Getting on a plane for many people is an experience to be endured rather than enjoyed.
But if you are among the estimated 10 per cent of the population who suffer from a fear of flying, help could be at hand.
A London-based therapist specialising in anxiety disorders says she has a near 100 per cent success rate in helping clients overcome aerophobia – an extreme fear of flying – using holistic therapies and an unusual method called Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).
Fear and phobia expert Lauren Rosenberg describes the technique as ‘acupuncture without needles’.
She says that as well as helping patients suffering from phobias, she has also been able to assist clients struggling with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, food allergies and stress-related illnesses.
The process involves using a technique called ‘tapping’ – a method of freeing the body’s energy flow which Mrs Rosenberg says becomes blocked during moments of anxiety.
The French-born former special needs teacher also uses techniques called Matrix Birth Re-imprinting, EmoTrance and Integral Eye Movement Technique, which she claims are able to help ‘collapse’ negative beliefs and emotions connected to traumatic events such as flying.
She says she has seen around 15 patients for aerophobia, almost all of whom say they can now travel on planes without fear.
‘If you have a fear of flying you have a belief that being on a plane is dangerous,’ says Lauren.
‘Maybe the fear comes from not being in control. For one patient, it was related to a film she had seen when she was young.
‘We’ve all had negative experiences in our lives which felt very intense, especially if we were young when they happened and even more so if they were repeated.
‘Thinking about these can cause strong emotions and anxiety years after the event.
‘Such bad experiences can cause a disruption in the body’s energy system, a kind of ‘short circuit’, which can be at the root of negative feelings, phobias and health issues.’
There are more than 12 million people in the UK who suffer from aerophobia.
Many of the country’s leading airlines now offer courses designed to help people overcome their fears, while aerophobics can also benefit from the increasing number of flight simulators throughout the country which are aimed at helping familiarise passengers with the safety measures and systems that pilots have to keep their passengers safe.
Mrs Rosenberg explains that tapping is a type of ‘first-aid kit’ that she teaches clients to use themselves, and which can help calm them down if they need to during stressful moments such as during take-off and moments of turbulence.
It involves a combination of deep breathing, applying pressure to different points of the body and using the fingertips to stimulate the body’s energy flow to overcome the anxiety.