When Dimitrios opened the fire in his school at Santa Fe, the world stood still for a moment. His classmates had to watch when a hail of bullets unleashed from his gun that left up to 10 people dead and another 10 heavily injured.
When disasters like this happen, the human body usually reacts with shock. The brain freezes and extreme fear tends to fill the body which responds with fight or flight.
The images of the shooting will be burnt into the memories of everyone who was there, that day at the Santa Fe High School. Not only the students will carry this terrible day with them forever, also will the teachers. And although, there will be time and space for grief, one day they all have to go back. Back to where everything has happened. Back to the classroom.
But how do you deal with a classroom full of traumatised kids who have lost their friends? Who have been confronted with extreme fear? Who have seen people been injured by the hands of one of their own?
Evidence-based Tapping is one of many rapid relief trauma healing methods available. It has been used as an immediate relief technique for those who have lost loved ones, students, parents, educators, first responders and community members alike. Tapping is a recognised post traumatic stress relief technique and was used for example after the shooting at Parkland, Florida.
Tapping, also known as Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), is a evidence-based stress-relief technique that has been proven to effectively help with traumatic experiences. As a brain-based somatic release technique it tackles stress, fear and trauma where it is produced – in the brain. Stress also gets locked into the body, so being a somatic approach it releases the stress from the body too. Tapping is used in the Classroom as Trauma-Prevention and Trauma-Intervention Tool all around the world. Parkland High for example has 80 teachers who conducted EFT classes since the incident in 2017 and more than 10 million people have participated in an EFT course worldwide already.
When a terrible incident like as mass-shooting happens, the brain ‘freezes’ as a reaction to the stress produced. This process is also known as trauma. It is a physiological and a biochemical process that affects the brain as well as the central nervous system when confronted with overwhelming fear.
Research shows that stimulation of certain acupressure points on the body calms the amygdala which stops the fight or flight response. Also the hippocampus and other fear sensors in the body are often very quickly affected and discharged. As a result, the trauma is released and memories can be retained without emotional, traumatic intensity. This allows the healing of the original trauma.
Therapies that focus on talking are good but won’t solve the physiological or biochemical body response to trauma. In such cases, it is recommended to work with brain-based somatic release techniques, such as Tapping.
Tapping is already used by many teachers in the classroom and provides a leading edge protocol in post-trauma environments.
Evidence-based Tapping in the Classroom can bring stress-relief and mindfulness into schools but also is a rapid trauma relief technique for educational professionals who are dealing with traumatised children.