EFT For PTSD: Unlocking Healing Through Tapping Techniques
In this article, you will learn about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), its causes, risk factors, symptoms and possible complications, and how to treat PTSD including EFT Tapping therapy.
At every moment, we feel life is difficult. Every day seems to be filled with anxiety after anxiety, stress after stress, and there appears to be no way out.
Living with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a constant fight. It can cast a long shadow over one's life, affecting mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Those who suffer and fight from it are truly life survivors.
“PTSD doesn't make you weak. It makes you a survivor.”
WHAT IS POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER?
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition triggered by a terrifying event experienced or witnessed by an individual.
It can result from experiencing extremely stressful situations like war, accidents, or even sexual assault.
PTSD is a long-term effect of traumatic experiences that result in extreme fear, chronic pain, helplessness, or horror.
The majority of people experience traumatic situations in their lives and find it extremely difficult to adjust and cope, but with proper self-care, they usually improve.
However, if your symptoms worsen and begin to interfere with your regular activities, you may be suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Generally, people with PTSD have powerful, unsettling thoughts and sensations about the traumatic incident. It is known to continue long after it has occurred.
They may have flashbacks or nightmares about the event, and feel sad, fearful, angry, and detached or estranged from others.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER?
PTSD is likely caused by a complicated mix of factors, as is the case with most mental health issues:
Stressful experiences, including the amount and intensity of trauma you've experienced in your life.
Loss of a loved one, whether or not this involved violence
Rape or other types of abuse
Being a victim of crime
Receiving a life-threatening diagnosis
Traumatic brain injury
WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS OF POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER?
Post-traumatic stress disorder can affect people of any age. According to studies, while men are more likely to be victims of violence, women are more likely to have PTSD (1).
Some risk factors are as follows:
Have issues with substance abuse, such as binge drinking or drug use.
A lack of a strong family and social support system.
The hippocampus (involved in the processing of emotions and memories) appears to be different in those with PTSD compared to others, according to brain scans.
In patients with PTSD, levels of hormones (ordinarily released in a fight-or-flight situation) appear to be different (2).
Symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder generally occur within a month following your traumatic experience. However, they can also take years to appear.
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS OF PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can affect every aspect of your life, including your career, relationships, health, and enjoyment of regular activities.
PTSD can raise your risk of developing other mental health issues, such as:
Anxiety and depression
Drug or alcohol abuse problems
Suicidal ideas and behaviour
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF PTSD IN KIDS BELOW 6?
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can affect individuals of all ages, including young children. Common signs and symptoms in this age group can include:
Young children may exhibit behaviour typical of a younger age, such as bedwetting or thumb-sucking, which they had previously outgrown.
Frightening dreams that may or may not involve components of the traumatic event.
Re-enacting the painful event or aspects of the traumatic event through play.
Clinginess to caregivers and increased separation anxiety.
Developing new fears and phobias, often related to the trauma.
It's important to note that very young children may not have the vocabulary to express their feelings and experiences fully.
Therefore, if you suspect a child aged 6 or below may have PTSD, it's crucial to consult with a mental health professional or EFT practitioner who specialises in child trauma and development.
Early intervention and appropriate treatment can make a significant difference in helping the child cope with the effects of trauma and work towards healing and recovery.
PREVENTION OF PTSD
Many people experience PTSD-like symptoms after surviving a terrible event, such as being unable to stop thinking about what happened. Trauma can cause feelings of fear, worry, wrath, depression, and guilt.
The number of individuals who are subjected to trauma, on the other hand, do not acquire long-term post-traumatic stress disorder.
Getting aid and support as soon as possible might help prevent typical stress reactions from becoming worse and leading to PTSD. This may entail reaching out to family and friends who can listen and provide support.
It could involve seeing a mental health expert for a short period of therapy. Some people may find it beneficial to seek help from their faith community.
SEVERITY OF PTSD
It is important to note that the severity of PTSD symptoms changes with time. When you're anxious in general, or when you're reminded of what happened to you, you may have greater PTSD symptoms.
For example, you may see a report on the news about a sexual assault and feel overcome by memories of your assault.
Talk to your doctor or a mental health professional if you've been having troubling thoughts. Especially when feelings about a traumatic event last longer than a month and you are having difficulties regaining control of your life.
Getting treated as soon as possible can help to prevent the symptoms of PTSD from worsening.
HOW TO TREAT PTSD?
The purpose of PTSD treatment is to relieve mental and physical pain, improve everyday functioning, and assist the person in better managing the triggering incident.
Psychotherapy (a form of counselling), medicine, or both may be used to treat posttraumatic stress disorder.
Fortunately, there are several therapeutic approaches that can help individuals manage their symptoms and regain control of their lives.
Following are the methods that can be used as alternative treatment to treat posttraumatic stress disorder:
HOW EFT TAPPING HELPS IN REDUCING PTSD SYMPTOMS?
The effectiveness of EFT Tapping in reducing PTSD symptoms can be attributed to several key factors:
EFT TAPPING TECHNIQUE FOR PTSD
The following is a sample EFT Tapping technique for PTSD:
In addition to EFT, various psychological treatments, such as cognitive therapy and group therapy, can be beneficial for individuals with PTSD.
However, EFT's unique approach to addressing negative emotions, physical symptoms, and psychological stress sets it apart as an effective and efficient treatment for PTSD.
By tapping into the body's energy system and offering a holistic approach to emotional healing, EFT Tapping continues to pave the way for profound and lasting relief for those who have experienced trauma.
WHAT ARE ACUPUNCTURE POINTS IN EFT TAPPING?
