Woo hoo! Your Strongest Life has gone video!! I like to talk way more than I like to write so from now on out my newsletters are gonna come in a 3-5 minute video which I hope will make it so much easier for you and for me!
Today I’m popping into your life to invite you to my weekly teleseminiars UNLOCK Your Invisible Money Blocks.
Click HERE to Register
Are you a woman healer, holistic practitioner or heart centered entrepreneur? You are doing what you love (or you want to do what you love) but that money piece is getting in your way.
- Do you often give away your services
- Do you find ways to avoid dealing with money altogether by bartering?
- Do you tend to sabotage things when they have to do with money?
- Do you feel like you are just not good with money?
Or my personal favorite:
- Money just doesn’t motivate me!
I hear ya! Money isn’t the most important thing in the world, however, in our current society money IS connected to everything that is.
Click HERE to Register
Money dictates what kind of house we live in, what neighborhood we live in, what types of foods we can buy, our ability to pay our light bill. Money dictates what kind of transportation we have, how we get from here to there. The gifts we’d like to make or give to our loved ones. Our health care, our families health care our pets health care. If your pets are anything like mine…they are family!
Money dictates how we grow our business, how many people we are able to help and what kind of a difference we are able to make in the world.
So how is your invisible money story preventing you from living Your Strongest Life? Are you ready to shift it at a core level? If this sounds like it might be a fit for you I’d like to invite you to join us on Friday’s at 10:30am Pacific / 1:30pm Eastern and
- learn how to tap on your own money issues
- volunteer and we can work on your specific money blocks. or…
- you can simply join us and tap along and receive “borrowing benefits”
Click HERE to Register
I look forward to tapping along with you and helping you UNLOCK Your Invisible Money Blocks!
Friend: Are you a woman Healer, Holistic Practitioner or Heart Centered Entrepreneur and experience constant anxiety about money? Are you not earning your potential doing what you love? (Remember earning your potential is relative, you can be earning 6 figures and still feel like you are not earning your potential). I invite you to read the following short story about Kathryn, taken from Margaret Lynch’s book Tapping into Wealth and see if you can relate:
Even if you have a good income, old issues can trigger severe negative emotions that keep you from enjoying what you have and hurt your well-being. For example, Kathryn earned a good living as a consultant and had a great retirement plan. But she admitted to having constant anxiety about money. When she was asked to write down her income, she immediately felt fear and anxiety. A familiar phrase repeated in her head: “Right around the corner, the other show is going to drop.” As she said it, her eyes welled with tears and her voice began to shake as old memories surfaced.
She explained, “This is just how it is, and has been this way since childhood.” Kathryn believed that no matter how much you make, there will always be something that falls out of the sky to take your money — a bill, car repair, injury, taxes, etc. And she believed it would take every last cent she had. To her, no matter how much you make, you can never rest, relax or stop worrying because there will never be enough. As she shared this, she was resigned to this being her inescapable fate. Her emotions escalated as she recalled childhood memories of watching her mother live with a black cloud of worry and fear from the same living-hand-to-mouth mentality, and viewing her life through the lens of just getting by.
Regardless of how much Kathryn’s income and her level of financial security with her husband increased over the years, she experienced constant anxiety and insomnia from worrying about when the other show would drop and eat up all her income and maybe even her savings. The effect on her health was profound. Worrying about money was the primary reason she was on medication for anxiety and insomnia.
After addressing this with Tapping, Kathryn reported sleeping for 12 straight hours that night. She laughed about how her husband eventually woke her to make sure she was okay. As her stress and obsessive worry faded away, she was able to fall asleep easily and finally enjoy the financial security she worked hard to create.
UNLOCK Your Invisible Money Blocks
If you can relate to Kathryn’s story and would like to learn about and experience some UNLOCKING Your Invisible Money Blocks with EFT Tapping I’d like to invite you to the upcoming workshops: Click HERE to read more.
- Live workshop at Crystal Voyage in Tacoma Thurs Sept 8th 5:30-7:00pm 3802 S Cedar ST, Tacoma, WA 98409 ONLY $25 Click to Register: http://crystalvoyage.com/calendar/#event|unlock-your-invisible-money-blocks-with-eft-tapping-helping-women-break-free-from-old-emotional-baggage-that-is-still-running-their-lives|1182 to register.
- Teleseminars: Weekly Teleseminars from the comfort and privacy of your own home or office on Friday’s 10:30am Pacific / 1:30pm Eastern Click to Register: http://www.yourstrongestlife.com/teleseminar/
I look forward to tapping with you!
Constant Anxiety about Money is expensive… Emotional Freedom is priceless!
Do you live in the Tacoma, WA area?
Are you a women healer, holistic practitioner or heart centered entrepreneur and doing what you love (or wanting to) but the money piece is getting in your way?
UNLOCK Your Invisible Money Blocks with EFT Tapping: Helping women break free from old emotional baggage that is still running their lives
Do you ever:
Give away your services?
Find ways to avoid dealing with money altogether by bartering?
Tend to sabotage yourself around money?
Do you feel like you just aren’t good with money?
You are frequently in financial pain or stress?
You aren’t earning your potential?
OR… you feel that money just doesn’t motivate you?
I get it — money isn’t the most important thing in the world, however in our society it’s connected with everything that IS!
I invite you to join me at Crystal Voyage for the interactive workshop UNLOCK Your Invisible Money Blocks with EFT Tapping: Helping women break free from old emotional baggage that is still running their lives
Thursday Sept 8th @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
In this interactive class you will learn and experience the basics of EFT [Emotional Freedom Technique] Tapping, be a volunteer and tap with Gwen on your specific money blocks or simply receive “borrowing benefits” for tapping along.
The beauty of EFT is that you can use it on just about everything; to clear anxiety and stress OR go deeper and uncover and clear subconscious issues that are keeping you stuck in your career, relationships, health and even your MONEY BLOCKS!
Class Fee: ONLY $ 25
Registration Contact Information:
PS Or… join me on the phone from the comfort and privacy of your own home or office for UNLOCK Your Invisible Money Blocks Weekly Teleseminars on Friday’s 10:30am Pacific / 1:30 Eastern.
