Chapter One: Meridian Therapy: What It's All About
Meridian Therapy is a self-healing approach based on the view that the body and mind are inextricably intertwined, and healing happens in both areas. We must trust that the body/mind we call our "self" has innate wisdom and will provide whatever each of us needs in order to restore health. Meridian Therapy is a powerful technique that encourages any emotional healing that needs to take place. Healing occurs when we tune in to the problem while gently tapping acu-puncture points on the face, hands, and upper body to balance the energy.
How It Works
The goal of Meridian Therapy is to heal emotional problems. The theory behind this technique is that old emotional wounds are stored in the body as blocked energetic patterns. Stimulating energy points removes the disturbance, allowing our body/mind system to process the troubling problem. As the energy is brought into balance, worrisome thoughts and memories about upsetting circumstances change and negative emotions diminish. This process takes place on a bioelectromagnetic level throughout our being.
The Mind in the Body
Where are feelings located? Are they in the brain? Most of us think that feelings originate in the brain, but the renowned neurobiologist Candace Pert, Ph.D., has discovered that emotions are in the body as well as in the brain. In her research she proved that there are emotional receptors in cells throughout the body. The "unconscious" is not in the brain, she says, but is present everywhere in the whole system of the body. She calls this the Bodymind. According to her findings there is constant intercellular communication between the brain, glands, and immune system.
East Meets West
In Meridian Therapy, modern-day psychology meets the ancient wisdom of the East to achieve healing. Almost five thousand years ago the Chinese knew that there was an energy component in the acupuncture meridians in the body. The twenty-four-volume Nei Ching, said to have been written by Huang Ti, the "Yellow Emperor," is the oldest known text about acupuncture and dates from about 2600 B.C. It describes the energy pathways we now call meridians and details acupuncture points.
The Chinese were not the only ancients to have this understanding of the bioelectromagnetic system of the body. The vital energy the Chinese call Chi was already known in India as Prana. In Egypt a papyrus dated 1150 B.C. describes something similar to meridians. Long ago, healers in Arabia and Brazil knew about the energy properties of the body, as did the Eskimos. In fact, every indigenous culture on earth has a term for this Vital Force: Wakan, Ki, Mana, and so forth.
While the meridians carry energy throughout the body, there are seven energy centers in the body called chakras. The concept of chakras was first developed in ancient India. Chakras act like transformers and convert subtle energies into chemical, hormonal, and cellular changes in the body. Candace Pert's research revealed that there are clusters of emotional receptor cells in the chakra areas.
Measuring the Vital Force
Instruments have measured the Chi or bioenergy flowing from the hands of modern chi-gong masters who are able to focus Chi energy and use it to heal. These people have learned how to harness the energy and direct it. We all have this same energy and can learn to use it. Every one of us has extremely low frequency energy radiating from different parts of our body. Our hands and forehead radiate the strongest energy.
Scientists have measured the intensity of these biophotons or light emissions. According to Beverly Rubik, Ph.D., a leading biophysicist and research pioneer, in recent experiments, meditation increased biophoton emissions from the crown of the head and the hands by factors of 100 to 1,000. Just thinking with intention about the Vital Force also increased the energy by the same factor. Living creatures both radiate and attract subtle energy. Dr. Rubik proposes that this subtle energy that we receive and emit may turn out to be even more fundamental than our biochemistry.
More About Meridian Pathways
"Meridians carry energy the way arteries carry blood," says Donna Eden, author of Energy Medicine. She describes the energy meridians as "the body's energy bloodstream." These meridians are dotted with hundreds of acupuncture points. Energy points are sensitive to bioelectric impulses in the body.
They are like antennae that transmit heat, electromagnetic energy, or the Vital Force (Chi). The meridians, deep inside the body, run through our organs and muscle groups like roadways that go from the top of the head to the tips of the toes. This energy communication system connects the organs and sensory and emotional aspects of the body. Thoughts have power, and negative thoughts can adversely affect the subtle energies carried by the meridians. Intense emotions can disrupt the energy flow as well.
Sometimes the meridian highways become backed up with too much energy and a bottleneck occurs. Our bodies operate twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Inevitably we experience stress. The energy pathways need to be kept free because disturbances can lead to ill health and emotional problems. Tapping specific acupuncture points gets the energy flowing smoothly and dissolves negative states. When free flow is restored, the negative emotional charge is eliminated and problems seem to melt away.
