My initial post on this subject generated some interesting questions. Here is my take on some answers. I’d love to hear your perspective.
To what extent is the pose necessary?
Even TAT professionals pose these questions in trainings and on our forum. I would not presume to speak for TAT creator, Tapas Fleming, but through trainings, discussions and experience, I have developed these answers for myself.
First, I must point out that there are now three identified poses in TAT.
- The original pose (ring finger and thumb of one hand on each side of the bridge of the nose, just above the tear duct, with the middle finger of that same hand just above the eyebrows in the middle of the forehead; other hand cradling the occipital curve in the back of the head) I now think of as the “Traditional Pose.” This pose capitalizes on energy meridians to create a force field between the hands. I tell my clients that energetically, the somewhat awkward-feeling positioning of three fingers on the face as described is like taking a three-holed plug and inserting it into a three-holed socket.
- “Child’s Pose” dispenses with specific finger placement altogether and allows for a full, flat palm to be laid over the eyes and across the bridge of the nose in front of the head, with the second hand in the back of the head as in the Traditional Pose.
- About a year or so ago, Tapas introduced the idea of the “Heart Pose.” In my practice, this is the pose I use most often, especially with analytically-oriented clients.
Most of my clients who have experienced both the Traditional and Heart Poses prefer the latter, both for ease of use and how it seems to foster a deeper “going within.” Some, however, will still choose the Traditional Pose every time. I suspect that directing the focus to the heart instead of the head is a significant shift for most people in our busy-mind world.
But are any of these poses necessary? I don’t think so. Tapas frequently muses that she really doesn’t know how TAT works. As with tapping and other energy psychology practices, intention plays a significant role in results. I have done TAT in the middle of the night, lying in bed, arms at my sides, and felt the benefits of the Steps as I have run through a few or sometimes all of them silently in my head. Clients and TAT colleagues have reported beneficial results in similar non-pose situations. In my personal and professional experience, it’s the same thing with tapping. A client with social anxiety can be standing at a cocktail party and going through EFT in his head, feeling his anxiety level decrease moment by moment. Perhaps he’s imagining the points on face and body, but not necessarily. This wondrous aspect of energy psychology is one of the things that makes it such an extraordinarily useful self-help tool.
Why, then, use any of the poses at all? I will try to use words to describe the ineffable. Inelegantly put, there is a different experience with and without the poses, just as the different poses seem to offer different experiences for different people. In addition to activating energy at the various points, for both adults and children, engaging the hands adds a kinesthetic anchor that helps with focus. My suggestion is to try TAT with each of the three different poses and then go through the Steps without a pose, and just see what you notice. The same invitation goes for any of the tapping protocols.
Does the pose induce trance?
In my experience, the answer to that question is “Sometimes.” I have observed facial relaxation and eye catalepsy mirroring hypnosis in some clients as they are going through the TAT Steps. For others, the letting go required to achieve a trance state is elusive, regardless of the vehicle. But let’s keep in mind that the goal of TAT is not trance, but an avenue of exploration, an activation of the energy of healing. So what does it matter whether TAT induces trance or not? Unlike hypnosis, with the energy practices a trance state is not necessary for good shifts to happen. Upon further reflection, maybe combining hypnosis with TAT or EFT is superbly dynamic because it marries full subconscious engagement with meridian healing. How cool is that!
What is The Journey?
There are basically two types of hypnosis. The first is basic direct suggestion, where the hypnosis practitioner is doing all the talking in the form of specific positive imagery, affirmations or goal-behaviors/attitudes/beliefs. An example is: “You are becoming more and more confident, full of energy, vibrant and happy.” The second type is more of a dialogue between the practitioner and client and can take many forms, including age regression, past-life regression, and dialoguing with parts. “Journey” work is an umbrella in my practice for the transformational opportunities offered by a journey to one’s House of Healing or Temple of Wisdom or Control Center. This is my favorite kind of healing work and lends itself beautifully to integration with TAT or tapping protocols.
Thank you to those who asked the questions. I wish all of you who live in the U.S. a meaningful Thanksgiving celebration.
Lucy Grace Yaldezian, CHT, CHC, TAT
A Higher Perspective
Copyright 2014. No part of this article may be used without express permission from the author.