By Dr. K. Shane Neifert
Emotions play a vital role in improving health. In contrast, they may also play a major role in slowing or ceasing all progress toward health. There is not a question in my mind about how important it is to live in the present and leave the burdens of the past in order to maintain proper health. I have studied and applied several techniques which I feel are valuable in releasing emotional components to illnesses. I was recently intoduced to a technique that focsed on resolving emotional baggage that had been carried for long periods of time. It is called the Emotional Freedom Technique. I began to use the technique on a few established patients that had shared their emotional issues.
The first patient has been with me for many years and resolved or benefited greatly over many issues. One that I felt was odd for her was her fear of snakes. Due to an early adolescent trip to India where she witnessed a death fight between a mongoose and a cobra she has experienced a deathly fear of all snakes. This has included even the suggestion of a snake, photographs, or video. I have witnessed her leave rooms where social grace is long forgotten in her desire to be rid of the mere thought of a snake. If she knew a snake were in her house she committed that “I’d have to sell it.” That’s what fear will do when it reaches an overwhelming point and remains there. We all have seen or heard of individuals that have fears of heights, elevators, freeways, public speaking, mice, and the list goes on.
Then there are those that have anger, resentment, sadness, frustration, or other lingering emotions from childhood experiences. All under the right circumstance inhibit our ability to be our best selves. I felt this would be a good test of the technique. I practiced on the protocol and found that it matched very well with my understanding of the energy pathways and a similar emotional release technique I had been using. The next time I saw my patient with “snake fears” I asked her to be my guinea pig for the trial of the release technique. I figured, if she is able to get over this one this may really be valuable as a tool in my practice. While uncomfortable about addressing her fear, she agreed to do the procedure which takes about 3 – 4 minutes. After we finished the technique I asked if she felt any different? She was mildly improved in the amount of her fears. Later that night she thought of the process and noticed her level of anxiety was greatly reduced about thinking of snakes and actually searched out in her son’s room his rubber snake to hold it and see how it felt. This alone was a major change for her. Now, she is able to see snakes on television and discuss them.
My next major test came from a newly married expectant mom that had low back pain. I had heard her discuss the amount of therapy she had paid for in an effort to resolve issues that stemmed from being a victim of childhood abuse. When I mentioned that I would like to try my new technique to release old bound up emotions, she was really skeptical about its value. When we were done she was amazed at what we had achieved in 4 minutes. I then asked her to tell me her experience of what it felt like as the emotion changed. She compared her initial feelings as being stuck in a room of emotion she didn’t wish to have. There were doors yet she could not open them to get out and leave the emotion behind. As the technique progressed to the last set of points used on the hands she felt her emotional situation release and change. It was as though the closed doors were being opened. Over the next three months her emotioonal blocks did not return. She has since sent in her sister for the same technique. She likewise experienced the same results. As an added bonus she went to Easter dinner with the “family ” and was able to stand up and function in a normal fashion. She and her husband were equally impressed.
I’ve learned that there are many ways to clean that “room of unwanted emotion”. Some just work faster and more efficiently. The less emotional baggage you carry the farther you can go. Lighten the load and watch the best you come forward. As I work with patients to improve their health naturally, emotions do play a roll on a regular basis. Until they are addressed there it is difficult to maintain optimal health. By strengthening your weakest link you will see the most benefit. That link may be emotional, structural, energy balance, nutrition, work, sleep, or exercise. All of them are important. Should one of the weakest be emotional it is good to know there is help available.