Discover Havening Touch®: A Revolutionary Neuroscience Technique to Alleviate Your Stress and Anxiety

Could Havening - hugging yourself in a certain way be the key to alleviate your stress, anxiety and depression?  

The science says yes...

Many people these days feel overwhelmed with stress and anxiety 

And small daily rituals can help manage this effectively...

Today, I want to introduce you to Havening Techniques and how it can help you to de-stress and “turn down” the anxiety response and improve your sleep. 

You already heard of techniques like meditation, deep breathing, personal time, and turning off non-essential notifications on your device. 

All these can have a real positive impact, as can exercise, which releases endorphins, quiet time to improve happiness, and screen free time. 

In a world where stress and anxiety are common and time seems to run faster and faster, small actions help in a bigger battle.  

But here's another science-backed, highly impactful weapon to add to your arsenal: Havening. 

What are Havening Techniques®? 

Havening, also known as Amygdala Depotentiation Technique (ADT), is a powerful psycho-sensory therapy that has gained recognition for its effectiveness in reducing anxiety, post-traumatic stress and improving overall well-being 

Developed by Dr. Ronald Ruden MD PhD, this groundbreaking technique involves a unique combination of touch, attention diversion, and positive visualization to help individuals overcome anxiety and emotional distress. 

Havening, at its simplest, involves self-touch in specific areas, distractions and positive affirmations.  

More technically, it's using self-soothing techniques to induce "amygdala depotentiation," which essentially means calming and retraining the emotional part of the brain that can drive us into a state of stress and anxiety.  

It may sound very personal and emotional, but it’s supported by real scientific research and respected experts. Here’s why. 

Firstly, Havening works by targeting the amygdala, which is the part of our brain responsible for processing emotions, including fear and anxiety 

During a havening session, a trained practitioner guides you through a series of gentle touch movements on specific parts of your body, such as your arms, face, and hands. 

These touch movements stimulate the production of delta waves in your brain, which are associated with deep relaxation and emotional regulation. 

Try it for yourself by following me in this video:

So, How Exactly Does Havening Help With Anxiety?  

Let's dive into the details. 

Before the practitioner commences with the havening touch movements, you are encouraged to focus on the anxiety or distressing memory that you want to address and rate your dis-stress on a scale of 0-10.

Next (ideally together with an experienced Havening Techniques Practitioner) you apply gentle and rhythmic stroking touch of the arms, palms, and face while focusing on distracting thoughts and images.  

The tactile stimulation helps activate delta waves in the brain, which are associated with deep relaxation and emotional regulation, while the distractions allow the brain to remove the chemical structures (receptors) on the surface on the amygdala that used to connect your memory with the dis-stressing emotion of anxiety or fear. 

As you engage in Havening, you may notice a gradual shift in your emotional state. The distressing memory or anxious thought may begin to lose its intensity, becoming less emotionally charged over time. This process is known as "depotentiation," where the neural connections tied to anxiety are weakened, leading to a reduction in anxiety symptoms. 

If you rate your dis-stress after only 7-10 minutes of havening, you will notice a decrease, often strikingly significant.

It's important to note that Havening should ideally be performed under the guidance of a Certified Havening Techniques Practitioner. They possess the knowledge and expertise to tailor the technique to your specific needs and ensure its safe and effective implementation. 

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This attention diversion technique helps to interrupt the neural pathways associated with anxiety and rewire them for a more positive response. 

Furthermore, havening incorporates the power of positive visualization. While engaging in the touch movements and attention diversion, you are guided to visualize a safe and calming place or imagine a positive outcome related to your anxiety trigger. This visualization technique helps to create new neural connections that associate the trigger with feelings of safety, calmness, and confidence. 

The combination of touch, attention diversion, and positive visualization in havening helps to disrupt the anxiety response at both the physiological and psychological levels.

By stimulating delta waves and rewiring neural pathways, havening promotes deep relaxation, emotional release, and ultimately reduces anxiety symptoms. 

It is important to note that havening is not a one-time fix but rather a process that requires regular sessions for optimal results.

The number of sessions needed may vary depending on the individual and the severity of their anxiety.

However, many individuals report significant improvements in their anxiety levels after just a few sessions. 

If you are considering trying havening for your anxiety, it is crucial to work with a certified havening practitioner who has undergone proper training.

They will guide you through the process, ensure your safety and comfort, and tailor the sessions to your specific needs. 

Our Brain on Stress - Where Havening Works

To truly understand Havening and how it works, it helps to first understand what’s happening in the brain when we experience stress.

Regardless of the cause - be it a demanding workplace, childhood trauma, or a generalized anxiety disorder - researchers theorize the brain’s reaction is essentially the same. 

We have an "emotional brain" and a "thinking brain." 

The emotional brain, ruled by the amygdala, is primal. 

It gauges threats and reacts quickly to avoid danger. 

"The amygdala is designed to keep us safe. It operates on an instinct of 'safe' or 'not safe,' says Dr. Christine Sauer MD ND, a certified practitioner of the Havening Techniques. 

When detecting a real or imagined threat, the amygdala activates the fight-or-flight mode, and we feel stress and anxiety. 

Thankfully, our "thinking brain" activates upon perceiving a threat as well, introducing reason and helping us respond more appropriately.

However, in many people, especially in stressful times, the amygdala overpowers the thinking brain, trapping us in a fight-or-flight mode, even when there’s no threat.

The result: persistent stress and anxiety.

The Role of Havening to Create Resilience and Improve Mental Health

Havening, developed by neuroscientist Ronald Ruden, M.D., Ph.D., was initially used as trauma therapy. By using gentle touch on the upper arms, hands, and face, and accompanying positive messaging, it can rewire unhealthy neural pathways that stem from stressful experiences, replacing them with healthier responses and emotions. 

Havening is also a powerful stress-busting technique that you can learn and practice at home.

You simply cross your arms, place your palms on your shoulders, stroke your arms downward, and repeat. While doing this, you can recite a calm and positive sentence, or engage in a simple mental distraction.My favorite, as demonstrated in the video above, is the Loving Kindness Meditation.
On a neurological level, havening helps shift your brain into a calming mode by boosting oxytocin, a hormone typically produced through human touch and bonding. It leverages the brain’s ability to heal, regulate, and build itself. 
The more you practice havening, the more resilient your amygdala becomes and the more easily and quickly you can access a calm state in the future. Whether you are preparing for a stressful work engagement or are simply feeling overwhelmed, these havening techniques can provide much-needed relief. 
To learn more about havening and how it can help you overcome stress, anxiety, and other mental health struggles, book a call with Dr. Christine Sauer Don’t let your life be controlled by stress and anxiety - with havening, you can find your path to peace. Begin your journey with love and light. 

About the author

Dr. Christine Sauer

Dr. Christine Sauer, MD, ND is a German-trained, retired conventional as well as naturopathic physician, a Certified Brain, and Mental Health Coach and a Nutrition, Supplementation, Weight Loss and Emotional Eating Expert. Through her own journey from the successful owner of a large medical practice in Germany through the abyss of mental and physical illness to complete recovery, she discovered her unique process, combining education, life and health coaching, to help her clients to "Recover Your Sparkle", to achieve lasting peace, joy, and 5-dimensional health. Her mission is to be a beacon for love, joy, and peace in this scary world. Her hobbies are science, learning new things, cooking, gardening, and her husband and dog.
She is also an international #1 bestselling author, TEDx speaker, mentor and trainer for other coaches and a loving human being!

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