Catherine Ulbricht's post "Feeling SAD This Season?" nicely summarizes many of the treatment options beyond medication for helping folks who are experiencing depression. This post adds to these traditional options a new experimental treatment that could bring new light to folks who feel caught in emotional darkness.
As described comrehensively in Elkhonon Goldberg's book The Wisdom Paradox, extensive scientific studies with MRI scans like the photo above have established that when people are feeling a sense of well-being, their left pre-frontal lobe is activated. When they are feeling depressed, by contrast, the right pre-frontal lobe shows more energy.
SAD, which is Seasonal Affective Disorder, along with other depression state from minor to major, all show this characteristic brain pattern of energy distribution.
When one of the independent therapy professionals who works in my office suite, energy therapist Dale Peterson, read about this research he decided to explore it's potential therapeutic use. Applying energy therapy techniques that take just a few minutes to accomplish, Dale tried switching energy from the right to the left pre-frontal lobe of his depressed clients to see if that would help them to return to a more positive emotional state. It did!
What has been the impact of these treatments?
The results have been impressive. Clients typically feel an emotional shift within minutes, although some take up to a day or so. They report feeling calmer, more positive, more relaxed. The results last from several days to weeks and months. Additional applications of the technique if the impact wears off bring the same positive changes. After several treatments, however, the change to feeling better seems to become solidified.
What is the role of muscle kinesiology?
Dale begins by training a client's arm to be responsive to muscle kinesiology assessment techniques. The arm then can give Yes/No answers to Dale's questions, providing a way that clients' internal knowledge can guide treatment.
He then asks the patient, via the arm-testing to score the intensity of the depresson on a scale from 0 to 10. That baseline score enables Dale and the client to know the starting point diagnostically.
Dale asks "Do your two prefrotal lobes have equal energy?" The arm will then stay out-stretch to indicate yes or fall, indicating a no answer.
"Does your right prefrontal lobe have more energy than the left?"
"Does the left have more than the right?"
If there is more energy on the right, this indicates depression, and that a corrective procedure would be appropriate.
The intervention then is based on the idea that "energy follows intention."
Verbaling that his intention is for an optimal amount energy from the right prefrontal lobe to shift to the left prefrontal love, Dale runs a magnet called a "Magboy" down the client's spine several times. He runs it along the line of what is often termed the governing meridian This part of the intervention takes only a few minutes.
How does Dale know if the energy has been shifted?
Using muscle kinesiology again, Dale then repeats the earlier questions asking if the energy is equally balanced or higher on the right or left, clients respond that it is higher on the left.
Dale then asks if enough energy has been shifted. Typically 27x more energy on the left than on the right feels correct to people, at least according to readings using muscle kinesiology.
How long does this procedure take?
All together, including training the arm for muscle kinesiology and also testing for and removing if necessary psychological reversal, the full procedure typically can easily be accomplished well within one treatment hour.
How much science backs this procedure up?
This technique for shifting brain energy from the right to the left prefrontal lobe has not yet been subjected to large scale clinical studies with double blinds and other standard medical and psychological research procedures. Dale is not set up to be able to conduct these kinds of experiments.
At the same time, a quick procedure with no apparent negative side effects that looks to have an 80% or so success rate merits reporting and exploring, if only to encourage potential researchers to explore the project.
What else can help to consolidate these gains?
With regard to the high success rate, Dale generally performs this one technique as part of a more comprehensive treatment. While this technique alone does usually give immediate relief, for the results to completely remove the depression and also for them to be lasting rather than transient, Dale usually adds further and sometimes equally mystifying interventions.
Temporal tapping, demonstrated here by Donna Eden, is likely to lengthen the duration of the positive impacts of prefrontal lobe energy shifting. As you do the technique she demonstrates, say "My left pre-frontal lobe has more energy than my right pre-frontal lobe."
Other techniques that Dale Petterson sometimes utilizes to reduce or eliminate depression might include removal of trapped negative emotions, unblocking of persistent negative feelings, strengthening of positive elements such as ability to experience forgiveness, removal of beliefs such as "I am not lovable," EFT (emotional freedom technique), use of a cold laser light on acupuncture points, removal of allergies that may have factored into the depression, and other interventions, the sum total of which can be highly effective.
I might add also couples counseling, as dominant-submissive instead of equal power interactions can trigger more depressed feelings.
One additional note: Dale has found that, by contrast with most of his procedures, shifting energy from the right to the left side of the brain in most cases has needed to be repeated several times over a period of weeks before it fully holds. One treatment gives immediate relief; several treatments seem necessary for the energy to stay higher on the left prefrontal lobe, giving lasting relief.
Dale then checks and if necessary adjust the client's serotonin and oxytocin levels, and also amygdala reactivity.
Using muscle kinesiology Dale finds outl, on a scale from 1 to 10, how much serotonin is at in the depressed person's neurochemical system. If there's significant depression, the number will be in the 1 to 5 range according to our experience so far. Normal is 6 to 10.
Dale asks then kinesiologically (via the arm) if it would behoove us to reset that level. If the arm, speaking for the subconscious and/or universal knowledge, says "Yes," which it always has done thus far, he instructs the subconscious to reset the level of serotonin to a more optimal level, and reinforces this setting by running the Magboy magnet three times along the spine meridian, accompanyied by the force of intention. The new setting has been virtually always in the range of 7 to 10.
Dale uses a similar technique to check oxytocin levels and reset that level if necessary. Oxytocin impacts trust and bonding. Insufficient levels seem to accompany depression that has an obsessing or chronic doubting quality.
Lastly, a hyperactive amygdala can make a person react with excessive intensity to small triggers. Dale therefore uses the same techniques for inital assessing and then resetting the amgdala's reactivity. The initial setting for depressed people typically comes out in the 7 to 10 zone. After resetting "to an optimum level" most people spontaneously reset to somewhere from 2 to 6.
To a traditional therapist like myself...
Energy therapy procedures simultaneously yield impressive psychological improvements and yet make no "scientific" sense. However, I have watched Dale do these interventions for over a year. His office is just down a short hallway from mine. In addition, we often work as a team with clients, especially when we are working with couples, as there are some situations for which my more traditional techniques are appropriate and others where his work best. Seeing Dale's energy therapy techniques time and time again enable clients to emerge out of depressive states large and small into happier and healthier functioning, I feel compelled to write about them.
Most weird of all, I've watched Dale do these techniques via Skype with clients who do not live in Denver. Again, the results have been quite remarkable.
Intrigued? You can read more about these methods at additional postings on my PT blog and on my clinical website. The following links should be particularly informative. Fasten your seatbelt for a ride into the forefront of innovative psychotherapy treatments!
Click here, Click here and here for three more PT postings on Dale Petterson's energy therapy techniques.
Click here for more information about Dale Peterson's clinical work.
Susan Heitler, Ph.D., a Denver clinical psychologist, is the author of mutliple publications including From Conflict to Resolution and The Power of Two. A graduate of Harvard and NYU, Dr. Heitler's latest project is the marriage education website PowerOfTwoMarriage.