A neurobiological basis for the observed peripheral sensory modulation of emotional responses

Citation (APA Style): Ruden, R. A. (2005). A neurobiological basis for the observed peripheral sensory modulation of emotional responses. Traumatology, 11(3), 145-158. doi:10.1177/153476560501100301

Abstract

A new therapy for phobias, PTSD, addictive behaviors and other psychological issues was first described by Dr. Roger Callahan and involves thought activation of the problem followed by tapping on certain acupoints in a specific sequence. In addition, a gamut procedure involving further tapping, eye movements and following simple commands is used. He calls his method Thought Field Therapy. In most cases, the problems were reportedly cured in a matter of minutes. We theorize about the neuroanatomical and neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the success of this technique.

We propose that tapping and other sensory stimulation procedures globally increase serotonin. The important structures specifically involved in this therapy are the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala. The success of this technique requires that glutamate first be increased in the circuit that involves the conditioning stimulus and the unconditioned stimulus. This analysis does not define sequences for tapping. We suggest the name Psychosensory Therapy to encompass this specific treatment as well as to define a broader new paradigm for the treatment of these problems.

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