The ancient Chinese believed that emotions are concentrated in the meridians. They taught that pain and negative feelings such as anger, fear, guilt, confusion, and obsession lead to imbalance in the body's harmony. Emotional dysfunction indicates that there is a disturbance in the energy system. When that occurs, acupuncturists insert fine needles into specific points to balance the flow of energy. Acupressure is another healing method of pressing energy points on the skin to stimulate meridians rather than inserting needles. Both techniques move blocked energies and release many symptoms of illness or emotional problems.
Western Science Steps In
Although the Chinese have used acupuncture successfully for thousands of years, they could not prove their claims. Western society discounted this approach to healing until relatively recently. Independent of the culture of Asia, scientists since the eighteenth century have investigated the electromagnetic properties of life and discovered that complex energy fields surround every living thing. The flow of energy in the body has been traced along the same consistent pathways the Chinese know as energy meridians. With new technology it is now possible to measure that energy.
Most of us think of matter as one thing and energy as something else, but Albert Einstein demonstrated that matter and energy are interchangeable aspects of the same reality. Therefore, everything can be seen as a form of energy. We can think of ourselves as consisting not only of solid packets of energy (our bodies) but also of intangible packets of energy (our thoughts). Meridian Therapy helps rebalance our physical and mental energies, thereby optimizing our bioelectromagnetic state.
Fields of Life
Harold Saxton Burr, Ph.D., who taught anatomy and neuroanatomy at Yale University, measured electrical currents in and around life forms. He studied all kinds of living things from simple molds, worms, and trees to complex life systems such as human beings. He affirmed that we have "fields of life" or "L-fields," which are electromagnetic fields. These fields help stabilize the pattern each form takes so that all trees, animals, people, and so forth maintain the same shape and properties.
Proof That Energy Points Exist
Another pioneer in this work, Reinhold Voll, M.D., discovered that acupuncture points show a dramatic decrease in electrical resistance on the skin compared to nonacupuncture points. He and his associates also found that each point seemed to have a standard measurement for healthy individuals, but the measurements change when health deteriorates.
Drs. Robert O. Becker and Maria Reichmanis developed an electrode device that can be rolled along the meridians to measure electrical skin resistance and give a continuous reading. Their work confirmed that meridians have electrical qualities like transmission lines, and concluded that the acupuncture system was measurable.
In 1992 a study was conducted in France to prove that meridians exist. Over three hundred people took part. A radio-active tracer was injected at acupuncture points, and a special camera was able to image the path. A similar tracer was also injected at a control point that was not an acupuncture point. The tracer injected in the acupuncture points followed the same pathways described as meridians in traditional Chinese medicine. However, the tracer injected in the random points diffused. Each experiment was repeated several times.
Describing Subtle Energies
Stanford professor William A. Tiller, Ph.D., studies the "super-sensible" domains of Nature -- aspects of light, sound, space, and time that are beyond what we can sense. "Subtle energies are all those beyond the familiar ones associated with the four fundamental forces accepted by the conventional physics model," he says.
Dr. Tiller thinks of the whole body as an antenna with the potential to transmit and receive Chi energy. He surmises that when we touch an acupuncture point, we stimulate ion flow that reacts at the subtle energy level to unclog meridian channels. Applying this knowledge to the field of psychology brings about a dramatic shift in how emotional healing can take place. Extremely tiny energy signals can affect us and stimulate healing responses by coaxing the system back into normalcy.
Ancient Indian and Chinese healers understood the subtle energies before findings in the field of quantum physics helped us understand the nature of energy and matter. We now know that information carried by subtle energies can travel faster than the speed of light and that focusing thought energy can have an effect on matter.
Dr. Beverly Rubik hypothesizes that all living systems are permeated by an energy information flow. It is not the energy that heals, but rather the "intelligent" information transmitted bioenergetically. The energy signal carries the bioinformation necessary for healing. It is intangible, but cells can read the information that is delivered this way and respond. Recent experiments indicate that when love or unconditional acceptance are present the healings that result are even more impressive.
The Evolution of Meridian Therapy
Fred Gallo, Ph.D., in his book Energy Psychology, writes that thoughts exist in fields and negative emotions are rooted in energy configurations. "If thought and psychological problems exist in energy field form, then psychological problems can be resolved much more easily than one might assume. Based on the new paradigms, it would then be merely a matter of altering the energy field."
Meridian Therapy evolved from connecting these ideas about the energy systems of the body with a type of muscle testing frequently practiced by chiropractors. In muscle testing the individual is usually asked to hold out an arm and resist when the practitioner pushes firmly on the forearm. The arm will remain firm and strong when there is a positive thought or the answer is yes. When there is a negative thought or the answer is no, the arm will wobble. In the 1960s Dr. George Goodheart, a chiropractor, discovered a new way to diagnose his patients by testing the relative strength or weakness of muscles. This method is called Applied Kinesiology.