Acupuncture points are strategically utilised to alleviate the physical and emotional symptoms of PTSD. Let's explore how the following meridian points play a crucial role in the EFT treatment for PTSD:
By systematically tapping on these key meridian points while focusing on specific traumatic memories, individuals with PTSD can gradually reduce the emotional distress associated with their experiences.
EFT not only helps in alleviating the immediate emotional response but also contributes to a shift in the way the brain processes traumatic information.
This holistic approach to addressing PTSD through the body's energy flow, in conjunction with traditional psychological treatments, offers hope and healing to those struggling with the condition.
OTHER EFT METHODS FOR TREATMENT OF PTSD
EFT offers various methods for addressing trauma, they are as follows:
DOES EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUE (EFT) WORK FOR PTSD?
A successful treatment strategy for PTSD entails a multi-faceted approach that addresses both mental and physical signs, with the ultimate goal of alleviating suffering and promoting recovery.
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is an alternative therapy method that encourages individuals to acknowledge and embrace the emotional and psychological challenges that arise from their trauma. By doing so, you embark on a path of self-compassion and healing.
A 2012 journal assessed seventy-seven male Haitian seminarians for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following the 2010 earthquake. 62% of them exhibited scores in the clinical range (>49). EFT training method that helps in treating PTSD symptoms in traumatised populations was applied to the participants with 2 days of instructions (3).
In fact, many randomised controlled trials of EFT show that only a few treatment sessions are effective in treating PTSD. A systematic review of one of the randomised clinical trials of EFT revealed that the symptoms of PTSD in veterans dropped by 64% after just 6-hours long sessions (4).
Some of the symptoms of PTSD include constant nightmares, insomnia, anger, disconnecting from the external world, and in extreme cases even causing self-harm.
In such a situation a significant decrease of 64% in the symptoms following the clinical guidelines could be life-transforming! It can help restore balance in PTSD patients. There is a huge psychological trauma symptom improvement.
Kaiser Permanente one of the largest hospital systems in the US, taking care of more than 10 million patients each year, also says that Emotional Freedom Techniques treats complex PTSD successfully in 10 sessions or less.
EFT Tapping is, thus safe, and can be used as a self-help practice and a primary evidence-based treatment for PTSD.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
EFT Tapping can be a helpful self-help technique for some individuals dealing with PTSD, but it's not a substitute for professional mental health treatment.
If you have PTSD or suspect you do, it's essential to seek help from a qualified mental health professional who can provide appropriate treatment, which may include therapy, medication, or a combination of approaches.
Yes, PTSD is a complex and often misunderstood condition because of the following reasons:
While many people develop symptoms of PTSD shortly after a traumatic event, some individuals experience delayed onset. This means that symptoms may not appear until months or even years after the traumatic incident.
People with PTSD may experience episodes of dissociation, where they feel disconnected from their own body or the world around them. This can manifest as feeling numb, as if in a dream, or even as an out-of-body experience.
PTSD can affect not only those who directly experience trauma but also those who are indirectly exposed to it. This is known as secondary trauma or vicarious trauma and can impact first responders, healthcare providers, or even family members of trauma survivors.
PTSD can have physical effects on the body, including changes in brain function, increased inflammation, and an elevated risk of certain medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease.
PTSD often co-occurs with other mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders. Treating these co-occurring conditions can be essential for effective recovery.
Understanding these less-known aspects of PTSD can help healthcare professionals and support networks provide more effective care and support for those dealing with the condition.
I am glad that you are choosing to heal yourself. Here's how you can use EFT Tapping for PTSD:
Identify the Issue: Begin by identifying the specific traumatic memory or the emotional issue you want to address. This is crucial as it helps you to pinpoint the focus of your tapping.
Rate the Intensity: On a scale of 0 to 10, rate the intensity of your distress related to the issue. This provides a baseline to measure your progress.
Setup Statement: Create a setup statement, which acknowledges the problem and combines it with a self-acceptance affirmation. For example: "Even though I have this PTSD from the car accident, I deeply and completely accept myself."
Tapping Sequence: Tapping follows a specific sequence of acupressure points, usually starting with the karate chop point on the side of your hand. Then, you'll tap on points like the top of your head, the eyebrow, the side of the eye, under the eye, under the nose, the chin, the collarbone, and under the arm. While tapping, repeat a shortened reminder phrase, such as "this PTSD."
Reassessment: After completing one round of tapping, pause to take a deep breath and assess your distress level. Keep tapping and repeating the sequence until your distress level decreases.
Reframe: As your distress level decreases, you can start to reframe the issue positively. For example, "Even though I had this PTSD from the car accident, I choose to heal and find peace."
Closure: After several rounds of tapping, reassess your distress level. If it has significantly decreased or is at zero, you can consider the session closed.
EFT Tapping offers a holistic approach that goes beyond just managing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms.
This technique promotes a deeper mind-body connection, allowing individuals to reconnect with their emotions and experiences in a safe and supportive manner.
Just imagine if such profound transformations can occur in war veterans, how much more can you benefit from using EFT Tapping in your life?
Hope is what will lead you to a happy life! And we at Vitality Living College, look forward to seeing each one of you happy.
Dr Rangana Rupavi Choudhuri (PhD)
P.S. Want to discover if EFT is right for you? Book a Complimentary Discovery Call.
- Post-Earthquake Rehabilitation of Clinical PTSD in Haitian Seminarians | Energy Psychology Journal
- PTSD Treated Successfully in 10 Sessions or Less (scienceoftapping.org)
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