As you probably know from media reports, our country has a big problem with PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Thousands of service people have returned from active duty complaining of nightmares, traumatic flashbacks, headaches, insomnia and depression. A high percentage of them have turned to drugs and alcohol for self-medication. These veterans are at high risk for being involved in domestic violence or suicide.
This problem is not restricted to veterans. Even higher numbers of people who have survived abusive childhoods, rape, automobile accidents and more suffer with PTSD.
There are still no reliable treatments for PTSD in current medical and psychological practice. A research study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2015 reviewed 36 trials of psychotherapy treatments for PTSD over a 35 year period. The research showed that although some improvements were reported 2/3 of the people receiving the therapies still suffered with PTSD after the treatments.
[i]Sounds discouraging, right?
Maybe, but an exciting new method has demonstrated remarkably rapid and effective results for permanently eradicating the suffering of PTSD. As the title of this chapter states these are ways to create long-term relief of the flashbacks, crises and nightmares associated with past trauma within one clinical session. This system can be used as an adjunct to other psycho-therapeutic approaches to accelerate recovery.
This treatment method is in the realm of vibrational medicine. The word vibration refers to energy fields vibrating at various pulse rates, or frequencies. Vibrational medical practitioners apply specific frequencies of energy to the body for healing and therapeutic purposes. Various forms of vibrational therapies have been used going back thousands of years. These include light therapy, sound and music healing, flower essences, microcurrent therapy, homeopathy and even laying on of hands.
Vibrational medicine is having a major resurgence now through the use of modern electronics. It is being used to fill in gaps in our drug-based medical system. While western medicine offers dazzling life-saving interventions it usually deals poorly with chronic pain and disease, and psycho-spiritual imbalances such as PTSD.
Before describing this new treatment method, here is a bit of background on the challenges of freeing people from old trauma.
PTSD is an increasingly common condition that robs people’s peace of mind and in severe cases, even their ability to function. After profoundly traumatic experiences the alarm system of the brain (the amygdala) can get stuck on high alert. To some extent people with PTSD lose their ability to differentiate between true threats and harmless stimuli of life that are perceived as threats. In addition to the mental/emotional disorders listed above PTSD can also lead to a host of diseases linked with excess stress hormones being released in the body. Those diseases include heart disease, cancer, mental illness and auto-immune conditions.
Our “brain on trauma” is different than a healthy brain. In an attempt to protect itself from perceived threats the brain often shuts down areas that control our ability to have empathy, self-awareness, intimacy and more.
Beyond the approximately 25 million people experiencing the debilitating effects of full-blown PTSD in the USA, I believe that there are many millions more that are dealing with what I call “low-grade PTSD”. In fact, that group may include most people in our culture. This modern epidemic of low-grade PTSD has been brought about by many influences that I have written about in a previous chapter.
Western medicine has very little to offer people suffering with PTSD except for palliative drugs which offer inconsistent results in controlling distressing symptoms. Such drugs may actually aggravate depression in people suffering with PTSD and often lead to increased risk of suicide.
How vibrations heal us
The forms of vibrational medicine showing the greatest promise for healing acceleration are color light therapy, sound healing and microcurrent therapies.
Light and color have been used for curative purposes since ancient times. Our human race grew and evolved surrounded by the colors of nature – blue sky and waters, green plants, red fire, brown earth, white snow, yellow sun and multi-color flowers, birds and insects. We not only take in color by seeing – our skin also has molecules called cryptochromes that absorb certain color wavelengths for supporting our health.
We exchange a great deal of energy and information with others through our chakra system. Chakras are conscious tuned biologic transceivers in our bodies. Each chakra vibrates at a rate supportive of the part of the body it is in. Each chakra outputs a characteristic color. Chakras respond instantly to the language of color.