Over the past several weeks you’ve read about the ACES study [Adverse Childhood Experiences] and and the results. You’ve answered the questionnaires to find your own ACE score and you’ve also learned that there IS something that you can do about those old belief systems to help re frame and reset the emotional childhood programs that you got from those experiences at a deep level… EFT Tapping.
Now I’m here to share with you a quote: “How You Do Anything is How You Do Everything” by the author of the book and workshop series Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth by T Harv Eckert.
The ACES Study and Money? Are you crazy Gwen? What in the heck would my adverse childhood experiences have to do with my money situation? Well, let’s take a look:
- If your house is a mess chances are pretty good that your relationships are a mess too and your job or career is a mess, your health is most likely a mess and when it comes to your finances there is a pretty good chance that you are also very unorganized and a mess.
- If you tend to procrastinate in one area of your life, it’s a pretty sure bet that you also procrastinate in all the other areas of your life too. Or if you are fearful in one area of your life… and so on and so on…
We do EVERYTHING based on our internal beliefs — even money!
The core of our internal beliefs are actually the automatic programs that were taught to us or we learned at a very young age based on our early childhood experiences. There are definitely helpful programs that we learned like automatically brushing our teeth, getting dressed, eating our breakfast and tying our shoes first thing every morning. It wouldn’t be very productive to have to re-learn to do those things over every morning. However, many of those programs are no longer serving us like being messy, procrastinating and being afraid – even our money beliefs! When we are able to become consciously aware of how much those old emotional programs are keeping us stuck from living our strongest lives, that’s when we are ready to do something about them.
As T Harv says, “if you want to get rid of procrastination you have to replace it with something better” and he talks about affirmations. Training your brain to think differently so you get different results. However, affirmations are a thinking process in our conscious mind. Our beliefs, however, are feelings in our sub-conscious mind, and we aren’t consciously aware of them but they control 95% of our perception and behavior!
Our conscious and sub-conscious mind
Our conscious mind (above the water line) controls
only 5% of our perception and behavior. However, the sub-conscious mind (below the water line) controls 95% of our perception and behavior. THAT’S where ALL the beliefs live, both supportive and limiting. And we are working with both with EFT Tapping.UNLOCK Your Invisible Money Blocks tele-seminar
–Are you a women who is doing what you love yet earning less than your potential? (Remember, it’s relative. You can be earning 6 figures yet be earning less than your potential.)
–Are you passionate about Making A Difference yet you underestimate your value & worth and suffer with self doubt?
–Do you feel a bit trapped or stuck, like you have blinders on regarding your possibilities and options around money?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, and you are ready to get started clearing them once and for all sub-consciously, this one hour tele-seminar may be a good fit for you!Join us on Friday August 12th at 10:30am Pacific / 1:30pm Eastern ONLY $25 for a one-hour tele-seminar and you will:
- Learn how to do basic EFT tapping.
- Get relief as a volunteer working on your own specific emotional obstacles
- Get “borrowing benefits” from tapping along with the volunteers.
- The recording will be posted on the website for 7 days.
To register: http://www.yourstrongestlife.com/teleseminar/. An email will be sent to you with the code for the call and a 3 minute How to Tap video before the call.
Money isn’t the most important thing in the world but it impacts everything that is. I look forward to helping you get out of your own emotional way about money.
PS: ALSO IN PERSON. If you live in the Tacoma area, I’ll also be doing an UNLOCK Your Invisible Money Blocks workshop in person Thursday August 18th — the following week — 5:30 – 7:00pm at Crystal Voyage 3802 South Cedar St, Tacoma, WA (corner of 38th Street and South Cedar). ONLY $25. Limited space. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with Crystal Voyage in subject line to register. Look forward to seeing you there!
Emotional Freedom Coach
& Inner Child Advocate
You have learned over the past several weeks about the ACE (Adverse Childhood Experience) study and the link between childhood adverse experiences or trauma and the chronic diseases and social and emotional problems people develop in adulthood as a result.
You’ve also answered the 10 questions and gotten your own ACE score. You may have started to connect the dots as to why you may be struggling with some of the emotional or physical issues that you are and where they may have started. There may be some early emotional traumas or wounds at the heart of it and it’s been subconscious and you aren’t even consciously aware of it. And hopefully you’ve gotten a bit of information about how it may NOT be the life sentence that we once thought it was and there is hope for some relief with EFT Tapping.
However, what if you can’t relate to these extreme childhood experiences that were listed on the ACE questionnaire:
- What if you did not experience a parent swearing, insulting, putting you down or humiliating you before the age of 18.
- What if you weren’t afraid that you may have be physically hurt.
- What if you weren’t grabbed, slapped or hit or watched your mom be.
- What if you were never fondled or touched in an inappropriate sexual way.
- you always had enough to eat, clean clothes to wear and someone to protect you. …you always felt loved, special and important …your parents didn’t drink or take drugs
- you never felt abandoned through divorce or other reasons (physically or emotionally) and you never experienced stress or depression from your parents
Remember, traumas aren’t always as extreme as we might think. According to Dr. Robert Scaer MD, trauma specialist, trauma, especially as a small child under the age of 7 or 8, can be anything that makes them feel helpless, powerless or overwhelmed, or that their own safety or the safety of someone they love is in jeopardy. When I first learned this I thought to myself, I wonder if there is anyone in the entire world who didn’t feel those feelings at one time or another as a small child? I don’t believe there is.
The questions in the ACE study tend to blend between big “T” traumas (highly identifiable and catastrophic events, including severe physical abuse, rape, extreme injury, witnessing violence, or an unexpected death of a relative or friend. Vivid and explicit memories usually, but not always, surround this type of trauma. And little “t” traumas, or chronic and insidious experiences that are less about one identifiable event and more about reoccurring painful situations or experiences. This can include ongoing criticism, neglect from parents or caregivers, being bullied or teased, or living with an alcoholic, drug addicted family member or someone with a medical or mental illness. The ongoing nature and the more “acceptable” aspect of this type of trauma often makes it more difficult to identify and treat.
