“The Havening Techniques” are a revolutionary new psychosensory therapy that you need to know about.
What is a Psychosensory therapy?
It’s a therapy aimed at psychological or emotional healing but uses physical touch or body movements to create the change. EMDR, which uses lateral Eye movements, is a psychosensory therapy. Different techniques like EFT and TFT that use tapping on specific places on the body, are psychosensory therapies.
Now, to be honest, I’d always been deeply skeptical about these therapies because they seemed a bit wacky. I dismissed them as a placebo effect and found the “science” behind them to be sketchy at best. However, when I learned about The Havening Techniques it totally changed the ball game for me for two reasons:
- The results are phenomenal. Havening can and does permanently remove symptoms of trauma or phobias in as little as one session.
- What sets Havening apart is the extensive research done by its creator, Dr. Ronald Ruden, into how precisely traumas are encoded in the brain and then specifically how touch therapy effects that.
Let’s take a look at some of what Dr. Ruden found.
Fear responses happen primarily in an area of the brain called the limbic system.
The limbic system includes the Cingulate Gyrus, the Hippocampus, the Thalamus, the frontal lobe and other structures.
At the center of it all is an almond-sized set of neurons called the Amygdala. When your survival is threatened, it is the Amygdala that takes over and every single function of your body and brain becomes focused on one goal: to keep you alive. This is when you get that shot of adrenaline, your heart races, you get that cold sweat… anything to keep you alive. The Amygdala will activate rage, make you run like the wind, fight like a demon or immobilize you with total paralysis. Whatever works for your survival.
And, when certain conditions are met, a specific nucleus of the amygdala ensures we will never forget this experience and thus make sure we never put ourselves in this sort of position again in the future. It encodes the experience in our brain as a trauma.
So how does it do that?
Excitatory neurotransmitters cause glutamate receptors called AMPA receptors to become potentiated on the postsynaptic surface of the lateral amygdala. “Potentiated” means they are activated. They pop out on the surface. This is full blown panic. This is TRAUMA happening NOW. Those AMPA Receptors make it so we are ACUTELY AWARE of the Cognitive components and images or smells or sounds are seared into our memory. We have Autonomic reactions: we sweat, our heart pounds. There are somatosensory experiences like pain and, of course, the Emotional content.
But what really makes a trauma a trauma is its permanence. Dr. Ruden believes this is caused right at this moment by the activation of an enzyme that adds a phosphate molecule to the AMPA receptors, or phosphorylates them, which permanently anchors them into place. You could think of them as being super-glued onto the surface.
This is why anything that reminds us of the event, even years later, will trigger this response and produce those flashbacks and anxieties and it also explains why traditional therapies do little or nothing to remove the trauma. Talking about it sometimes can even make it worse because it can uncontrollably trigger those responses.
So how is Havening different? How does it get in there to alter this seemingly permanent condition?
Havening is based on the fact that the human body is an electro-chemical organ. Any sensation experienced by the body is transduced into an electro-chemical signal to be sent to the brain.
Dr. Ruden found research that shows that physical touch, on certain areas of the body, sends that electro-chemical signal to the brain in the form of very slow brain waves called Delta Waves.
It is worth noting that during traumatization, your brain is racing. It is using high frequency Gama waves up to 100HZ. That is extremely fast. As a result the brain is producing a wide variety of stress hormones like cortisol and nor-epinephrine, giving you the fight or flight response.
Delta Waves, by contrast, are the slowest brain waves. They are only .5 to 4HZ and the neurotransmitters produced by the brain are very different. You get a lot of serotonin, oxytocin and GABA as an example. Delta waves also cause one more thing to happen that is of critical importance…
As the Havening touch causes low-frequency Delta Waves to be produced in the brain, voltage-sensitive calcium channels are opened on the post-synaptic lateral amygdala allowing calcium to enter the cells. This leads to the activation of an enzyme called calcineurin, a phosphatase which removes the phosphate from the AMPA receptors. THIS is probably the most important factor so let me say that again.
The calcineurin basically dissolves the glue which holds the AMPA receptors in place, and they become DEPOTENTIATED, meaning that they are reabsorbed back into the neuron and are no longer able to transmit… and this is a permanent change.
So after Havening, the formerly traumatized individual can often still remember THAT the event happened but it no longer has any emotional or physiological reaction. Let me give you an example.
The first time I ever saw the Havening techniques demonstrated, the woman who volunteered to receive the treatment had survived the attacks on the world trade center in New York City on 9/11. Ever since that day she had been severely traumatized, as you might well imagine. Many people were traumatized by that event who just saw images on TV. She was in the building!
After about 20 minutes of her undergoing a Havening treatment, she was like a brand new person. She was calm, not sobbing, and able to describe the experience without being triggered into her panic state. Interestingly, she now described the experience differently. At the start of the session she described everything as if she was there, right now, describing events as they were happening around her. After the Havening, she described the events as if it were on like a TV screen happening to somebody else sometime in the past.
The next day she was interviewed about her 9/11 experience and she calmly described the events as a “really bad day.”
This particular type of Havening I’ve described today is called “Event Havening,” and works amazingly well for removing the effects of a traumatic event or a phobia from an individual.
The field of Havening continues to evolve and there are now a variety of techniques and applications that a certified practitioner of Havening can offer you.
For more information please feel free to call or write whenever now is convenient for you. Or, to find a certified Havening Practitioner in your area, go to www.Havening.org where you will find a complete, worldwide listing.