Do it yourself EMDR, by beach-girl

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Years ago, I did EMDR with a therapist. I've now done it 6 times and know it works. You can try this on your own, without a therapist. You may or may not have success, but here is how it works:

In 1989 Dr. Francine Shapiro was working through a problem. She was walking through a garden and unconsciously, moving her eyes from the left to the ride side of the path. She noticed that by doing this, she was able to problem solve in very short order.

This was the start of EMDR therapy. By stimulating both sides of the brain, we can quickly and easily problem solve. We can do it while walking. If you are able to walk, try moving your arms and legs in opposite directions. (right foot forward, swinging left arm forward) Before you walk, think of a belief you have that you want to change. Focus on the belief just before you walk, start to walk, swing your arms ( not in a crazy way, but a comfortable way) and the leg movement is easily followed in the "opposite" direction. You are now naturally problem solving!

As you walk, "watch" what comes up. Don't make judgements, simply witness what you are seeing. It's like watching a movie. You don't "butt in" with your own opinions, or stray from the original "core belief". After your walk, record what you have witnessed. Through the many visions you'll have, perhaps from childhood or adulthood, you can put the "scenes" together, and discover where this core belief came from. It DOES work even if the scenes you are seeing don't make sense. They are there for a reason. If you were simply a witness, and wrote out what the scenes you observed, then you now know what the core belief you hold so tightly is. And now it's time to CHANGE that belief.

Hopefully, you will discover what this belief is and where it originated. Again what you see may make no sense, but when you write out everything you saw later, you may see exactly where this core belief (which we believe with all our heart - but is wrong) came from. Congratulations if this works - you have just completed Step One.

Write out what you'd like to replace this old belief with. It doesn't need to be long, simply what joy and happiness you will feel when it has changed.

Start the same way as you did before on a walk, only this time, repeat the phrase or the new belief you wrote about and really try and feel this before your walk. Say it several times. Begin your walk. SEE the new belief in action/place. FEEL what it is like to have this new belief in place. If you need to - take a walk on several days and feel and trust the new belief. It WILL change.

By working your body, left and right at the same time, you will replace the old belief with the new one.

I recommend this for people who may be stuck with certain parts of your TMS recovery. If the issue is PTSD or something really challenging - PLEASE use a trained EMDR therapist. There are many trained in this.

This is a powerful healing tool and as I mentioned I've done this many times. The big issues, I would never have attempted on my own. But I'm still struggling with worry in my TMS recovery. I just did 15 minutes of laps in the pool and it was enough to help me establish what my "core belief" about my worry is. I plan to use the walking to change the belief. Thought I would share this method with anyone who is having that bump in the road they can't quite get over.

However, I can't stress enough that a trained EMDR therapist is a MUST when you have very big issues. Things like child abuse, or issues that bring on a lot of fear. I see a therapist on a regular basis. But I will do the EMDR on my own.

Please pm me with questions, or ask them here.

Best of luck to all in living a pain free life!


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