What is Havening?
Havening is a Psychosensory therapy meaning it uses physical touch to change the way we store distressing events in the brain.
At a practical level these memories and the emotions associated with them can be changed through physical touch, namely to the upper arms, face and palms of hands. These hand positions are hypersensitive to the production of seratonin.
How does it work?
The name Havening also known as Amygdala Depotentiation means ‘to put one in a safe place’. A Haven. It works on the basis that the human body is an electrical chemical organ and any trauma experienced by the body is transformed into an electrical chemical signal and this is sent to the brain.
When a traumatic event or long time stress occurs the memory and emotions are also stored electrically and chemically in the Amygdala, specifically on receptors on the surface of the brain cells (neurons) called AMPA receptors. These receptors are like protruding spikes that lock in and superglue every aspect of the experience, from the sounds, smells, images, pounding heart, sweaty palms etc. sears it into our memory and stores it there. In fact when survival is threatened in any way the Amygdala takes over and focuses on survival whatever that takes, be it that it produces enough rage, or in contrast, paralysis to get us out of the situation.
Havening deals directly with the subconscious, it seeks the events that cause the symptoms and by removing the AMPA receptors it permanently disconnects the emotions from the memory thus freeing you up from the effects of the distress.