Judith Pennington, Debbie Sabot, and Dawson Church
Stress-reduction techniques can be used in combination with each other. Two such methods are Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) and EcoMeditation. EFT is an evidence-based self-help method. Reviews and meta-analyses examining more than 100 studies demonstrate the efficacy of EFT for anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). EcoMeditation is a secular meditation technique that combines neurofeedback, mindfulness, and heart coherence. Studies demonstrate that EFT and EcoMeditation can improve cortisol levels, heart rate, and other health markers.
EFT is most commonly used to relieve stress and treat traumatic childhood memories, while EcoMeditation is used to produce calm emotional states. This study sought to elucidate whether the release of traumatic stress facilitated by EFT would enhance entry into meditative states, and secondly whether EcoMeditation prior to EFT might establish a baseline of wellbeing that assists in the resolution of trauma.
The Mind Mirror 6 (MM) electroencephalogram (EEG) was used to assess brain states in eight participants attending a weekend workshop. The MM measures changes in three advanced neurophysiological states of consciousness characterized by relative amplitude relationships between brain-wave frequencies: 1) the Awakened Mind pattern of lucid awareness, creativity, insight, intuition, and spiritual connection; 2) the Evolved Mind of nondual unity consciousness; and 3) the Gamma Synchrony pattern of whole-brain synchrony, mental integration, nonlocal awareness, and insight. Assessments included eyes-closed (EC) and eyes-open (EO) states, in order to determine whether changes in consciousness were sustained in waking life. Baselines were collected at the start and end of each day, and after EcoMeditation, which was performed for 20 minutes on day two.
A statistically significant EO posttest change was found in the Awakened Mind pattern (p = 0.003). Cohen’s d = 0.79 indicated a large treatment effect. Increased brainwave coherence—a measure of efficient brain function—was found in all participants in at least one frequency category, while six increased EO Gamma Synchrony. Coherence analytics showed increased brain-wave coherence primarily in alpha but also in theta and delta and occasionally in low and midrange gamma. During EcoMeditation, all participants generated high-amplitude 45–65 Hz gamma frequencies and Gamma Synchrony values, some at the top of the statistical range, with high synchrony at posttest.
EcoMeditation produced extraordinarily high levels of Gamma Synchrony. In two days, many participants acquired elevated brain states normally found only after years of meditation practice. EcoMeditation facilitated participants’ ability to induce and sustain the alpha brain waves characteristic of high-level emotional, mental, and spiritual integration. A combination of the two methods produced statistical gains in the EO Awakened Mind, indicating that participants were able to carry elevated mental states into waking consciousness.
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