You’ve probably heard me say that the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) can be used in almost every situation and this is also gloriously true when it comes to managing physical pain. Personally I’ve used EFT for headaches, sinusitis, hay fever symptoms, allergic reactions, and apologies to the men reading this but EFT rocks when it comes to period pains.
But we really can't discuss banishing physical pain using EFT without also addressing how effective it is at simultaneously diminishing any related emotional issues, because the two are inextricably linked. The Centre for Disease Control attribute 85% of disease to an emotional root cause- so when we choose to look at either emotional or physical issues in isolation we really do ourselves a disservice. I’ll share a beautiful story that illustrates this point before I go.
The link between the physical and the emotional can go back and forth, in both directions. So we can choose to tackle emotional issues, or we can work on the physical issues and observe how related emotional components disappear. And as always with EFT we are able to take both approaches in a really kind, gentle and elegant way.
The process for focussing on pain is sometimes referred to as "Chasing the Pain." The technique is to reduce or rid the body of one pain in one body area; then as other discomforts start to show up, they are treated with more EFT and resolved. Thus the discomforts or pains are "chased" around the body until all are eliminated. At the end of the session when asked to describe the intensity of their pain, clients often report that they can no longer find it.
In the case of physical pain, it is understood that the sensation of pain originates in the brain. When we can train the brain's handling of pain messages, we get some of the best pain-relieving solutions. Pain from an injury where tissue damage is present often takes three to six months for the tissue to heal. If there is chronic or persistent pain after the tissues have healed, a deeper issue is going on.
Your emotions and attitudes affect brain activity. The process is complex and still not fully understood (well not by me), but your thoughts very much affect how you experience pain. Certain activities, such as laughing, reduce pain by causing the production of endorphins which latch on to receptors in the brain that are responsible for producing pain-killing and euphoric effects. Meditation brings pain relief by reducing brain activity in areas that are responsible for the intensity and location of a painful stimulus.
It has been postulated that pain lasting more than a few moments can be remembered by the central nervous system, at the level of the neurons. This can set up a vicious cycle of pain, fear of pain, anxiety and stress, and depression. We can interrupt that cycle with a variety of mind-body techniques including hypnosis and guided imagery, Tai Chi, and Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT.
Using EFT, we combine the verbal expression of positive affirmation with a healing acceptance of our current experience (this doesn’t mean we are releasing hope and desire for change) while tapping on the meridians that channel the body's chi, or vital health energy. This clears the emotional blockage from the bioenergy system and restores the balance that is so essential for optimum health and pain-free living.
EFT seems to have the greatest potential--more than other alternative or traditional practices--to create magic when it comes to healing, both emotional and physical. This is due to EFT's ability to quickly diminish the emotional component of traumatic incidents and memories, and once that distress is thwarted, rebalancing and healing can take place, allowing the associated pain to become a thing of the past.
I want to finish up by sharing the experience of a beautiful client who was happy for me to share her story with you. It all began with a horribly debilitating back pain and this pain was present during one of our sessions. With my clients blessing we tapped on the pain, the way it showed up in the body and the emotions that were present.
As we worked through the various aspects, the feelings of the lack of support, the physical and emotional lack of freedom and the overwhelming sense of responsibility we came to a vow that my client had made with the most beautiful of intentions as a child who was witnessing her mum being upset.
This vow was to take responsibility for her mum’s happiness. With her adult knowledge and understanding this was a vow which served neither of them but as a worried and kind child she just wanted to make things better. My beautiful client chose to release the vow and allow her mum to reclaim her responsibility for self, allowing them both to be free, taking responsibility for only that which they can- ourselves. It was a beautiful and inspiring choice to witness and one of the many occasions that I thank the world for EFT.
If you want to check out tapping on pain for yourself it’s super simple;
1. Remind yourself of the tapping recipe (you can get a recap by looking at any of the tapping videos I’ve done before on www.attheheartofhealth.com
2. Identify and the rate the pain you wish to be gone, rate from 0-10, 0 being no pain and 10 being blimey this really really hurts (substitute the language that works for you-expletives welcome)
3. Get tapping; use the language that feels right- it’s impossible to get it wrong
4. After a few rounds of tapping (3 set up statements and 1-2 rounds around all of the points) check in and re rate the pain. If you’ve experienced relief perfect and if not that’s perfect too, you can tap on what remains or if the pain has increased or remained constant go back to step 1 and simply begin again- sometimes focusing on a problem can lead to an initial increase and sometimes (as discussed above) the pain has us chase it about for a bit
5. A few useful questions to gain insight might include; who does this pain remind me of? If this pain could speak what would be its message to me? What is the benefit of this pain?
Enjoy and may you be pain free and joyful xx
Love Lou xx