ASK FREA

 

 

What does the term "self-regulate" mean?

 

Short answer: To calm yourself down. 

 

Long answer: when you get stressed you probably already do something to calm yourself down. There are so many ways, some less healthy like self-medicating with cigarettes, alcohol and other drugs or biting nails, gambling, figthing or other ways of looking for adrenaline kicks and distraction or healthier like exercise, meditation, music, dancing, social interaction. Among the fastest and most efficient methods are mind-body techniques like tapping that you can find and try here. They can be done by anybody and usually have immediate effects on calming symptoms of stress and trauma. 

 

 

How do I know these techniques are working, how should I feel after I do them?

 

Short answer:  How you feel will vary. 

 

Long answer: How you will react to a self-care technique can vary depending on your mood, your state of mind, what kind of issue you are working to resolve, etc.  What you are looking for is a shift: a lightening (or intensifying!), a deeper breath or yawn, a sense of relaxing or greater awareness. Yet others may experience one emotion being suddenly replaced by another, like layers of skin of an onion: under grief there may be anger, under anger sorrow, behind sorrow emptiness, after emptiness peace.  Whatever you feel, is what you should be feeling.

 

 

How often should I do these techniques?

 

Short answer: As often as you want. 

 

Long answer: You can tap to relax, to reinforce a good feeling or to resolve an uncomfortable emotion. There is no overdose. Tapping is a soothing massage that calms down your nervous system and activates the relaxation response. It can be good to make it a part of your emotional hygiene and resilience training by doing it every morning and evening.  You can piggyback your energy techniques on to whatever spiritual practice you do.  It’s also good to tap when you feel stressed, or are having the “upset du jour.”

 

 

How long does it take to heal from sexual trauma?

 

Short answer: it depends. 

 

Long answer: Every traumatic experience is personal and no two can be compared. Two people may share a traumatic experience and while one of them heals relatively fast, the other may be affected for a lifetime, unless something is done to address it. There can be many layers to sexual trauma such as shame, guilt, anger, sorrow, loss and more. Some traumas involve a single incident while others may have been going on for years, creating a more complex set of symptoms and reactions. The good news is that self-regulation techniques like tapping and other mind-body techniques can be helpful for all of these experiences. 

 

 

It looks so easy when someone else does it, but I wonder if I can make a mistake?

 

Short answer: Don't worry, these methods are both gentle and generous. 

 

Long answer: Anything looks easy when somebody knows it. Most Energy Paychology techniques, like tapping, are techniques we humans do intuitively to calm ourselves - tapping our forehead, rubbing our faces etc. These interventions use your natural healing responses and are generous in that they can be applied in many ways and still get results. Have you ever heard of someone hurting themselves by tapping on their own body? These techniques are very safe and allow for a lot of variations. Test them and find out which one/s work best for you. 

 


I've tried Tapping before, why didn't it seem to work?

 

Short answer: Some results are immediate, some take time. 

 

Long answer: Tapping is like washing your hands. At best they at least become clean. If you wash a specific area that is infected it can start healing, sometimes immediately, sometimes over time, depending on the circumstances. Tapping calms down stress responses.  This means that the minimum effect you will find after tapping is becoming calmer than before. If you were calm already you will probably need to be skilled to notice the difference. If you were tapping to resolve a specific issue and that issue wasn’t active in your mind and emotions it won’t have much effect on it. You must be attuned to your felt experience in order to defuse the "emotional charge" on the memory or experience. 

It can help to begin by practicing on "small" or very light memories first, before working on very painful for "heavy" memories, especially when tapping by yourself.  It can also help to practice with a friend or partner who is familiar with tapping.

 

 

How do I know what to say when I do EFT or TTT?

 

Short answer: Use your own words to simply acknowledge what you’re feeling.

 

Long answer: TTT  - the Trauma Tapping Technique ---  is a silent intervention that works without a word spoken, providing that you are ever so lightly connected to the emotional response you wish to resolve when you do it. With EFT it is recommended that you use a “reminder phrase,” which acknowledges and validates your experience, and helps you stay focused on your felt experience. Any word such as ”this pain” or “this feeling” or ”this memory” will work.

Another use of talking is to reinforce positive emotions you would like to have, so you can say any word like ”hopeful” or ”feel better” or ”loving”. A way to tie these two goals into a sentence is to say e.g. ”Even though I have this headache”  (unwanted response/emotion/feeling/experience) “ I am willing to feel better”  (positive response you wish to experience).

 

 

It looks so easy when someone else does it, but I wonder if I can make a mistake?

 

Short answer: Don't worry, these methods are generous. 

 

Long answer: Anything looks easy when somebody knows it. Most Energy Paychology techniques, like tapping, are techniques we humans do intuitively to calm ourselves - tapping our forehead, rubbing our faces etc. These interventions use your natural healing responses and are generous in that they can be applied in many ways and still get results. Have you ever heard of someone hurting themselves by tapping on their own body? These techniques are very safe and allow for a lot of variations. Test them and find out which one/s work best for you. 

 

What if I'm taking medications, do these techniques still help?

 

Short answer: Yes. 

 

Long answer: Tapping and other forms of energy psychology interventions all have one thing in common, they will downtegulate stress responses and allow you to enter what some call the Healing Zone, which is a relaxation response your body automatically activates when calmed down. Whatever medicine you are taking will continue having its effect, probably even better when the body isn’t in a state of fight/flight or stress.

 

 

What is the science behind these techniques?

 

Short answer: Quite a lot. 

 

Long answer: There are scientific studies on many of the aspects of Energy Psychology interventions like tapping. Tapping has proven helpful in lowering stress and stress hormones like cortisol, to alleviate symptoms of post-traumatic stress, to help people with food cravings, exam nerves, resolve anxiety and many other things. There is a number of hypothesis about what the mechanisms involved do, from memory reconsolidation and depotentiation of learned fight-or-flight responses to ideas based on Traditional Chinese Medicine and how trauma can cause blocks in our energy meridians that are resolved by the tapping procedure. Some find it more interesting with testimonials and case studies of which there are thousands. These interventions have been tried by millions of people over the last 30-40 years. 

 

 

Can I really change how my brain works?

 

 Short answer: Yes!

 

Long answer: it isn’t only your brain that is involved when you respond to being triggered, it is your whole nervous system on many levels. When you attune to a more relaxed state by tapping or some other self-care technique while a trigger is active, the whole system will reprogram and re-set your response to a calmer one. This is a phenomenon known as “neuroplasticity” ---  which means that our brains are flexible, malleable and continuing to grow and change throughout our lifetimes.

 

 

What does it mean when someone says "I'm triggered"?

 

Short answer: It depends. 

 

Long answer: Whenever you experience something very pleasant or something very unpleasant a decision is made to find or avoid that situation in the future. All your senses, seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, feeling and smelling will create triggers to alert you and remind you of that experience. When somebody says they are triggered they are most probably connecting the current trigger to one of those earlier experiences, and if unpleasant it will put them in a fight-or-flight mood. Another kind of trigger is when somebody is stuck in a hypervigilant alert mood, then seemingly almost anything can ”trigger” them. Using mind-body techniques like tapping can defuse these triggers. Try it for yourself when it happens. 

 

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