However, the more EFT Tapping I do for myself and my clients, especially the Inner Child Advocacy work, the more clearly I can see how little “t” or chronic traumas can have a huge impact on us and our daily lives. The simplest look, comment, or emotional experience from our parents, older siblings, older relatives or other authority figures such as teachers, coaches, religious leaders, etc. can be devastating to a small child and that child can carry those subconscious “wounds” in their bodies for the rest of their lives.
Those are the buttons that get pushed and INSTANTLY the emotional intensity seems to come from nowhere and flood our bodies. People say to me all the time, that happened so long ago, what could it possibly have to do with what I’m doing today? Well, actually those wounds from our childhood have EVERYTHING to do with our adult perceptions and behaviors and they tend to subconsciously color and control our adult careers, relationships, financial life as well as our emotional and physical health. Dr. Bruce Lipton PhD cellular biologist and author of The Biology of Belief calls them “childhood programs”. As the ACE study tells us, “a whopping two thirds of the 17,000 people in the ACE Study had an ACE score of at least one — 87 percent of those had more than one.” It’s much more common than we ever realize. We are truly all in this together!
If you’ve tried talk therapy and still feel like there is something quite not right you may be still carrying some of those invisible small t trauma’s in your body. What if you could get some relief with EFT? How might that positively impact your life?
PS Being STUCK in your emotional past is expensive… Emotional Freedom is priceless!
An ACE score is a tally of different types of abuse, neglect, and other hallmarks of a rough childhood. According to the Adverse Childhood Experiences study, the rougher your childhood, the higher your score is likely to be and the higher your risk for later (mental and physical) health problems.The most important thing to remember is that the ACE score is meant as a guideline: If you experienced other types of toxic stress over months or years, then those would likely increase your risk of physical and mental health consequences
1) Before your 18th birthday, did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often… swear at you, insult you, put you down, or humiliate you?
act in a way that made you afraid that you might be physically hurt?
2) Before your 18th birthday, did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often…
push, grab, slap, or throw something at you?
ever hit you so hard that you had marks or were injured?
3) Before your 18th birthday, did an adult or person at least five years older than you ever…
touch or fondle you or have you touch their body in a sexual way?
attempt or actually have oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse with you?
4) Before your eighteenth birthday, did you often or very often feel that…
no one in your family loved you or thought you were important or special?
your family didn’t look out for each other, feel close to each other, or support each other?
5) Before your 18th birthday, did you often or very often feel that…
you didn’t have enough to eat, had to wear dirty clothes, and had no one to protect you?
your parents were too drunk or high to take care of you or take you to the doctor if you needed it?
6) Before your 18th birthday, was a biological parent ever lost to you through divorce, abandonment, or other reason?
7) Before your 18th birthday, was your mother or stepmother:
often or very often pushed, grabbed, slapped, or had something thrown at her?
sometimes, often, or very often kicked, bitten, hit with a fist, or hit with something hard?
ever repeatedly hit over at least a few minutes or threatened with a gun or knife?
8) Before your 18th birthday, did you live with anyone who was a problem drinker or alcoholic, or who used street drugs?
9) Before your 18th birthday, was a household member depressed or mentally ill, or did a household member attempt suicide?
10) Before your 18th birthday, did a household member go to prison?
Give one point for every yes and total them up. That is your ACE Score.
Now that you’ve got your ACE score, what does it mean?
As you’ve read over the past few weeks in my blog post, the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE Study) uncovered a stunning link between childhood trauma and the chronic diseases people develop as adults, as well as social and emotional problems. This includes heart disease, lung cancer, diabetes and many autoimmune diseases, as well as depression, violence, being a victim of violence, and suicide.
The first research results were published in 1998, followed by 57 other publications through 2011. They showed that:
- childhood trauma was very common, even in employed white middle-class, college-educated people with great health insurance;
- there was a direct link between childhood trauma and adult onset of chronic disease, as well as depression, suicide, being violent and a victim of violence;
- more types of trauma increased the risk of health, social and emotional problems.
- people usually experience more than one type of trauma – rarely is it only sex abuse or only verbal abuse.
A whopping two thirds of the 17,000 people in the ACE Study had an ACE score of at least one — 87 percent of those had more than one. Eighteen states have done their own ACE surveys; their results are similar to the CDC’s ACE Study.
The study’s researchers came up with an ACE score to explain a person’s risk for chronic disease. Think of it as a cholesterol score for childhood toxic stress. You get one point for each type of trauma. The higher your ACE score, the higher your risk of health and social problems. (Of course, other types of trauma exist that could contribute to an ACE score, so it is conceivable that people could have ACE scores higher than 10; however, the ACE Study measured only 10 types.)
As your ACE score increases, so does the risk of disease, social and emotional problems. With an ACE score of 4 or more, things start getting serious. The likelihood of chronic pulmonary lung disease increases 390 percent; hepatitis, 240 percent; depression 460 percent; suicide, 1,220 percent.
(By the way, lest you think that the ACE Study was yet another involving inner-city poor people of color, take note: The study’s participants were 17,000 mostly white, middle and upper-middle class college-educated San Diegans with good jobs and great health care – they all belonged to the Kaiser Permanente health maintenance organization.)
The GOOD NEWS:
EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or more commonly called tapping is a low-risk acupressure technique that calms the limbic structures of the brain, enabling clients to regulate their over-aroused systems, and eliminating the flashbacks, nightmares and terror that plague traumatized adults and children. EFT is a trauma-focused practice grounded in neuroscience research and Eastern preventive medicine that engages neuroplasticity to restore development. ~School of Social Welfare University of Albany
When danger threatens – or when traumatic memories surface which make our current situation “feel” dangerous — the amygdala (threat control center in the brain) sends out signals that stimulate cortisol production, putting us into fight or flight. When we are emotionally “triggered” in this way, when an event in the present reminds our subconscious of (say) a childhood trauma, we often go into a painful fight or flight “freak out,” even though we’re not in danger right now. Dr. David Feinstein, clinical psychologist, say’s that ancient acupuncture, and tapping on acupressure points (EFT Tapping) biologically calms the brain. Dr. Feinstein and his Harvard colleagues who have done lab studies believe EFT tapping stimulates the production of hormones which message the amygdala that our situation is actually safe, so the amygdala stops the cortisol flood and turns down or off the threat response.
