by Adele Wang
Anxiety is a condition that plagues millions of Americans. Yet it is something standard allopathic medicine has not always successfully addressed . It is often seen as an emotional problem, and is often treated with medication. As an energy medicine practitioner working within an integrative medical practice, I am often referred patients who have not responded satisfactorily to standard treatments for anxiety. In some cases, patients are reluctant to take meds, disliking the numbing side effects. In other cases, patients are looking for additional options to merely relying on meds for managing their stress.
In our office, we offer an integrative medicine approach, which includes meds, acupuncture, and what I do, energy medicine and spiritual psychology. I frequently describe my work as helping the body "hit the re-set button" back to its natural state. I use a variety of energetic and spiritual approaches to working with the energetic fields of the body. One meridian-based approach that I have found to be very useful to treating anxiety is EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique).
In my experience, I have found that EFT, alone or combined with acupuncture, often yields results that far surpass the use of acupuncture, meds or psychotherapy alone.
Acupuncture can offer deep helpful release of anxiety. Yet it does not usually address the specifics of how and why clients are reacting a certain way to stressors. It does not address the emotional beliefs that are often causing excruciating distress. Even though both EFT and acupuncture are meridian-based approaches (in fact, EFT has its roots in acupuncture), acupuncture typically does not involve inquiring into a patient's emotional state. Thus, although it is helpful, it does not always clear up the anxiety. The patient does not always personally grow or evolve inside, in terms of being able to manage the life challenge at hand. Personal transformation is not necessarily the goal of acupuncture. But acupuncture often does provide some physical relief, for a while. In contrast, psychotherapy is also a good option for many patients. However, I've noticed that it can sometimes take longer for shifts to occur than if EFT was also incorporated as part of the process. I believe that if therapists have an understanding of the body's physical energy system, the therapy seems to go much better.
EFT offers something unique. It's focus on emotional specificity, along with the tapping of the right points on the body, make it very powerful for personal transformation. The key is in the practitioner's ability to be specific as possible. This requires a well developed listening ability by the practitioner, to extract the specifics. It is usually where the most skill and art with EFT resides. The more a specific emotion can be correlated to a specific feeling in the body, the better. (And usually with anxiety, there are many of these) By gently asking clients to check in with their bodies on the specifics of what they feel, and having them rate the level of intensity, and then tap on points on the body, EFT is fast and painless. Deep anxieties that have been carried for years, can be quickly neutralized, often in a matter of minutes. Afterwards, patients often report an immediate improvement in their physical health.
Copyright 2009 Adele Wang. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.
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