Category Archives: Trauma

Spirit is the healer

Some say Spirit is the healer and they are right. But what does that really mean? Is the Spirit that heals, a ghost? An amorphous being, a specter, phantom, apparition or halloween spook? No, the spirit that heals is far more than that — and far more readily available to all.

The word spirit comes from the Latin noun spiritus, which means breath and from the Latin verb spirare, which means to breathe.

Spirit is the breath that breathes you. Spirit is the life that lives you. Spirit is the motion that moves you. Spirit is always there — filling you from within you holding you all around, about. There is nowhere spirit is not. You are never alone. Every breath you take is a gift of love.

God breathed life into Adam and God breathes life into you every moment of every day and all night through.  Breathing freely, fully and deeply is your natural condition.

When you are afraid, your breath becomes quick and shallow — you hold your breath. In essence, when you are afraid and hold your breath, you are saying No! to life.  At that point, tensions get stuck in your body.  When you recall the point at which you held your breath, you breathe again – the dis-ease, fear and tension are released. When breath is restored, ease is restored; Love returns to fill the place where the fear had been lodged. You are free.

And that is why they say,

Spirit is the healer.

You are only as sick as your secrets

Sometimes secrets are intentionally kept. On birthdays we don’t want our friends to know what we are giving them because we want them to be happily surprised.

Sometimes wonderful, velvet memories are kept secret because they are intensely private and personal. We do not care to share what they are because they might be misunderstood and not cherished by others as we cherish them ourselves.

But then there are the prickly or even stabbing secrets that hurt us then and continue to hurt us now. Those secrets are best aired and released. We fear that to tell them would only burden others, so we keep them to ourselves.

Truman Capote, author of In Cold Blood said that he used to write and write to get all the horrible secrets from his childhood out of his memory and onto the paper. Many people write, sing, make videos, journal and blog to get their stories out of their minds.

Sometimes secrets are so secret that they are secret even from ourselves. We have buried them deep in our minds because we don’t want to ever think again of the terror, horror, grief, pain, shame, guilt, humiliation. Many of the deepest secrets we have kept hidden from ourselves originated long ago — in childhood and even before.

Unfortunately, secrets unavailable to the conscious mind do not just go away of their own accord. They are still securely stored in the human subconscious, the hard drive, better known as the body. Unreleased tension can be stored in every muscle and cell of our body.

For the sake of our health and happiness, we need to locate and release those tensions. It is not difficult to do and it need not be painful. In fact, releasing old traumatic memories it is usually experienced as pleasant, freeing and empowering.

Here, we focus on simple, safe ways to release forgotten trauma and unpleasant emotions. We are available to coach you to free yourself from the chains of the past. Once you know how, you can release fear as it arises. To gain that degree of control over fear is the most exciting adventure on planet earth.

Everyone is welcome!

For many women, a V-section can be as traumatic as a C-section

by Kathryn Lane Berkowitz

Did you know that for many women, a vaginal birth with an episiotomy can be just as traumatic and painful as birth with a cesarean ? It’s true. The birth of my oldest child, who weighed on 5lbs and 5 oz was delivered via a mediolateral episiotomy and forceps. It was extremely painful. I refer to that birth as my “V-section” because that’s how it felt to me. I felt sliced and diced. And I was!

I had many, many stitches that itched and burned and nothing made it go away. This continued for several weeks. I was breastfeeding and it was all I could do to turn over in the bed without pain so intense that it made me nauseated and faint feeling. I had to have someone “spot” me every time I got up to use the bathroom because I was afraid I would faint. I was completely incapacitated.

In case you are unfamiliar with the term “episiotomy”, here is some information, and illustrations:

Patient Information on Episiotomy

Here is what some other women have said about their experiences with episiotomies :

“My husband and I had a baby boy on Christmas day. The doctor performed an episiotomy and it has been 8 weeks. I thought it had healed just fine but last week on Valentine’s Day my husband and I tried to make love and I was unable to due to pain in the area of the episiotomy.”

“I had my only child four years ago and I had an episiotomy. Now, four years later, my scar is itchy, swollen and irritated.  I also have been having strange feeling in my right leg that feels like something is cutting off the circulation at my upper thigh.”

