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PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)

Knocking down war PTSD symptoms like dominoes

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

Note: This article assumes you have a working knowledge of EFT. Newcomers can still learn from it but are advised to peruse our Free Gold Standard (Official) EFT Tutorial™ for a more complete understanding.

Hi Everyone,

Sometimes EFT works so efficiently that even "impossible" symptoms fade quickly. Such was the case with Ingrid Dinter's Vietnam Vet. In the middle of her article she says, "It got even nicer the next day: Joe had fallen asleep on the couch and, after transitioning to his bed, he expected to lay awake for hours. Instead he just turned over and woke up at 7:00 am. No night cramps, no sweating from nightmares, just quiet, restful sleep. His energy was now up from a 3 to an 8, and when I called him the next morning, he had already returned from running some errands, which he usually doesn't start before 1:30 pm. So this was a great start."

Hugs, Gary

By Ingrid Dinter

Dear Gary,

I would like to share the story of Joe, a Vietnam Veteran with PTSD for the Newsletter.

Joe is a 62 year old US Marine who connected with me through the EFT forums for Trauma/PTSD.

When Joe asked his counselor at the VA how long it would take before his treatment at the VA would bring noticeable improvements, he received the vague response that "it will take as long as you want it to take", and whether he gets better would be "up to him". Joe felt angry and let down that there was no advice on how he could move forward, even though he was ready. He felt that talking about the past didn't help but only brought back bad memories and emotions with no solution.

Fortunately, Joe had always been a survivor, and the military had trained him to never give up, but to target and resolve problems as they occur. So he reached out to EFT.

Like many Veterans, Joe did not want to address specific traumatic events from his time in Vietnam, and I honored that. But he was interested in improving his sleep pattern, which he described as very random and exhausting: It took him hours to fall asleep, he woke up at all sorts of times during the night, often at 2:30 am, the time when he used to go on watch, and he was always fatigued. Naturally, his focus was off, he couldn't finish projects around the house, and his martial arts training, which he performed as best as he could, was frustrating, since he could not memorize most of his routines.

I offered Joe 4 free EFT sessions over the phone and asked him to fill out an informed consent form and keep a daily sleep log, which he did. When we began our work together, Joe was skeptical and full of physical pain, and his energy level was very low. So we tapped:

Even though my energy level is low…

Even though my energy level is low, I allow myself to safely raise my energy to a level that feels natural and comfortable now.

Even though my energy level is low, I choose to release anything that could stop me from raising it to where I want it to be.

His energy went from 3 to 5, and he reported that he was sitting straight now. But now, something was going on in the back of his head. So we tapped:

Even though I have something going on in my neck…

Even though all this is a pain in my neck…

The tension went away, and so did the neck pain. As EFT’ers, we are used to those quick results, but for him, this was very exciting. "It is working!" He called through the phone "I can't believe it is truly working! Nothing ever did! Maybe - there is hope."

It was touching to hear that, and I decided to move along this physical path with him. He had multiple leg cramps at night, which woke him up. So we tapped:

Even though I don't feel safe during the night, and my legs remind me that I shouldn't be sleeping.

Then we worked on the aches in his body, which he rated at a 5 on a scale of 0 to 10, and they disappeared, too. Next, we targeted his hip socket and muscle, where he believed to have bursitis and his VA doctors have not been able to help him. He was in a lot of pain. When the pain went away his voice flipped over with happiness, "This is magic!" he exclaimed "EFT is working!"

With rapport established in such a great way, Joe now was willing to target his focus. He was angry that he was wasting so much time not being able to memorize his martial arts routines, and felt very frustrated. We tapped:

Even though I am frustrated that I cannot remember my routines…

A fear of going to school (he was trying to get into the teacher training program) came up for him, so we tapped that and several other aspects away, too. He relaxed, and we closed our session.

That first evening, after Joe returned from his Karate training, I received an excited email:

His trainer had immediately noticed a change in him. His words to Joe were "Something's happening here. I don't know what it is, but I like it." Joe was very proud. Then he not only relearned a routine, but he was able to memorize it at home without any problems!

But he also noticed emotional change:"I experienced happiness during the day which was quite unusual and very nice." In the past, feelings of sadness quickly turned into anger or anxiety, and he had to leave the room to get some fresh air before he could calm himself down again. Now, when he felt sadness and negative emotions coming up that were causing him to want to cry, he noticed that his way of dealing with them had changed: "I accepted those emotions and relaxed about them. Those emotions subsided and went away."  A huge improvement for him!

It got even nicer the next day: Joe had fallen asleep on the couch and, after transitioning to his bed, he expected to lay awake for hours. Instead he just turned over and woke up at 7:00 am. No night cramps, no sweating from nightmares, just quiet, restful sleep. His energy was now up from a 3 to an 8, and when I called him the next morning, he had already returned from running some errands, which he usually doesn't start before 1:30 pm. So this was a great start.

Joe and I worked for another three hours on a number of other issues which he found troubling, but the only traumatic event we touched was 9/11, which had caused his PTSD symptoms to flare up and leave his life in pieces.

We also worked on his tinnitus, which reacted beautifully to EFT, improved greatly, disappeared for stretches of time, but at some point came back in different pitches, so this needs to be explored more. After the second EFT session, he reported:

"My martial arts training is going very well now. I surprised myself with what I can remember. Even techniques that I was taught a long time ago. (Long term memory)! I took my grand kids to their class, and I taught today. Something I had not done in a long time. I really enjoyed it." (Social discomfort)

Four days later, he wrote: "My sleep and my focus have increased very much. Today, I spent the majority of the day working on a project that I have been working on for a year. I almost completed it today." (Before, he couldn't concentrate for more than 5-10 minutes on any project!) "And my sleep is still at around 7 to 8 hours a night.

He continued, "My focus has been the most surprising since we started tapping. Now I'm getting to the point where I can translate (my martial arts routines) from memorizing the techniques to executing them. Something I had not been able to do before."

Three weeks later he emailed: "Well, I have been sleeping very well. No waking up during the middle of the night. I have been so busy during the last week that I can't keep up. Not only did I finish the project that I delayed for 7 or 8 months, but started others, and I'm in the middle of those. My focus has increased and has affected other areas. My short term memory has increased by leaps and bounds. I can remember my Martial Arts Techniques very well. I told you I went from 10 to 15 routines, I'm now up to 22 and some of those are very complicated. I went back to the instructor training class. Excited about that."

And finally three months after we finished our work together: "I am doing more things outside the home. And, more social things outside the home.  I have become more involved with the grand kids. I take two of my granddaughters to dance and karate. I volunteered to dance the father/grandfather dance and the teacher asked if I would participate in one of the scenes as a figure that is one of the dancer's father. Well, surprise for me, I volunteered. This is something that I don't normally do."

Now, nine months later, Joe still sleeps restfully through the night with no signs of nightmares. He has been accepted into the martial arts teacher program, and his withdrawn lifestyle has improved. He is aware that there is more cleaning up to do with regards to his war experiences, and when he is ready, he will proceed with EFT.




Explore our newest advancement, Optimal EFT™, by reading my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™. More efficient. More powerful.