Everyone is born into a particular environment each with its own unique set of circumstances. Some are born into environments with both biological parents present. Others are raised by a single biological parent, by relatives, in a foster home or in an orphanage. The environment you grew up in, the particular circumstances, combined with other life experiences has had a profound impact upon the formation of your identity. During the first six years of life you were highly impressionable, your existence likened to a perceptual sponge, with each experience encoded and stored subconsciously as a memory. All memories encoded in your subconscious mind are represented in pictures/slideshow, sounds, smells, tastes and feelings. These memories tell your story and have influenced the formation of your beliefs, attitudes, preferences and habits. In fact most people have a wide variety of beliefs and preferences. Your emotions give all your memories great power. Some are happy remembrances such as favorite movies, favorite vacation spots, favorite relatives, favorite music, favorite smells, favorite foods, etc. More complex beliefs and emotions around subjects like religion, politics, and family traditions are also stored within the subconscious. The sum total of your journey is recorded within the subconscious part of your mind. How can you be sure that your subconscious mind exists? Well take a few moments right now and think of something you really enjoy doing. Or think of someone you love. Just notice how this happy memory shows up inside of you. The act of remembering accessed your subconscious and the stored happy memory was brought into your conscious awareness.
Now it is also true that every person without exception has memories and events that occurred in life that were unpleasant. Some of yours may have been quite traumatic involving physical, sexual or emotional abuse. Perhaps you grew up in an environment where addiction was prevalent. You may have grown up in a family where anger, control, criticism, or chaos ruled the environment, or in sharp contrast one where silence, a lack of affection and caring were prevalent. You may have been bullied in school, at home or in your neighborhood. You may have been raised in poverty with some of your most basic needs, such as food and shelter not assured. Maybe you knew you were gay and felt lonely and isolated. You may have witnessed violence in your home between your parents. You may have been continually criticized by a parent. The point here is that painful memories and unresolved emotions stay with you and disrupt your life. The unresolved emotions often build over time, leading to self-sabotage, including addictive behaviors. Trapped emotions and traumas, anxiety and unprocessed life experiences are held in the nervous system and the source of multiple problems.
When one experiences anxiety, depression, sadness, anger and other low level emotional states for long periods of time, when these emotions become who you think you are, Dr. Dispenza, a neuroscientist explains why: “our emotions are a record of the past. So if the emotion is stored in the body then the body is literally living in the past”. What this means is that when the body serves as a recorder of the subconscious, the body believes and reflects the same environmental conditions of the past and its perceptions are reflected every day and every hour of the day. The body literally lives in the past running the same emotions and feelings, “molecules of emotion” experienced on a cellular level in the body leading to conditioned habitual responses to the point where the mind is no longer involved. Someone with addictive tendencies often seeks relief through their drug of choice not just because temporary relief is better than no relief at all, but because they are operating from these conditioned emotional states and they are unpleasant.
So how do you get off the relapse merry go round? You must address the painful and traumatic memories from the past. These memories are giving structure to the sabotaging beliefs and the trapped emotions that “drive the bus” of your addictive reality. An effective key to dissolving painful past memories is an approach known as energy psychology. Energy psychology combines principles of western psychology
with principles of oriental medicine. Energy psychology techniques effectively and thoroughly address and dissolve the most painful past memories, while simultaneously fostering healthy emotional feelings and responses. Effective energy psychology techniques include: Faster
EFT (Emotionally Focused Transformations), VRT (Visual Release Tap) and Matrix Reimprinting to name three. Faster EFT and VRT are offshoots of EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) which has hundreds of clinical and observational studies highlighting its effectiveness in addressing and releasing PTSD, depression, anxiety, any addiction and chronic pain conditions, to name a few. Incorporating oriental medicine’s contribution and knowledge of the meridian system, which demonstrates how trapped emotions can be released through emotional acupressure or “tapping” has contributed to the growth of energy psychology.
There is a part of the brain that modulates emotional responses called the amygdala. When the amygdala perceives a real or imagined threat it mobilizes a fight-flight response in the body that is chemical and electromagnetic in nature. Signals travel through channels along the meridian system. Uncomfortable physiological sensations and feelings are experienced in the body while negative chemicals such as cortisol and adrenaline are released when this fight-flight stress response is activated. Scientists have discovered that the amygdala can become hypersensitive when someone is quite young, leading it to “sound the alarm” when a person simply anticipates a threat or when they just think about a past painful memory. Certain smells, tastes, and sounds can “trigger” a response from the amygdala. The subconscious tends to generalize the emotional impact of one event in life to other events and circumstances in life, so much so that it affects multiple areas of a person’s life. This stressful state of being has grave consequences over time for one’s general health and emotional well-being. Meridian “tapping” along with other processes effectively stops the alarm of the amygdala, while also assisting in the release of “trapped emotions” and limiting beliefs that stem from painful and traumatic memories from the past that drive addictive behaviors.
Suzanne Biddiscombe, M.A., owner of the Source for Change, has a Master’s in Psychology and is certified in multiple energy psychology techniques. She worked in addictive services in both inpatient and outpatient settings in New York for over eight years. She specializes in working with individuals who have been unable to stop relapse behaviors in her private office in Boca Raton, Florida. You may reach her at 561-300-4069.