Why EMDR and Tapping Work for PTSD Symptoms

I’d been thinking that perhaps I needed to explain a bit more on EMDR and Tapping as to how they actually help alleviate the PTSD symptoms, then this morning I saw this NICABM post on my Facebook site that offers an online course for treating trauma by some of the top trauma therapists in the field.

If anyone is interested, I’ll put it all on here including the website for signing up to hear their experienced spiels first-hand, but I noticed in session 4 that Ogden and Siegel will directly discuss the WHY EMDR and Tapping are effective for treating PTSD:

“… Two distinct signs that your client might have impaired brain integration from trauma

How the midbrain holds the key to the freeze response…”

That’s the very reason EMDR and Tapping do work: The traumatic incident or incidences have NOT been fully integrated in the brain’s processing mechanism. They are “stuck” in the mid-brain which creates the immediate reactivity to similar situations without the rational ability to assess their true safety or danger to the body; and I’ll try to explain that more fully in limited verbiage later.

Anyway, for $97 you can listen to the entire course from NICABM and receive transcripts, etc, from folks who know a lot more than I do.  I’m just making the option available here.

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“What happens in the brain when someone experiences trauma, leaving the nervous system vulnerable to horrific feelings and painful sensations?

We asked this question to the top 5 experts in treating trauma in this brand new, focused short course (And there are 3 CE/CMEs available).

Dan Siegel, MD;  Ruth Lanius, MD, PhD;  Bessel van der Kolk, MD;  Pat Ogden, PhD;  and Stephen Porges, PhD; will get into:

✅  The key part of a traumatized brain that gives trauma such enormous power
✅  How the “survival brain” gets altered after a traumatic experience (and how to look for this in your client)
✅  Two hormones that leave the brain highly vulnerable when traumatic memories are forming
✅  What happens in the brain that makes some clients unable to distinguish threat cues from non-threatening stimuli
✅  One strategy to prevent dissociation and retrain a client’s trauma response
✅  Two distinct signs that your client might have impaired brain integration from trauma”

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“The Neurobiology of Trauma and How to Apply It to Your Work with Clients

( https://www.nicabm.com/program/a2-fb2-brain-trauma-1/?d=fbo.867.1.c&fbclid=IwAR0Alyetl4Xqi0Zgn0a9iWUK9aLkuGFHXxrVMbY304SfKEoB6Skx6esVqx0 )

During a traumatic event, the survival brain can take over and knock critical thinking offline.

To fully help clients heal from trauma, we have to understand what’s happening in the traumatized brain – while the traumatic event is occurring as well as how the client gets held hostage to threat cues long afterward.

The brain is so important to working with trauma that we wanted to create a program that solely focused on how to treat it.

We’ll look at the specific brain areas that get altered by trauma, and how this neutralizes the client’s ability to problem-solve.

5 of the top experts in the world will share how they treat clients who struggle with trauma. This brand new program brings together the sharpest strategies for working with a traumatized brain.”

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So back to my explanation of EMDR and Tapping and why they are effective for treating PTSD:  As I understand it, the brain is a complex of four separate parts stacked on one another in evolutional growth that have specific functions in the body.

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  • The brain stem was the earliest evolution of consciousness and was often called the reptilian brain. (Involuntary nervous system like heartbeats and breathing—pure reaction—eat, sleep, procreate, basic survival.)
  • The limbic system was the next evolution in consciousness and was referred to as the mammalian brain. (Emotions developed—how we FEEL as we react to whatever we experience—emotional response—fear, short-term memory of intense feeling/emotions, hormone producing—the processing point where affecting experiences are sent to the upper brain for classification as safe or unsafe.)
  • The human evolution of consciousness was through the development of the cerebellum and cerebrum which were primarily for memory, language development, reasoning skills, and data analysis abilities (highly developed nerve centers and memory storage systems).

The trauma problem arises when some frightening situations cause extremely fearful responses in us (they scare the dickens out of us), and the pure nerve reactivity of the brainstem hits the midbrain point where the limbic brain emotionally reacts to the situation with extreme fear, and the experience shocks the processing point to such a degree that it fails to register the experience further and disseminate it into the memory storage region of the cortex/cerebrum for analysis and comprehension of what actually just happened.

