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An EFT Sceptic Gets ''High On A Brain Wave''
From the Daily Telegraph, United Kingdom: Journalist Max Davidson, sceptic and unsure about "the weird & wonderful world of Meridian Energy Therapies", finds himself strangely relaxed and at peace after a session with GoE member Leigh Longhurst in London ...
High On A Brain Wave
Max Davidson, feeling flat at 50, finds himself pumped up after experiencing a surreal session of Emotional Freedom Technique
'Is there anything bothering you at the moment?" asks Leigh Longhurst, a MET practitioner. I think for a minute. "Well, I have just turned 50, which is rather depressing. I feel as if the best years of my life are behind me."
"And that makes you feel emotionally flat?"
"How flat - on a scale of 1 to 10?"
"Good. Now follow me carefully…"
Two minutes later, I am simultaneously tapping various parts of my body in sync with her and repeating, mantra-like: "Even though the best is behind me, I love and accept myself without judgment."
All the fun of California in a mock-Tudor apartment block in Hampstead.
Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of Meridian Energy Therapies (METs).
It is an obscure science, if it is a science. And you will never understand it without a knack for acronyms. From METs, one moves on to EFTs (Emotional Freedom Techniques), and from there to such arcane sub-disciplines as NAEM (Negative Affect Erasing Method) and BSFF (Be Set Free Fast). It is a bit like Countdown without Carol Vorderman.
"Yes, it can be confusing," agrees Longhurst. "A few simple ideas and theories have evolved so rapidly that each practitioner could be said to have a slightly different approach."
Longhurst, a psychology graduate with brains to rival Vorderman's, describes herself as a coach, in which capacity she has recently pioneered Britain's first PhD in Co-Active Coaching.
"Psychotherapy is too much of a medical model for my taste," she explains. "The therapist is telling the patient that there is something wrong with them which needs to be fixed, by therapy. It becomes self-perpetuating. I knew one man who was in therapy for 22 years. That is just unethical."
Her own approach is holistic, affirmative. "I tell my clients that they are creative, resourceful and whole. Traditional psychotherapy has placed far too much emphasis on the mind. I want to be able to help people with body, mind, soul and spirit."
Meridian energies, she explains, operate at a largely unconscious level. Pioneers in METs, such as Roger Callahan and Gary Craig, developed methods of healing which made the body reveal secrets which, to the conscious mind, were obscure. One early experiment involved lightly tapping the muscles in a patient's arm, then inviting him to make a series of statements.
If the statements were true, the muscles would resist; if they were untrue, the arm would go limp. The tappings could thus, by a process of trial and error, be used to identify previously hidden conditions such as an allergy to strawberries.
Longhurst, like many MET practitioners, does most of her work over the phone, talking clients through self-help protocols. "One can actually concentrate better that way," she says. "If a client is in the room, it is easy to get distracted by body language, which is often misleading."
The protocols are based on EFTs and consist of a combination of clear, repeated statements and systematic tapping of specific body parts, from the eyebrows to the fingertips. This is the ritual I am undergoing now: tapping merrily away while repeating my mantra. It is surreal. Half of me feels as if I have been abducted by Moonies, but the other half is relaxed and at peace with myself. The flat feeling is still there, but it is not so pronounced.
"There is no hocus-pocus involved," says Longhurst.
I had arrived a sceptic, but am starting to glimpse why she has a raft of satisfied customers, from disturbed youngsters to middle-aged men in suits.
Corporate coaching accounts for a significant proportion of her work and, while she is suspicious of the business world and the bean-counting mentality that values employees solely for their productivity, she enjoys spreading the MET gospel in the workplace.
"Happier people make better workers. It is pretty simple really," says Longhurst, a feisty Scot. She is fond of talking of "ah-ha moments", little epiphanies when the world suddenly makes more sense.
Now, from a bulging bookshelf, she pulls down a work that has influenced her. I take a squint at the title and see that it is called Transcendent Sex. Good old Hampstead! It must be time to leave.