As he practiced this technique, Goodheart realized that there is a relationship between the muscles and other organs and glands in the body. When a particular muscle tested weak, a corresponding part of the body, such as the spleen, liver, or stomach, was found, through medical tests, to be dysfunctional. When Goodheart learned of the relationship between the muscles and meridian pathways, he began to use acupuncture in his practice. In addition to treating structural problems of the body, Applied Kinesiology treats mental conditions as well.
Psychiatrist John Diamond, M.D., believes that the body doesn't lie. In the 1970s, Diamond created Behavioral Kinesi-ology by incorporating Applied Kinesiology and psychotherapy. His method brings together ideas from psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine, music, and the humanities. Diamond asserts that an imbalance of Chi, or Vital Force, affects a specific energy meridian and leads to psychological and physical problems.
Using muscle testing, Diamond connected the meridians with emotions. He noted that each meridian was related to a positive and a negative emotion. The heart meridian is identified with anger when negative and with love or forgiveness when positive. The thyroid meridian is associated with depression when negative and with hope and elation when positive, and the liver meridian similarly affects happiness or unhappiness.
Thinking Makes It So
Diamond also demonstrated that life energy is influenced when we think negatively. Stressful circumstances can affect the body. He believes that many of our problems stem from decisions we made in the past that have become incorporated as if part of a predetermined script. Through muscle testing Diamond helps patients determine when the decision was made and the problem began. By treating the meridian points, the energy is then unblocked and change can occur.
The therapeutic power of affirmative thought is a key part of Diamond's approach. He suggests a daily program of positive statements: "I have love," "I reach out with love," "I have forgiveness in my heart," ending with, "My life energy is high. I am in the state of love." As you make each statement, you touch one of the fourteen meridians that correspond to each affirmation. Practicing this each day corrects negative emotional states and promotes a feeling of well-being. Diamond maintains, "Whenever we direct our communication out into the world, whether it be speech, writing, poetry, music or the like, there will always be a greater increase in life energy than if we keep the message to ourselves."
Dr. Roger Callahan's Contribution
Psychologist Roger J. Callahan, Ph.D., was looking for ways to improve his ability to treat his patients when he was introduced to muscle testing. He developed Thought Field Therapy after studying Applied Kinesiology. Thought Field Therapy is the first organized system specifically designed to treat psychological distress by balancing the body's energy system. Dr. Callahan believes that the cause of psychological problems is a perturbation in what he calls the individual's thought field. The disturbance in the thought field causes disruption in the energy system that affects other systems in the body. Callahan discovered that stimulating specific acupuncture points in a particular sequence could eliminate negative feelings.
Callahan went on to treat a large number of people and studied their reactions. He created recipes, called algorithms, consisting of acupuncture points that must be tapped in a distinct order. Each algorithm is designed to treat a specific emotion, such as panic, anxiety, phobia, addictive urges, or anger. Each recipe consists of a different number of points. In TFT the therapist uses muscle testing to determine meridian disturbances and instructs the client to tap acupuncture points in the prescribed sequence to treat psychological problems.
Dr. Harold Saxton Burr showed that the electromagnetic polarities in the body could reverse when serious medical conditions were present. In his book, Blueprint for Immortality, he included a study of women with gynecological problems. Of the women with cervical cancer, 96 percent had a negative electrical charge while 95 percent of women with a noncancerous condition had a positive charge. This finding suggests that if the energy polarities are reversed in the body, it is a sign of difficulty or illness.
One of Dr. Callahan's most important additions to this field is the awareness of the phenomenon he calls Psychological Reversal. In PR when polarities are reversed, psychological problems don't seem to improve no matter how hard the patient works to overcome his problem. Callahan discovered energy points to tap that undo the reversal and allow the TFT treatment to succeed.
Another aspect of Thought Field Therapy is the Nine Gamut Treatment. After tapping the energy points of an algorithm, the individual is next instructed to perform nine actions, such as looking down to the right and left, moving the eyes around in a circle, humming a song, and counting out loud, while tapping an energy point on the back of the hand. This exercise is meant to stimulate the left and right hemispheres of the brain in order to balance energy.