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See how the thalamus and the hypothalamus sit directly on top of the midbrain region of the brain stem?  That’s where the data processing point of that particular experience gets stuck.  The reactivity to fear is so strong there during that frightful situation that it freezes at that midbrain processing point and that memory sits there unresolved for further assessment by the higher brain. That terrorizing situation is like an awful experience stuck in midbrain that to us feels like it is in perpetual fear reactivity in the NOW, and it can’t be properly assessed as “in the past” because it always feels “in the present” and we are constantly reacting to it even when it’s no longer occurring to us.  That’s what leads to the hyper-alertness of PTSD and the instant over-reactivity to anything even remotely fear-inducing to us.

Anyway, the physical bilateral action of tapping or the physical eye-movement-desensitization utilizes the physical body’s ability to actually help move those ‘stuck in fear reactivity’ memories on into the cortex region for proper filing away in memory storage.  When the ‘once stuck horror situation’ is unstuck and properly filed away where it should be, which is IN THE PAST, the mind can begin to properly assess the horrific experience as it truly WAS, not still presently IS, and move through it with safer and more accurate assessments of what really happened to us.

I mean the memory of the horrific experience will still be horrible, but it will be past-tense horrible, not continually present-tense horrible. And that actually does make a difference in how we can better handle our present experiences and help us to move on with our lives.

Hope the above explanation helps. And you can check out the NICABM offering** listed for some serious detailed options available to you.

** (And yes, these online discussions are therapists training other therapists in how to successfully treat trauma clients, but the more information that you have available to you on how the top trauma therapists in the field best handle trauma-client situations, the better you can choose a therapist for yourself that might utilize these more effective techniques for dealing with your own extreme trauma.

Gathering information yourself on the subject is all about self-empowerment–you can then go into a therapy session armed with that newly-acquired knowledge of what might be happening in your brain’s processing centers and work together with your therapist on healing your mind/memories/reactions, rather than just sitting back in the office chair and expecting someone else to fix what might be wrong in your life. You actually take control of your healing by better informing yourself of your true treatment options.

At least that’s my opinion on gathering all the positive treatment information available to you.)

 

The “AGE OF THE FOOL”

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During my studies of Andean Shamanism and Native American cultures, I ran across the legend of the HEYOKA—the Fool—the Clown—the Contrarian, that I’ll briefly share here.

The Heyoka of a tribe was the person who often acted opposite to tribe rules and to socially acceptable norms; and he especially enjoyed performing the opposite of whatever might be expected from him, because he stood out better that way—he received far more attention from others, even if it was undignified comments at best.

Here’s a Wikipedia description:

“Social role

The Heyókȟa is thought of as being backwards-forwards, upside-down, or contrary in nature. This manifests by their doing things backwards or heyobackwwardhorse.jpgunconventionally—riding a horse backwards, wearing clothes inside-out, or speaking in a backwards language. For example, if food is scarce, a heyókȟa may sit around and complain about how full he is; during a baking hot heat wave, a heyókȟa might shiver with cold and put on gloves and cover himself with a thick blanket. …

Principally, the heyókȟa functions both as a mirror and a teacher, using extreme behaviors to mirror others, and forcing them to examine their own doubts, fears, hatreds, and weaknesses. Heyókȟa have the power to heal emotional pain; such power comes from the experience of shame—they sing of shameful events in their lives, beg for food, and live as clowns. They provoke laughter in distressing situations of despair, and provoke fear and chaos when people feel complacent and overly secure, to keep them from taking themselves too seriously or believing they are more powerful than they are.[3]

In addition, sacred clowns serve an important role in shaping tribal codes. Unbound by societal constraints, heyókȟa are able to violate cultural taboos freely and thus critique established customs.[4] Paradoxically, however, by violating these norms and taboos, they help to define the accepted boundaries, rules, and societal guidelines for ethical and moral behavior. …”

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The Sacred Fool kept everyone alert to tribe anomalies by accentuating them so that all could more readily see the problem developing within the tribe’s governing structure or within growing member discontent and divisiveness.

But never did the tribe make a Heyoka the Tribal Chief—the leader of the tribe—because to do so would lead the tribe right off a cliff, or at minimal, lead them right into frictional group chaos, because that’s what Heyokas were best at doing—creating chaos wherever they went.

I personally think that’s what we are presently undergoing in our nation—we’re being lead by the tribe’s Heyoka.

