Emotional stress is at the root of our physical symptoms or diseases. These stresses can disorganize our body’s ability to heal itself and return to good health. Whereas herbs can help protect tissue or stimulate the return to better function, if the underlying emotional stress is not regularly dis-charged or released, the root cause of our problem remains as an eroding undercurrent, which may lead to an early demise.

An Analogy: From birth to present we have experienced and recorded in our body many stressful events. These accumulated emotional stresses are like burrs in the reactive part of our brain. We both perceive life and react to life according to our past experiences with life. Often we don’t realize or recall the events in our past that have produced these burrs but on a daily basis we react according to the impressions that these have made on us. These burrs play an important role in forming our attitudes towards ourselves, towards other people, towards life and towards situations. For example, one who comes from poverty may be overly stressed by money, even though as an adult he has acquired much wealth. Perhaps at a young age he heard his parents argue or complain about the lack of money and these remain as vivid memories or burrs which affect his behavior and reactions to money as an adult. He would need to discharge the stored emotions triggering his current responses causing the stress about money.

So, how is this done?

There is both a physical and mental aspect to discharging these negative stressors.

Hand positions for Emotional Stress Release. Note how the fingers wrap the forehead.

Physical: Hands to the forehead. Although any position is suitable, it is best to begin by lying down on a bed, face up with pillows on both sides of your head to support your raised arms. Rest the arms on the pillows, elbows bent and place the pads (not tips) of your fingers on your forehead, as shown.   The finger pads should be resting on the forehead VERY LIGHTLY in order to feel a pulse. Breathe deep relaxing breaths while holding these points, putting your attention to what your fingers are feeling. We are looking for a pulsing sensation to develop under the finger pads. This may take 2 to 10 minutes. Often the pulses will come and go on one side then the other. Keep holding these points until you feel synchronized pulses on both sides that don’t quit. It is a natural response to place one’s hand on the forehead in stressful times – because we intuitively know it de-stresses us. After the pulses are nicely synchronized, then you are ready for the mental aspect of de-stressing. (After several trials if you still can’t feel these pulses, go on to the next step anyway. You will still receive some benefit.)

Mental: While your finger pads are still sensing the synchronized pulses on your forehead, pick one current stressor in your life to de-stress from. Note what happens to the nicely synchronized pulses with that thought – they disorganize – just like the rest of your body with that stressful thought!  That’s OK.  Stay with it.  You want to keep thinking about that one current stressor until the synchronized pulses return. Note the absence of the normal stress pangs in your body as you feel the pulses on your forehead return.  If it was an event, sequence through it, recalling the sounds, smells, images, feelings, environment, etc.  Continue breathing deeply. People of faith can ask God for insight/counsel regarding the stressful aspects of the relationship/event (Simply, “God, what did You want me to know or see here?” Then keep thinking about the stressful aspects of the event and listen.). If people are involved make certain to forgive and release any offense against you by everyone involved. After you have processed every hurtful aspect of the one event, finish with a deep relaxing breath. You are done when you can think about the event without causing the synchronized pulses to leave or disorganize. I recommend taking one event each night and doing this every night. You’ll be amazed – and it is cheaper than the herbs you need to fix the damage done by the stress!! Many people report that they sleep better too.

This emotional stress release technique may be applied to upcoming events about which you are apprehensive, current situations which are presently stressing you and past events which are most likely responsible for current physical and emotional problems. Just work with one event per session. As childhood experiences come to mind, take time to release them with this technique. (More direction on how to process these things is found in my book  Spiritual Disciplines for Physical and Emotional Healing).  You will find that you begin to react to situations differently – in a more rational and peaceful manner, AND there will less disorganizing effects on your tissue.

Don’t underestimate the usefulness of this technique. Researchers have studied and documented the effectiveness of this procedure but it won’t help you unless YOU DO IT.

©Pat Block ND 2007


One Response to Emotional Stress Release (ESR)

  1. PatBlockND says:

    Here is some more info on ESR use from a CMT.

    Hi Pat,
    The link between the ESR points and Parasympathetic dominance is very well established. Indeed, Terence Bennett’s original work on these points established their link to vasodilation which is an autonomic (ANS) function. As Bennett was a clinician, his work was never properly published, … Many studies have been done by chiropractors on the link between the neuro-vascular points and autonomic function, and it is easy to run across examples by digging into the research published on the Applied Kinesiology Association (AKA) website. ….Additionally Cranio Sacral Therapy (CST) unintentionally applies these points with the same type of manipulation, and so the research correlating ANS function to CST is relevant…. More fundamentally, it is a simple matter to run your own study on ESR using bio-feedback equipment such as the IOM hardware and Alive software package which monitors Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) and Heart Rate Variability (HRV). HVR and GSR are commonly used to monitor ANS function.

    The work on metabolism I mentioned came from a study performed in Ireland by Ger Casey who presented her findings at a TFH meeting in Malibu perhaps 5 years ago. In a clinical setting, she measured Carbon DiOxide (CO2) respiration levels with and without ESR and found statistically relevant results. Measuring CO2 is an excellent proxy for metabolic function. …

    In my experience with using the Neuro Vascular points and similar points such as CST and the Access Consciousness Bars points, my thinking is that these points have more to do with the synchronization of brain wave activity across the hemispheres as well as anterior / posterior and vertically. I think the observed improvement in parasympathetic function is a by product of enhanced brain wave synchronization. It makes sense that bilateral touch could have this effect, and that better synchronization of brain activity would influence parasympathetic function..

    Crossinology Brain Integration Technique (BIT) uses the ESR points for what I believe is improved brain wave synchronization in relation to a specific stressor, which is usually learning related. It would be a relatively simple matter to do a study on this using multipoint EEG equipment which could be purchased for a few thousand $. I have dabbled with this idea for a while, but don’t have the right local connections to perform a study in a clinical setting. Susan McCrossin has published studies on BIT, but not on this aspect of brain wave synchronization.

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