The other day one of my clients (debilitating trauma history) came in with neck pain, headache, and stomach distress (acid reflux). She was worried that her lack of sleep was going to severely impair her functioning. She had been going to sleep at her regular 10 or 10:30 bedtime and then waking around one with racing thoughts and heart-beat. She reported that then it was difficult to go back to sleep for any significant period of time. She was in survival mode. Living on only 3 hours of quality sleep per night. Not nearly enough for anybody to sustain.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is based on the concept that bi-lateral stimulation (right and left sides of the brain) allows the brain to unlock deeply held beliefs and states of operating. When we target beliefs that are negative and symptomatic, we can modify them significantly in order to realize immediate relief from distressing symptoms.
This was the case with the client I am discussing.
Within 60 minutes of EMDR, this client had NONE of the symptoms she walked in with. No headache. No neck pain. No acid reflux.
We did some work to uncover which distressing experiences to target. Turns out it was the terror of the message that she was nothing more than an expendable commodity; the intended victim of rape and violence. It was this felt experience that was turning “on” her natural system of protection, a system we all have. As she would get deeper into her sleep cycles, into places where she would really get the benefit of rest after her day, hyper-vigilance would kick in to ensure her survival. Back in her history, this divine tool from her unconscious was there to keep her safe. Now, some 40 years later, it was the culprit of her distress and suffering. The original threats are no where to be found in her current life, but these symptoms caused by such an aroused state during her precious night time hours, were debilitating.
When I see her next week I will be able to check back in on what happened to her sleep patterns. I am hopeful that they will be improved as well since all of what had been emotionally, psychologically and spiritually distressing her in her sub conscious had been desensitized and reprocessed using EMDR…
I love when clients get quick relief.