If you are interested in having a chat about EFT and to see if it would be beneficial for you please email me at email@example.com or text 253-441-9963 and let’s set up a complimentary 30 minute phone conversation. Let’s see if this may be a good fit for you. Perhaps those painful emotional buttons that were installed in childhood and have gotten pushed over and over and over since you were a young child protected you when you needed protected but perhaps aren’t serving you anymore. As an Inner Child Advocate I look forward to hearing from you! I understand, I’ve been there and EFT has been a life saver for me and it continues to be. You never know when those internal triggers, or buttons, will get pushed. It’s wonderful to have a tool to help you calm yourself, often in moments, instead of hours, days or weeks or especially years.
Fear is expensive… Emotional Freedom is priceless!
PS Please note: if you have overwhelming trauma, do NOT tap alone! Use a trained practitioner, or don’t tap. Mammals are not built to be alone, period; it’s just not safe to feel really extreme feelings alone. Your results may vary because every person is different, however, people with others to support them tend to get better results.
Changing the Landscape of Understanding Human Development
This is Part Three of a three-part overview of the Center for Disease Control’s Adverse Childhood Experience Study — the ACE Study. “Adverse childhood experiences” has become a buzzword in social services, public health, education, juvenile justice, mental health, pediatrics, criminal justice, medical research and even business. Many people say that just as you should know your cholesterol score, so you should know your ACE score. But what is the ACE Study? And do you know your own ACE score?
In the last 14 years (at the time of this writing), Drs. Robert Anda, Vincent Felitti and researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have published more than 60 papers about the CDC’s Adverse Childhood Experiences Study in prestigious peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of the American Medical Association and the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Other researchers have referenced their work more than 1,500 times. Anda and Felitti have flown around the U.S., Canada and Europe to give hundreds of speeches.
Their inquiry “changed the landscape,” says Dr. Frank Putnam, director of the Mayerson Center for Safe and Healthy Children at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and professor at the University of Cincinnati Department of Pediatrics. “It changed the landscape because of the pervasiveness of ACEs in the huge number of public health problems, expensive public health problems —- depression, substance abuse, STDs, cancer, heart disease, chronic lung disease, diabetes.”
The ACE Study became even more significant with the publication of parallel research that provided the link between why something that happened to you when you were a kid could land you in the hospital at age 50. The stress of severe and chronic childhood trauma – such as being regularly slapped or punched, constantly belittled and berated, watching your father beat up your mother – releases hormones that physically damage a child’s developing brain.
Fight, Flight or Freeze hormones are good, but become Toxic when they’re turned on for too long
Flight, fight or freeze hormones work really well to help us accelerate when we’re being chased by a vicious dog with big teeth, fight when we’re cornered, or turn to stone and stop breathing to escape detection by a predator. But they become toxic when they’re turned on for too long.
As San Francisco pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris recently explained to host Ira Glass on the NPR radio program, This American Life, if you’re in a forest and see a bear, a very efficient fight or flight system instantly floods your body with adrenaline and cortisol and shuts off the thinking portion of your brain that would stop to consider other options. This is very helpful if you’re in a forest and you need to run from a bear. “The problem is when that bear comes home from the bar every night,” she said.
If a bear threatens you every single day, your emergency response system is activated over and over and over again. You’re always ready to fight or flee from the bear, but the part of your brain – the prefrontal cortex – that’s called upon to diagram a sentence or do math becomes stunted, because, in brains, emergencies – such as fleeing bears – take precedence over doing math.
For Harris’ patients who had four or more categories of adverse childhood experiences “their odds of having learning or behavior problems in school were 32 times as high as kids who had no adverse childhood experiences,” she told Glass.
Together, the two discoveries – the epidemiology of the ACE Study and the brain research — reveal a story too compelling to ignore:
Children with toxic stress live much of their lives in fight, flight or fright (freeze) mode.
Children with toxic stress live much of their lives in fight, flight or fright (freeze) mode. They respond to the world as a place of constant danger. With their brains overloaded with stress hormones and unable to function appropriately, they can’t focus on learning. They fall behind in school or fail to develop healthy relationships with peers or create problems with teachers and principals because they are unable to trust adults. Some kids do all three. With despair, guilt and frustration pecking away at their psyches, they often find solace in food, alcohol, tobacco, methamphetamine, inappropriate sex, high-risk sports, and/or work and over-achievement.
They don’t regard these coping methods as problems. Consciously or unconsciously, they use them as solutions to escape from depression, anxiety, anger, fear and shame.
What all this means, says Anda, is that we need to prevent adverse childhood experiences and, at the same time, change our systems – educational, criminal justice, healthcare, mental health, public health, workplace – so that we don’t further traumatize someone who’s already traumatized. You can’t do one or the other and hope to make any progress.
“Dr. Putnam is right — ACEs changed the landscape,” Anda says. “Or perhaps the many publications from the ACE Study opened our eyes to see the truth of the landscape. ACEs create a “chronic public health disaster”that until recently has been hidden by our limited vision. Now we see that the biologic impacts of ACEs transcend the traditional boundaries of our siloed health and human service systems. Children affected by ACEs appear in all human service systems throughout the lifespan — childhood, adolescence, and adulthood — as clients with behavioral, learning, social, criminal, and chronic health problems.”
But our society has tended to treat the abuse, maltreatment, violence and chaotic experiences of our children as an oddity instead of commonplace, as the ACE Study revealed, notes Anda. And our society believes that these experiences are adequately dealt with by emergency response systems such as child protective services, criminal justice, foster care, and alternative schools. “These services are needed and are worthy of support — but they are a dressing on a greater wound,” he says.
