Saturday, August 18, 2012

EFT Post Update

Here is an update to the original EFT post of a few weeks ago.

The Emotional Freedom Technique is an easy way to deprogram the brain of emotional garbage. The basic idea is that you tap on acupressure meridians while bringing up difficult emotions or memories followed by saying positive things (affirmations) about yourself. The claim is that the emotions disappear and the memories become neutral. The evidence says that it is effective and my own quick experimentation with it has sold me on it. Bad memories were indeed neutralized. It felt a bit like magic.

There are a number of YouTubes that demonstrate the method, including how to do this with a child. You will want to read The EFT Manual by Gary Craig before you try it. And by all means, don't do it on others if you are not professionally capable of handling the situations you could get into. There are lots of workshops out there that can give you a hands-on approach to learning it.

Here are the basic steps:

1. Name an emotion you are feeling.

2. Create an affirmation:

      But even though I am (emotion), I deeply and completely accept myself.

      Example: Even though I am angry, I deeply and completely accept myself.

3. Tap side of palm while saying affirmation.

4. Tap head, face and other points while saying emotion.

5. As you move to the wrists, say the affirmation again. 

6. Do steps 3-5 for several rounds until the emotion eases.

Doing EFT on the memory of an emotional incident
1. Name the memory (i.e. “fight with Sarah on the playground”).

2. Create an affirmation (as before).

3. Tap through the name of the memory until the child can say it without emotional reaction.

Now very slowly begin to play a part of the memory. Stop and tap until you are comfortable with it, then continue on with each section of the memory in the same fashion. You do not have to do the entire memory in one setting – break it up and do what is comfortable for you. Long or highly emotional memories will take a while. 

Older memories may have layers and layers of thoughts and emotions connected to them. Perhaps the child gets through one aspect (embarrassment of the situation) only for another aspect (fear of Sarah) to show up next.

 There is so much more to learn, but this is enough to experiment with. Remember – read the book, watch the YouTubes, practice on yourself and see how it works for you.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Using Ease for Behavior & Flight/Fright

Here is a way to help a child with poor self-regulation (think of a wiggly, inattentive sensory child with or without autism or of a child who is alarmed by loud noise). The type of therapy I'm describing is a lite-version of sound therapy and can be done at home or at school over a period of several weeks. The product is called EASE and is modulated music on a CD (there are a variety of CDs). It is available to parents and therapists at

As a protocol, the child listens to music 2x/day for 20-30 minutes, 5-7 days per week. Separate the 2 daily sessions by 3 hours or more. The volume should be set low - that is, no higher than what is needed for the child to comfortably hear the music.

Try not to use the disks too close to bedtime as the music may be alerting. Use each disk for about 2 weeks. You can rotate the disks in and out of a long-term schedule, or do a few weeks of music and then more later as needed.
 Always do a 5-minute test before starting a program. Have the child listen to music for 5 minutes, then wait 24 hours before doing any more. If there are any emotional outbursts, mood changes, or unusual behaviors during that time, do not continue therapy unless you are well-versed in sound therapy and know your way around this.  

Do not do sound therapy if the child has a history of seizures, depression, mania, bipolar disorder, or some type of psychosis – including hearing voices.

Purchasing Equipment
Purchase Ease 1 or 2 for starters and then if it appears to be working, purchase additional disks. Ease 3 is typically used for children with attachment issues. Ease 4 has especially good 3-D auditory enhancement properties. There are many disks available.

You will want to buy good headphones. Do not use Bose - they filter out the modulated music sounds. Two good choices are Sony 7506 (about $100) and the relatively childproof Sennheiser HD 500A (about $150). Both are available from on-line sources. Get a good CD Player with random-access play. I like the Sony's that are available for about $25. Putting the player in random-access mode will help keep the music from getting boring. Make sure that Mega Bass is OFF. It is harmful to ears.

By the way, Vision-Audio also has 3-D video games which can help with auditory and visual sensory integration.  There is also a very powerful iPod app available to therapists to use with clients.

Friday, August 10, 2012

ADHD Alternative to Meds

Here is some infromation for parents looking for alternatives to ADHD meds.

Dr. Weil, the alternative medicine guru cites a study in Australia (1) that compares the results of taking methylphenidates such as Ritalen and Concerta versus a supplement of omega-3 fish oil and omega-6 in the form of evening primrose oil. The omega-3 and omega-6 supplements showed the best results. Dr. Weil's blog post is here.

There is a recent book on the topic by Dr. Sandy Newman: ADHD Without Drugs. Dr. Newman recommends that the child also take a multivitamin and a probiotic daily to help keep the gut healthy.

Dr. Weil also says to "be sure to rule out hearing or vision problems, allergies, thyroid disorders, depression, or even boredom in a gifted child" before resorting to medication. Here is a link to his blog on ADHD.