What is PTSD?
When most of us experience a threatening, scary or painful event, our energy systems and nervous systems are zapped and, almost inevitably, emotional and/or physical symptoms automatically begin. Usually, they don’t subside until we do specific work to alleviate them. The complex of emotional and physical symptoms that start happening after one of these scary, threatening or painful events is called PTSD—Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.
PTSD is “Normal”
A lot of times, people who experience PTSD feel that there’s something wrong with them. In a way, there is—because you’re in emotional and/or physical pain. But actually, what’s happening is our body’s normal nervous system reaction to threat. So you could say that PTSD is a healthy survival mechanism built into our nervous system and body. The positive part of this is that it can help us to recognize and react quickly to future threats.
PTSD: Our Body Reacts As If It Were Happening All Over Again
The negative part is that in humans, our nervous system starts reacting to events with even a homeopathic dose of threat or emotional/physical pain as if they are full-blown threats or painful events. And even remembering the original scary, threatening or painful event automatically and immediately creates the same physical and emotional reactions that occurred during the original event.
PTSD Symptoms Are Automatic
For example, someone who was accosted and robbed by a man with a mustache while walking down a certain street at 4:00pm often will automatically break into a sweat walking down that street at any time of day. Their heart may beat quickly if they’re outside at 4:00pm. Their chest might get tight whenever they see a man with a mustache, no matter where they are or when they see him. In an effort to keep us absolutely safe, our nervous system goes way overboard.
How intense our fear was during the original threatening event determines our PTSD symptoms. If we were really scared or the emotional pain was really intense, but in both cases, we somehow felt that we could handle it or overcome the danger or the pain, resulting symptoms will probably include increased heartbeat, heat, muscle cramps or body tension, intense fear or panic, or anger. There might also be some active sadness or grief.
If the event was overwhelming to us, or we felt that we couldn’t handle it or overcome the danger, resulting symptoms may include dizziness, spaciness, floatiness, difficulty focusing, changes in how we perceive our bodies, emotional or physical numbness, and difficulty concentrating on what’s happening. Emotionally, we may experience depression, a depressed sadness, despair, nausea, chronic sorrow, hopelessness, and resignation.
EFT With PTSD
EFT is amazingly effective with PTSD symptoms. The emotional and physical after-effects—PTSD symptoms— of one event can often be alleviated in one to four sessions. I think this is because EFT is great at re-balancing our energy systems—and PTSD is a result of our energy system being short-circuited—which affects our nervous system and thus our emotions and bodies.
For more information, see my website, EFT-Emotionalfreedom.com
Wishing you a free and joyous life,