by Delia Nessim
The holidays can be a lot of fun, but this time of year can also be a stressful time for many people. There are a lot of decisions to make about purchases, time allocation and finances. In addition, the holidays typically involve spending time with extended family, which in itself can be very emotional for people, especially when it involves returning to the family home. The sights, sounds and smells can easily invoke memories that may or may not feel good.
How does one deal with the obligations of the holidays while staying calm and centered? One way is to use a mind-body technique called EFT, or Emotional Freedom Techniques. This modality has existed for about 30 years but has really gained momentum in American mental health circles over the last five years. EFT is a form of acupressure, and it uses the traditional acupuncture energy meridians, but without the invasiveness of needles. Instead, tapping uses just a hand or a fingertip to touch on these energy points while thinking about a specific problem and validating all the feelings that arise. An example might be, “I’m so mad, I could scream.” This allows the emotions to flow and dissipate faster.
The beauty of EFT is that it is self-administered, non-invasive, fairly easily learned and can relieve emotional upset quickly. An Internet search can provide information to learn the tapping points, and that is a great place to start. There are also thousands of videos demonstrating the tapping technique.
While these can be very beneficial to those that are interested in dipping a toe in the water, the true value of EFT is finding the exact “setup statement” and then working on the individual’s personal feelings and sensations through the tapping points. This is where a professional EFT practitioner can help. The practitioner and client work as a team, tuning in to the client’s energy and repeating the words and feeling that the client is expressing. This brings clarity and helps the client understand the source of the upset. Also, the client begins to see that their reactions have some logic, and that it served to protect them in some way. They begin to have more acceptance and compassion for themselves and others. When negative feelings are transmuted into positive ones, the client feels a sense of freedom and emotional mastery and that allows healing to occur.
Delia Nessim, MS, MFT, NGH, is a mental health professional with a practice in Newtown. For more information, call 610-416-7535 or visit DNCounseling.com.