“My episiotomy was not slight. It was severe and not only did it take me weeks before I could pee without crying, but it took me a year before I stopped itching my crotch. It was like a yeast-infection on speed as it was healing. Not fun at all. Not only that, but it still doesn’t feel the same down there. He cut through the muscle tissue so the whole vag-area feels just very funky and sad.”

And here’s a sad report about a death from episiotomy:

New Mother Dies from Episiotomy Infection

Aug. 2, 2001 – El Paso, Texas – Eight days after giving birth, a new mother died from toxic shock, due to an infection at the site of the episiotomy done while she was giving birth.  Treatments were unable to halt the progress of the infection, resulting in kidney failure, pneumonia and ultimately heart failure.  She leaves a grieving husband, baby daughter and other family.

I have known women who have developed rectovaginal fistulas after episiotomies. And I know a woman who developed a MRSA infection in her episiotomy. These women have had to search out services like these: Urogenital Repairs

Even though the practice of episiotomy has not been supported by the medical literature as providing any benefit in a normal vaginal delivery, many doctors still perform them routinely. Talk to your doctor or midwife about episiotomy and make an informed decision. If it were me, I would just say. “NO”!

Protect your local perineum!

Many thanks to the author of this article, Kathryn Lane Berkowitz, wife, mom of four adult children, grandmother, artist and Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator. From Kathryn’s blog, Birth Whisperer.

Returning military face new enemies – PTSD & TBI

The legacy of America’s combat missions will continue to affect the thousands of troops who come home suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injuries (TBI).

Many soldiers, like Colby Buzzell, were looking for excitement and purpose in the war, but were permanently affected by the combat they saw.

“I didn’t know what I wanted to do or be,” Buzzell tells NPR’s Guy Raz. “Our country was at war, this was my chance to be part of history.”

“You think of all the things you’re going to do once you go back home,” he says. But once he got home, he had trouble coping. He began drinking heavily to avoid reliving firefights and combat missions. Eventually, he became more withdrawn. He and his wife divorced.

When Buzzell received a letter calling him back into the Army, he says, he would have done anything to avoid going back. He knew he wasn’t mentally stable and had been suicidal in the past. Finally seeking help, he was diagnosed with PTSD and deemed “undeployable” by the U.S. Army.

Though thousands of soldiers are diagnosed with PTSD, many more suffer without treatment. Among those who do seek treatment, doctors are finding another, distinctly different problem called traumatic brain injury, or TBI.

The two conditions have similar symptoms, but the causes are quite different. While PTSD is a psychological disorder that can be treated with medication and therapy, TBI is physical injury to the brain that requires cognitive treatment to help rebuild function.

“Fundamentally, PTSD is a disorder where you remember too much, whereas TBI is a disorder where you don’t remember enough,” says Dr. Gregory O’Shanick, National Medical Director for the Brain Injury Association of America.

“The main differences are that individuals with traumatic brain injuries also will have neurologic symptoms such as headache, light sensitivity, dizziness and will have difficulty, many times, with balance,” O’Shanick says.

Individuals with PTSD, on the other hand, will re-experience events or have emotional or behavioral symptoms, like “feeling ashamed, feeling guilty, avoidance types of behavior, things of that nature,” O’Shanick says.

Fortunately, doctors are working to develop a better understanding of how to treat the two different disorders and more soldiers are seeking and receiving treatment.

Understanding the Dangers of Cesarean Birth: Making Informed Decisions

by Nicette Jukelevics, author of
Understanding the Dangers of Cesarean Birth: Making Informed Decisions

For years researchers have largely focused on the technical aspects and “appropriate” rate of cesarean section: the surgical procedure. However, birth by cesarean can have powerful psychological effects on women and their ability to adjust to motherhood.

A woman’s experience of her cesarean birth and her perceptions of the event, are influenced by multiple complex factors: The reason for which the cesarean was performed, her cultural values, her beliefs and anticipations of the birth, possible traumatic events in her life, available social support, and her personal sense of control, are only a few (Cummings, 1988; Cranley, 1983; Marut and Mercer, 1979; Sheppard-McLain1985).

Many women recover fully physically and emotionally from a cesarean birth, others do not. Little attention has been paid to the psychological impact that a surgical birth may have on women’s emotional well being. Their personal experiences have been at times trivialized, misunderstood, or ignored by the medical community.

