What Is Bilateral Stimulation?

bilateral stimulation

Bilateral stimulation is the mechanism used in EMDR for trauma processing and self-resourcing. The EM in EMDR stands for eye movements, which is a kind of bilateral stimulation.

But bilateral stimulation is any alternating stimulus that crosses the midline of the body, and therefore crosses from the left to the right hemisphere of the brain. So my knitting – moving from left to right and back again – is a form of bilateral stimulation.

And BLS can also be grounding and soothing. I have a lot of input coming at me during two full days of training. I need a mechanism that will keep me in the present, keep me more connected to my body, and keep me from wanting to switch from tab to tab on my computer, from wanting to doing crossword puzzles on my phone, getting up and folding laundry (although that’s also a form of BLS and I could definitely do it as an way to ground and anchor during this training too!), etc.

Other great forms of BLS to soothe and ground – walking, yoga, self tapping, listening to binaural beats.

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