Every time we experience an emotion, it influences the biochemistry of the body. For example, scientific research has now shown that fear and anxiety trigger the release of particular hormones called Adrenaline and Cortisol into the bloodstream which then send stress signals flowing throughout the entire body. This impacts negatively upon all the organs and systems within the human body. Small wonder that stress can heighten blood pressure, cause digestive difficulties and heart problems – not to mention many other symptoms!
Conversely, feelings of peace, love, joy, happiness and relaxation trigger a completely different set of hormones which are called Endorphins. When these are released into the body through the above triggers, they create a healing and soothing effect and are sometimes known as the “feelgood hormones”.
It can therefore be seen that emotional responses aren’t confined simply to the brain, but have an effect throughout the whole body. The body and mind are one thing, and in complementary health circles, it is mostly referred to as the body/mind.
Knowledge of the connection between body and mind has been around for thousands of years in different forms. The medical systems of the Chinese (Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM for short), India (the system of Ayurveda) and also Tibetan Medicine (which is similar to Ayurveda) have long understood the connection between the two. They have also always accepted the existence of a subtle energy system which is a sort of ethereal counterpart to the human body. In this “Energy Body” a delicate system of Energy Centres (the Chakras) and an intricate system of energy pathways (the Meridians) are seen to exist and flow through all the major organs and systems of the physical body.
Out of all of these Eastern medical systems, most people in the west are more familiar with TCM. Generally speaking, the average person now has an awareness of the Chinese system of Acupuncture and some sort of understanding of the fact that it works with the meridians through the use of needles which are inserted into key points in the energy pathways in order to alleviate symptoms. Western Allopathic medicine is now much more cognisant of some of the beneficial results which have been achieved through these methods and the NHS has now incorporated Acupuncture into its system as a treatment for lower back pain.
Many people within the worlds of psychology and complimentary therapy have come to understand how these energy pathways hold the key to unblocking and rebalancing these channels to relieve emotional, mental and some physical problems. And EFT is very much based upon this understanding.
Sally Topham, EFT therapist, Norwich NR1.
Member, The Guild of Energists (GoE)