That birth by cesarean can have an adverse psychological impact on some mothers was already a concern in the early 1980’s as the cesarean rate in the United States was climbing rapidly (Lipson and Tilden, 1980). Anecdotal reports and personal testimonies have helped to increase awareness of the negative psychological repercussions that some women experience following a cesarean birth. (Baptisti-Richards 1988; Madsen, 1994;Pertson and Mehl, 1985; Wainer-Cohen and Estner 1983).

Research suggests that the negative psychosocial effects of cesareans can be significant and far-reaching for some women (Mutryn, 1993). Several reports also indicate that a cesarean birth, especially one that was not anticipated, can put some women at increased risk for depression and post-traumatic stress.

Cesarean Birth and Postpartum Depression

Karen Erlichman, LCSW a faculty member in the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department at the University of San Francisco works with women who have had a difficult pregnancy or a traumatic birth. In her presentations to medical professionals working with birthing women, she tries to convey an important message- that birth by cesarean is an emotional experience, not just a medical procedure. (Erlichman, 1999). Women’s experience and perceptions of their birth may have very negative consequences despite good medical outcomes.

A British study screened expectant mothers for emotional well being at 30 and 36 weeks gestation and again at 6 weeks after they gave birth. Results indicated that a disproportionately large number of women who had a cesarean birth reported symptoms of clinical depression. Women who felt they were “not in control” of the events or felt they received medical interventions that were not necessary were at higher risk for depressed mood (Green, 1990).

Australian researchers looked at risk factors for postpartum depression in women expecting their first child during the first trimester, and at one month, 3 months and at 6 months postpartum. Compared to women who had a spontaneous vaginal delivery and women who had a forceps delivery, 46% of the women who had an emergency cesarean were more than six times more likely to develop symptoms of depression at three months postpartum. The increased risk for postpartum depression could not be attributed to personality dysfunction. Had the pain of the physical recovery been the cause of the depression, the authors speculated, one would have been more likely to see a difference at one month rather than at 3 months after the cesarean. The women’s perceptions of the emergency cesarean had lowered their self-esteem, left them with a sense of failure, loss of control and disappointment. (Boyce and Todd, 1992).

When 800 women who gave birth in Victoria, Australia were screened for multiple factors associated with postpartum depression eight to nine months after birth researchers discovered significant results. A careful analysis established a significant association between obstetric procedure and subsequent depression. Women who gave birth with forceps or by cesarean were more likely to exhibit symptoms of clinical depression. When examining the relationship between perinatal complications in a previous pregnancy and depression following the current birth, a prior cesarean delivery was identified as a significant factor. Women who had a prior cesarean were 2 ½ times more likely to suffer from depression after a subsequent birth. (Brown et al 1994).

Cesarean Birth as Trauma

Women who experience problems with infertility treatments, miscarriage, abortion or an ectopic pregnancy sometimes suffer from depression and/or post traumatic stress. Dr. J. Laurence Reynolds, a faculty member in the Department of Family Medicine, University of Western Ontario, Canada explains that because childbirth can be an extremely painful experience, often associated with feelings of being out of control. It is understandable that some women may experience the birth itself as a psychological trauma. (Reynolds, 1997).

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is currently defined as a psychiatric disorder that may develop from being exposed to an actual injury or death or from the perceived threat of injury or death. Individuals with post-traumatic stress experience feelings of intense fear, helplessness, or horror in response to the traumatic event. Emotional reactions can have significant and long-lasting effects. Stress response symptoms include:

  • intrusive thoughts and re-experiencing of the event,
  • avoidance of places or people that might trigger a reminder of the event,
  • numbing of emotions and general responsiveness
  • a sense of hypervigilance or increased arousal.

