What is trauma?
Most people think of trauma in terms of BIG Trauma (Trauma with a big "T") such as physical or sexual abuse, war trauma, domestic violence, a bad car accident, etc. But there are other kinds of trauma, what we call trauma with a little "t".
Little traumas might look like:
- You were harassed in school because you were ___________ (too small, too big, too slow, had braces, had glasses, etc.).
- Your mom yelled at you in front of your friends and embarrassed you.
- You read aloud in class, stumbled on words, and the class laughed.
- A partner cheated on you.
- Your little brother always hurt you and you got blamed.
Regardless of big or little, trauma disrupts the energy in the mind and body, and can be held onto for years or a lifetime if not addressed. This disruption in our energy system often manifests itself as physical or emotional pain.
We carry around these traumas, and they impact our emotional and physical well being, as well as our beliefs about ourselves and the world around us. These trauma-informed belief systems impact how we move through the world; do we feel safe, happy, trusting, fearful, joyous, resentful? EFT allows you to gently examine those traumatic events in your past, uncover the beliefs that have formed from those events, and then release the energy disruption in the body through Tapping on the meridian points. This supports the body and mind in returning to its natural state of wellness and health.
Beryl Ryan is a trauma specialist, and has supported her clients in experiencing tremendous relief by working through trauma with Tapping.
How does EFT Clear trauma?
There are two ways to look at how the disruption in our energy system occurs...
1.The Body's Energy System – The Foundation of EFT Tapping
About 5,000 years ago, the Chinese discovered a complex system of energy circuits that run throughout the body. These energy circuits ... or meridians as they are called ... are the centerpiece of Eastern health practices and form the basis for modern day acupuncture, acupressure and a wide variety of other healing modalities.
Therefore, EFT operates on the following premise:
"The cause of all negative emotions and physical pain is a disruption in the body's energy system."
The medical profession has long known that negative emotions can dramatically affect our body chemistry and that, in turn, can lead to everything from rashes and headaches to addictions, impaired immune systems and more. As guilt, anger, fear, trauma and the like become resolved, physical ailments often subside simultaneously. Often, we see physical symptoms fade by simply Tapping on the meridian system without directly aiming EFT at emotional contributors.
2. Fight/flight stress response and amygdala activation
Another perspective on the scientific basis of EFT examines the fear response mechanism in the brain, called the Amygdala. The Amygdala is known as the brain's fear center, from which the "fight or flight" response originates.
This "fight or flight" response is highly useful when faced with real survival situations or an actual threat (think primitive humans needing to escape the lion or tiger). However, in our modern world there are so many stressors that inappropriately activate the Amygdala, i.e. running late for an important meeting, being called into the office by your boss, your morning alarm doesn't go off, a bill shows up as past due...
When the Amygdala fires the fear response, the "stress hormone" cortisol floods our body and the part of our brain responsible for higher thinking (our prefrontal Cortex) literally goes offline. This also causes our immune system to shut down.
Tapping has been shown to literally “turn off” the Amygdala, disrupting the stress response and allowing the body and mind to return to its natural state of wellness.
Depending on what we have experienced in our lives to cause the symptoms of discomfort, either or both of these mechanisms can be involved.