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Many attribute bilateral stimulation (BLS) origin privileges to Francine Shapiro, PhD, the developer of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). Shapiro shared her observed positive effects of BLS in the 1980s. However, when we decolonize the process, we must embrace that BLS has been encouraged in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries and that BLS is well-known to promote brain and body balance.

In Eastern cultures, there is a confident belief that the body is its best resource for healing. There is a growing embrace of this fact in psychotherapy and holistic care practices, and at growURpotential, we encourage our therapists to guide body-aware somatic practices, including BLS, to support healing wisdom to emerge.

What is BLS?

BLS is any activity that causes stimulation on alternate sides of the body, in even intervals—walking, running, tapping, eye-movement devices, specific BLS audio or video, and BLS pulsing devices. BLS is thought to activate a body state most similar to REM sleep, where our eyes move rapidly back and forth, and we process and integrate information. This analogy also supports consistently observed ease in trauma integration.

Neuroscience is just now capable of expressing in confidence the impact BLS has on neuroplasticity. Still, none propose to be confident about why. At growURpotential, we trust your ability to draw your own conclusions. Try it! And if you experience positive results, keep practicing.

Different Names For The Same Practices

Splankna (a Greek word meaning mind/body/spirit) is a practice that incorporates muscle testing [Applied Kinesiology Technique], tapping [acupressure], and bilateral stimulation [BLS]. While Splankna is branded as the Christian Healing Model, all components have deep roots in Eastern medicine practices. Applied Kinesiology Technique looks like shaman magic to many, but it’s based on muscle-energy awareness, and understanding is possible for all bodies willing to invest in education. We love this example of muscle testing by BLACK BELT CHIROPRACTOR.

BLS Benefits

BLS is a critical component of EMDR, which is endorsed as an effective therapy for PTSD by both the American Psychological Association and the Department of Veterans Affairs. The results are observable to such a degree of consistency that it is the gold standard for trauma integration.

At growURpotential, we prepare all interested clients for these exceptional benefits by first using talk therapy to identify stuck-points and BLS to address present experiences that relate to stuck-points. We then use EMDR to integrate memories related to this activation pathway.

We encourage all clients to trust the process and to stay within boundaries for self-guided practice. We encourage zero practice of BLS regarding any memory or experience older than three months, and we only use TICES to process recent memories outside a therapy session.

Many therapists also share BLS content on the internet for free because the calming effect is undeniable. Therapists at growURpotential will guide you to these resources after you understand boundaries for using this medicine safely.

Stay curious on purpose. Healing is approachable by thousands of paths, and you may choose the experience you wish to try, as we will offer you innumerable opportunities to find your path.

Tagged: bilateral stimulation, BLS, EMDR, PTSD


At growURpotential, we trust that many providers understand the value of testing new approaches to healing. We invite you to invest 7 minutes in this video by Vierge Therapy X Wellness: What is Brainspotting Therapy

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