by Michelle Bense
Stress responses do not live entirely in the brain, as emotional stresses. Other parts of the body can hold stress responses as well—think of the feelings of “butterflies” in the stomach or a “lump” in the throat. Neuro emotional technique (NET) can identify where those negative response patterns exist—whether we are aware of it or not—and help release them.
NET is a mind-body technique that finds and releases neurological imbalances held or “stuck” in some area of the body, related to the physiology of unresolved stress. NET acknowledges the relationship between the body’s emotional stress, environmental toxicity, nutritional imbalance and structural imbalances.
“Emotions such as fear, anger, sadness, dread and anxiety can affect us even years after the original event that caused them. The inability to let go of these emotions may cause self-destructive behaviors or even chronic illness,” says Dr. Lisa Rhodes, an NET practitioner at Integrative Health Care, in Fountainville. “We are usually unable to see the link between present behavior and the past event, so NET is used to identify the link and release the associated lingering emotional charge.”
Originally created in the early 1980s by chiropractor Scott Walker, NET is performed by a trained practitioner using a manual muscle test to determine if the body is in harmony with an unresolved event or stressor. The patient is asked to think about the source(s) of their emotional stress at the moment. Their body’s reactions while thinking about the stressor indicate to the practitioner where the stress is being held.
“With muscle testing, we can quickly track down the current and past events that are related to these old perceptions, stresses and memories,” explains Dr. Susan Burger, an NET practitioner at Dr. Susan Burger’s Vitality Center, in Morrisville. “As the patient remembers the traumatic event, the body replicates the physiology that occurred at the time of the event. Through the principles of acupuncture and neurology, we can safely and easily release those old patterns, freeing us to act and react in current time, rather than by the dynamics of old experiences.”
Generally, patients receive immediate results from NET. “People have explained this as feeling lighter, less burdened or as if a weight has been removed from their shoulders,” says Rhodes. “If I am working with pain, the pain will often resolve before they leave the office.”
Burger notes that NET does not replace psychological counseling and “talk” therapy, but the mind-body technique is useful in releasing the physical manifestations of emotions held in the body. “Emotions are a part of our experience as human beings, and need not be judged as good or bad,” she says. “However, if emotions are not fully processed, they can cause an unresolved pattern of stress that continues to reside in the body. These memories and perceptions can subconsciously affect us, often unknowingly, in the present.”
NET practitioners are fairly unlimited in their ability to address the physical and behavioral stress-related conditions of their patients, including body pains, headaches, phobias, general anxiety, self-sabotaging behaviors, organ dysfunctions and more. It is important to understand that NET does not cure or heal the patient, but removes blocks to the natural health of the body, allowing the body to repair itself as nature intended.
“The mind and body are an integrated whole. Our body thinks and feels,” says Burger. “In my 30 years of practice, I have repeatedly observed how old emotional traumas can manifest as illness, tension and imbalances in our bodies, behaviors and decisions. Using NET allows a deeper level of healing to take place by releasing the ‘charge’ of these ‘stuck’ emotional traumas. I find that this can often dramatically allow healing to occur more quickly and completely.”
NET can be used to address anything from physical symptoms to helping someone to achieve life goals when they are having difficulty taking the steps toward these goals, says Rhodes. “I find many people with chronic disease such as fibromyalgia, autoimmune diseases, pain syndromes, anxiety and irritable bowel syndrome usually have a neuro emotional component that needs to be released.”
Rhodes has found that when someone has gone to doctor after doctor about a certain issue, to no avail, they begin believing that they will never be healthy again. Often, NET can be used to release this belief system, which removes that block on the healing process.
“Living a healthy, joyful and successful life is possible no matter what your past or history is,” assures Burger. “Allowing ourselves to feel and experience emotions is part of being human, and we can love and support each other through the highs and lows.”
Dr. Susan Burger offers NET, chiropractic care, and mind/body healing, massage, acupuncture and other supportive services at Dr. Susan Burger’s Vitality Center, in Morrisville. Connect with her at 215-736-3803 or visit LiveWithVitality.com.
Dr. Lisa Rhodes, DPM, LAc., offers NET, acupuncture, nutritional testing and recommendations, laser therapy and more at Integrative Health Care, in Fountainville. Connect with her at 215-230-4600 or IntegrativeHealthCarePA.com.
Michelle Bense is a freelance writer and editor for Natural Awakenings. Connect with her at EditorMichelleBense@gmail.com. October 2015.