“A hard look at the public health disaster calls for the both the prevention and treatment ACEs,” he continues. “This will require integration of educational, criminal justice, healthcare, mental health, public health, and corporate systems that involves sharing of knowledge and resources that will replace traditional fragmented approaches to burden of adverse childhood experiences in our society.”
As Williamson, the epidemiologist who introduced Felitti and Anda, and also worked on the ACE Study, says: “It’s not just a social worker’s problem. It’s not just a psychologist’s problem. It’s not just a pediatrician’s problem. It’s not just a juvenile court judge’s problem.” In other words, this is everybody’s problem.
According to a CDC study released earlier this year, just one year of confirmed cases of child maltreatment costs $124 billion over the lifetime of the traumatized children. The researchers based their calculations on only confirmed cases of physical, sexual and verbal abuse and neglect, which child maltreatment experts say is a small percentage of what actually occurs.
The Most Hopeless of Lives Turned Around
You’d think the overwhelming amount of money spent on the fallout of adverse childhood experiences would have inspired the medical community, the public health community and federal, state and local governments to integrate this knowledge and fund programs that have been proven to prevent ACEs, and develop new approaches. But adoption of concepts from the ACE Study and the brain research has been remarkably slow and uneven.
On the federal level, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – probably the largest federal agency you never heard of – launched the National Child Traumatic Stress Network in 2001, and the National Center for Trauma-Informed Care (NCTIC) in 2005. Much of the work focused on stress from individual traumatic events, or individual types of child abuse; only recently has there been a focus on dysfunctional families or changing systems that engage those families to become trauma-informed, i.e., not further traumatizing already traumatized people, as so many of our systems do.
Until recently, the medical community practically ignored the ACE Study, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement recommended that its members screen for toxic stress in their patients. With some local exceptions, the public health community has not embraced it. In fact, the CDC — the one agency you might think would use its own research to reorganize how it approaches prevention of alcohol, obesity, sexually transmitted diseases and smoking — has whittled down funding for the ACE Study to practically nothing, and nobody’s working on it full time.
However, on a local and state level, there’s been considerably more action. Washington was the first state to embrace the ACE Study and the research on children’s developing brains, when its Family Policy Council distributed the information through a statewide network of 42 communities. Over three years, 18 states did their own ACE surveys, with results similar to the CDC study.
Some cities — including Philadelphia and San Diego — have set up ACE task forces or guide teams. One — Tarpon Springs, FL — declared itself a trauma-informed community. Trauma-informed practices are popping up around the U.S., Canada, and countries in Europe, Asia, and Central and South America in schools, prisons, mental clinics and hospitals, a few pediatric practices, crisis nurseries, local public health departments, homeless shelters, at least one hospital emergency room, substance-abuse clinics, child welfare services, youth services, domestic violence shelters, rehab centers for seniors, residential treatment centers for girls and boys, and courtrooms.
In these dozens of organizations, agencies and communities, the results of the new approach are nothing less than astounding: the most hopeless of lives turned around, parents speaking “ACEs” and determined not to pass on their high ACEs to their children, and a significant reduction in costs of health care, social services and criminal justice.
Written by Jane Ellen Stevens Huffington Post
Next Steps: Finding YOUR ACE Score… Take the test yourself on Tues July 12th
What do you do when you’ve got something important to tell the world,
but the world thinks it’s stupid?
This is Part Two of a three-part overview of the Center for Disease Control’s Adverse Childhood Experience Study — the ACE Study. “Adverse childhood experiences” has become a buzzword in social services, public health, education, juvenile justice, mental health, pediatrics, criminal justice, medical research and even business. Many people say that just as you should know your cholesterol score, so you should know your ACE score. But what is the ACE Study? And do you know your own ACE score?
So, if you were Dr. Vincent Felitti, chief of Kaiser Permanente’s revolutionary Department of Preventive Medicine in San Diego, CA, whom would you pick as your first audience to reveal your stunning findings that many morbidly obese people in an obesity clinic had been sexually abused during their childhood? A group relatively informed about obesity that would greet the new information with extreme interest, praise and applause? Natch.
So, in 1990, Felitti flew to Atlanta to give a speech to the members – many of them psychologists and psychiatrists — of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity. The audience listened quietly and politely. When he finished, one of the experts stood up and blasted him. “He told me I was naïve to believe my patients, that it was commonly understood by those more familiar with such matters that these patient statements were fabrications to provide a cover explanation for failed lives!”
At dinner, Dr. David Williamson, an epidemiologist from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sat next to the perplexed Felitti. Williamson was intrigued. He leaned over and “told me that people could always find fault with a study of a couple of hundred people,” says Felitti, “but not if there were thousands, and from a general population, not a subset like an obesity program. I turned to him and said, ‘That’s not a problem.’ “
Williamson invited Felitti to meet with a small group of researchers at the Centers for Disease Control. Dr. Robert Anda, a medical epidemiologist was among them. If Felitti is the model for a TV show featuring a wise and stately chief physician who sits straight, stands straight, and keeps his personal feelings in check, Anda would be the dashing, young, brilliant researcher who wears his tie askew, slumps in chairs, laughs easily, loves to joke around, and puts his heart on his sleeve for all to see.
Anda began his career as a physician, but became intrigued with epidemiology and public health. When he met Felitti, he had been studying how depression and feelings of hopelessness affect coronary heart disease. He noticed that depression and hopelessness weren’t random. “I became interested in going deeper, because I thought that there must be something beneath the behaviors that were generating them,” says Anda.
Kaiser Permanente in San Diego was a perfect place to do a mega-study. More than 50,000 members came through the departmenteach year, for a comprehensive medical evaluation.Every person who came through the Department of Preventive Medicine filled out a detailed biopsychosocial (biomedical, psychological, social) medical questionnaire prior to undergoing a complete physical examination and extensive laboratory tests. It would be easy to add another set of questions. In two waves, Felitti and Anda asked 26,000 people who came through the department “if they would be interested in helping us understand how childhood events might affect adult health,” says Felitti. Of those, 17,421 agreed.
