Fifteen years ago, while living in San Diego, I picked up a newspaper to read while eating breakfast. An article about a local chiropractor caught my attention. Apparently he had developed a technique that investigated and treated emotional underpinnings to physical complaints.
Because I was interested in the mind-body connection and had plenty of physical complaints, one in particular that was causing discomfort and pain, I was intrigued. The chiropractor, Dr. Scott Walker, was nearby in Encinitas, so I decided to make an appointment to experience his Neuro Emotional Technique (NET).
Several days later I arrived for my appointment, eager to meet Dr. Walker. Unfortunately, he was out of town, conducting an NET training seminar. Another chiropractor who had been trained in the technique was holding down the fort.
Our session began with a brief explanation of the technique. Then the doctor acknowledged that NET sounded rather strange and asked if I wanted to try it. “Sure,” I said, and we got down to business.
The technique uses muscle testing (applied kinesiology), so the doctor asked me to hold out my arm and resist his effort to press my arm down while he lightly touched various points on my body. While touching a particular point, in the vicinity of my physical complaint, my shoulder muscle went weak and my arm dropped when pressed. Then he asked me to place my hand over my forehead while he touched the point again. This time my arm couldn’t be budged when pressed.
Hmmm. That sudden strengthening apparently indicated an emotional component in play. The muscle testing had already revealed which organ was having trouble; now he had to determine which emotion was involved. The technique, in addition to drawing on applied kinesiology for diagnostics, also drew on a concept from acupuncture — that specific emotions affect specific organs.
To find the emotion, the doctor began stating each emotion that was correlated with the organ while pressing on my outstretched arm. My arm collapsed when he said a particular emotion. The weakening of my muscles indicated that somehow that emotion was involved.
The next step was to determine an original event that had involved the same physiological reaction. My body had recorded the memory of the event, including the physiological response. Now, something in the present had triggered that memory (subconsciously), bringing up the same physical pain. Using muscle testing, the doctor began to search for the original event.
As I held out my arm, he said, “Conception to 10?” and pressed on my arm. “I don’t remember,” I replied. “You don’t need to answer,” he said. “I’m asking your body. It knows.” I translated that to mean he was talking to my subconscious and parts of my brain that stored memory, and we continued.
My muscles weakened upon hearing “conception to 10,” which indicated that was the correct age range. Continuing to use muscle testing and talking to my body, he pinpointed when the original event occurred and the circumstances. I don’t remember now what the original event was, but an example would be: Age 4, happened in kindergarten during nap time, involved the teacher yelling at me because I kept getting up from my mat.
For illustration, let’s say that my presenting physical complaint was pain on my right side, and that muscle testing had indicated that the organ and emotion involved were liver and anger. Let’s also say that I became aware of the present-day trigger: My boss had been yelling at me because I kept getting up from my desk.
The next step was to “clear” this emotionally-charged body memory (called a neuro emotional complex). As I held my hand over my forehead and breathed deeply, the doctor used his fingers to tap on areas of my spine that are correlated with the liver. Somehow my mind-body got the message to resolve the memory and return to homeostasis. (For a better explanation of the technique from Dr. Walker himself, see http://www.netmindbody.com/what_is_net.html.)
I was astounded — by how one could communicate with the mind-body this way, by how accurate the communication was (I verified that the original event had happened by asking my mom), and by the sudden disappearance of the physical pain.
I thought NET was the best thing since pita pockets, and I wanted to know how it worked. My recollection is that Dr. Walker didn’t know exactly how it worked, but suspected it involved biological feedback mechanisms and neurotransmitters. He gave me reprints of articles written by Candace Pert, a research scientist at National Institutes of Health who had recently discovered opiate receptors in the body. Her ground-breaking research on neuropeptides seemed to support the contention that specific emotions affect specific organs.
I went on to experience incredible results from NET treatments and eventually worked for Dr. Walker’s training business. I wanted the whole world to know about NET! Years later I learned of the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology (ACEP) and rejoiced that mental health professionals were using techniques similar to NET, such as Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). For example, EFT involves tapping on particular body points while attuned to a disturbing emotion or event.
I joined ACEP and served as its communications director. I want the world to know about NET, EFT, plus all the other energy-based methodologies that are healing people and changing lives, even though they haven’t been scientifically validated to everyone’s satisfaction.
I look forward to the day when we truly understand the nature of reality and how things actually work. I’m sure that by then energy medicine as practiced today will be seen as quite crude, but it is cutting-edge now and it is effective. I don’t know where I’d be without it!