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The best behavioral example a Heyoka can ever demonstrate is to show you what NOT to do.

And he’s doing that really well.

 

The Beauty of Choice

Just talked to a close friend about her recent psychic reading from a woman she had never met and who had no idea about my friend’s life, history, family, etc. Sometimes those are the most accurate readings because the person doing the reading then has no tainted feelings about it one way or the other.

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My friend’s impression of the ‘reading’ was that the lady was fairly accurate in stating some basic facts, but in others ways the woman made some erroneous ‘interpretations’ on what she might have been seeing or intuiting during the session.  (We all filter the world we see through our own biases and personal histories.  Good psychics recognize their innate tendency to judge and proselytize with a client, so they restrain themselves.  Not-so-good ones will tell you their opinions, instead of simply relaying the facts presented to them.)

One of the statements the psychic made even claimed that prior to our incarnation, we make contracts with our closest relations to come here and “act in certain ways” with each other.  She then said, “So don’t be unhappy with your (family-person) for how that person acted, and what you or she had to endure during that person’s life here because it was all preordained to play out exactly as it did.  She couldn’t have been any other way.”

To that I say BULLSHIT

We may incarnate with a set family of mutually-agreed spirits who are here to evolve and grow their own consciousness through interactions with each other, as well as through interactions with those beyond the initial family group, but HOW we individually act throughout our lives is a choice that we make every minute of every day that we breathe this earthly air. That’s what ‘free-will’ is all about. We ALL have choices in what we do and how we do it.

Every moment that we are alive involves a choice in how we respond to our surroundings and to all external stimuli; and those choices are both personally affecting to our own soul’s evolution and mutually affecting to others in our selected family groups at the same time (even affecting to the greater collective consciousness).

To live our lives daily, we ALL make choices, and each choice leads to other choices that diverge from that first choice like a tree branch growing new twigs that reach in ekrquotechoices54.jpgdifferent directions as the branch continues to grow up toward the sky. When you choose one particular branch of that tree of life to follow, you are pretty much limiting your upward growth potential to that branch’s original direction, otherwise you have to backtrack all the way down the original tree branch to the trunk base to then choose a different branch to follow because in this life, you’re not a leaping squirrel and can jump from this main branch to another main one and expect your life to simply shift for the better because of it.  It takes real work to reverse an unwise original direction.

It is possible and well worthwhile to change unwise original directions, but it won’t be easily done because we all make choices daily from early childhood onwards, and every choice leads to more choices until a general life direction is established. Then as we get older personal attitude, natural tendencies to rely on established habit, and other motivations to either face down each new challenge before us or to give up and succumb to them by numbing ourselves out with booze or pills, become the determiners of how far up that particular branch you climb.

Those are ALL CHOICES that we willingly make—that is NOT predetermination.  Period.

Yes, there are extremely difficult situations that we may have experienced in this life that might be excellent learning opportunities in disguise, BUT it takes a pretty enlightened person to view them as such. Otherwise, we simply view them as they were originally presented to us—just awful and senseless living environments that were hard for us to endure back then, and even harder to make sense of now.

But even with those previous takingchargeofmylifechoicehardships and tests of personal endurance, we still face a choice in how we respond to those memory challenges.  As a child, you might have been the unwilling recipient of your parent’s momentary or long-term instability, but as an adult who is capable of better understanding human weaknesses or frailties, you NOW have the choice in how you view those situations, and more importantly—you have the CHOICE in how you presently react to or not-react to those unpleasant memories.

Your offending parent made numerous choices in his or her life, and those choices may have adversely affected you as an impressionable and vulnerable child. While you had few choices at the time to handle those difficult childhood situations, you have many choices now to deal with the residual memories and tainted attitudes that may still haunt you.

That is the beauty of choice: Every moment presents you with a new one.

Despite what that psychic erroneously told my friend, happiness isn’t something predetermined for you prior to this life.

Happiness is a choice you make and a path that you decide to follow.

 

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The Highest Form of Intelligence

I’ve mentioned previously that I have a deep respect for Jiddu Krishnamurti (of Theosophical Society affiliation).  So when I saw the image below with the quote “The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence.” I had the buddhakrishnamurtiquote654.jpgreaction that not judging or evaluating all that is going on around the world at present, means that I certainly don’t have to worry about attaining that ‘higher-intelligence’ level.