The middle, emotional core of our brain is called the limbic area, and it governs our emotional responses. Our emotional responses are highly affected by color.[ii] Artists and fashion designers know this well. It has been well documented that the color used to paint walls in prisons and mental health centers have had strong effects on the mental state of the residents.[iii]
Each visible color is a code of information. When color is applied to the body it could:
- Stimulate or relax one or more organs
- Stimulate or relax one or more endrocrine glands, thus affecting hormonal balance
- Stimulate or relax one or more chakras
- Evoke an emotional response
- Shift the perception of pain
In general cool colors such as blue, indigo, violet and turquoise produce calming, grounding effects and can help relieve inflammation. Warm colors such as red, orange, yellow and scarlet stimulate or excite the body or emotions. Green is right in the middle of the color spectrum, and was called “the great balancer” by Dinshah Ghadiali, one of the pioneers of medical color therapy.
In the healing system, I will describe color light is usually combined with gentle electrical currents called microcurrents. Sound therapies are sometimes included.
Microcurrents are gentle electrical currents in the millionth of an amp range. Microcurrent therapies are very popular because they have produced so many remarkable results for pain relief, wound healing and rejuvenation. There are also microcurrent frequency sequences used to help heal a host of diseases.
In research studies microcurrent has been shown to speed up wound healing[iv], strengthen tendons[v], boost energy production in cells[vi], help heal macular degeneration of the eyes[vii] and shrink cancerous tumors[viii]. Not all of these applications of microcurrent are in use by mainstream medicine yet, however.
Both microcurrent and color light therapies work on the principle of energetic resonance. This is the way vibrating energy fields affect each other. Each frequency of microcurrent and color of light resonate or tune into specific parts and functions of the body. There are also many documented healing and balancing effects of sound healing and other vibrational therapies.[ix]
How do vibrational energies help heal trauma and PTSD?
The answer to this question is multi-dimensional. Vibrational therapies tend to be empirical – that is they have been observed to work and so they are used. The theories of how they work are useful, but not complete. Here are some things we do know:
- Stimulation of acupuncture points has proven beneficial effects. The science of acupuncture has been developed over thousands of years based on clinical observation of countless patients. Acupuncture points are small spots on meridians, or energy channels that can be stimulated with needles, heat, magnets or gentle electrical currents. Acupuncture is well-documented for promoting pain relief and healing of diseases. Each acupuncture point used on the body has a number on a meridian and a Chinese name.
The Chinese names of the acupuncture points describe its therapeutic function. Some of the points have names that indicate a physical function or location – such as Jianyu (Shoulder Bone) or Hoku (Meeting of the Valleys). Other acupuncture points have names that describe an emotional or spiritual quality. Some examples are Shenmen (Spirit Gate), Yiji (Wail of Grief) or Tianzong (Heavenly Ancestor).
Vibrational treatments for trauma use such acupuncture points with strong healing effects on the spirit/soul level.
- Color light therapy can rapidly balance chakras, emotions and hormonal secretions as described above.
- Microcurrent therapy has proven effects for unblocking the energy meridians, promoting tissue healing and helping balance the brain and nervous system. See research citations above.
Another very powerful effect we have observed is how vibrational input on acupuncture points can greatly amplify the benefits of psychological therapies. Psychologists have demonstrated a degree of effectiveness by using cognitive therapy, exposure therapy and EMDR (Rapid Eye Therapy) for helping relieve trauma and PTSD. Millions of people have reduced anxiety using Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) for self-treatment by tapping on acupuncture points. Our experience shows that the benefits of these therapies seem to be supercharged when combined with simultaneous vibrational stimulation of acu-points.
I have developed a therapy device called the Acutron. The Acutron is a clinical stimulator that outputs low-intensity microcurrent combined with color light therapy. This combination is called Microlight therapy. Acutron Microlight therapy is used by healthcare and esthetic professionals for pain relief, rehabilitation, facial rejuvenation and non-needle acupuncture work.
For over 25 years I led seminars throughout the world to train professionals in how to use microcurrent and light therapies for pain relief, weight loss, facial rejuvenation, pediatric treatment, post-stroke rehab and emotional healing (the subject of this chapter).
There have been many gifted and creative practitioners who have worked with the Acutron in their clinical practices. Many of them have discovered new, innovative uses for it. One such practitioner is Dr. Greg Nevens, a clinical psychologist working in Portland, Maine. Dr. Nevens specializes in the treatment of trauma and chronic pain. He sees many veterans and civilians suffering with PTSD. He has pioneered a remarkable PTSD healing system and I will provide details below, including stories from some of his PTSD clients.