Studies suggest that post-traumatic stress is a much more common psychological response to an unexpected cesarean than expected. Women’s feelings of confidence and security on arriving at the hospital quickly change to ones of fear and anxiety when they learn they are going to have a cesarean. Almost one half of the 53 women who gave birth by emergency cesarean in a Swedish hospital were afraid of injuries their baby might sustain or afraid their baby might not survive. About one quarter of the women feared for their life or were convinced they would be seriously harmed. Some were afraid they would not wake up from the general anesthesia, and thirteen per percent experienced a frightening loss of contact with reality. Most of the mothers experienced a deep sense of loss and grief. (Ryding, et al December 1998)

When comparing women’s reactions following uncomplicated vaginal birth, instrumental delivery, and elective cesarean, women who had an emergency cesarean reported more symptoms of post traumatic stress both within the first few days after birth and at one month postpartum (Ryding, et al September 1998).

Some women experience significant adverse reactions to their cesarean birth as long as five years later A British study compared a group of women who had a primary cesarean delivery with women who had an uncomplicated vaginal birth and a group of women who had an assisted delivery with the use of forceps or vacuum extractor. Women who had multiple pregnancies, stillbirths, neonatal deaths, and home births were excluded from the study.

The group of women who gave birth with forceps or a vacuum extractor and women who gave birth by cesarean were more likely to have had a negative birth experience. Of the women who gave birth by cesarean 82.2% were recorded as an emergency and 17.8% as an elective operation. Over 80% had general anesthesia for the cesarean. The women who had an assisted delivery and those who gave birth by cesarean were much more disappointed. Although five years had passed since they gave birth, these mothers expressed dominant feelings of fear and anxiety about their experience and were more reluctant to become pregnant again (Jolly, J. et al 1999).

A cesarean can be a life saving procedure, but recent data shows that a first cesarean puts women at increased risk for medical complications in a subsequent pregnancy and birth (Rageth, 1999). Given the evidence that a cesarean may also put some women at increased psychological risk, women should be encouraged and supported in their efforts to avoid a cesarean.

Some Women’s Feelings about Cesarean Birth

“My daughter’s birth was two years ago, it was extremely traumatic. I have been trying to process these feelings that come up, and I thought I had, but recently I have been having nightmares about the cesarean reoccurring with this new baby. I am afraid the medical staff will just intervene and I will be powerless to say anything.”

“I was in such pain and terror that I didn’t care that I was having a baby. I just didn’t care. I couldn’t find a way to attach myself to my son. It was horrible, I was so detached that I didn’t even care that my husband decided on the name. I had no desire to even think about it.”

“If I need another cesarean, I don’t want to be awake this time. I don’t want to know that they are slicing me open with a knife, I don’t want to hear that suction noise, the cold clinking of the surgical instruments.”

“I was awake during my cesarean, but I really didn’t feel like I ‘was there.’ The doctor brought my baby to me, but I really didn’t have any connection to this baby. It’s been twelve weeks, but it’s still difficult to associate him with the cesarean. I had no euphoria, didn’t feel much joy. For many weeks after I kept dreaming that I was on my way to the hospital to give birth to him.”

“Because I had a previous c-section…a c-section was arranged…As I was wheeled away…I felt like I was an animal led to the slaughter with no mind of my own and doing as I was told…No real consideration was given to how I felt. I was lying there having the epidural inserted, screaming out inside, why, why, I don’t want this.”

References Cited

Baptisti-Richards 1988. Healing the Couple. Midwifery Today 1(7):22-25.

Boyce, P.M. and Todd, A.L. 1992. Increased risk of postnatal depression after emergency cesarean section. Medical Journal of Australia, 157(3):172-174.

Brown, s. et al 1994. Birth events, birth experiences and social differences in postnatal depression. Australian Journal of Public Health 18(2):176-184.

Cranley, M.S. et al 1983. Perceptions of vaginal and cesarean deliveries. Nursing Research 31(1):10-15.

Cummings, L.H. 1988. Views of cesarean birth among primiparous women of Mexican origin in Los Angeles. Birth 15(3):164-170.

Erlichman, Karen, LCSW. Personal communication, 6/29/99.

Jolly, J. et al 1999. Subsequent obstetric performance related to primary mode of delivery. British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 196(3):227-232.

Lipson, J.G. and Tilden, V.P. 1980. Psychological integration of the cesarean birth experience. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 50(4):598-609.

Madsen, L. 1994. Rebounding from Chidbirth:Toward Emotional Recovery. Westport Connecticut: Bergin & Garvey.

Marut, J. and Mercer, R. 1979. Comparison of primiparas’ perceptions of vaginal and cesarean births. Nursing Research 28:260-266.

