So where does one start? There are many different approaches to releasing stored emotions; I am only presenting some of the more common ones in alphabetical order. The goal of using all of these strategies is to find ways to bring stored emotions and traumas to the surface so that they can then be cleared. However, before you begin trying to remove any of these stored emotions, I strongly recommend you find a good, open-minded psychotherapist to work with. Bring difficult emotions to the surface can be very painful, but the work is incredibly rewarding once you are liberated from that stored emotion or trauma.
Acupuncture: Acupuncture is a healing modality which works directly with energy in the body. Because Traditional Chinese Medicine's fundamental understanding of how the body works is vastly different than the Western model, it can be difficult for many to understand what acupuncture actually does. The best explanation that I can give is that acupuncture moves energy through the body to clear blockages. These blockages can be literal, such as a clogged duct causing mastitis, or emotional, such as fear preventing one's kidneys from working properly.
Breathwork: One of the easiest and cheapest approaches is breathwork; this is something that can be used in conjunction with many of the other modalities listed but it can also be used on its own. The most powerful experience I had with relieving my stored traumas from my daughter's death involved only breathwork, intent and maybe a crystal or two (but I can't remember for certain). The release that happened was something I would never have thought possibly happen just from breathing and focusing on the area where I had stored the pain of her death. This is an approach that I am able to teach clients how to use, but again, as you start out, I would recommend only using it with supervision because of how powerful it can be.
Craniosacral Therapy: Craniosacral therapy is a system of very light touch that helps release energy blockages in the body. I have had some powerful releases with it. This is one of those modalities where the first impression might be that the practioner is not really doing anything, but once the energy gets moving, amazing change and relief can happen. It's been effective for physical, emotional, and spiritual pain for me. It's also very relaxing and enjoyable most of the time!
Crystals: When I was younger, I did not understand what all those hippies were doing with their crystals. A former therapist encouraged me to buy a few, and once I did, I was hooked. I love crystals of all sorts, and I've had countless powerful experiences with crystals helping change my energy and release stored trauma as a result. Crystals can take anywhere from hours to months to be effective depending on the size, the number used, the location, and the problem. However, they too can cause all kinds of powerful results. They work based on the principle that everything and everyone on earth has a vibration. The crystals help raise human vibrations to a more positive level, and in the process, stored negative emotions and entities will depart the body because it is no longer a hospitable host for them.
EFT: Emotional Freedom Technique is a process of tapping on a series of acupressure points while reciting an affirmation. The goal of EFT is to release anxiety, trauma, and negative programming while replacing it with more positive thoughts and aspirations. Many use EFT for weight loss and issues around PTSD. EFT has soared in popularity in recent years, and many other similar tapping programs have been designed. I do not use EFT personally because it is not the right approach for me, but I have had success with a self-created, intuition-based tapping process based off of the "Beginning and Ending Technique" described by David S. Walther. I use this tapping when difficult emotions are surfacing so that I can keep from entering an overly anxious and unproductive state of being.
EMDR: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is another body-mind modality that should be learned and initially practiced with a trained professional. I have never used this technique, but I know of many who have been able to use it to successfully help with severe PTSD.
Essential Oils: Our society tends to enjoy essential oils for fragrance reasons; many undereducated salespeople also falsely promise miracle cures from their use. This is not the way in which I use essential oils. All essential oils also have spiritual properties, and some are very effective in helping act as a lubricant to release stored traumas and entities. Like crystals, they can help change a person's vibrational level. I work with essential oils using intuitive guidance finding the best oil for each person and then confirming possible contraindications with Robert Tisserand's amazing tome,Essential Oil Safety.
Flower Essences: Flower essences are a purely energetic form of healing which is part of why they along with homeopathy are not very well understood by our society. In using a direct method, flower essences are created by placing the flower in a bowl of water and leaving it sun and/or moonlight to absorb the energy of the flower. Crystals can also be added. The flower is then removed, the water is combined with a preservative such as alcohol, and the essence is complete. While this sounds like something that would be powerless, the energy in these essences can be palpable just holding the bottles. I've used many, many, many flower essences over the years for me and with my clients that have made both minor and major shifts in lives. They help change energy in the body so that the emotions can release.
