Stress seems to be an inevitable part of modern life. While healthy stress can motivate us to take positive action, chronic stress compromises our immune system, reducing our ability to think clearly. It can also increase the risk of a wide range of conditions including: obesity, heart disease, diabetes, depression, gastrointestinal problems and asthma. The good news is, that each of us has the ability to calm our own stress responses. Three slow, deep, belly breaths can begin to counteract stress symptoms; so can moderate exercise or meditation. But if root causes of the stressors are not dealt with, the effects may be short-lived. Issues such as an up-coming exam or job interview; family or work conflict, trauma or deep-seated issues generally require more in-depth approaches. Today, simple but highly effective energy therapies can easily be learned for self-care stress reduction or use with the guidance of a skilled practitioner.
What Are These Simple but Powerful Energy Therapies?
Known as Power Therapies or Energy Psychotherapies (EP’s), with labels that sound a bit like alphabet soup, these are a growing number of modalities, which grew mainly from a technique known as Thought Field Therapy or TFT, developed by psychologist, Roger Callahan, PhD in the 1980’s. (visit my website and click on History of Energy Psychology for a detailed description). Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) also known as “Tapping” is one of the better known therapies in this field, because hundreds of thousands of people, around the world, are now using it to help themselves and others. Not as well-known but equally gentle and powerful is another of my favourite therapies, known as TAT or Tapas Acupressure Technique.
What Kinds of Issues Can Energy Therapies Help With?
Energy Therapies can be used to relieve pain, muscular tension, relationship conflicts, panic, anxiety, trauma, depression, insomnia, migraines, love pain, grief, addictions, nightmares, anger and much more. Even a short session can reduce your stress hormone – Cortisol – and lower your blood pressure, while enhancing thinking and problem solving. It is also an amazing performance enhancement tool for speakers, students, athletes, musicians and artists and it can enhance your spiritual practice.
One of reasons that the simple “recipes” these EP’s use are able to help with so many issues, is that they all work to alter the body and brain’s out-moded responses to old thoughts and memories. ( Watch for my December 2015 article on “Trauma and the Unconscious Mind” for more details on this mechanism.) Simply put, they take the body out of reactivity and “stress” mode and into a state of more energetic coherence or calmness. This allows for new, more whole-brain responses to the issues that were previously troublesome.
Here are a few examples of how some specific stressors can be reduced or eliminated with Energy Therapies:
- A student with severe test anxiety can now approach her exams with confidence and calmness and improve her Grade Point Average.
- A businessman uses EFT prior to an important meeting and is able to present his product clearly and confidently.
- A classroom group of children “Tap” at the start of the school day to help themselves be present and ready to get the most out of the day.
- A mature woman is able to work through a childhood trauma and enjoy Christmas with her family for the first time.
- A woman with a 24-year flying phobia eliminates her fear in a 45 minute treatment session.
- A child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder uses “Tapping” to calm himself down and avoid being teased.
- A military veteran with 18 years of Post-Traumatic Stress who, after years of medication, group and psycho-therapy had minimal relief, is finally free of major symptoms with only 6 sessions of EFT.
- A young actor is able to eliminate performance anxiety and gains notoriety in a highly competitive field.
How Do EP’s Work?
All these EP approaches work with a simple process of putting ones’ attention gently on a distressing symptom, thought and/or emotional memory while holding or tapping on specific acupuncture meridians with your own fingers. This process is a kind of mental Exposure Therapy; which activates a constellation of energetic impulses in the body/mind, where the roots of the issues have been “stored”. Stimulation of the acupuncture meridians at the same time as the mental activation can create a relaxation response in these systems. This generally results in a reduction or elimination of the previously troublesome emotions, thoughts and body symptoms, often with only a few applications. More complex issues may require a few sessions to resolve but usually a person will leave even their first session, feeling more calm, relaxed and neutral about a previously distressing issue. My students and clients refer to this as the PCL state – Peaceful, Calm and a kind of Lightness in their body!
What Does A Private Session Look Like?
It is important that my clients understand that we work together as team! It is a combination each client’s history, inner wisdom, and commitment to self-growth, combined with my knowledge, experience and intuitive sense, together weaving a path of healing. Sometimes this will occur in just one or two sessions but often a series of 3 to 5 sessions over time, with self-care “homework” by the client in between, is the optimum recipe for success. I also believe that healing can be fun! My clients and I sometimes find humor erupting as a very healing mechanism even in the depths of distress.
Our first session of 1.5 hours will start with a brief check-in and history taking, after which we will commence using one of the EP’s such as Emotional Freedom Technique on a troublesome issue. By the end of the session, there should be a noticeable sense of change in the Issue we have been working with. Subsequent sessions are around 60 minutes in length and are directed by the needs of the client.
If you are wondering if a Private Coaching or Counselling session might be useful for you, I offer a free 10 minute phone consultations to assist you. If you know you would like an appointment please call or email and we will set up a time that is mutually convenient.
How Can I Learn These Energy Psychotherapies?
I generally teach EFT to my clients in our very first session, so they can experience the benefits and have it as an ongoing stress reduction strategy for homework between sessions and for LIFE. I introduce additional approaches as requested or required. These may include other EP’s, meditation or grounding and energizing techniques.
Workshops and Presentations
My passion is to teach and empower as many people as possible with Energy Therapies and other healing approaches. I offer short, 3 – hour Stress-Buster EFT classes and longer, 2 day EFT and TAT Workshops, where professionals and lay people can learn how to use these therapeutic tools for self-care and to help others. There are many YouTube videos online and tutorials where you can learn EFT. But according to Gary Craig, creator of EFT “the best way to learn EFT is to participate in a live workshop.” So I hope you will join me at one of mine!
Please email email@example.com with the Subject Line Workshop Request if you would like to attend or organize a presentation or workshop.
Thank You for Your Interest!
It is my pleasure to answer questions or receive comments about this article. You will also find more information and contact information on my website: www.karenledger.ca
Yours in Wellness,
Karen E. Ledger, RN BScN
At One Communications