In my own healing practice I have also specialized in helping people heal psychological issues and re-discover their spiritual core. Starting in the 1990’s I started experimenting with ways to use vibrational therapies to accelerate that process. Eventually I developed an emotional healing system using the Acutron called Psycho-Neuro-Endocrine (PNE) Balancing. PNE Balancing involves applying microcurrent and light stimulation to the front and back of imbalanced body energy centers, or chakras. Clients are guided to visualize, tone or engage in healing dialogue while receiving the vibrational energy.
I have trained many acupuncturists and doctors in this system since then, and some have reported remarkable results for their clients. They have reported relief of depression and anxiety, healing bipolar disorder, release of eating disorders and improvements in dementia. One acupuncturist reported using PNE Balancing to save a few marriages by balancing the chakras of both partners when they were having serious relationship challenges.
The pathway of PTSD
The terrifying experiences of PTSD are triggered when a person encounters something that reminds them of a past traumatic experience. Such experiences could be as innocent as being in a crowd of people or hearing a sudden loud noise, and are called triggers. When a person with PTSD experiences a trigger he is sensitive to it can start a lightning fast chain reaction. First the amygdala, the alarm center of the brain springs into action. It signals the nearby hypothalamus which is the link between the nervous system and endocrine gland systems of the body. The hypothalamus tells the anterior pituitary gland to release corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), which then triggers the adrenal glands to go into fight or flight mode and dump stress hormones into the bloodstream.
The discovery of TERS
The PTSD treatment system developed by psychologist Greg Nevens is called TERS, or Traumatic Emotional Reintegration System. Nevens applies Microlight stimulation to sets of bilateral acupuncture points on the arms or legs while a client visualizes a past traumatic episode in their mind. This system has demonstrated remarkable results for re-programming their brains to become less affected by traumatic memories.
Veterans who had been suffering with incapacitating nightmares and flashbacks for decades have reported relief from these experiences after a single 25 minute TERS session.
According to Neven’s research nightmares and traumatic flashbacks are associated with energy surges along the right side of the corpus callosum, the brain structure that connects the left and right hemispheres. This energy surge seems to also be associated with the hormonal chain reaction just described.
After purchasing the Acutron system Nevens experimented with using to try to relieve these excruciating experiences. He discovered that stimulating certain acupuncture points with microcurrent and color light could interrupt the trauma energy surge in the brain. It also appeared to short-circuit the associated release of stress hormones into the body.
Here are a few cases he has used this method with:
- Vietnam Vet: This man had had 5 – 7 flashbacks and nightmares a day for 45 years. He had 3 major traumatic memories that kept tormenting him. Nevens gave him one 25 minute session for each of the three traumatic memories, on different days. Four years these treatments this veteran had not had one recurrence. This vet received 3 TERS sessions and some follow up.
- Man who witnessed New York World Trade Center destruction in 2001: On September 11 he heard the crash after the first plane hit, then after the second plane hit he saw people jumping out of building, with a white cloud of dust coming up the streets. After this he started having high anxiety, vigilance and mental dissociation which lasted for 13 years before being referred to Dr. Nevens for treatment. By this time he was in his early 30’s. This patient received one 25 minute TERS session. After this single treatment he stopped having the high anxiety, nightmares and flashbacks. Only after these experiences were gone he realized that he had become used to them as his norm.
- Woman who got pregnant as teenager. She was originally referred to Dr. Nevens for treatment of fibromyalgia pain when she was 60 years old. After a few treatments her pain was relieved and she was able to stop taking 90% of her medications. During her later sessions in this series she told Nevens about issues with vaginismus and painful intercourse that had bothered her for over 20 years. As a result of these conditions she had not been able to be intimate with her husband. She had also gone through 5 – 6 female operations for issues including vaginal prolapse and uterine bleeding. She believed that all of this was associated with a traumatic experience from her youth.
As a teenager she had learned she was pregnant and told her mother about it, who then told the father. The parents sent the girl to England for an abortion in an atmosphere of shame. The abortion was done in a horrendous way with massive bleeding on the floor and the fetus thrown into in a trash can.
This women received one TERS treatment to release the trauma from her teenage abortion. Soon after this single session she was able to be sexually intimate with her husband for the first time in 20 years, with no pain at all.
