Described below is one of the many approaches I've tried or considered trying for healing my chronic myofascial pain:
BOTTOM LINE: Some positive results.
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a treatment method that uses eye movement (or other sensory stimulation such as a buzzing sensation applied to the fingers) to desensitize people from traumatic experiences.
In 2013, I wanted to try EMDR for three reasons: (1) I hadn't been to talk therapy for about two-and-a-half years; (2) I was only occasionally getting John F. Barnes myofascial release (JFB-MFR) treatments; and (3) my pain was at a plateau. A local EMDR therapist I found told me she preferred treating clients with EFT (emotional freedom technique, also known as “tapping”). So instead of continuing to search for another EMDR therapist, I tried EFT (tapping) for about four months. However EFT didn't cure my persisting pain.
I waited two years before looking into EMDR again because I remained skeptical of whether yet another fee-for-service treatment method would work on me. However, some friends had had some success, so I decided to open my checkbook again and try.
EMDR often exposed my deep trauma-based emotions that are tied to my pain, similar to what JFB-MFR does, although via a different method. This treatment has effectively reduced intermittent spikes in my physical pain and helped me better understand my body's reactions to overwhelming feelings that are coupled with past trauma.
As I described under Somatic Experiencing (SE™), the therapist I saw for EMDR also used the SE™ approach, as she deemed appropriate. I stopped seeing the therapist because my husband got a new job in a new state and we moved. But EMDR and SE™ also helped me with some of my cognitive deficit problems while driving—described in my Somatic Experiencing (SE™) page.