A Smile after the Storm

A Smile after the Storm

On the Front Lines

By Caroline Sakai

November/December 2010

In 2006, I conducted a study of Energy Psychology treatments with 50 Rwandan orphans. The outcomes, recently reported in The International Journal of Emergency Mental Health, vastly exceed those of any previous peer-reviewed study of a PTSD treatment in terms of speed, degree of effectiveness, and percentage of subjects who were helped. The following is a description of the experience of one of the study's participants, a 15-year-old girl who was 3 at the time of the 1994 genocide:

She'd been hiding with her family and other villagers inside the local church. The church was stormed by men with machetes, who started a massacre. The girl's father told her and other children to run and to not look back for any reason. She obeyed and was running as fast as she could, but then she heard her father 'screaming like a crazy man.' She remembered what her father had said, but his screams were so compelling that she did turn back and, in horror, watched as a group of men with machetes murdered him.

A day didn't pass in the ensuing 12 years without her experiencing flashbacks to that scene. Her sleep was plagued by nightmares tracing to the memory. In her treatment session, I asked her to bring the flashbacks to mind and to imitate me as I tapped on a selected set of acupuncture points while she told the story of the flashbacks. After a few minutes, her heart-wrenching sobbing and depressed affect suddenly transformed into smiles. When I asked her what…

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