The scene: Northern California, summer 2005. A Vietnam war veteran is relaxing on a local beach. A Coast Guard helicopter flies nearby. The man breaks out in hives; he begins to sweat, and his pulse races.
The man has done extensive therapy and is aware that the helicopter is bringing him back to his time in combat 30 years ago. He is conscious of the fact that this is today, it is a Coast Guard helicopter in the sky, and he is here in the U.S. Even though his conscious mind is aware of what is going on, his cells haven't forgotten the trauma, and the sound of the helicopter is bringing his cellular memory of the trauma up to re-experience everything again.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the label that is usually applied in such a case. I would like to introduce the concept that often, many of the patterns that we have as adults that do not serve us well, can be treated in the same way as PTSD. We develop some kind of coping mechanism (perhaps eating) to counteract some unpleasant feeling, such as loneliness. It is not truly traumatic, and not necessarily PTSD, but a powerful behavioral response that lives with us and ends up contributing to a pattern that can create much harm.
Without going into the details of the types of patterns one can treat, let's talk about effective ways to intervene and help shift out of these patterns or habits. Basically, almost any pattern can be shifted.
In the case of the Vietnam veteran above, the difficulty is in accessing the cellular memory or unconscious mind. Consciously understanding the situation is often not enough to make a shift. The cells have to learn that there is another way to respond.
There are several methods that seem to have much in common and are getting more attention recently. One that I am most familiar with and have experienced significant success with is called "emotional freedom technique" (EFT), developed by Gary Craig. What makes this method so powerful, beyond it simply working, is that it is something people can do for themselves, and it is easy to learn.
It is an amalgam of several different areas of human experience. Chinese medicine's contribution is the usage of the acupuncture points. The points are tapped lightly by oneself while one is consciously using affirmations, intentions and/or statements that bring up a particular issue. For a trained acupuncturist, at first glance it can seem overly simplistic and a bit silly. However, after experiencing the power of this procedure over and over, I have come to respect it as a profound method of accessing deep, entrenched patterns and spontaneously shifting them.
When one looks at similar therapeutic methods such as neurolinguistic programming (NLP), Nambudripad's allergy elimination technique (NAET), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and Tapas acupressure technique (TAPA), an essential common denominator is that the technique is done concomitantly within the presence of the offending substance or concept.
Consider the nature of a hologram. It is a three-dimensional image created by lasers such that when broken down into fragments, each fragment contains the information of whole image. The ancient Taoists, amongst other indigenous peoples, believed that the individual was a microcosm of the whole. The outer universe was reflected in the inner universe of the individual. Similarly, in each of our cells, the DNA contains the information for our entire being. When we literally tap into the acupuncture points while holding a piece of puzzle, the entire puzzle gets solved. By using these methods in conjunction with acupuncture, the effect is heightened many times over.
In the case of the Vietnam veteran, while he consciously holds the idea of his past trauma, he can tap the points, and the unconscious mind, which is aware of the complete trauma, will get the message. One of the wonderful attributes of this method is that the person does not have to relive the event and be re-traumatized. It is only necessary to touch a tiny piece of it. Like the hologram, a piece contains the whole. This is called the "tearless trauma technique."
I encourage anyone reading this article to go to www.mercola.com and search for "EFT." You will be able to access an easy-to-use explanation for doing the procedure. Of course, direct transmission is the most powerful method of learning. To do this, contact www.nafeh.org for further information on how to learn the method directly with a qualified practitioner. Please feel free to contact me as well.
Click here for previous articles by Andrew Rader, LAc, MS.
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