The Neurological Foundations of Energy Psychology: Brain Scan Changes during 4 Weeks of Treatment for Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Citation: Andrade, Joaquin and Feinstein, David. (2004). Preliminary report of the first large scale study of energy psychology. Energy Psychology Interactive: Rapid Interventions for Lasting Change. The Neurological Foundations of Energy Psychology: Brains Scan Changes during 4 Weeks of Treatment for Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Ashland, OR: Innersource. Click here for the Abstract and Full Paper http://goo.gl/FSTtpg
Note: The research, which was initiated in the late 1980s and included various studies over a 14-year period, was published in 2004 in an appendix to David Feinstein’s Energy Psychology Interactive: Rapid Interventions for Lasting Change (Ashland, OR: Innersource.com).
In preliminary clinical trials involving more than 29,000 patients from 11 allied treatment centers in South America during a 14-year period, a variety of randomized, double-blind pilot studies were conducted. In one of these, approximately 5,000 patients diagnosed at intake with an anxiety disorder were randomly assigned to an experimental group (tapping) or a control group (cognitive behavior therapy /medication). Ratings were given by independent clinicians who interviewed each patient at the close of therapy, at 1 month, at 3 months, at 6 months, and at 12 months. The raters made a determination of complete remission of symptoms, partial remission of symptoms, or no clinical response. The raters did not know if the patient received CBT/medication or tapping. They knew only the initial diagnosis, the symptoms, and the severity, as judged by the intake staff. At the close of therapy: 63% of the control group were judged as having improved; 90% of the experimental group were judged as having improved. 51% of the control group were judged as being symptom free; 76% of the experimental group were judged as symptom free.
Colorized Digitized EEG Brain Scans:
Image 1 depicts a normal ratio of wave frequencies according to databases. Image 2 is a scan at the outset of treatment of a patient diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). The profile is typical for patients diagnosed with GAD. Images 3 through 5 are taken over the course of 12 sessions during a 4-week period using the stimulation of acupoints (while anxiety-provoking imagery was activated) as the treatment. A decrease in the intensity and frequency of GAD symptoms correlated with shifts toward normal levels of wave frequency ratios in the cortex. The pattern shown in these images was typical for GAD patients in the South American study who responded positively to the stimulation of acupoints.
These images were provided to Energy Psychology Interactive by Joaquín Andrade and are in turn acknowledged to be source and credited to David Feinstein and Innersource.
DISCUSSION: As the wave frequencies shifted toward normal levels (from red to blue) in the central and front areas of the brain, the symptoms of anxiety decreased in both their intensity and their frequency. Similar sequences of images and symptom reduction were also typical of other patients with generalized anxiety disorder who received energy-based treatments. Patients who were successfully treated with what has been the standard therapy for generalized anxiety disorder (Cognitive Behavior Therapy, combined with medication as needed), showed a similar progression in their brain scans during the pilot study in South America discussed below. But it took more sessions to achieve the improvements. And more importantly, on one-year follow-up, the brain wave ratios following the Cognitive Behavior Therapy protocol were more likely to have returned to their pre-treatment levels than they were for the patients who received the energy treatments. An interesting tangent from this study was in the comparison between patients whose primary treatment was anti-anxiety medication and patients whose primary treatment involved stimulating energy points while holding anxiety-provoking images. Both groups enjoyed a reduction of symptoms. But the brain scans for the medication group did not show noticeable changes in the wave patterns, even though the symptoms of anxiety were reduced while the drug was being taken. This suggests that the medication was suppressing the symptoms without addressing the underlying wave frequency imbalances.
This “report” summarizes some of the research performed and results demonstrated from an aggregate of multiple double blind and randomized studies performed over a period of 14 years with 29,000 patients from 11 treatment centers in South America. they all explored the effectiveness of Energy Psychology (Tapping) methods for anxiety disorders.
One pilot study of individuals with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) involved 12 session comparing the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) combined with medication vs. Energy Psychology, i.e. tapping. At one-year follow-up, the patients receiving tapping treatments were less prone to relapse or partial relapse than those receiving CBT/medication, as indicated by the independent raters assessments and corroborated by brain imaging and neurotransmitter profiles. Independent clinicians assessed improvements at multiple time variables up to 1 year post treatment. Particularly interesting was the inclusion of digitized EEG brain scans that showed demonstrable brain changes in the groups along with clinician evaluation.
Both groups enjoyed a reduction of symptoms. While the CBT with medication group showed a similar progression in their brain scans to the tapping group, but it took more sessions to achieve similar improvements. And more importantly, on one-year follow-up, the brain wave ratios following the CBT protocol were more likely to have returned to their pre-treatment levels than they were for the patients who received the energy treatments
Also fascinating was that the brain scans for the medication group did not show noticeable changes in the brain wave patterns, even though the symptoms of anxiety were reduced while the drug was being taken. This suggests to the research authors that the medication may have been suppressing the symptoms without addressing the underlying wave frequency imbalances.
Results found that tapping was significantly more effective in both symptom improvement and symptom free status than the CBT with medication. Results at the conclusion of therapy:
63% of the control group were judged as having improved.
90% of the experimental (tapping) group were judged as having improved.
51% of the control group were judged as being symptom free.
76% of the experimental group were judged as symptom free.