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Articles & Ideas


Client has Somatic Release that involved shaking in a seizure-like fashion

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated. Please use my newest advancement, Optimal EFT. It is more efficient, more powerful and clearly explained in my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™.  Best wishes, Gary

Hi Everyone,

With EFT, clients release their emotions in a variety of ways. Sometimes they sigh or smile while other times they cry or move through various forms of anguish. On infrequent occasions, however, their bodies can shake in a disturbing manner. This was the case with Mara Protas' client. While such episodes are relatively rare and usually end up being healthy releases, they remain as useful warnings for newcomers to not go where they don't belong. Nonetheless, Mara who is an experienced RN, wants only to advise EFTers about this possible experience. When in doubt in such cases, qualified health professionals should be consulted.

Hugs, Gary

By Mara Protas, RN, BSN, EFT-ADV

Dear Gary,

I wanted to share with your readers an experience that I had recently, which had I not had some prior knowledge, would have had me tapping big time for my own issues!

I was working with a client who is also a somatic experience (SE) practitioner. Somatic experience is a method of facilitating the release of trauma from the autonomic nervous system. He has taken my Level 1 EFT class, and I have taken his Intro to SE class.

We started out working on a physical issue (pain in his back), which brought up emotional issues related to the loss of his twin in utero. He verbalized that he has always felt a loss and sense of despair. We were working on a feeling of emotional pain that went from his chest through to the spot on his spine where the physical pain was, and he was describing a feeling like needing to "wail".

As we were tapping on this (I was tapping on his eyebrow at the time) he suddenly, without any warning, had a somatic release that exhibited like a seizure involving his whole upper torso, but mostly his head and spine, shaking in a predominantly side to side manner. Had I not been familiar with somatic releasing, it would have really freaked me out.

Instinctively I put both my hands on his knees, (we were sitting facing each other at the time) which he said was really helpful in grounding him. He felt like he had left his body and was a little disoriented. This occurred twice more during the course of our session. He explained to me that since this trauma took place before he had arms, legs or any way to speak, this was the only way he had to release that "wail".

I had never had a client respond in this manner, nor had I seen anything on your website describing this. I asked him if he thought that this happened because he was familiar with SE or if it could happen to anyone. He replied that it could happen to anyone, although the type of release he had would be more common when dealing with an issue from conception through maybe age 1. Later traumas might typically release in the form of tremors or sensations of tingling.

He also reiterated that the grounding was really helpful and that it should be firm pressure holding the upper arms, forearms, above the knees, or even putting your feet on top of theirs. (You should ask permission or ask if this is helpful.) He said that you can also give them a blanket to wrap around themselves.

I think it is important for other EFT practitioners to be aware that this can happen and know how to react if it does.

Mara Protas, RN, BSN, EFT -ADV



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