In Rwanda, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is nothing short of a national epidemic. The many millions of men, women and young adults who survived the 1994 genocide that killed one million in 100 days tell horrific stories of violence, torture, murder and rape -- memories so intense, most suffer from debilitating symptoms, including night tremors, paranoia, homelessness and much more.
Well aware of the country's tragic history, Lori Leyden didn't hesitate to offer her help when she received a call in 2007 asking for her permission to translate her book, The Stress Management Handbook, into the Rwandan language. Fortunately, the events that followed that phone call didn't just change Lori's life, they have provided deep and lasting trauma relief and healing for many thousands of Rwandans using EFT tapping.
Now the founder of Project LIGHT, Lori continues to teach thousands of Rwandans how to use EFT tapping to overcome trauma. A practice that combines Eastern acupressure points with Western psychotherapy, EFT tapping, or "tapping," reduces cortisol levels and promotes healing on multiple levels. Recently recognized by the American Psychological Association as an "evidence-based" practice, tapping has been shown to enable remarkably rapid recovery from PTSD.
However entrenched in tapping's success with treating PTSD, Lori's first trip to Rwanda was nonetheless daunting. Working with Rwandan orphans and widows, she was struck by the depth and intensity of their trauma. For nearly two decades, the 800,000 children orphaned by the genocide had been left to fend for themselves after being tortured and raped and watching their families murdered, maimed and handicapped, tossed into pits of dead bodies. Literally thousands of children had survived living nightmares of unimaginable proportions before being abandoned for the many years since.
It was only when Lori led that first group of 600 Rwandan orphans through Tapping trauma protocols that she knew that Tapping was up to the challenge. After completing the Tapping rounds, she recalls, the relief these children and young adults experienced was as visible and audible as it was palpable. For the first time in nearly two decades, these survivors could feel comfortable in their own bodies and minds, and experience a peace and safety that had eluded them since the genocide occurred.
Realizing the tremendous potential to heal a population that had been left untreated for far too long, Project LIGHT has expanded its mission in the years since that first trip. Now focused on training Rwandan Tapping "ambassadors" who teach Tapping to entire communities, Project LIGHT is providing trauma healing on a larger scale than Lori and her team ever could on their own. What's more, Project LIGHT also helps survivors rebuild their lives, providing them with work skills and life training once their trauma has been mitigated.
To learn more about Lori's work in Rwanda, including a fundraising drive to support Project LIGHT in Rwanda starting on May 21st, watch her free videos here.
Nick Ortner is the Creator and Executive Producer of the hit documentary film, The Tapping Solution. His new book on EFT will be published by Hay House in April 2013. To get a copy of his free eBook, Tapping Your Way to Health, Happiness and Abundance, visit TheTappingSolution.com.