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)
Roger Callahan trained many innovative and talented people who went on to create variations of Thought Field Therapy. Some of them began to question the TFT mandate that the order of tapping acupuncture points is essential for a positive outcome. The need to use a different algorithm for each emotional state was challenged too. Some practitioners have found that the process works by touching rather than tapping or even by imagining that tapping is taking place.
One of the most inventive of Callahan's students is Gary Craig, an engineer and personal performance coach. He calls his system Emotional Freedom Techniques or EFT. Craig created a comprehensive formula for tapping, a "one size fits all" treatment in which all the energy meridians are stimulated. This is the only procedure necessary to treat anger, fear, panic, cravings, trauma, guilt, shame, grief, pain, and other emotional problems. With EFT you activate fewer acupuncture points than with TFT. But EFT even gets results without using the Nine Gamut Treatment, which is an integral part of TFT.
Craig also teaches an advanced form of EFT in which people learn to help themselves more efficiently by using intuition to discover which acupuncture points to tap. He found that it is not always necessary to stimulate all the points in the comprehensive formula for success. Through his many workshops, videos, and website, Craig freely shares the EFT process with professionals and the public.
Be Set Free Fast (BSFF)
Be Set Free Fast is what Larry Nims, Ph.D., calls his method. BSFF relies on the idea that unresolved negative emotions and beliefs cause problems. Nims believes that thoughts, feelings, and behavior are affected by subconscious programming. He teaches that all psychological issues are recorded in the subconscious mind, which he calls our "faithful servant." BSFF treats every psychological, physical, or spiritual problem that has emotional roots. Unlike TFT and EFT, BSFF uses an algorithm composed of only three acupuncture points. The user focuses on his problem while affirming that he is eliminating all the sadness, fear, anger or emotional trauma, in all of the roots and the deepest cause of the problem. Muscle testing is also used in BSFF.
BSFF is different from TFT and EFT. Dr. Nims asserts that BSFF is not just a variation of other energy therapies. Those therapies argue that a "perturbation" in the energy field causes the problem, and that all that is needed is to tap on specific energy circuits to balance the energy system. They do not directly address and eliminate the subconscious programming, the belief systems, or the emotional roots of problems.
The very first time you use BSFF, Nims instructs you to contact the subconscious, saying, "Whenever I am treating any problem, I am not only eliminating the emotional roots and deepest cause, but I am also eliminating anything that would make me keep the problem, ever take it back, ever permit it to come back, ever passively allow it to come back, or ever be receptive to it coming back." Nims estimates that up to two thousand emotional roots or unresolved experiences from the past can be resolved simultaneously for each problem when using the BSFF algorithm. A more recent development called Instant BSFF works without tapping points. The subconscious is instructed to automatically carry out the treatment when you say a trigger word or phrase.
Negative Affect Erasing Method (NAEM)
NAEM is a system created by Dr. Fred Gallo, Ph.D., also trained by Dr. Roger Callahan. Gallo treats traumas, phobias, anxiety, depression, and other emotional states with a simple four-point algorithm, which uses points at the "third eye" and the thymus gland, as well as other acupuncture points.
Dr. Gallo's Energy Diagnostic and Treatment Methods or EDxTM teaches how to find the most effective meridian point or cluster of points to alleviate imbalances in the energy system. This approach individualizes treatment and is especially helpful when TFT or EFT algorithms aren't effective. Gallo's approach also deals with correcting the energy disruptions caused by negative core beliefs.
The Future of Energy Psychology
The methods developed by Gary Craig, Larry Nims, Fred Gallo, and others are based on stimulating the body's energy meridians. Their students are creating even more variations of energy-based psychology. Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, information about the latest ideas is shared by thousands of people around the world. Discussion continues about the nature of the bioelectromagnetic qualities of the body and how healing can be facilitated. Energy Psychology conferences are now offered in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Switzerland.
As we proceed in the twenty-first century, emotional problems will be treated more rapidly, efficiently, and permanently because of the expanding knowledge of the body/mind concept and the growing acceptance of the healing powers within. The simplicity of Meridian Therapy techniques offer people a wonderful opportunity to help themselves.
The Meridian Therapy System
Meridian Therapy is the term I have chosen to describe all the various ways of stimulating meridians to heal emotional problems. The system presented in this book blends concepts from each of the approaches that I have just described with ideas from professionals around the world and my own skills as a psychotherapist and teacher. As you use the techniques in this book, you will learn how a simple tapping procedure can relieve fear, stress, anxiety, panic, anger, cravings, pain, and more. Meridian Therapy is so easy you may wonder if it is too good to be true. Try it and find out.
Copyright © 2001 by Gloria Arenson