Using Healing Touch with Trauma
Janet Mentgen introduced the Trauma Release Technique to the Healing Touch Program in 1996. This technique was a radical departure from traditional cognitive, behavioral and emotional cathartic therapies and — it worked. Janet didn’t know how it worked. All she knew was that it eliminated long-term symptoms of traumatic stress in over 100 people who had suffered from traumatic injuries. She would tell us to just do the work and that the science behind it would follow. She was right. Discoveries in neurophysiology research have recently validated this powerful technique.
According to Robert Scaer MD, noted Neurologist and Trauma expert, the Trauma Release Technique “actively inhibits brain arousal systems, which in turn, allows the somatic messages of trauma in the body to be extinguished, removing one of the primary sources of brain kindling and perpetuation of the trauma response.”
Kindling usually refers to material needed for starting a fire. However, when used in the context of trauma, it refers to the internal cues in the body that lead to the spontaneous return of the traumatic stress state. The goal of the Trauma Release Technique is to extinguish these internal cues and stop the perpetuation of the trauma response.The following cases may help you understand how this works.
1. My friend, John, was flying home from a speaking engagement when he was told to prepare for a crash landing. The landing gear was stuck in the up position. The fl ight attendant’s face was tense and fearful as she gave John and the other passengers instructions on how to brace themselves. John could see fi re engines on the runway “standing by to clean up the mess.” At the last minute, the landing gear dropped and the airplane landed safely. People were in shock and were throwing up, soiling their pants and crying after the plane landed. When they disembarked, the fl ight attendant gave the usual thanks for flying with this airline as if nothing had happened.
John was scheduled to fly the next weekend for another speaking engagement so he drove straight to my house for a treatment. I modified the Trauma Release Technique for use in an active state of shock and recent trauma. During the treatment, he felt an urge to run so I told him to use his imagination and see himself running. He saw himself sliding down the yellow emergency chute, and running away from the burning plane as he held the hand of a child who had been seated next to him. We completed the Trauma Release Technique and he said that he did not feel complete and wanted to repeat the entire process. The second time around, the urge to run returned and he again used imagery to see himself slide down the yellow emergency chute and run away from the burning plane. He ran with all of his might he ran until he felt he was safe. Imagery allowed John to complete what his nervous system had planned to do if he crashed. The Trauma Release Technique extinguished the somatic messages of trauma in the body and he was able to fl y the following weekend without any discomfort.
2. Heather had a traumatic experience nine years before I saw her. She had been shocked to hear that a routine mammogram found a possible cancerous lump in her breast. She had a traumatic breast biopsy a few days later – which proved to be negative for cancer. Shortly after that she lost hearing in her left ear. What she did hear were terrible noises that sounded like ringing, clanging, bells tolling, angry bird like screeching, and howling blizzard-like wind. They were constant and were worse when she was tired.
Multiple doctors were unable to help her and the only thing that kept her “from going crazy” was an antidepressant. The noises were so bad that she had prayed to die. It was clear to me that she was in an active state of traumatic stress due to kindling.
Nine years of suffering resulted in exhausted adrenals and a very depleted energetic body. She needed a series of treatments to address her needs. The first session consisted of the Full Body Connection, which included sending energy to the adrenals to help them relax. Magnetic Passes: Hands in Motion and Hands Still, as well as Ultrasound were used on her left ear. Blocked energy was pulled from her left ear and throat and the left ear was energetically connected to her sacral chakra. The ear sounds were diminished for a day and a half following the treatment.
I worked directly with her nervous system in the second session by applying a healing, soothing gold vibration to her entire nervous system. This was followed with Mind Clearing and Interactive Imagery. Heather visualized herself in a lovely healing place where she listened to the sound of quiet. There was no noise in her left ear during the imagery. Following the second treatment there were no noises in her left ear for three days.
The Trauma Release Technique was done during the third and the fourth sessions. She heard no noises for two weeks after each session. She also reported that she had a tendency to hold back tears and that she was able to cry again. The fi fth session included directing energy to the adrenals, a Full Body Connection and a Mind Clearing. She didn’t feel the need to come for further treatments because she was so much better and only heard faint noises when she was tired. The somatic messages of trauma in her body were mostly extinguished.
3. The last case demonstrates how brain arousal systems are influenced by stored somatic messages of trauma and lead to additional traumas.
Jason, age 21, had been in a car accident one month prior to my seeing him. He was in a coma with a ruptured spleen, lacerated liver, fractured pelvis, three fractured ribs, collapsed right lung, bruised left lung, kidney and bladder, and a closed head injury called brain shear. The fact that he was alive was a miracle and the doctors expected that he would be in a vegetative state if he lived.
He had a history of multiple traumas from before his birth. His mother was in an auto accident and sustained a spinal injury, when she was two months pregnant with him. His delivery was breech and he was born with a dislocated hip. When he was six, he and his mother were in an auto accident. Shortly before this recent auto accident his father was diagnosed with metastatic lung and brain cancer.
I treated Jason with Healing Touch every day for two weeks and during that time his condition fluctuated between fair and poor. His body could not maintain an energetic balance and his coma prevented me from doing the Trauma Release Technique. The following is a brief synopsis of the Healing Touch sessions.
At the first session I began by talking to his spirit and letting him know that I did not know if he was going to decide to stay on the planet or to leave but that I would do everything I could to help him. As I worked with him, I continually set my intent for his highest good. I then did a Full Body Connection, directing energy into his bone marrow and letting the body fill and balance from the core out to the periphery of the body. I also directed energy through his joints. Other techniques that I used were Magnetic Passes: Hands in Motion and Hands Still over traumatized organs and fractures. Although the techniques I used would usually be suffi cient for a session, I felt guided to also do a Chakra Spread. For the most part I continued to use these techniques every day that I worked with Jason.
During the second week of working with Jason I also set an intention for the growth of embryonic brain stem cells to help his brain heal — since these cells are responsible for developing the nervous system.
The following week Jason developed an infection and was transferred back to the Intensive Care Unit. The family was too stressed to continue with something that did not have apparent results and told me they were stopping the Healing Touch sessions. I asked if the doctors found anything unusual in Jason’s recent lab results and his mother said that they were surprised to find some embryonic stem cells. Although I did not continue with this case, I am grateful that Jason challenged me to think outside the box to find a way to
support his healing.
These illustrations demonstrate the importance of developing new systems in health care to identify and treat trauma. The Trauma Release Technique, taught during HTP Advanced Practice 2 classes, is effective, scientifi cally sound, easily learned and easy to implement. Refer to the schedule of classes in this issue of Energy Magazine. Note that completion of Healing Touch Level 3 is a prerequisite to attend AP 1 and AP 2 classes.
About the author: Kathy Moray Allan is a Certified Healing Touch Instructor and is on the faculty of Beyond Ordinary Nursing where she teaches Integrative Imagery. She is a Certified Somatic Experiencing Practitioner and assists at the national education trainings for professionals who want to work with traumatic stress/PTSD.