To find a clear and scientific definition of stress is difficult. Hans Selye, in his heavily researched and cited book, Stress in Health and Disease, outlines a few different definitions: in behavioural science stress is the “perception of threat, with resulting anxiety discomfort, emotional tension, and difficulty in adjustment” 1. Current researchers will generally use a definition that is suited to their field 2.
What is much easier to identify is the response of the body in relation to stress. In a well presented scientific text, Stress Science: Neuroendocrinology 3 , the author goes into explicit detail on how the body’s physiology responds to stress. He outlines how the nervous system continually fluctuates from a state of rest and digest, known as a parasympathetic response, to a state of fight and flight (stress), known as the sympathetic response. These two anatomically different structures of the autonomic nervous system have one main goal: to keep the individual in a state of equilibrium, otherwise known as homeostasis.
To further understand how these two parts of the nervous system work, a simple example can be used. When enjoying a day in your garden your body is in a parasympathetic state: your digestive tract absorbs food, muscles relax, and you breathe easily; a comfortable place to be. Now should a hungry tiger jump over the wall and meander towards you, your nervous system will likely (and hopefully!) switch to a sympathetic response: your muscles will engage, blood vessels constrict, pupils dilate, and your heart rate will significantly raise; everything you need to run swiftly out of danger.
In today’s society the tigers we often face are deadlines, a short tempered colleague, family responsibilities, financial concerns, or a plethora of other issues; thus maintaining a state of stress far longer than is ideal. This means our body is continually pumping out stress hormones, such as cortisol, which increase our body’s inflammatory response 4 and, if these stressors continue, prevent us from returning to a state of balance and equilibrium. These physiological processes driven by stress can have a serious, detrimental effect on the ability to heal, cope, and maintain a positive quality of life 5. When in this state we may notice that we are grinding our teeth 6, tightening up our shoulders 7 and unable to sleep well 8. After enduring this state for a long period of time there is often far reaching and devastating effects on our health and behaviour 9. Chronic stress has been shown to affect our immune system, making us susceptible to catching the common cold and catch other infectious diseases 10. Over and above this, research has shown that gastrointestinal complaints 11; Alzheimer’s disease 12, heart disease 13, as well as depressive and anxiety disorders 14 15, can all be associated with stress.
Neuro Emotional Technique is a revolutionary mind-body healing therapy that combines the physical aspects of chiropractic with science based biopsychosocial principles and traditional Chinese medicine 16.
Until recently people thought the mind and body were separate and that emotions were only a product of the brain. However, research in neuroscience has shown that other parts of the body can hold or generate emotional charges as well 17. If you are under a lot of stress, or weak from illness, toxicity, or physical trauma, everyday emotional responses may not fully resolve, as they naturally would 18.
The essence of NET deals with unresolved stress and emotional imbalances that are often dominant factors in chronic or recurring conditions 16. NET practitioners through a scientifically validated system can now find unresolved, negatively charged emotional responses that are stored in your body and help you to efficiently release them 18. Many emotions such as fear, anger, and grief can become repetitive stress patterns repeating within the body long after the original event. If these emotional stress responses are left untreated physical disorders can manifest 16.
With this in mind, and knowing the far reaching effects of stress as discussed previously, NET practitioners are able to address a wide variety of physical and behavioural stress-related conditions. This is reflected in ONE Research Foundation’s list of successful scientifically validated interventions 18. Due to the significant number of mind-body interconnections, NET has been reported by practitioners to successfully help: headaches, chronic pain 16 18, digestive issues, phobias, general anxiety, and self-sabotaging behaviours 18.
Neuro Emotional Technique is a mind body therapy that uses muscle response testing to help identify patterns, or emotionally charged triggers, that are negatively impacting the body. It aims at releasing unresolved stress patterns that have been causing blockages in the body’s various systemic pathways 19. This helps the body to go from a place of distress to one of rest and digest.
