By placing your thumb and ring finger on your tear ducts, your middle finger between your eyebrows, cradling the base of the back of your head in your other hand and focusing on a series of sentences, you can effectively reduce the stress of events in your life, said Harold McRae, a licensed therapist who uses the Tapas Acupressure Technique in his practice.
McRae demonstrated this technique during a TAT workshop hosted by the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team April 26 at the Kelley Hill Recreation Center.
To transition into the technique, McRae first described the brain and its effect on the body during a traumatic event, ultimately resulting in post-traumatic brain disorder in some people.
“You have to resolve the emotional part of the trauma so it can go to rest,” McRae said.
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Also speaking at the workshop was 1SG Mario Cirinese, 3rd HBCT’s rear detachment sergeant major and three-time veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, who admitted TAT changed his life forever. Cirinese took the audience through his military history with stories of tragic events, troubling times and lost friends during deployments. Then he explained what the experiences did to his life as a father and husband.
“When I was back here (in the United States), I was still in Iraq in my mind,” he said. “I didn’t want to be around anyone but the guys I was in Iraq with. I’ve been married for 17 years; I have a son and a daughter, but I didn’t want to see anyone. I was drinking heavily. I stayed locked up in my room and wouldn’t come out.”
Cirinese said, although hesitant at first about seeing McRae, he attributes his well-being and overall life to the decision to make and keep the appointment.
“The memories are still there,” Cirinese said, “but I’m emotionally detached.”
After going himself, he brought his wife and kids with him so they could better understand what he was going through, he said.
“It was like we were reborn as a couple,” Cirinese said. “They understood what I was going though.”Ronie Dalton, the mother of a 3rd HBCT Soldier who took his own life, also stands by TAT and said much of its success comes from being able to deal with the traumatic event on your own, instead of talking about it and reliving it like some of the more mainstream therapy practices.
“The traumatic event is stored on a much deeper level,” she said.
McRae said he hopes the wives will take what they have learned during the workshop to their husbands to ease the transition from a deployment to a “normal life” mindset.
For more information on TAT, visit www.tatlife.com.