The Beauty and Power of EFT

by Belinda Bucknell
Zoe is 27 years old. She’s young, beautiful and a bushfire survivor.

On that hot, windy and terrifying day in December, when her town was under threat, she made the brave decision to stay at her father’s property to help him defend the house.

There was no telling what the fire would do, fire is erratic and unpredictable so there was no way of knowing if it would head straight towards them or go around the house. But they made plans and created a strategy anyway.

Even with a strategy in place, all they could do was wait; all they could do was stare at the trees, at the smoke, at the hills and the horizon.

Hyper-vigilantly, Zoe waited in a hellish suspense as she scanned the landscape waiting until the flames decided to reveal themselves. When Zoe realised her street had been hit, and there was no doubt that the property was in the path of the fire, she desperately called the fire brigade begging for help, but was told to prepare as if they weren’t coming. There simply wasn’t enough resources to go round.

They didn’t end up coming.

In a state of hyper alert and terror, Zoe watched and waited till the flames invaded her yard. When they did, it was the beginning of a hellish and chaotic nightmare. The flames leapt, jumped, splattered and landed unpredictably all around her.

She fought to put out the fire with only a bucket, water and her hands. She frantically, navigated the smoke, the heat, the flames and the chaos for 5 hours. She was beside herself with terror, but it was her exhausted body that wanted to stop. She just needed a rest, to breathe and to regroup, but there was no space for that; the fire forced her to keep moving and to keep fighting.

After an intense and gruelling 5 hour battle with the raging fire, the flames were not yet fully out, but they’d subsided enough to allow her an opportunity to finally sit.

Staying behind to fight was risky, but it paid off because through courage and fierce resistance, the home was saved. However in the aftermath of that horrific day, Zoe went into shock.

Of course this is understandable. Her life was threatened, so to protect her, the brain’s fight, flight, freeze mechanism was activated. This is natural. But after a month, it wasn’t deactivated and she was still feeling like a shell of a person. The stress and the trauma left her feeling emotionally and physically unsafe and unstable. She felt shut down, disconnected, distant and ungrounded. Her brain was stuck in freeze. She lacked motivation and began obsessively eating. She just couldn’t gain control of her emotions, her body or her life.

Zoe is a highly skilled and highly self aware colleague of mine, she is Spiral Practitioner and has powerful emotional clearing tools that make getting unstuck easy. However, in this case, none of the tools that usually work, worked.

So we jumped on a call, did a couple of neurosensory exercises and we deactivated the part of her brain that was still activated and in the on position. The fight, flight, freeze mechanism didn’t know the fires had finished and that she was safe.It just needed to be turned off.

During the call we brought her out of freeze, reset her brain and we discharged all the built up adrenaline and cortisol from the nervous system. Zoe felt the heaviness lift and the energy return to her mind and body. She felt alive again. After only 60 minutes, the brain fog had vanished, she had clarity, felt calm, safe, secure, confident, invigorated and motivated once more.

Because of the situation, this is an extreme example of how the brain shuts down when we are under stress or in fear, but the truth is, we don’t need to be involved in fires for this to happen. Everytime we have stress or a problem, our brain reacts in the same way. Stress activates the fight, flight, freeze mechanism. Chronic stress ensures it stays on. This is the reason why so many people are stuck — our brains are living in fear of what happened in the past. They haven’t come out of defense mode. They’re stuck. Which makes US stuck in our lives.

The sad fact is, it is very very possible to overcome this. To think that she may have struggled for years with her symptoms when there is a highly effective treatment available makes me so sad. But, like so many other people do, and so many other people ARE, she may have had to suffer through PTSD for a long time had we not gone straight to the source of the problem.

I feel intensely passionate when I say, people don’t need to be stuck in PTSD when there are highly available tools out there. PTSD should not have to be endured for life, it is devastating to experience trauma, but it doesn’t have to be a life sentence.

I get so frustrated about how ill informed and behind we are, we spend so much time talking to counsellors, psychologists and getting medicated by psychiatrists, but the problem is not actually in the mind. We think thinking, or finding a new way to think will solve our issues, but it doesn’t. That’s because the problem is, and has always been that trauma gets stuck in the body.

And it is entirely able to be released and eliminated.

Whether your issue is trauma from disaster, abuse, neglect or anything else, when you work with someone who is trauma informed, someone who has an understanding of the body, the brain and the nervous system, you won’t have to spend so much time talking about your problems, journalling, meditating, breathing, exercising, doing courses to manage them and modifying behaviour. Because when you work with the brain, you WILL permanently release the stuckness and gain the freedom and control you’re looking for.

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