Hands on Energy Work: This is not a do-it-yourself practice for beginners. A skilled practitioner is able to do manual manipulation on others' bodies to help release stored energy. I've experienced this with work by BodyTalk practioners, chiropractors, naturopaths, and massage therapists. I'd recommend finding a very grounded, very wise, very experienced person to do this as if it's done wrong, it can cause harm. I do not yet offer this service but expect to within a few years.
Homeopathy: Like flower essences, homeopathy is an energy based means of releasing emotions. Homeopathics are created from energetic vibrations of often toxic substances. Because they are energy based, they are safe to use (unless you are sensitive to lactose, though there are some lactose free ones on the market) and can cause major shifts in one's emotions and physical symptoms. I recommend working with someone who can assist and dose you properly with these substances as if you don't have the right remedy, you will be wasting your time, money and effort.
Light and Color: There are various programs and machines that work with colors and light to help shift internal energy. A more mainstream version of this are Seasonal Affective Disorder lamps. I have never used any kind of machine to do this, but I do find that I tend to pick clothes that strengthen my chakra that needs the most assistance that day.
Massage: Most massage therapists will tell tales of people emotionally falling apart for absolutely no reason while being on the massage table. This comes from the massage relaxing the body and releasing the tension and emotions we are holding. For me, I have experienced this most often with past life issues: I've seen many of my past life experiences while under the hands of a skilled massage therapist. Most massage therapists are not trying to make this happen, but it does occur. Going in with an intention of making it happen and treating your massage like a meditation time will help for the possibility to arise.
Meditation: If you aren't an experienced meditator, this isn't an approach I'd recommend as your introduction to meditation. However, once a person has become skilled at meditation, it is entirely possibly to enter a meditative state and work internally with the energy in one's body to release emotions that are stored. It is usually combined with breathwork. When I do it, I often am using crystals, flower essences, essential oils, and sound in addition. It's a very difficult process to explain, but once one knows how to manipulate energy, then one can essentially use one's mind like a shovel to loosen and scoop out the negative stored energy that one doesn't want to retain any longer.
Sound: The use of sound therapy to help clear chakras and other emotional issues is widespread; there are many practitioners who only focus on this. There are Meetup groups for it. I have playlists on Spotify which address it. One of my favorite CDs for sound therapy is by Jonathan Goldman. I can feel my energy vibrating when I play it. Most of the time, this does not create a major release for me, but there are times when it has been very effective. This is an easy way for many people to start changing their energy in a subtle way.
Tai Chi: I have never practiced Tai Chi, but like yoga, the practice is one that creates a great deal of healthy movement of energy in the body. I recommend it as a way for people who don't want to try yoga to find a physical way to get their bodies, minds and spirits working together to release negativity.
Writing: I often recommend journaling with old fashioned pen and paper as a way of starting to bring up issues that have been submerged in our subconscious and bodies. For some song composition, poetry, or other forms of creation are more appropriate. While writing often does not usually remove the block by itself, it can bring things to the surface so that other means can be more efficacious.
Yoga: Last but not least, yoga is a time honored way of releasing emotions. There are several groups in the Austin area that do yoga for trauma release; there are also numerous therapist who combine yoga with talk therapy. While American culture tends to see yoga as exercise, it's also a deeply spiritual practice that can change lives through its impact. It's one of first ways I often recommend to people for learning to become more in tune with their bodies.
When a river is unintentionally dammed up, one can go about releasing the block in a few ways. One can remove a key piece of the block and then get the heck out of the way as the waters will be able to flood through. One can also add more water until the sheer pressure breaks the dam. Likewise, with our emotions, when something is blocked in our minds and bodies, we actually have to work to remove it. This is not the gut reaction for most humans who would prefer to turn away from the dam. The methods above can help remove a key piece of blockage; some are gentler than others. All can be effective in helping clear stored emotions and traumas from the body in order to create more health.
© 2015 Elizabeth Galen, Ph.D., Green Heart Guidance, LLC