Originally developed by US chiropractor Dr. Scott Walker in the mid 1980s, this technique has spread over the Western world. During the initial steps of this technique Dr Scott became so enthusiastic about the results he, and a number of other practitioners, put as much money and resources they could into funding NET research. ONE Research Foundation was set up with this intention, and since then has been instrumental in the pursuit of research, education and service in mind body healthcare. In one of the most significant papers produced through Thomas Jefferson University the study showed the effects of NET on the brain.
After the results of the functional MRI images pre and post NET interventions were performed the paper reported:
“…brain regions involved with traumatic memories and distress such as the brainstem, insula, anterior cingulate gyrus, and parahippocampus had significantly reduced activity after the NET intervention and were associated with clinical improvement of symptoms associated with distressing recollections”. 20
As explained above, when a stimulus occurs we respond accordingly and the body should return to normal. Occasionally emotional trauma can cause a physio-pathological pattern in the body (known as a Neuro Emotional Complex) that does not resolve of itself. NET seeks to normalise this pattern by a physiological change; a result of a physical intervention that is made through cutaneous or spinal accesses to the nervous system.
Neuro Emotional Technique is not a psychology or psychiatry, and it does not involve any type of psychotherapy or ‘talking therapy’. Therefore, it is not a replacement for cognitive approaches to psychological distress. NET aims at releasing the emotional charge from the body, it does not highlight areas where someone may have cognitive dissonance and need to rationalise differently about circumstances or issues they may be having.
NET does not deal with the spiritual realm. It is not performed silently over the phone and is does not deal in any way with parapsychology. NET cannot tell people what their plan of action may, must, or should be for the future.
NET does not claim as to what happened in the past. All memory events that come up are considered Emotional Reality because these events may or may not correspond with actual or historical reality.
Often NET is a great help to those who have been dealing with a lot of stress over a long period of time as explained earlier, however, there are many components to a person’s emotional well-being. As the ‘Home-Run Formula’ suggests there are often other ‘bases’ that may need to be checked for the system to come back to balance.
Biochemistry deals with nutrition. There are many aspects of nutrition that can cause a person to feel emotions such as anxiety and depression. If a person is consuming a reactive food that doesn’t suit them, such as gluten, then an inflammatory reaction will likely take place effecting the adrenal glands and absorption of other key nutrients. Gluten sensitivity has been related to depressive disorders 21 22 and as such the practitioner may ask you to make a food diary so they can suggest certain changes.
Furthermore, nutrient depleted individuals who are potentially magnesium 23 or vitamin D24 deficient may also be experiencing feelings of anxiety and depression. Should the practitioner feel that you may be deficient in certain areas they may offer you a form to complete and recommend certain supplements to help you. Should the practitioner feel this is the primary “base” that needs work they may recommend getting laboratory testing done.
Toxins. If the diet is filled with toxic substances there may be a build-up of toxicity in the liver and this may create emotional issues 25. If the practitioner suspects toxicity is the primary ‘base’ that needs to be worked on they may recommend a certain diet and supportive supplements that aim at detoxifying the body 26.
The structural base relates to physical correction. This is most evident when people come in with problems such as grinding their teeth or a very tense neck and shoulders. The primary ‘base’ may be emotional, but the practitioner may feel it necessary to reduce some of the physical tension through a soft tissue work, manipulation, and home exercise which will help to relax or stretch tight, pain-producing muscles.
“NET the most effective therapy”
“I have been suffering with chronic pain and therefore have been a chiropractic patient for many years. That’s how I met Ed. He first treated me with chiropractic but with his holistic approach, very quickly diagnosed that my pain wasn’t mechanical. I was going through a very difficult time and Ed was the first therapist who told me, that my chronic pain was my body’s reaction to the stress I was under. He told me about NET and after a few sessions I felt a bit better. He treated me through a few years of extreme stress, grief and several bereavements. I am not sure how I survived all that had happened, but I am convinced that without NET and Ed’s help I wouldn’t have gone through it and carry on with day to day life. Before NET I tried CBT, Hypnotherapy, Cranio-Sacral therapy, Massages and as mentioned earlier Chiropractic, along with several drugs prescribed by my GP. Nothing was as effective as NET. The sense of emotional relief after every session was very significant and following the session made a huge difference to my pain relief. I also felt energized and uplifted and it only got better as we continued NET. Ed is an extremely good chiropractor and a very talented therapist.”
