Attention Vets: A New Recovery Option for PTSD

We've found an important tool that promotes recovery from PTSD in war veterans. It's the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), otherwise known as Tapping, which combines Western psychotherapy with the Eastern "acupressure points" used in acupuncture.
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In honor of Military Families Week, I wanted to share some of the incredible EFT work being done with veterans suffering from PTSD. The fact is, we've found an important tool that promotes recovery from PTSD in war veterans. It's the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), otherwise known as Tapping, which combines Western psychotherapy with the Eastern "acupressure points" used in acupuncture.

EFT Tapping offers numerous important benefits for veterans suffering from PTSD:

• EFT Tapping, or Tapping, is easy, requires no equipment, and can be done anywhere for any amount of time.

• Tapping is providing recovery from severe PTSD in some veterans in a matter of days, whereas years of conventional talk therapy and medication often lead to little or no improvement.

• Tapping is providing deep, lasting relief from a wide range of PTSD symptoms -- phobias, sleep issues, physical pain, mood and emotional issues, violent behavior, night terrors, substance abuse, and more.

• Tapping has no side effects, and can be practiced on your own at zero cost.

• You can do your own Tapping. (You can learn how in under 5 minutes.)

It sounds too good to be true, but the study findings to date are notable and beginning to gain serious consideration at a governmental level. EFT researchers Dawson Church, Ph.D., and David Feinstein, Ph.D., testified about their results treating PTSD in war veterans with EFT in front of Congress in July 2010, speaking to the House Veterans Affair Committee. The unfortunate reality, though, is that change on a massive scale, particularly at the governmental level, is painfully, in this case tragically, slow.

Treating PTSD in war veterans using Tapping is a topic I was first immersed in years ago, while filming The Tapping Solution, my documentary film tracking 10 people over a four-day Tapping retreat. All of the film participants shared one common trait. They were all desperate to find a long-term solution to their problems, from serious emotional issues to debilitating physical illnesses. One of the film's subjects was Jon, a Vietnam veteran who had been suffering from severe PTSD for more than 30 years.

The transformation Jon underwent during that Tapping retreat was intense and profound, like the thousands of vets who have been cured of their PTSD as a result of The Stress Project. For Jon, our four-day Tapping retreat was the start of a new life -- one free of the physical and emotional PTSD symptoms he'd experienced since returning from Vietnam in 1968.

Prior to the Tapping retreat, Jon's daily life had become unsustainable to a degree most non-vets can hardly imagine. In addition to chronic back pain and diabetes from Agent Orange exposure, which had led to three mini-strokes, PTSD had ravaged Jon's emotional and family life. Suffering deep-seated guilt at having killed so many Vietnamese, Jon's kind, gentle demeanor had long ago turned grumpy and irritable. For years, Jon's kids had systematically avoided him, afraid of dad's angry reactions to the everyday noises they might make moving around their own home. His wife also reported that Jon had stopped smiling and never laughed.

During the four-day Tapping retreat, for the first time in 15 years Jon's back pain went away. He also realized that he'd been depriving himself of a happy home life because of his guilt about hurting so many Vietnamese families. Since fighting in the war, in fact, Jon had been regularly returning to Vietnam as a volunteer, often staying away from home for weeks and months at a time. For years, he'd hoped that the time he spent helping the Vietnamese would eventually make up for the many lives he'd been forced to take during the war. Sadly, his volunteer time there never seemed to be enough. The pain of his guilt had remained just as intense, year after year.

After the Tapping retreat, however, Jon finally felt free, no longer weighed down by guilt. For the first time in years, he began enjoying being at home with his wife and kids, all of whom were amazed and thrilled by the changes in his mood and demeanor. While Jon continued traveling to Vietnam as a volunteer, he did so for shorter periods of time so he could return home to spend more time with his own family.

Thanks to the Tapping retreat, Jon also recovered completely from his phobia of rats, which he'd encountered in Vietnam during the war and his volunteer trips. By the end of the Tapping retreat, Jon's rat phobia, which had haunted him deeply since the war, was so thoroughly resolved, he was able to hold a rat in his lap without experiencing any anxiety or stress.

However obvious it may be that Tapping changed Jon's life, there's no denying that he's one veteran among millions. So many veterans and their families have tried multiple PTSD treatments over months and then years, only to be disappointed -- again. I understand why, after so much heartbreak and frustration, people who haven't tried Tapping remain skeptical about how well it works on PTSD in veterans.

The fact is, though, Jon is one of thousands of veterans who have recovered from PTSD with Tapping. As of the writing of this post, The Stress Project has treated 2,126 veterans with PTSD using EFT Tapping. That number, however, is truly the tip of the proverbial iceberg, a tiny shadow of the immense, wide-scale healing that's possible for long-time PTSD sufferers.

If you know a veteran suffering from PTSD, I hope you'll send them the link to this post and urge them to contact The Stress Project, which offers six free Tapping sessions to qualifying veterans.

It's time to get over the fact that Tapping is new and relatively unknown and take action. Thousands of veterans and their families are suffering enormously every single day. We owe it to each other and them to spread the word about EFT Tapping, and how quickly and completely it is resolving the very real trauma haunting our veterans.

Nick Ortner is the creator and executive producer of the hit documentary film, "The Tapping Solution." His new book on EFT will be published by Hay House in April 2013. To get a copy of his free eBook, "Tapping Your Way to Health, Happiness and Abundance" visit Beginning on April 16th, he is launching The Tapping World Summit 2012, a free 10-day online Tapping event.

For more by Nick Ortner, click here.

For more on mental health, click here.

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