Energy Therapy and EMDR Therapy - what are they?

Energy Therapy and EMDR are non-traditional ways to eliminate trauma and stress, negative beliefs, and self-defeating behavior patterns. Within minutes, these techniques can clear the pathways to almost anything that stands in the way of your sense of peace and well-being. All the issues that any therapy would approach can be addressed in this way.

Profound changes can happen within moments. When targeted appropriately, changes in subjective feeling and in patterns of behavior can shift rapidly and permanently, however deeply ingrained. How these techniques work is not yet fully understood. However, several lenses can be used to understand general Energy Therapy, as well as TAT®, the particular approach that Aviva uses most frequently.

Here are two possible lenses with which to understand this work:

Neurological Lens (how the brain works)

Research on the brain has helped us to understand some of the ways in which we may - for better or for worse - continue to carry around in our minds and bodies the memory of events long past. If a memory is a good one, this is not a problem. But when a bad memory lingers, our emotions can become inexorably attached to thoughts, feelings and behaviors that interfere with our sense of well-being.

We now know that our emotions form what is referred to as the limbic or emotional centers of the brain. Anything and everything that we think, believe, see, feel or experience is first processed in these centers before being processed by our neofrontal cortex, the seat of rationality.

When a trauma or stressful event occurs in any aspect of our lives, a structure (called the amygdala) deep inside the brain in the limbic system, sets off an alarm signal that readies the body for an emergency response: fight, flight or freeze. Adrenaline or cortisol is released, and the logical brain goes offline. These are instinctual, innate responses that are essential to human survival, and which are shared with all animals and reptiles. But these very responses can be the cause of serious problems.

After a trauma or emergency event, the body may return to its normal sense of balance and homeostasis. If so, all is well and good. Frequently, however, trauma or periods of prolonged distress (mental or physical) overtax the system. Memories of events are not processed properly, and become frozen in time, as if a pause button had been pressed. This can interfere with many aspects of the body and minds functioning (perceptual, affective, autonomic somatic and cognitive). As a result, you might find yourself forced to relive the painful, lingering traces of the original event - not only psychologically but biologically in a physical experience of stress or anxiety.

The symptoms produced by the consequence of this series of events are what tend to motivate people to therapists' and doctors' offices.

Energy lens

While new to our western minds, Energy psychology comes from very ancient times, familiar to the natives of Asia, India Africa and China. Energy work understands maladies in the body/mind to be the result of the blocked energy pathways (known as meridians) that run throughout our bodies. These pathways carry our chi/prana/energy through our body. It is the quality of this energy that gets communicated to our nervous system and our vital organs. As in the neurological model outlined above, the key to a healthy body/mind is homeostasis. I.e. an even flow of balanced energy. Any disruptions in the system will lead to stagnation and adversely affects us mentally and physically. The image of a flowing river stopped in its tracks by refuse that has flown into it, illustrates what happens when chi /energy is stuck in our system. Like the natural bent of water to flow freely once the dam is unblocked , so too chi can flow freely through our body/mind as soon as it is unblocked.

The action of TAT ® EFT and other energy modalities directly affects the limbic system. Blocked energy is released instantaneously. The emotional brain is re-programmed and updated to present reality. The individual ceases to live in the past. The natural healing instincts within the body are reawakened leading to an overall feeling of well-being and safety.