How To Self-Soothe And Release Fear With Thought Field Therapy

Written by Nancy Marshall

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We are using more energy psychology in the field because fears (yes, anxiety is fear) are often how our problems present themselves to us. Fear is triggered on a very primitive level, and for that reason it's difficult to be "talked out" of it. Intellectual assessments hold little weight and have failed in trauma treatment for years.

To illustrate: If our minds were computer desktops, using talk therapy on trauma would be like searching for a specific file and clicking on the wrong folder to access it. It's ineffective. You don't just gain access to the material you need by looking: You need to look in the right place.

Why we need thought field therapy:

Because we are all tired, all the time. Adrenal exhaustion is very common in our culture; we have been overly vigilant with ourselves (and often unaware of it) and it makes our physical bodies tired. Traumatized and fearful people express that they "feel so old" and "are tired all of the time." Our bodies are carrying the history of our experiences, a cellular history. Chiropractors know that we raise our shoulders in tension as if preparing for trouble and a physical fight, and it becomes a muscular habit if the fears and traumas remain stagnant. These are automatic responses, like blood coagulating to close off an injury; we do not intend to do them with our conscious minds. They are unconscious manifestations of the subconscious.

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What is it, exactly?

Physical touch, like tapping, will trigger a cascade of chemicals that soothe and relax the nervous system. Stress hormones will decrease. Chinese medicine says that energy blockages are the primary causes of illness. The Chinese established a system of working with meridians—hidden channels that run throughout the body. The channels contain powerful energy flows in the body. Acupuncture helps release the blocked flows of energy. Similarly, Thought Field Therapy taps into meridians, increasing energy flow in blocked areas. Once the blockage clears, the body's own self-healing can begin to operate optimally again.

How to self-soothe:

We have our stories. We know what we hate, what we fear. In relaxing the body, we distract the brain from its normal defensive posture (anxiety) and give it a moment to reevaluate the threat. "Look again. Is the threat actually still here?" Some of this fear-inducing material is no longer relevant in the present moment. In EMDR treatment we will sometimes say to a client "The one good thing about this past is that it's not here now." When that finally "clicks in" energetically, there is a release, and the person feels instantly more calm. "Yes, it's not here now. I don't need to react if it's not here. If it ever comes again I will react. But I'm not going to 'waste' reactions on what is not here."

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Related Class

How To Ditch Fear
How To Ditch Fear

False triggers are everywhere; know how to identify them.

We are also reevaluating what we call trauma. There is physical trauma, but so many of us are experiencing a low grade anxiety all the time that we have now have a "small-t" trauma in psychology. We are enormously sensitive and responsive to our environments. Evolutionarily, we had to be. In saber-toothed tiger times we needed to watch movements in the grass. Is that the wind or a tiger lurking? We were not the largest, fastest animal with the largest claws. We had to be alert and responsive or we would not be here today. Animals know instinctively we do better in tribes or groups, are more safe there. So if our group (or mate or boss) is disapproving, it can feel enormously threatening. The fear of the disapproval is very large compared to the actual risk to our lives, but we are so very responsive.

The takeaway? All thought is electrical energy. In moving the energy, or in some cases unblocking it, we gain the freedom. There is no noted harm caused by Thought Field Therapy; we can use it as we will. It is a gentle movement and well-tolerated by the body and mind.

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