How Energy Psychology works
The implications of these findings for working with psychological issues are enormous.
Here is a preliminary explanation for the near-instant, lasting results seen in the snake-phobia case reported in the Introduction and the PTSD cases reported earlier in this chapter.
First, the following is an outline of the known biological sequence that is involved when a typical, threat-based, dysfunctional emotional response has been triggered:
A harmless sight, sound, smell, feeling, or thought (the trigger) is recognized by the amygdala, a part of the brain that identifies threat, as being similar to a previous experience that involved physical danger or emotional threat.
The amygdala sends impulses to the autonomic nervous system that elicit the “fight, flight, or freeze” alarm response. Chemicals such as adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol are released into the bloodstream, causing the heart rate, blood pressure, and other bodily processes to undergo a series of dramatic changes.
At the same time, primitive areas of the brain, designed to respond to threat, shape perception and thought.
The rational mind has little involvement in this sequence.
The physical sensations of the alarm response are experienced as angerlike feelings (fight), fearlike feelings (flight), or an inability to take action (freeze).
And here is an outline of the way we believe energy interventions interrupt the above sequence:
The triggering image is brought to mind while physically stimulating a series of acupoints that send impulses directly to the amygdala, which inhibit the alarm response.
These impulses also cause a reduction, within the amygdala, of the number of neural connections between the image and the alarm response. After a number of repetitions of number 1, the image can then be brought to mind, or the situation can be experienced directly, without eliciting the alarm response. This explanation addresses the way that stimulating acupoints may help overcome psychological problems.
Hypothesis: Stimulating specific electromagnetically sensitive points on the skin while bringing a psychological problem or goal to mind can help a person overcome that problem or reach that goal by changing the chemistry in the amygdala and other areas of the brain.
Feinstein, David (2011-12-15). The Healing Power Of Eft And Energy Psychology