Decrease Emotional Arousal
EFT, TAT and EMDR – Three Nifty Techniques
to Decrease Emotional Arousal
Author: Lynne Namka, Ed. D.
EMDR: A Method for Observing and Releasing the Emotions
Method 1 to Decrease Emotional Arousal is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). One of the newest techniques for releasing old traumas and negative beliefs is a revolutionary process called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). This new tool helps release stressful and uncomfortable emotions stored away in the body and mind. EMDR has been used with many different types of problems including rape, Vietnam combat problems, trauma due to natural disaster, sexual molestation and physical abuse. EMDR is also helpful in releasing uncomfortable memories of being criticized, embarrassed and shamed by others as well as being unmotivated or stuck on certain emotionally stressful issues.
Through the shifting back and forth of the eyes while focusing on inner body states, the individual learns about the temporary nature of the negative emotions as old repressed feelings come to the surface and are released. The process of observing the feelings and body energies and watching how they shift, teaches the person how to utilize a Zen detachment towards strong emotions. The client describes what he or she is feeling such as tension in the shoulders or tingling in the legs while recalling the experience. Rehashing of old trauma is minimized.
Whatever comes up, the gentle reminder from the therapist is “Just watch it. Just stay with it” or perhaps, “Learn from it” while continuing the eye movement. After a while, the energies that have been experienced as uncomfortable begin to shift growing larger or smaller, disappearing or going into some other expression in a different part of the body. The reprocessing part of the technique allows for quiet time for positive messages to come through from the unconscious mind about how they could see the situation differently and feel good about it. Clients often report that what they were concerned about no longer seems to be an issue.
This neurological technique of moving the eyes allows for the right and left side of the brain to connect giving more energy and brain power to see the trauma or unhappy situation differently. The client processes the situation and locked up feelings in a mild alpha state and comes up with a different understanding of the negative experience. The sessions teaches an objective method to deal negative emotions, stress and body pains.
Children as well as adults are usually intrigued to simply follow the movement of body states and emotions as they process an issue and follow the gentle rhythm of the movement. EMDR has been used with children to show they how their negative internal body states and negative self statements set the stage for them to avoid doing homework and fail on tasks they dislike.
When It Hurts, Just Poke It! Do It Yourself Acupressure
Method 2 to Decrease Emotional Arousal is – the Emotional Freedom Technique.
Johnny Carson once asked a feisty, 104 year old woman what the secret was to her longevity. She replied, “I didn’t smoke or drink; I went to church and raised my family. And when something hurt, I just poked it!
Want a quick way to release stress, fears, anxiety, grief and addictive cravings? Sometimes our body just wants poking. The Emotional Freedom technique is an innovative procedure you can learn to use on yourself to release stress and quickly bring yourself in emotional balance. This tapping procedure breaks into the body’s energy system to eliminate emotional distress and unresolved issues.
Anger, fear, stress and other negative emotions are specific thought fields that your body translates into energetic patterns. The Emotional Freedom technique is simple. You focus on what you need to accept about yourself, and then tap a few acupressure points in sequence while thinking about what upsets you. The changes brought about by the tapping are then programmed in your brain by moving your eyes in different directions then humming and counting. The technique demonstrates the power of the mind and the use of acupressure in releasing the negative emotions and beliefs that cause disturbances in your energy system.
The basic tapping technique was originally discovered to release phobias in a few minutes. It has been expanded to eliminate stress, anger, anxiety, jealously, rejection, guilt, addictions, grief and “love pain”. We tap until we find the unique blockage place and the emotional charge dissipates.
The Emotional Freedom technique has its roots in applied kinesiology, cognitive psychology and acupuncture. In Chinese Medicine, energy is believed to flow along meridians on the body through points that Chinese doctors have used for acupuncture and acupressure. You are your thoughts and all thoughts are energies. Fear, panic, anger, negative thoughts and unresolved issues are believed to be disturbances that cause blocks of energy in meridians.
Any negative emotional condition, unresolved phobia or trauma or addictive craving continues to interrupt the entire body’s energy system. Acupressure on certain key spots helps clear the disruption in the energy meridians. Poking or tapping certain parts of the body, while thinking and feeling upset about something, changes the energy in the meridians. The tapping releases the blockages in the energetic field that is held in the person’s thought field. After the treatment of the acupressure points, the information is stored differently in the energetic field and energy in the meridians flows more freely. Balance and harmony are instilled with new insights. Often the thought or belief about the issue spontaneously changes after doing the tapping.
Most people are amazed at how fast The Emotional Freedom Technique works to break into energetic emotional blocks. This is speed therapy at its best! The procedures are easy to learn so that you can apply them to yourself for daily self care. Doing the tapping on different problems as they come up during the day is your best bet for shortening your therapy experience. Tap often on any and all problems and troublesome emotions.
Remember when it hurts, just poke it!
Know What You Know, Then Let It Go – A Technique to Quell Inner Anxiety
Method 3 to Decrease Emotional Arousal is the Tapas Acupressure Technique.
For years the mystics have extolled the power that could be accessed by turning one’s consciousness to the Third Eye. Years ago there was a story about Sigmund Freud using a touch procedure to help people get information that they knew but could not access. Freud would put his finger on the person’s face between their eyebrows and ask them to think of what they needed to know. He told them that when he removed his finger, they would suddenly remember what had been hidden away and generally the clients did! Was Freud using acupressure by pressing on the area of the Third Eye?