Before they added the new trauma-oriented questions, Anda spent a year pouring through the research literature to learn about childhood trauma, and focused on the eight major types that patients had mentioned so often in Felitti’s original study and whose individual consequences had been studied by other researchers. These eight included three types of abuse — sexual, verbal and physical. And five types of family dysfunction — a parent who’s mentally ill or alcoholic, a mother who’s a domestic violence victim, a family member who’s been incarcerated, a loss of a parent through divorce or abandonment. He later added emotional and physical neglect, for a total of 10 types of adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs.
The initial surveys began in 1995 and continued through 1997, with the participants followed subsequently for more than fifteen years. “Everything we’ve published comes from that baseline survey of 17,421 people,” says Anda, as well as what was learned by following those people for so long.
I saw how much people had suffered and I wept
When the first results of the survey were due to come in, Anda was at home in Atlanta. Late in the evening, he logged into his computer to look at the findings. He was stunned. “I wept,” he says. “I saw how much people had suffered and I wept.”
This was the first time that researchers had looked at the effects of several types of trauma, rather than the consequences of just one. What the data revealed was mind-boggling.
- The first shocker: There was a direct link between childhood trauma and adult onset of chronic disease, as well as mental illness, doing time in prison, and work issues, such as absenteeism.
- The second shocker: About two-thirds of the adults in the study had experienced one or more types of adverse childhood experiences. Of those, 87 percent had experienced 2 or more types. This showed that people who had an alcoholic father, for example, were likely to have also experienced physical abuse or verbal abuse. In other words, ACEs usually didn’t happen in isolation.
- The third shocker: More adverse childhood experiences resulted in a higher risk of medical, mental and social problems as an adult.
To explain this, Anda and Felitti developed a scoring system for ACEs. Each type of adverse childhood experience counted as one point. If a person had none of the events in her or his background, the ACE score was zero. If someone was verbally abused thousands of times during his or her childhood, but no other types of childhood trauma occurred, this counted as one point in the ACE score. If a person experienced verbal abuse, lived with a mentally ill mother and an alcoholic father, his ACE score was three.
Things start getting serious around an ACE score of 4. Compared with people with zero ACEs, those with four categories of ACEs had a 240 percent greater risk of hepatitis, were 390 percent more likely to have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (emphysema or chronic bronchitis), and a 240 percent higher risk of a sexually-transmitted disease.
They were twice as likely to be smokers, 12 times more likely to have attempted suicide, seven times more likely to be alcoholic, and 10 times more likely to have injected street drugs.
People with high ACE scores are more likely to be violent, to have more marriages, more broken bones, more drug prescriptions, more depression, more auto-immune diseases, and more work absences.
“Some of the increases are enormous and are of a size that you rarely ever see in health studies or epidemiological studies. It changed my thinking dramatically,” says Anda.
One in six people had an ACE score of 4 or more, and one in nine had an ACE score of 5 or more. This means that every physician probably sees several high ACE score patients every day, notes Felitti. “Typically, they are the most difficult, though the underpinnings will rarely be recognized.”
The kicker was this: The ACE Study participants were average Americans. Eighty percent were white (including Latino), 10 percent black and 10 percent Asian. They were middle-class, middle-aged, and 74 percent were college-educated. Since they were members of Kaiser Permanente, they all had jobs and great health care. Their average age was 57.
As Anda has said: “It’s not just ‘them’. It’s us.”
~Written by Jane Ellen Stevens Huffington Post
Next: Part Three: Changing the Landscape of Understanding Human Development. I will be posting Part #3 next Tuesday, July 5th. I invite you to come back and learn more…
I’d love to hear your thoughts and start a conversation. Please scroll down
The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study –
probably the most important public health study you never heard of –
emerged from an obesity clinic on a quiet street in San Diego in 1985
This is Part One of a three-part overview of the Center for Disease Control’s Adverse Childhood Experience Study — the ACE Study. “Adverse childhood experiences” has become a buzzword in social services, public health, education, juvenile justice, mental health, pediatrics, criminal justice, medical research and even business. Many people say that just as you should know your cholesterol score, so you should know your ACE score. But what is the ACE Study? And do you know your own ACE score?
It was 1985, and Dr. Vincent Felitti was mystified. The physician, chief of Kaiser Permanente’s revolutionary Department of Preventive Medicine in San Diego, CA, couldn’t figure out why, each year for the last five years, more than half of the people in his obesity clinic dropped out. Although people who wanted to shed as little as 30 pounds could participate, the clinic was designed for people who were 100 to 600 pounds overweight.
Felitti cut an imposing, yet dashing, figure. Tall, straight-backed, not a silver hair out of place, penetrating eyes, he was a doctor whom patients trusted implicitly, spoke of reverentially and rarely called by his first name. The preventive medicine department he created had become an international beacon for efficient and compassionate care. Every year, more than 50,000 people were screened for diseases that tests and machines could pick up before symptoms appeared. It was the largest medical evaluation site in the world. It was reducing health care costs before reducing health care costs was cool.
But the 50-percent dropout rate in the obesity clinic that Felitti started in 1980 was driving him crazy. A cursory review of all the dropouts’ records astonished him — they’d all been losing weight when they left the program, not gaining. That made no sense whatsoever. Why would people who were 300 pounds overweight lose 100 pounds, and then drop out when they were on a roll?
The situation “was ruining my attempts to build a successful program,” he recalls, and in typical Type-A fashion, he was determined to find out why.
The mystery turned into a 25-year quest involving researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and more than 17,000 members of Kaiser Permanente’s San Diego care program. It would reveal that adverse experiences in childhood were very common, even in the white middle-class, and that these experiences are linked to every major chronic illness and social problem that the United States grapples with – and spends billions of dollars on.
In 1985, however, all that Felitti knew was that the obesity clinic had a serious problem. He decided to dig deep into the dropouts’ medical records. This revealed a couple of surprises: All the dropouts had been born at a normal weight. They didn’t gain weight slowly over several years.
“I had assumed that people who were 400, 500, 600 pounds would be getting heavier and heavier year after year. In 2,000 people, I did not see it once,” says Felitti. When they gained weight, it was abrupt and then they stabilized. If they lost weight, they regained all of it or more over a very short time.
