When I heard about AFT in January 2017, I immediately purchased the Aroma Freedom Technique book written by Dr. Benjamin Perkus. After reading it in one sitting, I remember thinking, "This is way too simple!" I have studied health and healing modalities for the past 30+ years, ever since two serious accidents left me with unresolved trauma and chronic pain. I have always been interested in the mind/body connection. I have been to countless alternative practitioners, and have practiced Holographic Repatterning, hypnosis, EFT, PsychK, specifically to uncover hidden beliefs which prevented me from healing my physical body. I am always on the lookout for tools to heal myself, especially of self-limiting, subconscious beliefs. At face value, AFT seemed shallow and over-simplified. BOY, WAS I WRONG!!!!
First some background… I was a certified massage therapist for four years in the mid-1980’s, before meeting my husband and moving to Europe. There we raised our two sons, and found ourselves settling back on this side of the pond, in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1995. I got into therapeutic foster care for ten years, but after burning out, decided to get back into the healing arts. Since 2005, I’ve had my own Reflexology/Aromatherapy practice. Through the years, my work has morphed into more of a life/health coaching practice, followed by hands on work. I see a need that people are wanting to make changes in their lives, to learn from their past and move forward, into something new and meaningful. What I have observed over and over again, is that my clients have every good intention of making positive changes, but then wind up plagued by self-doubt, excuses, resistance and fears which repeatedly end in self-sabotage. Together, we would come up with a strategy for moving forward, and often I would notice how difficult people found it to make lasting, permanent changes in lifestyle to get the results they wanted. Reflexology produced temporary relief, but I was longing for something more, to actually help my clients take responsibility and consistent action in all aspects of their own lives. I have been on the search for a tool that would help me help others, to break free of their limitations. ENTER AFT!!!
The first AFT session I did on myself was about an irrational fear I had of carpenter ants. I must say, the first time they appeared in and around our house 8 years ago, it was definitely a traumatic experience. They came out one day in the thousands, and I wound up hosing them down outside and vacuuming them up inside. I was completely panicked and feeling horrible guilt for killing so many innocent souls. Now, every spring, when some of them reappear in my kitchen, I go into freak out mode ~ a total over-reaction, heart-pounding, palms sweating, feeling of being out of control, helpless and irritable. No coincidence that the ants returned at the beginning of my AFT certification training in an unusually mild mid-February. I thought I’d put this new technique to the test, right out of the gate. I was amazed myself, that after a few days, I had absolutely no emotional charge when seeing an ant in my kitchen. This was the conviction I needed to proceed with the training. There was definitely something to AFT, and now I believe that Dr. Perkus has hit upon the missing link ~ essential oils! I have used essential oils since 2002, and have experienced with myself, my family and clients how quickly the oils can shift emotional states, but Dr. Perkus has discovered that by inhaling the oils at the precise moment of triggering the amygdala, the oils help dissolve the negative memory complex.
My favorite part when doing my AFT practice sessions with others, is to see a light go off when the inhale the Memory Release Blend, Inner Child and/or Release. My clients can think more clearly, once the emotional charge to the memory loses power over them. I see them get clarity on the situation, put it in perspective, and then watch their intuition kick in as they access their higher mind, which guides them come up with solutions to their own problems! It’s so rewarding witnessing people tap into their true, authentic self - not the conditioned, molded self of their previous negative belief system. I’ve seen people walk in looking tired, resigned, depressed, and anxious, and then leave feeling uplifted, confident, energized and lots of times elated! I’m realizing the applications of AFT are endless ~ appropriate in any situation where people are being held back by fears, hang-ups, resistances, blocks, cravings, self-doubts, limiting beliefs, etc., etc.
One of the best aspects of AFT, for me, is that it is a self-empowerment tool. I can teach others to do it for themselves. That has been the missing piece for me in my private practice. I don’t want people to be dependent on me for their well-being. I want them to know they have the power to heal themselves!
Of course, I have had some difficult sessions with myself and others, where there was an emotional detox reaction afterwards. Thankfully Dr. Perkus and Level 2 students are there to help guide me when I come up against new and scary experiences that I don’t yet know how to handle.
Since I began using this tool myself, I am feeling more and more powerful. I feel like everything I’ve learned over the past 30 years has lead me to this paradigm shifting moment. I am so convinced of its efficacy that I have decided to close my Reflexology business and launch my own full-time AFT practice! I know I can help so many more people empower themselves to take charge of their mental, emotional, physical, financial and spiritual health with this unique modality. I’m excited about being able to do this work in person or virtually, and the ripple effect that will reverberate from it. I’m hopeful that this movement with help revolutionize the fields of psychotherapy and self-help.
Thank you, Dr. Perkus, for sharing your gifts with us and the world!
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