is satisfying to me to hear someone. When I can really hear someone, it puts me in touch with him; it enriches my life. It is through hearing people that I have learned all that I know about individuals, about personality, about interpersonal relationships.

There is another peculiar satisfaction in really hearing someone: It is like listening to the music of the spheres, because beyond the immediate message of the person, no matter what that might be, there is the universal. Hidden in all of the personal communications which I really hear there seem to be orderly psychological laws, aspects of the same order we find in the universe as a whole. So there is both the satisfaction of hearing this person and also the satisfaction of feeling one's self in touch with what is universally true. Read on

Monday, January 23, 2012

Using EFT with dreams

I have found what's most important if you want to use EFT with your dreams, is to work with how you feel when you dream. We can spend a lot of time interpreting dreams and everyone's interpretation will be different, but a feeling is a feeling and can be recognised for what it is. You'll probably find the same patterns will show up in your dreams that you're finding in your life, the details will be more fantastic, but how you feel will most likely be the same.

The Wisdom of The Dream ~ Carl Jung

Monday, January 16, 2012

Using EFT for chronic issues

One of the emotions that can often accompany chronic issues is a feeling of frustration, a feeling that nothing you have done so far has worked. You might even feel helpless. It is important when you're tapping to talk about how you feel and how the pain feels, you will find it will shift, or move around your body, more easily. Most importantly, chronic pain is a signpost to something deeper, look for the messages and metaphors in what it is trying to communicate to you. Tapping diagram and procedure

Even though I have this chronic ... it is there, maybe for a reason

Even though I don't know what that reason is or the pain would have gone away by now, I accept my not knowing

Even though it's hard to accept not knowing, I really wish I knew what was causing this chronic ... I accept my frustration (helplessness/any other emotions)

Top of the head: This ...
Eyebrow: It feels ...
Side of the eye: And that feels ...
Under the eye: And that feels ...
Under the nose: I can accept how I feel about that
Under the chin: I wish I knew how to make it go away
Collar bone: Because it's still here
Under the arm: And that makes me feel ...

Top of the head: I've tried everything
Eyebrow: Absolutely everything
Side of the eye: And that feels ...
Under the eye: And it hasn't worked
Under the nose: And that makes me feel ...
Under the chin: I can't stand this chronic ...
Collar bone: I haven't tried accepting it
Under the arm: Because I can't

Top of the head: It might stay forever
Eyebrow: If I allow it to stay
Side of the eye: And that feels ...
Under the eye: So I have to do my best
Under the nose: To make it go away
Under the chin: I accept how I feel about that
Collar bone: It's ok to feel at the end of my tether
Under the arm: It's ok to feel ...

Top of the head: I choose to accept how I feel about all of it
Eyebrow: Even though it is hard
Side of the eye: To feel some of those feelings
Under the eye: And that feels ...
Under the nose: I'm tired
Under the chin: So tired
Collar bone: And that makes me feel ...
Under the arm: I accept how I feel about that

Monday, January 09, 2012

The Precarious Present

This is an excellent article by Robert Scaer excerpted from Psychotherapy Networker.

The Precarious Present

Why is it So Hard to Stay in the Moment?

By Robert Scaer

"I just can't seem to stop my mind," Linda told me. "I try to relax, but after a few moments, my brain starts to buzz again with a jumble of thoughts and feelings. I can't seem to turn them off." As she spoke to me during our second visit, she was visibly distressed. She had the pinched face and hunched shoulders of someone who felt at once threatened and helpless.

"Lots of times, it's the same old thing, just the same old negative thoughts and worries and blaming myself," Linda went on. "Sometimes I try to head them off by going out for a run, but they come back later. When they really get ahold of me, I get kind of shaky, dizzy, and sick to my stomach. If they go on long enough, I actually get a stiff neck, and eventually a headache."

A client's negative, intrusive thoughts are a therapist's stock and trade. Ditto the accompanying roster of bodily complaints, from stomach pains and neck tightness to headaches and back problems. In my 20 years as medical director of a multidisciplinary chronic-pain program, I've found these body-mind intrusions to be a sort of generic marker for significant emotional disorders, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and adjustment disorder.

But if Linda's distress seems familiar, it isn't just because we see this kind of client so frequently in our offices. It's also because her complaint rings true for "healthy" people like ourselves. All of us ruminate, bringing up the cud of old memories and unresolved problems, in the process experiencing a sinking feeling in the stomach or perhaps a tightening in the throat. As we well know, these experiences usually arise unbidden and often at inopportune times, such as when we're reading a book, eating a meal, or even, God forbid, making love! And when we're interrupted in this way, we basically lose it: we forget why we went into the bedroom, we lose track of our place in the book, and, if the intrusion is upsetting enough, we may even lose the wherewithal to continue with what's going on right now. We've experienced that most insidious of insults to our mind--the corruption of the present moment by emotion-linked memory. Read on

Monday, January 02, 2012

New year's resolutions

When push comes to shove, we usually only do what we want to do. If you want to lose weight and find yourself reaching for a chocolate bar, or many chocolate bars, what you want in that moment becomes more important than what you want in the long term. What you probably want in that moment is comfort and to feel good. Whatever makes you feel good you will reach for, we all want to feel good, none of us want to feel empty, lonely, or sad. Instead of sitting with painful emotions and feeling them because it often doesn't feel good, we'll sedate them with food, alcohol, drugs, TV, computers, you name it ....

Remind yourself that what you really, really, really want is to feel good, and maybe the 5 seconds it takes for you to remember this will be enough to make a different choice.