I offer a form of Eye Movement therapy called EMI for intense limiting beliefs and phobias. EMI stands for Eye Movement Integration and has been embraced and incorporated into popular Neuro Lingual Programming (NLP) it is very similar to EMDR another eye movement Therapy which has been used by the military forces in USA to aid recovery from battle field trauma .
To understand how the therapies work we have to look at two subjects 1) the role of sleep and the rapid eye movement (REM) that occurs in our nightly sleep pattern 2) The way the brain reacts to traumatic memories, let’s examine this first..
When a traumatic incident occurs a large number of hormones are present in the bloodstream as the body responds to try to assist its survival. Unfortunately one of these hormones ‘Cortisol’ interferes with some of the brains functions, including the work of the Hippocampus, This part of the brain is responsible for the filing away and retrieval of memories.
When filed these memories hold less power and the person to whom the memory belongs, sees the memory as something belonging to their past. Some memories and feelings at a time of trauma however get stuck, they can sit around as unprocessed memories giving us a sense of unfinished business or being stuck in a nightmare. Often in the case of post traumatic stress disorder, clients can have frequent fragmented memories or flash backs that take them back to the place of their trauma, in this place memories are fresh, clear and vivid as if they are taking place in the present. The memories may just be visual or can included sound smells or even tastes. These memories and associated feelings are memories that were in effect left un filed due to a temporary miss function of the Hippocampus.
The other piece to the jigsaw as to how EMI can help resolve Traumatic memories and limiting beliefs is held in one of the believed functions of sleep. There are several stages to a nights sleep but the one we will focus on here is called Rapid Eye Movement – in this stage our eyes do just that – they follow a series of rapid eye movements and it is believed that this stage of sleep is key in the processing of the days events and emotional experiences; all of which have been passed through the hippocampus which affectingly date stamped as ‘the past.’ The process of sleep appears to soften intense feelings that are connected to the memory or simply allows us to ‘prune’ memories that do not seem key to our learning or survival.
Back to the theory – In the initial traumatic or highly charged event the resulting memory was never time stamped as a past event by the hippocampus within the brain. As a result the memory and resulting beliefs could not be processed in the normal way and still return. Combined with intense feelings and possibly intense memories.
Back to the Eye Movement Therapies these work through the process of discussion with the therapist to help the client identify either important sensory fragments of the traumatic event or their internal belief
The therapist then guides the client to make particular eye movements, to reprocess old negative, and in particular, traumatic memories that the client holds within their belief systems.
Later in the process theses are replaced with a positive image, this not only helps dispel the old memories but also help the brain reconnect to positive newly installed images Which reprogram the brain by in effect rewiring the programming within it. EMI adds relaxing states in between the series of eye movements, this’ll to help the body relax if traumatic memories that are touched on sensitively within the session and to break the engrained pattern within both the mind and body.
If you would like to learn more about how I could help you with this therapy please ring for an informal chat to help answer your questions and watch the short video below..