The response to stress is primarily physical, and secondarily psychological. We all experience the feedback loop at one time or another. The stress of daily life causes the primitive brain centers to go into survival mode. When this happens, up to 80 percent of the blood may leave the more evolved forebrain; stress chemicals flood the bloodstream; primitive emotions engulf the body; perceptions are distorted and the capacity to respond creatively or even appropriately is completely compromised. Just understanding the dynamics of this reaction should produce some compassion for self and others. Seems we need some modern tools to cope with this primitive system. The Neurovascular Hold is that tool. Unlike the EFT Basic Recipe-where tapping sends signals to the amygdala, interrupting the stress response- the Neurovascular Hold works directly with the blood flow to the brain. Neurovascular points are specific spots on the head that activate blood flow. Thinking about a particular stressor while touching the neurovascular points seems to suspend the stress reaction by preventing the blood from leaving the forebrain. By interrupting a key component of the fight-or-flight response, the Neurovascular Hold allows us to think more clearly and cope more effectively with stress.
- First, sit or lie down and then focus on a stress you already feel or on a stressful thought, memory, or situation.
- Next, place the palm of one hand on your forehead and the palm of the other hand on the back of your head.
- Hold softly for up to three minutes, breathing deeply.
- On the inhalation, raise your head up. On the exhalation tuck your chin to your chest.