Before attending your first session could you please complete the 4 following things.
1) The Wellness Check. This will give us an idea of the areas in the body most needing checked. Please print your results and bring them with you. You may also like to send the results to us at Ed@theactivehealthclinic.com
2) The personality test. This will give us an idea of what emotional triggers you are likely to suffer from. Please follow the instructions on the link and bring your answers with you to the initial consultation.
3) Please read and apply the recommendations 24 hours prior to attending.
4) Please read, print, and sign the consent form. (We can provide this form when you arrive if you would prefer not to print.)
The topic of stress and stress reduction is vast and it is impossible to give all the information relating to this field in a webpage. However, the following resources may be of benefit for finding out a little more about NET:
“Stressed” a documentary about NET
Information on NET
Dr Walker explaining NET
NET on Youtube
1 Selye, Hans (1976) Stress in Health and Disease.
2 Fink, George (2010) Stress Science: Neuroendocrinology
3 Fink, George (2010) Stress Science: Neuroendocrinology
4 Carnegie Mellon University (2012) How stress influences disease: Study reveals inflammation as the culprit
5 Justice, N.J. (2018) The relationship between stress and Alzheimer’s disease doi: 10.1016/j.ynstr.2018.04.002
7 Bahrami-Ahmadi et al (2016) The effect of work- related stress on development of neck and shoulder complaints among nurses in one tertiary hospital in Iran
9 Schniederman, N. et al (2005) Stress and Health: Psychological, Behavioral, and Biological Determinants doi:10.1146/annurev.clinpsy.1.102803.144141
10 Edmunds, J.W. (1997). “Social Ties and Susceptibility to the Common Cold” doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550150035018
11 Greubel, J. et al (2011). “The Impact of Organisational Changes on Work Stress, Sleep, Recovery and Health”. doi:10.2486/indhealth.ms1211.
12 Justice, N.J. (2018) The relationship between stress and Alzheimer’s disease doi: 10.1016/j.ynstr.2018.04.002
13 Carnegie Mellon University (2012) How stress influences disease: Study reveals inflammation as the culprit
14 Edmunds, J.W. (1997). “Social Ties and Susceptibility to the Common Cold” doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550150035018
15 Schlotz, W. et al (2011). The perceived stress reactivity scale: Measurement invariance, stability, and validity in three countries. Psychol Assess.
16 Bablis, P. (2019) The Effect of Neuro Emotional Technique on Chronic Low Back Pain A Review of the Thesis
17 Nummenmaa, L. (2014) Bodily maps of emotions doi: 10.1073/pnas.1321664111
19 Bablis, P. (2019) The Effect of Neuro Emotional Technique on Chronic Low Back Pain A Review of the Thesis
20 Monti, D.A. et al (2017) Neuro emotional technique effects on brain physiology in cancer patients with traumatic stress symptoms: preliminary findings. doi: 10.1007/s11764-017-0601-8
21 Busby, E. et al (2018) Mood Disorders and Gluten: It’s Not All in Your Mind! A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis doi: 10.3390/nu10111708
22 Ford, R.P.K. (2009) The gluten syndrome: a neurological disease doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2009.03.037
23 Sartori, S.B. (2012) Magnesium deficiency induces anxiety and HPA axis dysregulation: Modulation by therapeutic drug treatment. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2011.07.027
24 Kelley, L. et al (2016) Vitamin D deficiency, behavioral atypicality, anxiety and depression in children with chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. doi: 10.1017/S2040174416000428
25 Krupa Patel, K. et al (2018) Integrating Care for Patients With Chronic Liver Disease and Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders.
26 Invivo Labs have a range of products including Bio Clear Endotox LV that support liver function and bile production and flow, which also helps the clearance of endotoxins [lipopolysaccharides (LPS)]