Mutryn, C.S. 1993. Psychosocial impact of cesarean section on the family: A literature review. Social Science and Medicine 37(10):1271-1281.

Peterson, G. and Mehl, L.1985. Cesarean Birth Risk and Culture. Berkeley:Mindbody Press.

Reynolds, J. L. 1997. Post-traumatic stres disorder after childbirth:the phenomenon of traumatic birth. Canadian Medical Association Journal 156 (6):831-835.

Ryding, E.L. et al 1999. Experiences of emergency cesarean section:a phenomenological study of 53 women. Birth 25(4):246-251.

Ryding, E.L. et al 1998. Psychological impact of emergency cesarean section in comparison with elective cesarean section, instrumental and normal vaginal delivery. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology 19(3)135-144.

Wainer-Cohen, N. and Estner, L. 1983. Silent Knife. Westport Connecticut:Bergin & Garvey.

This article is provided with the gracious permission of its author:

Nicette Jukelevics, MA, ICCE,
Center For Family
24050 Madison St. Suite 200, Torrance, CA 90505
(310) 375-3141

Circumcision & Human Behavior

Circumcision & Human Behavior:
The emotional & behavioral effects of circumcision
by George Hill

Psychologists now recognize that male circumcision affects emotions and behavior. This article discusses the impact of male circumcision on human behavior.


Medical doctors adopted male circumcision from religious practice into medical practice in England in the 1860s and in the United States in the 1870s. No thought was given to the possible behavioral effects of painful operations that excise important protective erogenous tissue from the male phallus. For example, Gairdner (1949) and Wright (1967), both critics of male neonatal non-therapeutic circumcision, made no mention of any behavioral effects of neonatal circumcision.[1] [2]

The awakening

Other doctors, however, were beginning to express concern about the behavioral effects of male circumcision. Read the rest of this entry »

For healing: hypnosis or de-hypnosis?

“All healing is essentially the release from fear.”

Hypnosis can be a powerful tool for good — or for ill. Hypnotic suggestions program your mind, which is essentially the hard drive of your body computer. We have all been programmed to believe what we believe, to see ourselves and the world as we do.

Some love the color red; others hate it. Some love dogs; others fear them. When we came from the womb, we were simply open and receptive; fear has hypnotized us all and imprinted us all with different programs.

Fear is an especially effective means of hypnosis. A trained hypnotist might suddenly push you off balance or clap loudly next to your head… for he has learned that fear puts the subject into a trance of shock. Once in trance, suggestions can be made that will go deep into the mind.

Someone may be an excellent hypnotist and have the best of intentions, yet not know what you personally need. Only you know. Only that part of you that is below the conscious mind knows what you have been through and what you need to hear to heal the past.

This is why I recommend de-hypnosis. We need to be de-hypnotized from all the trauma we have known — from our creation until the present. Once all the trauma is gone, we are naturally restored to our innate peace of mind, joy and unconditional love.

When you are very relaxed, your own inner wisdom can show or tell you what you need to know to heal your life.  It works every time. It is very efficient. It never harms.

Depression is not irrational – Suicide is not a solution

I was depressed from an early age. As a child, I always wanted to be dead. I know now that it was probably after my clitoridectomy. I was bereft. Life didn’t seem worth living. I went to the kitchen to get a knife to cut out my heart, but I was too small to reach the sharp knives – I didn’t even know where they were kept.

When I went back to my bed that night, I heard a voice say, “What makes you think it would be any different if you were to die?” I had to admit I had no guarantee. But I saw the implication was that I would have to live through those early childhood years again – no way! – and so I have stayed. My teen years and early twenties were no better. But after that, each year my heart has grown more full and rich and happy. I have no external possessions to brag about, but peace of mind and joy are my priceless treasures.

Depression is not irrational. It is a diagnosis that is like that drawer in the kitchen where you put everything you don’t know what to do with. Depression is an accumulation of legitimate, but unreleased fears, angers and sorrows. Our society does not allow grieving and does not offer anything much better than “you are born, life is for suffering, technology advances, and then you die.”. Religion often makes life on earth sound like a prison sentence, a valley of tears, after which – if you are perfect – you get to go to “heaven” and experience something that might or might not be all that much better than what you have known on earth… but there are no guarantees on any level.

lovely lady in flowersWhat finally brought me out of my depression was the discovery that when I was very very quiet, I could feel my heart.

