“I’d rather be seen for who I am and be alone than to be accepted for someone I am not and be lonely.” —Brock Tully
What do I mean by template images and why do we need to clean and clear them?
The answer is simple in as much as they (template images) are those shocking or traumatic memories that are seemingly-indelibly imprinted on the mind and can create very unpleasant side-effects such as addiction, obsession, compulsion, anxiety, fear, phobia, and sleep problems.
The cleaning, clearing, releasing, and collapsing of any traumatic or shocking memories, images or scenes allows us to return to a state of healthy homeostasis, a state that has no negative triggers attached to the original incident, image, or perception.
Let’s take an example that most of us can relate to. September 11th, 2001.
Seeing the terrifying images repeated so many times – many not feeling able to turn away from their TV screens. The repetitive showing of the planes crashing into the buildings, and the mind’s ability to have empathy and horror at the thought of what it must have been like to be in the planes or the buildings. To hear the telephone calls from those who were being hostages to the terrorists’ suicidal plans, and to hear the very personal stories from the victims’ family members. Critical Incident Stress Debriefing teams were immediately called into action especially for the police, fire, and emergency personnel.
Following this tragedy, my own experience demonstrated the power of the simplest technique. All my clients who have requested working on the trauma of September 11th have stated that the issue for them has been the inability to clear or dissipate the image of the planes crashing into the World Trade Center buildings. Just like the newspaper and magazine front covers, the image was for each client a particular frozen frame image.
All the clients were reporting an inability to sleep, increasing anxiety, and loss of function in work, play, or relationships. One had totally returned to major self-destructive behaviors, though many addiction experts might suggest this just provided the perfect reason for relapse. However, this was someone who had clearly and cleanly been on a healing path for a good period of time. The images had become what I refer to as “template” memories, which prevent the ability to tune-in to pleasant thoughts. This type of “template” memory can occur when someone has witnessed a loved one die in a painful way, such as wasting from cancer, and that memory dominates all others and doesn’t allow for the surfacing of the many pleasant pre-wasting images.
What was the simple technique?
I just asked each of them to close their eyes and focus on that frozen image, and then to take two fingers of both hands and place them on either side of the bridge of the nose and the beginning of the eyebrows (part of TFT/EFT trauma routine) and tap. After a few seconds, they all reported that the images had “unfrozen” and were clearing, dissipating, or just moving on. Each also noted a dramatic drop in the level of anxiety they`d felt when they first “tuned-in”, and have since reported a return to healthier homeostasis, but with a great deal of care, concern, and compassion about the September 11th terrorist attacks.
If this simple tapping technique does not seem effective in terms of clearing or dissipating the frozen image, then I will usually do what I call the “Inner Child/Adult Self-Reclamation” exercise, which is detailed in my books Rapid Recovery and PTSD: Cleaning & Clearing Shock & Trauma.
The strongest or most dominant thought wins! We need to therefore stop giving the negative ones any life, power, or control.
If a person has had multiple traumas, then start with the earliest known issue that you or our client has an image or memory of. I recommend this be done in chronological order so that the metaphorical foundation of the trauma high-rise building blocks can begin to crumble the rest of the building. Break the foundation away and then some of the floors will disintegrate and dissolve, as they will often contain many of the similar emotional elements of later trauma occasions and this foundation breaking allows implosion and dissolution to begin.
The method – have the client go into the TAT pose as designed by Jane Wakefield whereby you cup the fingertips in a shell-like fashion around the ears i.e.- with the thumb at the bottom, and the pinky finger near the temple, until integration has occurred.
Ask the client (demonstrate if you are a therapist or do so for yourself if you are working on a personal issue) to close their eyes and put their attention on the memory or image and to breathe fully and deeply from the diaphragm. Then ask if it is stuck or frozen, like a still photograph – or is it moving, like a movie picture?
If it is moving, then ask them to just watch/observe until it comes to some sense of completion/closure or if it “freezes” at any point, to let you know.
If it is or does become stuck and frozen – that is when to use the Three-Spot tapping points.
Take index and middle fingers of both hands and place them on the Bridge of the nose and beginning of the eyebrows – (third eye spot, pineal gland – crystalline substance). Tap there for about ten seconds as you continue to observe the memory – You can tap fairly solidly and rapidly without hurting yourself.
Tap the sides of the eyes for about ten seconds while observing the memory– this point is for anger/rage.
Tap under the eyes for about ten seconds, whilst continuing to observe the memory – represents the stomach meridian – where anxiety tends to reside.
Cup hands again around the ears ala TAT pose and re-check the image/memory to note what, if anything, has happened to that scene. If it has cleared then great – if not then it suggests we need to use the Inner Child/Adult Self-Reclamation exercise for shock, as the scene is likely ‘trapped and frozen’ and deeper work needs to be done.
Great credit must be given to Tapas Fleming for developing the TAT method. She later added to this by including acupuncture points at the back of the head (where the brain`s vision center is located) and noted even further improvements.
Tapas Fleming`s own theory behind TAT is that trauma is a stuck or frozen moment that continues to cause stress to the system, with some part of the victim trying to operate as though it never happened, based upon an inner belief that, “I can’t survive if this happens to me.” This will then create a duality, or a yin-yang imbalance, as it would be called in Traditional Chinese Medicine. With TAT, you are consciously and deliberately reviewing the original “trauma scene”, and acupressure is being performed to points that focus energy on the eyes, and it would appear to allow or confront the part(s) of oneself that rejected the trauma, doing so as a tool for surviving its origin. It stops being a threat and there tend to be subtle energy shifts and perceptual shifts that dissolve the duality and allows the system to relax, process, and heal.
Interestingly, the points around the outside of the ears that the fingers press into are numbers 17-21 of the Triple Warmer meridian.
Bridge of nose, beginning of eyebrow = (Urinary Bladder – Fear, Restlessness, and Trauma). I often suggest to clients that, when a traumatic scene appears frozen in their “mind’s eye”, they just tap the bridge of the nose/beginning of the eyebrow point. After a while, the image usually starts to move again, and the client should be able to follow the incident to its completion, with the full awareness of all “parts” that they have indeed survived.
Side of the eyes (Gall Bladder – Rage). When there is a combined feeling of “being mad and helpless”, i.e. rage, then tapping the side of the outer eye plus the collarbone (K-27’s) can be helpful in lowering the intensity.
Under eyes (Stomach – Anxiety/Fear). Restoring tranquility and peace of mind. The Eyes – Healing can be that one’s sensory perceptions become one, with the whole Self now using the same filter. The eyes may have frozen filters because what the eyes say is happening is what the rest of the senses believe is their truth, and we know that a belief is not necessarily THE truth!
The eyes may freeze the image that they capture at the moment a trauma is believed to be imminent, and this can therefore mean trapped/frozen light particles! C. S. Jordan and T.T. Lenington demonstrated that intense images of negative childhood memories are accompanied by changes in heart rate, galvanic skin response, respiration, and eye movement.
The eyes are attached, via meridians, to the stomach and, when feeling stressed, clients will often speak about getting “knotted up” in that region. When tapping under the eyes you may often hear and see the client sighing. This is most often a sign that a wave packet of energy has just been released and the client relieved of the “weight” of that energy they were carrying within them.