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How to Heal the Emotional Scars of Scary Moments

By Gloria Arenson

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The first therapist I ever saw was a very kind and wise woman. One day, in a moment when I was feeling angry with myself and she was trying to be supportive she said something that I have always remembered. She told me that people are like everyday china. They have some chips and cracks. That certainly is true. We can’t get through life without collecting scars of different kinds. Some are physical and some psychological. 

Although it looks as if you have gotten over the time you fell off your bike and broke your arm, had your tonsils removed when you were a child or endured a recent root canal, these kinds of experiences may have left you with unhealed emotional wounds. Another kind of wound that many of us suffer is called Diagnosis Trauma. That happens the moment the doctor tells you what is wrong with you. Inwardly you may flinch or your head may spin, but you usually don’t show it outwardly. We tend to suppress the shock and get on with our lives. We are all carrying memories of these moments. As they build up, they create stress and anxiety.

 I can still remember the long, gray envelope that came in the mail a number of years ago, after I had a pap test.  When I opened it there was a letter informing me that my test result was positive. The first thing that came to my mind was that this was a death sentence! I know that this sounds like an exaggeration, but that is how the human brain works. I was very scared and didn’t know what to do. When I went back to the doctor for a new examination, I discovered that it was merely an infection that was easily treated. 

Fortunately, I was able to tell my doctor how upset I was at receiving the diagnosis by mail. I was lucky that he was a caring and compassionate person. He understood my reaction to the cold and impersonal way the news was sent and changed his policy. Thereafter, he always told the patient in person if there was a problem diagnosis.

But not all health practitioners act that way. A woman in one of my classes had a very rare form of cancer. She was expected to die very quickly and went to many specialists trying to prolong her life. One day she saw one of the most famous doctors in that field She recalled that as he talked to her he was doodling on a pad. She saw that he was drawing an abdomen. There was no head, face, arms or legs, just a stomach. She was hurt and furious when she realized that to him she was just a body part. "I was so mad at him that I decided that I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of dying. I was going to get back at him by staying alive." And that is just what she did.

As you read this, perhaps you are remembering a time when you received a scary diagnosis or were told that you needed a frightening test like an MRI or other invasive procedure. Right this minute you can stop and treat yourself with a simple method called EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), to release any fear or stress that are still lingering in your body or you mind.

Start by calling the incident to mind. Then rate your negative reaction on a scale of 0-10 with 10 being a very strong emotion. Gently tap on the outside edge of either hand and say, “Even though I am still carrying the trauma of that episode, I am letting go of all that fear and anxiety.” Then, still feeling the upset, use your index and middle finger to gently touch or tap for about 3 seconds on your eyebrow where the hair starts to grow above the nose, next on the bony ridge on the outside of the eye socket, then right under the lower lid of the eye, under the nose, under the lower lip, directly under the collarbone, and on the side of your body about 4 inches below the armpit. Watch how the negative charge dissipates.

 Keep repeating this procedure until you feel comfortable and peaceful. Then try to remember the original event. If there is still a negative emotion, tap some more. In this way you are healing the past and releasing positive energy into your system. You will feel a great deal better as you free yourself from the past.


 

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Author's Bio:

Gloria Arenson, MFT, DCEP, specializes in using EFT to help people overcome compulsive behaviors, especially overeating, bulimia, spending, and procrastination. She has successfully treated hundreds of people for stress, anxiety, trauma, and fears. Gloria is the author of Desserts Is Stressed Spelled Backwards, How to Stop Playing the Weighting Game, Born To Spend, Freedom At Your Fingertips, EFT For Procrastination, and the award winning Five Simple Steps to Emotional Healing. Visit her website at www.GloriaArenson.com or contact her at glotao@cox.net.

 

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Disclaimer: All information on this website is for educational purposes only, and the content is not intended to suggest that it is a substitute for proper medical care or good common sense.

While EFT has produced remarkable clinical results, it must still be considered to be in the experimental stage and thus practitioners and the public must take complete responsibility for their use of it.

In addition, the articles on this site represent the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the founder of EFT, Gary Craig, nor the owner of this web site, Stefan Gonick.

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