When a person is diagnosed and treated for long-term potentially fatal diseases such as cancer, they often accumulate distressing and traumatic experiences along the way. A new study from the Marcus Institute of Integrative Health at Thomas Jefferson University reveals how Neuro Emotional Technique (NET) substantially alters the brain’s response to traumatic memories and reveals the potential importance of the cerebellum in regulating the brain and body’s response to traumatic stress.

This groundbreaking research is published in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship and adds essential and powerful new information to the basic understanding of the pathophysiology of traumatic stress in general and the underlying mechanisms involved in relieving that stress.

“This is the first study that offers a demonstrable solution for cancer patients with traumatic stress symptoms. It also expands our understanding of the importance of the cerebellum in coordinating traumatic emotions, and the body’s response to them,” says principal investigator Daniel Monti, Director of the Marcus Institute of Integrative Health, and member of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson.

There has never before been an intervention like NET that affects both the neurophysiological and autonomic systems. Now there is very good scientific data that NET effectively relieves emotional traumatic stress. According to Dr. Monti, “There’s a new restored balance in the brain in response to these distressing events.”

The actual connectivity in the brain changes, which has a sustained effect on the patient’s wellbeing. Scientifically speaking, NET allows the practitioner to gauge the patient’s subjective distress and look at how the nervous system is reacting by using various diagnostic tools.

This research utilizes the intervention of NET and provides information that has never been seen before regarding the connection between the cerebellum, limbic (emotional) centers, and autonomic nervous system.

The research sheds new light on the understanding of traumatic memories. Moreover, it demonstrates how NET can drastically alleviate the suffering and stress associated with these memories. This evidence of connectivity is what makes NET an efficient and effective way of dealing with traumatic stress.

In regards to the NET intervention, Dr. Monti states, “Just four to five brief NET sessions result in significantly less emotional and physical distress, and these improvements are associated with connectivity changes throughout the brain,” says Dr. Monti. “Patients, even those who were skeptical at first, have reported the NET intervention as ‘diffusing a bomb’ on ‘the worst anxiety ever’.”