Post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition that is most commonly associated with war veterans, but according to the National Institute of Mental Health, the term applies to any chronic anxiety that people experience after “seeing or living through a dangerous event.” In our modern world, that covers a wide spectrum of situations, everything from car accidents to school shootings. Any insight into what makes such a large number of people who live through these events suffer from PTSD has the potential to help so many.
Unfortunately, most conventional “talk” therapies require the client to remember, verbalise and discuss their memories and feelings. This process and runs directly counter to the client’s powerful subconscious need to stay safe through repression, and offers only a very gradual discharge of traumatic emotions.
Well meaning therapists may do more harm than good by strongly re-triggering traumatic memories and strengthening the related neural pathways. Instead of discharging the negative emotions, they become more deeply entrenched.
One treatment method that has demonstrated very promising results for PTSD relief is EFT (emotional freedom techniques). EFT or “tapping” operates on the premise that all negative emotions are a disruption in the body’s energy system—the same network of energy meridians that acupuncturists use.
Instead of using needles, the EFT practitioner has the client tap on specific acupuncture points with their fingers, while focusing on negative emotions, physical sensations and recollections. When applied properly, the technique often provides immediate relief. Repeated rounds of tapping may bring about a complete discharge of the negative emotional intensity associated with a particular memory.
EFT is also remarkably effective. To fully discharge one specific memory may take, on average, anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. These seemingly miraculous results are possible because EFT addressed the root of the problem: the disturbance in the client’s energy system, rather than hashing over the memory itself.