PTSD is a condition that affects mental health when a person has a trigger which causes their brain to recall a terrifying event. Those with this condition have symptoms such as severe anxiety, flashbacks, nightmares and uncontrollable thoughts that can lead to their primordial fight or flight response to be activated. Quite often when they are in this state they lose their ability to think logically and to rationalise. When this occurs some people can find it very difficult to cope especially for those who suffer severe traumatic reactions that can manifest within a person sometimes across long periods of time. Some people have suffered with PTSD for years.

Hypnotherapy has been regarded as one of the most efficient methods for treating this problem. In particular the therapeutic method known as “Rewind Technique” or sometimes referred to as the “Movie Technique”. A process using guided imagery and trance state where they are taught to dissociate with the original experience and run mental movie in the mind utilising specific approaches with colour, sound and pace where it is run back and forth numerous times.

The Rewind Technique has proved to be highly effective even when in a light trance provided the therapist fully understands the process of how to reframe the experience within the brain of the person suffering with the condition.

Emotional Freedom Technique has also proved to be highly effective as a way to reduce the effects of the body’s natural defence system provoked by PTSD, when a person is in the fight or flight process they release stress chemicals such as cortisol and adrenaline.

Studies have been undertaken that prove EFT actually can reduce cortisol in the body – see section of an article written by Nick Ortner at the Huffington Post.

Breakthroughs in Energy Psychology:
“Dr. David Feinstein, & Dr. Church in the USA have carried out trials and have been able to confirm that tapping on specific meridian points has a positive effect on cortisol levels. Cortisol, known as the “stress hormone,” is integral to our body’s “fight or flight” response. However useful in short bursts, releasing cortisol too frequently, as we seem to be doing in response to the on-going or “chronic” stress of modern life, may have serious, even scary, impacts on our physical, mental and emotional health. In fact, living in this kind of biological “survival mode” may be making us more vulnerable to everything from cancer to heart disease, and more.

In Dr Churches study, 83 participants were separated into three groups. One group was guided through an hour-long EFT session, the second group received an hour of talk therapy, while the third, the control group, received no treatment. The group that did an hour of EFT demonstrated a 24 % decrease in cortisol levels, while the other two groups showed no real change. The EFT group also exhibited lower levels of psychological symptoms, including anxiety, depression, and others, as measured by the Symptom Assessment-45 (SA-45), a standard psychological assessment tool.

Research suggests that EFT may be so effective because of its perceived ability to balance out the nervous system, levelling off the activity of the parasympathetic and sympathetic regions. Responsible for promoting cell regeneration and relaxation, the parasympathetic region helps to slow your heartbeat, support digestion, and more. The sympathetic system, on the other hand, prepares you for vigorous physical activity by speeding up your heart, constricting your pupils, and so on. As noted in Church’s study, imbalance between these two regions is associated with a long list of health issues, from high blood pressure and heart problems (most often seen in those with an overactive sympathetic region), to depression, fatigue, and weakened immune response (in those with excessive parasympathetic activity).

“Acupoint tapping sends signals directly to the stress centres of the mid-brain, not mediated by the frontal lobes (the thinking part, active in talk therapy),” explains Dr. Church, Ph.D., who has been researching and using EFT since 2002. Because EFT simultaneously accesses stress on physical and emotional levels, he adds, “EFT gives you the best of both worlds, body and mind, like getting a massage during a psychotherapy session.” In fact, it’s EFT’s ability to access the amygdala, an almond-shaped part of your brain that initiates your body’s negative reaction to fear, a process we often refer to as the “fight or flight” response that makes it so powerful. “By reducing stress,” adds Church, “EFT helps with many problems. There’s a stress component to sports performance, business and financial pressure, and most disease. When you reduce stress in one area of your life, there’s often a beneficial effect in other areas.”

If you wish to have an informal and confidential chat about these techniques please give Jo Lomax a call.

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