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer… no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.” ― Albert Camus

Another way to say that is, “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you.” It is! And it can be known NOW. But only one thing can exist in one place at one time, so as long as we hold on to negative feelings from the past, we do not feel that beauty that already exists in our own hearts.

I came to understand that I had something important to do here on planet earth. Until I released all that old baggage, I might just come back over and over again – no way! And so I began to do my work and began to let go of all that old and ugly stuff.

We are fortunate in this age to have lots of help – from people and healing systems like Jed Diamond, Byron Katie’s “The Work”, Gary Craig’s “EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique”, Hale Dwoskin’s “The Sedona Method”, and many others. It’s all about healing – letting go of fear/anger/sorrow. It’s why we’re here and why “stuff happens” – so that we feel the old stuff and release the past – to “forgive”, which is “for giving ourselves peace of mind, joy and health.” Feelings got stuck when we held our breath in fear. So whatever feelings come up, breathe into them… that’s how we tell ourselves that we’re safe here and now.

See the “Tools” tab, above and release one little thing today, here and now. You will be so glad you did. Then move to another… and let it go…

EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique

Until you make the unconscious conscious,
it will direct your life and you will call it fate.
– Carl Jung

All healing is essentially the release from fear.
– A Course In Miracles

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), also called “Tapping”, does exactly what it says: it is a simple, easy way to release fear. It is a deceptively simple, yet effective tool for healing the mind, emotions and even the body.

To keep it simple, let’s call everything that is not at ease and peaceful, “fear”. Pain and dis-ease indicate a lack of ease, a lack of peace, and we can often track disease to its origin in fear.

We react to fear by contracting muscles in our body; we fight, flee or freeze. Synonyms for “fear” might include shock, terror, horror, dread, panic, anxiety, anger, rage, fury, sorrow, grief, angst, overwhelm, boredom, loss, frustration, irritability, loneliness, broken heart, longing, desire, jealousy, regret, envy, revenge, or any other feeling that is not peaceful and loving. Fear enters the mind, the body reacts by contracting. After that, if the fear is not released, it remains lodged in the muscles and even the cells of the body.

“Fear” is not our original condition – love is. Look into the eyes of any baby who was gently born and not circumcised and you will see eyes overflowing with unconditional love, aliveness, enthusiasm, and joy. Babies who have not been terrorized by intrusive medical procedures, drugs and scalpels, are relaxed. They can fall to sleep in a moment, no matter where they are or what is going on.

Yet a baby who was poked by sonogram, whose birth was medically induced, who was cut out or pulled out of his mothers, whose umbilical cord lifeline to mother was cut before he had downloaded his full allotment of oxygen and blood, who had monitoring devices attached to his head and body, a baby who was separated from his mother at birth and fed cow’s milk, not breastfed, a baby who was exposed to any number of unnecessary procedures such as blinding lights, heel pricks, injections of toxic chemicals into his pristine bloodstream, a baby who had surgery such as circumcision or open heart surgery… This baby, on the other hand, had a head start in the accumulation of fear. He learned to contract and withdraw, to distrust and expect betrayal.

After birth, fear messages are sent directly and indirectly, intentionally and unintentionally, from family members, friends, school, religion, television, movies, society; we make decisions based on things that happen to us and to others, etc and we carry all this fear forever – on our shoulders, in our stomachs or chests – until and unless we let it all go. We carry unconscious fear in the subconscious and the subconscious is the body. Muscles we tensed up long ago when terrible things happened, still hold the tension. They are the spots where we feel pain, tension, weakness. The good news is, we can let it all go and EFT is a very helpful tool in releasing fear. Letting go of fear is letting go of tension in the body and most disorders, disease, are caused by stored fear, tension.

Emotional Freedom Technique is the most effective way I’ve found to quickly and easily loosen and release uncomfortable bodily sensations from the mind and body – both ancient and current.

EFT is also called “tapping”, and you will be tapping on acupressure points to relax the inner organs that have been holding the “fear” you want to be free of.

