A recent study in the International Journal of Emergency Mental Health found an acupressure technique useful for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The actual technique used is called Thought Field Therapy, or TFT. TFT is a self-treatment that involves tapping certain acupuncture points while recalling a trauma one has experienced. By “reliving” the trauma but under a controlled circumstance and with the use of acupressure points to relieve the hold the memory has on the event patients can experience complete and partial releases of these associations.
This particular study was done on children who had suffered genocide in Rwanda. The 50 participants were all orphans who have been experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms since the Rwandan genocide 12 years earlier.
The study used interviews with participants and their caregivers to analyze changes in PTSD symptoms such as decreases in flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, etc. Results were analyzed after a single TFT session and then after a year of using the techniques. The study found that symptoms required for a PTSD diagnosis decreased anywhere from 100% in cases to about 18% with many patients experiencing “dramatic” reductions.
An interesting aspect of the study is that even after the initial study the use of these techniques became a part of the daily routine at the orphanage giving all of the children something easy and effective to do.
Thought field therapy and many other forms of energy healing, including our own Tong Ren Therapy system are far more effective than many people realize. While we cannot erase everything that has happened to us, there is far more of a potential to “forget” or “release” the effect these memories have on us. Without a release of some sort, from a Chinese Medicine perspective, these memories can later cause not just directly related symptoms such as depression, anxiety, etc. but actual physical health problems through the interruption of the internal systems. You see similar releases in massage therapy, or tuina as it is used in Chinese Medicine, where these memories appear to be stored in the tissues of the body. Releasing the tissues can often release these in held tensions with or without a recall. TFT does use a visualization along with the tapping but not every technique uses this or even requires that the person remembers what the “trauma” was.