Then the more I reviewed online Krishnamurti’s life work, I quickly realized how ludicrous putting an image of Buddha is along with one of his quotes.

He was very anti-religion because blindly following set beliefs often prevents one from finding TRUTH for oneself.

 

I maintain that truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. That is my point of view, and I adhere to that absolutely and unconditionally. Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organized; nor should any organization be formed to lead or coerce people along a particular path.

This is no magnificent deed, because I do not want followers, and I mean this. The moment you follow someone you cease to follow Truth. I am not concerned whether you pay attention to what I say or not. I want to do a certain thing in the world and I am going to do it with unwavering concentration. I am concerning myself with only one essential thing: to set man free. I desire to free him from all cages, from all fears, and not to found religions, new sects, nor to establish new theories and new philosophies.[63] “  (J. Krishnamurti – Wikipedia)

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He very much believed in self-realization—direct-connecting into the greater consciousness beyond this life and knowing TRUTH first hand from that direct access.

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Try TRUTH for yourself.  It’s a refreshing change from our daily environment.

 

August Energies: Dancing Between the Old and the New

Of the ‘energy assessors’ that I follow, I thought Lee Harris had the better analysis for August 2019 energies, and felt that it needed to be shared.  So my suggestion is to simply visit the website mentioned below where the video and transcript of his August energy assessment is available for you. (But I did break out a few key points below for emphasis.)

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https://www.leeharrisenergy.com/aug-2019-energy-update

Energy Update August 2019

“If you are feeling like you have been through the wringer the last month or so, you are right on track. August will in some ways be a lot calmer and smoother in terms of the waters of life. But that’s in preparation for September when the speed will kick off again, so this is a month where we enter a new phase for the rest of the year. So, many of you will feel like you’re coming to the end of a period of reviewing and clearing in August, and ready to move into a period from September onwards where more birth and foundational energy will be available. August itself will have a very different energy signature to the last 2 or 3 months; a period which brought with it many surprises, twists and turns, and unexpected events.

The main themes to focus on for August for this NEW PHASE WE ARE ENTERING are:

  • A NEW LEVEL OF PRESENCE
  • VISIONS, DREAMS AND EPIPHANIES
  • SELF-CARE BEING NEEDED NOW MORE THAN EVER

What I was shown for August is that we’re about to enter a very new phase which makes sense of the last month or two – the intensity, the push-pull, the high emotions, the moving from one state to another quite fast. There has been a lot of vibrational upshift happening, in an awkward, uncomfortable or sometimes messy way. But this has been in relation to (and preparation for) the new phase we enter now in August. So, for those of you who are looking for a reprieve from the intensity, and surfing the extremes of the past few months, it’s going to take some time for that ‘clearing’ phase to calm down somewhat. So, self-care and your self-care needs are going to continue to be of high importance….”

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“…So is it a new awareness you are opening or a new nudge to actually ‘create’ that you are having? Important to discern the difference right now as it can be tricky to know which.

I bring this up because in August especially, these dreams, visions, epiphanies and ideas are going to continue to be strong as part of you reviewing your life, this world, and reviewing what’s next. We’re in a planetary wide review of life and consciousness itself, and it’s an experience that’s going on for everybody….

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“…There are more people in emotional, physical or circumstantial need right now on the planet than ever before. You’ll notice this and you’ll notice that these struggles are often the catalyst to awaken people into their hearts, their consciousness. It’s a shame it has to happen that way. It’s far nicer when it happens without a pressured circumstance, but that pressure is a part of how consciousness is opening and spreading across the planet….

***

“…And remember that for all of us it can be quite challenging, as we dance between old parts of ourself and new parts of ourself. So remember that today is new – and everything that we’re about to move through is quite new. But most of us in this dance of the extremes that I was talking about, especially in the month of July, we’re going between old patterns, old ideas, old beliefs and then straight into new ideas, new beliefs, new experiences….”         —Lee  Harris

 

 

Natalie Sudman’s ‘NDE in Iraq’ Video (2017)

A Paul Selig post today mentioned this Natalie Sudman video and suggested to view it, so here it is if you are interested. (NDE means “Near Death Experience.” )

As you can also see below, the photo of her at Walter Reed Hospital is with then Pres. George W. Bush.

