Energy Psychology, Bilateral Stimulation, and Mindful Breathing for Trauma and Chronic Pain: A Theoretical Framework and Case History

doi 10.9769/EPJ.2023.15.1.GV

Gloria N. Valdivieso

Citation (APA Style): Valdivieso, G. N. (2023). Energy Psychology, bilateral stimulation, and mindful breathing for trauma and chronic pain: A theoretical framework and case history. Energy Psychology: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 15(1), 12–22.


Research and anecdotal evidence from clinical practice suggest high comorbidity between trauma and chronic pain. Unresolved trauma can generate anxiety and dissociation, both associated with chronic pain. Even though there are proven interventions to treat trauma and pain individually, efforts to treat the comorbidity and complexity of these two disorders on a combined basis are not yet fully explored. This article introduces a protocol that blends aspects of four evidence-based interventions. These interventions are Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), bilateral stimulation (BLS) as used in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Wholistic Hybrid derived from EMDR and EFT (WHEE), and mindful breathing (MB) to treat traumatized individuals that exhibit chronic pain. The combined protocol uses the benefits of each intervention. The technique involves tapping on the eight meridian points designated in the EFT Basic Recipe while using a Neurotek pulser to generate BLS, after a “dialogue with the body symptoms” extracted from the WHEE method to uncover the traumatic memories or negative beliefs associated with pain. To close the session, the Quick Coherence Technique, a heart-focused MB exercise developed by the HeartMath Institute, is utilized to further help individuals with self-regulation and increased appreciation of their bodies. This article explains how the technique is performed through a six-step sample methodology and what the potential of its combined effectiveness can look like in a case history. The subject of the clinical case study profited in reducing his chronic pain by combining mindful breathing and EFT as the more gentle, non-retraumatizing, and distress-reducing techniques with the recovery of repressed memories via BLS and the inner-body dialogue of WHEE. Given the comorbidity of trauma and chronic pain and the lack of integrative interventions, additional scholarly inquiry into healing the various complex issues of these disorders is essential to develop. Refining the evidence on such blended methods should be the focus of future work to encourage practitioners’ training and increase service delivery.

Keywords: trauma, chronic pain, dissociation, EFT, EMDR, mindful breathing, bilateral stimulation, BLS, WHEE, HeartMath, blended, combined, interventions

Download Full Document: $19.95*

buy now button
credit cards