Nevens has also used TERS successfully for rape victims and people who have been through car accidents and near death experiences. What is most remarkable is that he can only remember two patients over his hundreds of cases over the last 8 – 10 years who did not have a positive response to this vibrational therapy. He believes that people with brain injuries may not respond well to it, and that could be the reason for those two non-responses.
My experiences with TERS
Phobias are irrational fears that cause people to avoid certain experiences. Phobias usually develop in response to a past traumatic experience with the object of the phobia. In other words, a child who was bitten and injured by a big dog could develop a phobia of dogs after that. As part of my work with healing trauma I have experimented with Neven’s TERS method for helping clear phobias.
I have used the TERS method with clients who had phobias preventing them from speaking in front of a group, walking in high places, driving through big cities, gardening, snakes, having their body touched and more. In most cases these people have been able to do those activities without fear after receiving one or two treatment sessions. Some clients who had chronic pain associated with old trauma have felt relief for the first time in many years after 1 – 3 of these sessions.
As an example, I met a 53 year old massage therapist named Susan (name changed) in New Jersey who had a severe phobia of her feet being touched. As a child Susan had stepped on a rusty nail. After being rushed to the hospital she was treated brutally by some doctors who held her down while the nail was dug out of her foot without adequate anesthesia. This experience deeply traumatized Susan, and she could not bear to have anyone touch her feet after that. It was even hard for her to touch her own feet, and was an ordeal for her to put socks on and off.
I started by asking her to rate her phobia by choosing a number between 1 and 10. 10 represented extreme aversion to having her feet touched, and 1 was no aversion. She said her phobia was off the chart above 10. I then used the Acutron to treat three sets of acupuncture points on her wrists, ankles and back of her neck with microcurrent and color light. With each point, one wand was put on the right side and one on the left side. While doing this I asked her to visualize first the traumatic hospital experience and then a person touching her feet as an adult.
After about ten minutes of this therapy I asked Susan to rate her phobia again. She told me she was not sure about what the new score was, so I asked her if I could have permission to touch her feet gently. With great reluctance she said I could try it. It touched one of her feet gently. She did not react, so I touched more firmly. There was still no reaction. Then I asked if I could massage her feet. She nodded her head and I massaged her feet firmly for a few minutes. Susan was looking at me with amazement because she was not feeling discomfort about her feet being massaged. After follow up I found that this relief of the phobia lasted for at least a few months. I was unable to give her a follow up treatment due to geographic distance.
There is a modern epidemic of people whose lives have been adversely affected by past trauma. These effects range from feelings of blockage and fear about life to being incapacitated by PTSD. Psychotropic drugs and psycho-therapeutic methods have only been able to help people with these issues to a limited extent. Some innovative psychological methods such as EMDR (rapid eye movement), Emotional Freedom Technique and cognitive therapies have shown greater promise. These methods, however have only offered limited and inconsistent results.
When vibrational therapies are applied to acupuncture points and chakras with strong effects on emotions and consciousness, and this is combined with skilled conscious guidance by a qualified practitioner, results have been far better. The methods of TERS and PNE Balancing have demonstrated immediate, long-lasting and much more consistent results.
Darren Starwynn, O.M.D., Center for Health and Happiness, Mill Valley, CA, 415.888.3891 www.drstarwynn.com
[iv] The Effects of Electric Current on ATP Generation, Protein Synthesis, and Membrane Transport in Rat Skin Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, #171, Nov/Dec. 1982
[v] Low-intensity Pulsed Galvanic Current and the Healing of Tenotomized Rat Achilles Tendons: Preliminary Report Using Load-to-Breaking Measurements Archives Physical Med Rehab, Vol. 68, July 1987
[vi] See reference iv
[viii] Nordenstrom, B. An Electrophysiologic View of Acupuncture: Role of Capacitive and Closed Circuit Currents and Their Clinical Effects in the Treatment of Cancer and Chronic Pain, American Journal of Acupuncture, Vol 17, #2, 1989
[ix] You can read details on using microcurrent, color light and sound for emotional healing in my book Healing the Root of Pain available on www.microlightinstitute.com/products or through Amazon.com