Please Note: Winter Blooms is an educational website created to support the most effective use of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) to reduce stress and increase joy. To experience the benefits of EFT for in-the-moment, trauma-informed emotional support, and to build emotional resilience over the long term, contact Jane (802) 533-9277 / email@example.com.
Visit www.winterblooms.net, www.aamet.org and www.neftti.com to learn more about how EFT supports the resolution of inner and outer conflicts, informs more loving and respectful relationships, and empowers its users to contribute to the changes we want to see in the world.
Bowing our heads to say a prayer for the world has fallen out of fashion, at least among the most vociferously expressive of our current-events chroniclers. Sadly, in these times of emotional, physical, intellectual, and spiritual overload, the most common form of communication is the reactive rant. Like a virus, the emotions of fear and grief fueling verbal assaults – those we see among leaders in news and those we see among family and friends and co-workers – cannot help but infect us, especially if we are working through the residual effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE).
The ACE Legacy and Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)
For those of us whose needs for love and comfort were not always met during our formative years, the reactive rant can trigger the feel of cascading crises over which we have no control. Regardless of the “work” we do with therapists, our bodies are finely tuned to distress, and so an in-the-moment strategy for overwhelm provides an opportunity to soothe our sympathetic nervous system before we activate the fight, flight, or freeze response. This response kept us safe when we were young and lacked other resources but becomes exhausted when we live with hypervigilance. EFT provides an in-the-moment strategy to calm this response, providing immediate self-regulation that leads to mature problem-solving rather than immature reactivity.
In-the-moment finger-tip tapping helps us to remain centred and calm so we can respond to whatever situation our highly sensitive bodies might find initially threatening. This EFT application is discreet enough to be done without notice in a crowd or in a meeting of two. Remarkably, not only do we remain present and optimistic when we use EFT to reduce in-the-moment potential conflicts, we help to “hold the room” in loving kindness as well.
Self Regulation and Emotional Hygiene
One of the factors involved in escalating conflict is a high ACE score. Self regulation invites calm to permeate the atmosphere in which participants – even those with high ACE scores – feel potential conflict. Using EFT daily, to encourage what I call Emotional Hygiene, helps us to become ambassadors of loving kindness whether we set this intention or not. I have found that tapping on face and torso points, finger points, gamut point, and hand-on-heart-with-gamut point to work through my personal triggering issues has stabilized my alarm responses in countless potentially threatening situations. However, my own ACE score, a seven, reminds me that my early experiences have created a stress-response vulnerability that requires my daily attention. Spreading loving kindness is one of the added benefits of attending to my own health and well being.
For more about the autonomic nervous system and the sympathetic and parasympathetic responses affecting our health and well being, please visit Harvard Medical School’s https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/understanding-the-stress-response.
If you decide to discover your personal ACE score, be sure to familiarize yourself with the basic tapping process and tap as you read the PDF version of the ACE questionnaire, available on line at https://www.ncjfcj.org/sites/default/files/Finding%20Your%20ACE%20Score.pdf.
How to Become a Loving-Kindness Transmitter in a Conflict-Saturated World
Because I have been using EFT for more than 10 years on my own issues as well as sharing the protocols with others, I have discovered first-hand the deep peace that comes with honouring my own early wounds. As a toddler, my birth family members were themselves so traumatized by a medical intervention that they couldn’t help but pass that trauma on to me. My personal healing began long before I discovered EFT as members of my family gravitated to the healing world of outdoor life on the shores of Lake Erie. Eventually therapy helped with my cognitive understanding of the events and trauma that fractured my family, but my body needed to be included in the healing process. I found dance as a teen, and then circle dance as a mature woman, and this wondrous form of self regulation and emotional release benefited me greatly. However, it was only when I consciously told the story of my emotions while I used the tapping protocols that I began to release the residual effects of my early traumatic experiences.
Using the tapping process, gently, persistently, as we tell the story of the past or current concern or simply tap on the emotions or physical sensations we might be feeling, honours the body. The tapping/touching attention to the body recognizes that our flesh is the place where the trauma stories are held in safe keeping for us until we are ready to work with them. I think of tapping as a form of respect for my physical self: through my fingers, I am acknowledging that I am fully present, that my mind is only partially involved in releasing the trauma, and that my physical self is an indispensable partner in this process. As I tap on my face or fingers, or as I soothe my heart by placing my hands in the centre of my chest as I “speak to” the gamut point through gentle contact, I am telling my body that we are whole – mind, body, spirit, and heart – and that each part of me is required to be an eloquent story teller in process of maintaining my peace and well being.
If it seems rather lofty to aspire to be a loving kindness transmitter, know that one way or the other, we are always transmitting who we are. One of my first lessons as an 18-year-old teacher involved this vital lesson: more than reading and math, more than history and geography, I teach who I am. If I am fractured into anger and hostility, I teach this way of being in the world. If I am peaceful and loving, and if I do my very best to remain present to my world, I teach this way of being in the world.
We all know that the world’s children model adult behaviours. Let us do all we can to model loving kindness whenever we can. Approaching EFT with curiosity regarding its loving kindness effect can open doors to surprisingly consistent joys . . . whatever our early experiences.
Until next time
Jane Buchan, MA Accredited, Certified Trainer NQT
Jane is an EFT coach, writer, and educator specializing in neutralizing the long-term effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) as well as the cultural limitations that interfere with our ability to imagine, create, and live the lives we desire. To engage Jane for individual or group coaching services, AAMET Acredited, Certified Supervision sessions, and EFT Level One and Two Training for your workplace, call Jane at (802) 533-9277 or email firstname.lastname@example.org . Visit www.winterblooms.net to learn more about how Jane supports and inspires individuals, groups, and communities.