(FYI: The interrupting ads might be annoying but the video content is informative.)

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“The Near Death Experience in Iraq That Defies Belief [FULL VIDEO]”

 

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UoEkd217lzU&t=146s&fbclid=IwAR2GgGiqWGw3E1Z78mVTGJOGxyCVeSOCAtq8fP76pGwqf9wL7EL7kT99Uyw )

UAMN TV

Published on Oct 1, 2017

Natalie Sudman had quite an unusual near-death experience in the moment when her truck hit the (IED) bomb in Iraq. She did not experience the typical out-of-body experience where she might nataliewbush42have been floating above the scene before rushing through a tunnel toward the light. Instead, Natalie simply blinked from one environment to another instantly, finding herself on a sort of stage addressing thousands of other spirits who seem to be studying her experience vicariously.

Natalie then describes a sort of download of information. She calls it a ‘transfer of information in the form of an inexplicably complex matrix’. The information included ‘events, thoughts, incidents, individuals, and groups in all their relationship complexities: stories, concepts, connections, nuances, layers, judgments, and projections. It included kinetic equations and dimensions and symbols and flows.’ or as she says later, ‘might be very broadly understood as cultural and political information’.”

Natalie Sudman quotes:

  • “Attention and intention create manifestation.” (20 minutes in) “Our thoughts create our reality.”
  • “I chose this experience—and the value inherent in this incident”
  • “We all choose our experience.”
  • (Around 43 minutes in) “Now I know that each and every consciousness makes a valuable contribution to this world and beyond—no matter how insignificant and screwed up that person might seem from within our belief structures—one person changes themselves and this world just by imagining, in this moment, a more harmonious possibility. Thank you.”

 

The Force Beneath Our Feet and Behind Our Voices

There is no denying it is a strange time that we live in, but honestly, throughout civilization’s history it has been far worse and could easily go that way again.  When I listen to the ‘doings’ of the world now, I’m always alert to anomalies—the unusual incidents that seem to imply a shift is occurring in our world culture and society’s calcified attitudes and behaviors.

Right now during our extreme social turbulence, I’m feeling the volcanoblowinh.jpgdeep rumblings of a long-dormant, cultural volcano building pressure below the populace surface—nearly ready to explode at weak points in our social structure, spewing plumes of toxic incendiary rhetoric into the social airwaves—spreading boiling rivers of all-consuming rage over everything in its path.  And I wonder how that inevitable eruption will help us or hurt us.

There is little doubt that there will be a historic eruption in our world society—one that appears already underway (Hong Kong and Venezuela).

And just as the people of Puerto Rico are now amassing, uniting, and reclaiming their democracy and their island, the unheard masses of the US mainland are building their forces of dissent and further airing vocal disgust over contemptuous money-politics and divisive self-interested governance that uses ‘fear of otherness’ as a rallying cry.

There will be world change.  Of that I’m sure.  But what that change entails, I’m not certain.

Just know in your own heart that in this overall situation there is NO savior hereno ONE person makeadoff342.jpgexists to take away all the bad and make everything good again, because that job belongs to all of us. We can’t sit back and play dumb in this situation or let apathy subvert our higher ambition for creating a loving, caring society that values everyone and welcomes the diversity that they might offer the rest of us.

The people of Puerto Rico whose very lives have been torn apart by hurricanes, government  mismanagement and corruption—those very people who have been rendered nearly non-existent and inconsequential for our mainland government’s  concern or compassion, even though they ARE American citizens; they, the people of Puerto Rico, have nothing left to lose so they now say “ENOUGH!”

And they are actively choosing another way of living by standing strongly together and by valuing themselves and the strength of their combined voices. They have united in the streets as a mass of humanity that can no longer be ignored by their own government. Change is unitedwestandpic23.pngcoming to their lives, whether those presently in power like it or not.

That is often what it takes to force major change—a united effort to demand change for untenable situations.

It simply takes caring, courageous people who are willing to stand up and speak out against corruption and wrong-doing—and even more willing to speak up for themselves!

I hope all of us have the courage to stand up and speak out whenever it is necessary to do so. You likely won’t get a medal or even recognition for being that active power for positive change, but you will likely build a better world because of doing it, and that should be reward enough for any of us.