The Tapas Acupressure Technique (TAT) is a simple method that helps people get in touch with and release information about what is bothering them by holding certain points on the forehead and back of the neck with their fingers. By holding points, focusing on an issue and requesting information and a positive outcome, the energies release. The front and back of the brain is connected and the brain rhythms are balanced. It’s quick, easy to do and works a lot of the time.
Tapas Fleming is an acupuncturist who uses acupressure to help people release emotional issues and allergies. She has intuitive abilities and this method came to her after taking a nap when she visualized how people could be healed of trauma by holding acupressure points and asking for release.
The Tapas Acupressure Technique Modified
Tapas has a slightly different protocol that she uses now which may be seen at her web site. I like to use my version of her procedure to help people learn about how emotions are related to body tension. In essence, my version teaches you how to use body tension as a biofeedback procedure and how to use the breath to release emotions, stress and tension.
1. Think of a problem or an upsetting event. Center yourself and ask if your Inner Wisdom if it is appropriate for you to work on the issue at this time using the Tapas Technique. Rate your problem from one to ten on how upsetting it is with ten as the highest setting. Locate the upset feelings or tension in your body. Say your problem out loud in one sentence.
Lightly hold the top of the bridge of your nose (at your tear ducts) between your eyes with your fourth finger and thumb. Place your middle finger on your third eye area in the middle of your forehead. This makes a three point connection on your forehead. Place your other hand lightly on the base of your skull right at the occipital ridge under your hair. Relax your hand and rest your fingers gently. Do not apply pressure. Close your eyes. Let the feelings come up in your body and breathe into anything that comes up feelings, thoughts or body wise.
Hold the TAT points again. Think of the problem. Allow it. Stay with the thing that you resist. Whatever you resist, accept! Observe what is going on in your body. Where are you tense? Breathe into the tension area. Is there discomfort? Do any unhappy feelings come up? Breathe into the feelings until they go away. Do you see dark colors? Breathe into the dark visual field until bright colors come up Hold the points and breathe into the tension until something shifts. Dark colors in your visual field may shift into lighter ones. Notice body relaxation or seeing healing colors of blue, green or purple or bright colors of red or yellow.
Is there a memory or images attached to the issue? It is okay if there is not–you may just get tension or tension and feelings. If there is an unhappy memory, breathe into that. Accept that as an aspect of your history giving your full brain consciousness to the memory. Breathe into the area where the feelings were stored and ask for further release.
Follow your stream of thoughts, ideas, emotions and body tension. Anything that comes up, just breathe into it and accept it. You might get a sensation of pulses in your fingertips. Sighs of release, temperature changes, new ideas or concepts are all signs of subtle energy changes. Some people do not notice a change in the body–if not just breathe into relaxation.
2. Hold the TAT pose again. Think of the opposite of the problem. Say this out loud. Allow the opposite of the problem to be true. Breathe deeply and say, “I’m comfortable with ……” Hold the points until you feel finished with this step.
3. Ask to go to the origin of the problem while you hold the TAT points. Ask God or whomever you pray to heal the beginning of the problem. You may or may not get a memory. You may ask for a story by asking yes and no questions of your body through muscle testing or intuition. Accept whatever comes up in your mind or body. Hold the pose until you feel a shift in energy.
4. Hold the TAT points and ask for a healing of all the energies in your body that have been connected to the problem. Ask God for a healing of all that has been stored in your body with the problem. Ask that all sensations, blockages, hook, knots, resistances and tensions be eliminated.
Ask for a healing of everything that has triggered you into a reaction in the past. Ask that the stimuli that have been associated with the trauma be healed. Any voice tone, gesture, smell, tension in the situation etc. that has sent you automatically back into the problem can be neutralized with this technique.
The Four Basic Steps of the TAT. Do each step until you notice a shift in body symptoms or thoughts.
- Accept the problem while you focus on what is going on in your body, mind and visual field.
- Focus on the opposite of the problem.
- Ask for a healing of the origin of the problem.
- Ask for a healing of whatever resonated with the problem in your body and in the environment.
Afterwards, drink a glass of water and allow time for rest. Continue to drink 6-8 glasses of water during the day. You may notice that you are tired; if so allow your body to rest while the energies continue to shift around the issue. It generally takes 24 hours for the energetics to shift after releasing a problem.
Use the Tapas Acupressure Technique at night when you are worried about something and can’t sleep. Use it when you have a bad dream and breathe into whatever the dream represents. People rarely get a negative reaction with this procedure, but like meditation and other opening-up procedures, a strong emotional reaction is always a possibility. If you do, see a mental health practitioner. If you can’t clear the issue up yourself, get someone to help you work the steps.
Deep breathing, using a relaxation technique and asking to see something differently is always a positive solution to stress and trauma in your life. Asking for peace and understanding around a problem is a prayer with a positive intention. Positive intentions help set the stage for change.
Remember, you can always ask for what you want to release or achieve and give the quiet space while holding the TAT pose to create the relaxation to allow the shift to happen. A simple prayer that is helpful to repeat several times is “Holy Spirit, heal my mind. Give me self forgiveness (or forgiveness for another) and a new way of looking at this.”
Tapas Fleming’s manual Reduce Traumatic Stress in Minutes, The Tapas Acupressure Technique (TAT) Workbook can be ordered from Tapas Fleming, L.A. C., 5031 Pacific Coast Highway #76, Torrance, CA, 90505.