Solving the Mystery
But this knowledge brought him no closer to solving the mystery. So, he decided to do face-to-face interviews with a couple hundred of the dropouts. He used a standard set of questions for everyone. For weeks, nothing unusual came of the inquiries. No revelations. No clues.
The turning point in Felitti’s quest came by accident. The physician was running through yet another series of questions with yet another obesity program patient: How much did you weigh when you were born? How much did you weigh when you started first grade? How much did you weigh when you entered high school? How old were you when you became sexually active? How old were you when you married?
“I misspoke,” he recalls, probably out of discomfort in asking about when she became sexually active. Although physicians are given plenty of training in examining body parts without hesitation, he says, they’re given little support in talking about what patients do with some of those body parts. “Instead of asking, “How old were you when you were first sexually active,” I asked, “How much did you weigh when you were first sexually active?’ The patient, a woman, answered, ‘Forty pounds.”
He didn’t understand what he was hearing. He misspoke the question again. She gave the same answer, burst into tears and added, “It was when I was four years old, with my father.”
He suddenly realized what he had asked.
“I remembered thinking, ‘This is only the second incest case I’ve had in 23 years of practice’,” Felitti recalls. “I didn’t know what to do with the information. About 10 days later, I ran into the same thing. It was very disturbing. Every other person was providing information about childhood sexual abuse. I thought, ‘This can’t be true. People would know if that were true. Someone would have told me in medical school.’ “
Worried that he was injecting some unconscious bias into the questioning, he asked five of his colleagues to interview the next 100 patients in the weight program. “They turned up the same things,” he says.
Of the 286 people whom Felitti and his colleagues interviewed, most had been sexually abused as children. As startling as this was, it turned out to be less significant than another piece of the puzzle that dropped into place during an interview with a woman who had been raped when she was 23 years old. In the year after the attack, she told Felitti that she’d gained 105 pounds.
“As she was thanking me for asking the question,” says Felitti, “she looks down at the carpet, and mutters, ‘Overweight is overlooked, and that’s the way I need to be.’”
During that encounter, a realization struck Felitti. It’s a significant detail that many physicians, psychologists, public health experts and policymakers haven’t yet grasped:The obese people that Felitti was interviewing were 100, 200, 300, 400 pounds overweight, but they didn’t see their weight as a problem. To them, eating was a solution. (There’s a reason an IV drug user calls a dose a “fix”.)
One way it was a solution is that it made them feel better. Eating soothed their anxiety, fear, anger or depression – it worked like alcohol or tobacco or methamphetamines. Not eating increased their anxiety, depression, and fear to levels that were intolerable.
The other way it helped was that, for many people, just being obese solved a problem. In the case of the woman who’d been raped, she felt as if she were invisible to men. In the case of a man who’d been beaten up when he was a skinny kid, being fat kept him safe, because when he gained hundreds of pounds, nobody bothered him. In the case of another woman — whose father told her while he was raping her when she was 7 years old that the only reason he wasn’t doing the same to her 9-year-old sister was because she was fat — being obese protected her. Losing weight increased their anxiety, depression, and fear to levels that were intolerable.
For some people, both motivations were in play.
The Mind Shift – more understanding about how millions of people escape fear, anxiety, depression and anger
Felitti didn’t know this at the time, but this was the more important result — the mind-shift, the new meme that would begin spreading far beyond a weight clinic in San Diego. It would provide more understanding about the lives of hundreds of millions of people around the world who use biochemical coping methods – such as alcohol, marijuana, food, sex, tobacco, violence, work, methamphetamine, thrill sports – to escape intense fear, anxiety, depression, anger.
Public health experts, social service workers, educators, therapists and policy makers commonly regard addiction as a problem. Some, however, are beginning to grasp that turning to drugs is a normal response to serious childhood trauma, and that telling people who smoke or overeat or overwork that these are bad for them and that they should stop doesn’t sway or convince them when those approaches provide a temporary, but gratifying solution.
Ella Herman was one of the people who participated in the obesity clinic, but had dropped out because any weight she lost, she regained. Herman owned a successful childcare center in San Diego. Herman said she was sexually abused by two uncles and a school bus driver; the first time occurred when she was four years old. She married a man who abused her repeatedly and tried to kill her. With the help of her family, she fled with her children to San Diego, where she later remarried.
“I imagine I’ve lost 100 pounds about six times,” she recalled. “And gained it back.” Every time she lost weight and a man commented on her beauty, she became terrified and began eating. But she never understood the connection until she attended a meeting at which Felitti talked about what he’d learned from patients. At this time, Herman was just over five feet tall and weighed nearly 300 pounds.
“He had a room full of people,” she said. “The more he talked the more I cried, because he was touching every aspect of my life. Somebody in the world understands, I thought.”
Herman later sent a letter to Felitti. “I want to thank you for caring enough about people to read all those charts and finding out what happens to all of us who are molested, raped and abused in childhood,” she wrote. “…I suffered for years. The pain became so great I was thinking of jumping off the San Diego Bay Bridge….How many people may have taken their life because they had no program to turn to? How many lives can be saved by this program?”
~Written by Jane Ellen Stevens Huffington Post
Part Two: What do you do when you’ve got something important to tell the world, but the world thinks it’s stupid? I will be posting Part #2 next Tuesday, June 28th. I invite you to come back and learn more…
Here’s my favorite part, we now have EFT as a solution…
EFT practitioners all over the world have been erasing traumas
associated with Adverse Childhood Experiences for more than 20 years
Gary Craig, founder of EFT wrote about the ACE Study in his website, “The ACE Study and similar research is finally coming to the conclusion that unresolved childhood emotional issues affect adult health. However, practitioners of EFT have known this since 1995. Furthermore, EFT practitioners all over the world have been erasing traumas associated with adverse childhood experiences for more than a decade” [to date it’s been over 20 years.] He continued to explain that, “Although most conventional physicians have yet to learn about EFT, this simple technique fills a void that cannot be filled by prescription medications or traditional psychotherapy. According to the theory behind EFT, childhood trauma causes a severe disruption in the body’s energy meridian system and unless this disruption is corrected, physical and emotional symptoms and coping behaviors are likely to erupt as the traumatized child ages. EFT corrects that energy disruption and its accompanying physical and emotional symptoms.
