By request, I am writing a post about my recent experiences with what is called energy psychology. About every other therapy session I attend includes a portion using this technique. My therapist (who specializes in holistic practices) offered to use this technique because I was having some serious problems with my chest being so tight, I could not breathe. It really sucked.
After what were the worst weeks in my life, anxiety reared its ugly head into my life. My issue with breathing became correlated with driving. Originally, my anxiety would get worse while driving because I was in an enclosed space. My thoughts would consume me and cause me to become aware of my breathing, in turn, making me shaky and lightheaded. It then manifested itself into everytime I would drive, I would start to feel anxious. That was until the worst day ever, when I found myself pulled over on I-494 in a full-fledged panic attack; I was completely out of control of myself. I had to call an ambulance and only after being given Ativan was I able to calm down. It was awful and I hope I never find myself in that place again. I was sure I was never going to live normally. But I refuse to be one that takes medicine to make myself feel okay; I would not let that run my life. So, that next Monday morning, I contacted my therapist who I had met with twice, explained the previous event and pleaded for something that would help me. He told me he could try some energy psychology techiniques if I was interested. I was willing to try anything.
Energy psychology is a techinique performed by a trained and licensed psychologist. Sometimes it involves the tapping of accupressure points, but the techinique my therapist uses doesn't involve any touching, just controlled movements with his hands around areas of energy around my body. It works by accessing the primitive parts of the brain and therefore allows him to work on my subconscious processes rather than focusing on the cognitive/conscious parts of the brain. This is not hypnosis, as I am completely aware, eyes open, not having to think about any particular thing.
This website explained it better than I can: "From the point of view of Energy Psychology, painful physical, emotional and spiritual symptoms are the result of a disruption in the energy system. When the disruption is corrected, symptoms will be replaced by healthy functioning. For instance, a phobic response to spiders would be replaced by a calm response to spiders. All aspects of the phobic response would be normalized. Therefore, physical sensations of distress (such as tense muscles, racing heart, lumps in the throat or sensations in the pit of the stomach) are alleviated. Disturbed thought processes (such distorted perceptions and catastrophic expectations) are normalized. Negative emotions (fear, panic, anger, helplessness, confusion, etc.) are replaced by inner peace. Unhelpful behavioural tendencies (flight or fight or freeze responses, for example) are corrected. All of this can be achieved using the natural resources of the body’s energetic system."
This issue I was having with presistent emotions was not being helped by deep breathing, relaxation, etc. Nothing. I researched it and everything I read stated that people had immediate and successful results. Just what I needed. I could not even wait!
After my first session of energy psychology, I felt nothing less than amazing. The tightness was gone; no lie. I could not wipe the smile off my face. I did feel the tightness come back a couple times later that week, but since have not had an issue. Last week, we worked on this correlation between driving and breathing awareness. It only took about 15 minutes; he moved the breathing from my "brain" to my "heart" over and over and kept having me imagine myself driving after moving the breathing to my "heart". Driving is normal now. That's all I'm saying. Crazy.
I know it is easy to skeptical about these types of practices and because EP is a fairly "new" practice used, the jury is still out on the concreteness of its standing in Western medicine. All I am saying is that it has done wonders for me - that's all I care about. If there weren't any energies being moved at all and it was just a trick to my subconscious, I'll take it. The end result is amazing.