Biology of a stress response:

1. A harmless sight, sound, smell, feeling or thought (trigger) is recognized by the amygdala, a part of the brain that identifies threat, as being similar to a previous experience that involved physical danger or emotional threat.

2. The amygdala sends impulses to the autonomic nervous system that elicit the “fight, flight, freeze” alarm response. Chemicals such as adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol are released into the bloodstream, causing the heart rate, blood pressure and other bodily responses to undergo a series of dramatic changes. At the same time, primitive areas of the brain, designed to respond to threat, shape perception and thought. The rational, mind has little involvement in this sequence.

3. The physicals sensations of the alarm response are experienced as anger-like feelings (fight), fear-like feelings (flight), or an inability to take action (freeze).

How energy interventions interrupt the sequence:

1. The triggering image is brought to mind while physically stimulating a series of acupoints* that send impulses directly to the amygdala, which inhibit the alarm response.

2. These impulses also cause a reduction, within the amygdala, of the number of neural connections between the image and the alarm response.

3. After a number of repetitions of step 1, the image can then be brought to mind, or the situation can be experienced directly, without eliciting the alarm response. Hypothesis: Stimulating specific electromagnetically sensitive points on the skin while bringing a psychological problem or goal to mind can help a person overcome that problem by shifting your brain’s response to that situation by changing the chemistry in the amygdala and other areas of the brain.

* Acupoints are tiny areas of skin with significantly lower electrical resistance than other areas. They also have a higher concentration of receptors that are sensitive to mechanical stimulation and when stimulated, send signals directly to areas of the brain that are associated with emotions.

David Feinstein, Donna Eden and Gary Craig, The Promise of Energy Psychology, 2005