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  • Writer's pictureShannon Green

How can EMDR therapy reduce pain?

What is EMDR? Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a psychotherapy treatment that focuses on alleviating the distress associated with traumatic memories. Memories can be reprocessed in a safe environment with a trained therapist (LPC-Licensed Counselor) using a tapping device or with special eye movements. It allows people to heal from the distress of life experiences in a quicker timeframe compared to traditional talk therapy.

This is recommended for those with past traumatic events that don't necessarily have to be big T traumas or PTSD. Unresolved events such as divorce, death of loved one, emotional and or physical abuse, neglect, car accidents, etc. My example is from a sexual assault as an eight year old child. I had blocked out the memory for 38 years and never told anyone about the attack. During three EMDR sessions, I was able to reprocess the trauma in a safe environment and recall details that were previously blocked. Most people report an improvement within just a few sessions but can vary depending on the amount of trauma experienced.

How does resolving emotional pain affect physical pain? Our body keeps score (see book "The Body Keeps Score" by Bessel van der Kolk). We carry unresolved trauma within us. What we resist, persists. Before EMDR, I was having daily non-epileptic seizures (PNES) daily. After EMDR, I only have a few seizures per month as long as I maintain balanced mental health with meditation and breath work. The more distressed I am emotionally, the more physical pain I experience.

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