Steps for using EFT to release fear:

1) Identify a feeling or attitude that causes you discomfort, a “fear” you want to release. Put it into words. If you cannot find a descriptor for it, just identify it by its location in the body. Examples might be: sense of anxiety, pain in my stomach, tension in my shoulders, anger at my mother.

2) Give it an intensity score. Zero means it does not bother you at all, ten means it is very much present, in your current awareness, and is occupying your mind and giving you pain and discomfort at this very moment. The goal is to use EFT until the intensity is gone and the score moves to zero.

3) Make it into a statement:

Even though I have this
[pain in my stomach],
I deeply and completely love and respect myself.

This statement serves a few purposes:

  • Naming the emotion or locating a feeling in the body is an important step in letting it go, for you are no longer unaware of it – you are now conscious of it. You have given the “demon” a name.
  • You can only release something that you already “have”. If you are unaware of a feeling, then you do not “have” it; it “has” you. But once you have it, you can release it.
  • “Even though” minimizes the importance of the “fear” you have named. It says that this “thing” that has been burdening you for a very long time is now inconsequential and you are ready to let it go.
  • To say that you love and respect yourself, even though you have carried this feeling, is a way of saying that you forgive yourself and love yourself enough to live without the burden.

4) The simplest way to perform this “exorcism” on yourself is to repeat the statement in #3, above, and tap 8-10 times on each acupressure point (see diagrams below). Some start by tapping on the side of one hand (karote chop point, in diagram below), using the palm of the other hand, and repeating the statement a few times, adjusting it for accuracy, if necessary. Then, starting at the top of your head, tap each point several times while repeating the statement. Some people shorten the statement after a few repetitions to the ‘complaint’, such as:

Even though I have this [sense of guilt], I deeply and completely love and respect myself…
Even though I have this sorrow, I deeply and completely love and respect myself…
Even though I have this sorrow, I deeply and completely love and respect myself…
this sorrow… this sorrow… this sorrow…”  – concluding with,
Even though I have this sorrow, I deeply and completely love and respect myself.

Now it is time to re-evaluate the intensity score you gave to the emotion in the beginning. On a scale from 1 to 10, how intense is the sensation now?
Some issues will resolve in one short round. Others may require several rounds, alternating tapping on both sides of the body. And some very old – or very fresh – issues may need to be addressed several times for several days. The good news is, it will all go away and stay away, once you have tapped it away. A little bit of attention now prevents years of discomfort in the future.

Here are two helpful sheets that you can access at any time from your phone or computer to remind you of how to use EFT:

EFT mini instructions



Emergency measures for PTSD

Trauma happens. Daily. To many. Those of us who have been suddenly exposed to terror, horror and shock, those of us who have lived in it for extended periods of time, all of us suffer at least some degree of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Sufferers of PTSD — even veterans — are not always correctly diagnosed and are even more often not treated. However, those who do receive attention do not always reap sufficient benefit from conventional treatment.

Sometimes it takes a child to say what no adult will — the emperor has no clothes and the medical field has no cure for PTSD. The conventional mental health system offers diagnoses and medications, but the mere labeling and numbing of symptoms does not equate to genuine healing. Terror and horror persist in the hearts and minds of victims and witnesses, both. The good news is,

All healing is essentially the release from fear.
Healing is always certain.

We can do it ourselves. Fact is, we must. No one else can do it for us; they don’t know what we have been through. Here is where we start. Here is where we learn to release the fear that has tied our minds and bodies into knots. Here is where we learn how to let go of fear.

We learn the principles of self-healing. We practice with ourselves and one another. We address one memory, one pain, one tense muscle at a time. Soon we are free of the shudder, the revulsion, the horror, the past. We feel real peace again. We have taken back our lives.

Search on the Internet for videos on “Emotional Freedom Technique” (EFT) or “Tapping” (they’re the same thing, just different names. This simple yet profoundly effective method of releasing fear might come in handy as you are reading, learning, practicing, identifying issues, and releasing them. Get this helpful stress-release tool under your belt and then scour and devour the rest of the healing methods here on this site. Any one of them might be enough to heal all your wounds. But one might “speak to” you more than another. Try them all.

As we release fear, we feel safer; as we feel safer, others will feel safer around us.