Says Dr Fellitti, “Clearly, we have shown that adverse childhood experiences are both common and destructive. This combination makes them one of the most important, if not the most important, determinants of the health and well-being of the nation. Unfortunately, these problems are both painful to recognize and difficult to cope with. Most physicians would far rather deal with traditional organic disease, treatment and prevention implications of the ACE Study are daunting to conventional doctors. “Why would one want to leave the relative comfort of traditional organic disease and enter this area of threatening uncertainty that none of us has been trained to deal with?”
Gary Craig says, “Thousands of EFT Practitioners are currently working with children and adults, teaching them EFT and helping them to resolve complex emotional traumas. In addition to laypersons, medical professionals of all kinds are incorporating EFT into their practices.” Adverse Childhood Experiences no longer need be a life sentence…
Did You Know that Fear and Stress during infancy and early childhood has a cumulative impact on childhood development, but there is GOOD NEWS…
What is the ACE study and why might It be important to you?
During my work as an Emotional Freedom coach and an Inner Child Advocate, using Emotional Freedom Technique to help women break free from old emotional baggage still running their lives, the ACES study explains exactly what I’ve been experiencing with myself and my clients all along. Our wounded and traumatized inner child (don’t worry, I’m not singling you out! We all had wounds and trauma’s as little children. Remember a trauma can be anything that makes us feel helpless, powerless and /or overwhelmed. Who, as a child, never experienced those feelings at one time or another? It’s safe to say that we ALL have.) And, those trauma’s and wounds have been held subconsciously in our bodies and are sabotaging us (or as I like to say, trying to protect us) as adults. The following information about the ACES study was taken from the website http://www.americasangel.org.
[NOTE: I will be sharing 4 follow up blog posts with more specifics about the ACES study over the next month… I invite you to join me on the journey.]
“The ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Study is one of the largest scientific research studies of its kind, with over 17,000 mostly middle income Americans participating. The focus was to analyze the relationship between childhood trauma and the risk for physical and mental illness in adulthood.Over the course of a decade, the results demonstrated a strong, graded relationship between the level of traumatic stress in childhood and poor physical, mental and behavioral outcomes later in life. The ACE Study is an ongoing collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kaiser Permanente.”
How does fear impact childhood?
The key concept underlying the ACE Study is that stressful or traumatic childhood experiences can result in social, emotional, and cognitive impairments. Examples: Increased risk of unhealthy behaviors, risk of violence or re-victimization, disease, disability and “early death.” Breakthroughs in neuro-biology demonstrate that fear-based childhoods disrupt neuro-development, and can actually alter normal brain structure and function. Fear during infancy and early childhood has a cumulative impact on childhood development. Results of the ACE Study link the exploding rates in America’s physical, mental, and social pathologies with our national failure to strengthen families and protect children.
What increased health risks are associated with an ACE?
The young brain is especially vulnerable to stress. When prolonged stress occurs during infancy and childhood, the stress hormone cortisol is released throughout the young brain and body. These stress hormones compromise normal brain development and the immature immune and nervous systems.
[NOTE: Prior to age 7 or 8 years old our minds are in a hypnotic state and we are experiencing the world through FELT perception, or FEELINGS, so the trauma we experience is embedded within our system. We don’t being really THINKING about the world until about 8 years old. This is why EFT Tapping is so effective because we are able to focus on the FEELINGS of STRESS that has been stored in our bodies, vs the words. Research has shown that EFT Tapping is an amazing tool for reducing the cortisol and other stress hormones in our brains and bodies, releasing the long held stress in our bodies.]
The ACE Study demonstrates that early stress is a strong factor for developing the following national health problems.
- Cardiovascular disease
- Heart attacks
- High blood pressure
- Weight gain (especially abdominal fat)
- Reduced Growth Hormone Levels
- Compromised immune function
- Bone loss
Lifelong Impacts on the Brain and Body from the Following:
A decade of rigorous research demonstrates that sustained stress in childhood results in overproduction of cortisol, with profound, lifelong impacts on the brain and body when growing up experiencing any of the following conditions in the household prior to age 18:
- Recurrent physical abuse
- Recurrent emotional abuse
- Contact sexual abuse
- An alcohol and/or drug abuser in the household
- An incarcerated household member
- Family member who is chronically depressed, mentally ill, institutionalized, or suicidal
- Mother is treated violently
- One or no parents
- Physical neglect
- Emotional neglect
If you can relate to any of the above experiences perhaps you can benefit from EFT Tapping too! The GOOD NEWS is that EFT Tapping is a very powerful yet gentle tool in helping to process and release some of the stress, fears and trauma’s that come from childhood and in turn help to stop the repetitive patterns of the repressed EMOTIONS from childhood stress and trauma’s in our adult lives, even when we don’t know what they are at a conscious level.
[NOTE: That’s the number 1 question that I get asked, what if I don’t know what my childhood issues are? My answer is, most of the time we don’t because they are held in our subconscious. That’s totally ok. That’s what we are able to do with EFT, as an Inner Child Advocate I am able to help you get ready (take the sting out of them allowing you to FEEL CALMER and SAFER in the process of finding them!! In fact, I’ve successfully worked with many women who never even had to “go there” we simply tapped on “that feeling” or “that incident” and didn’t have to TALK about it at all!
More to come…
Over the next 4 weekly blog posts I will be sharing more about the ACES study. I invite you to join us and remember your comments below are very valuable. Plus if you know anyone else who might benefit from this information please invite them to join us by signing up at my website Your Strongest Life www.yourstrongestlife.com.
PS Have you read hundreds of self help books and thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours in talk therapy only to continue feeling discouraged that you still FEEL stuck in your emotional baggage but you don’t know what it is or what to do about it? EFT may be what you are looking for! It was for me!