By Christine Wheeler, MA
Are you in pain? Is it an acute pain from an injury or inflammation ... or chronic pain that hasn't budged in months or years?
Maybe you have tried different kinds of painkillers -- over the counter and prescription ... but they only take the edge off. Can you remember the last time you were pain free?
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) lists examples of 21 of the most common types of pain syndromes ... and 28 of the most common pain relief approaches -- from acetaminophen to surgery. No matter what type of pain you have ... acute or chronic ... sharp or aching ... that pain is a constant reminder that something is wrong.
But when your pain is unresponsive to conventional treatment, it makes you wonder what is actually wrong. Have you ever considered that your pain might be a result of a disruption in your body's subtle energy system ... or a result of unresolved emotions or trauma?
Then you may wish to consider Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). EFT is a commonsense solution for pain. Based on the principles of acupuncture, EFT is a do-it-yourself technique that allows you to take control of your own health situation.
You simply tap with your fingertips on specific acupuncture points to balance your subtle energy system ... and ultimately alleviate your pain. Anyone can learn the basics of EFT and you can apply this simple procedure yourself (usually in minutes).
Whether your pain is like a pinprick, or like a hot knife ... EFT can provide relief
The NIH recognizes acupuncture among the most common effective pain treatments. Interestingly, EFT takes acupuncture to a new level by also helping you to alleviate the unresolved emotional trauma that might be fueling your pain.
EFT is a singular process that can be effectively applied to any type of pain ... from a simple headache to cancer pain. While it doesn't claim to completely cure 100 percent of all illnesses or diseases, this modern pain relief method has proven effective more than 80 percent of the time.
EFT newsletter readers were asked to share stories of how they used EFT as a pain management tool. Following are examples of their numerous pain-control stories.
Please note that it didn't matter whether the pain had been acute, chronic, distracting or debilitating, EFT provided relief, usually quickly and often permanently ... sometimes in as little as three minutes. The pain elimination was accomplished without the use of drugs of any kind.
Several EFT Pain Management Cases
- In my practice, I have helped people with many physical issues using only EFT. Sometimes, I have witnessed spontaneous remissions of pain while working on emotional issues or on entirely different physical issues.
My clients have experienced relief from pain and discomfort relating to the following: headaches, neck stiffness, PMS, allergies, asthma, Fibromyalgia, hiccups, stomach cramps, hangovers, postoperative discomfort. --Stephanie Y. Rothman, CHT
- I've used it [EFT] very successfully with a woman diagnosed with fibromyalgia. The technique helped not only in relieving her pain, but also in increasing her feelings of energy and motivation. This was during a period when there had been no changes in her diet, medication, or usual pattern of activities, and the changes happened rapidly, so I'm relatively sure the EFT was responsible.
I have also been happy with some preliminary work with a person whose arthritis pain was impeding therapy. Regards, Ken Barclay, MS, MHP
- I have used EFT successfully in a number of cases of chronic pain, including:
1) Back pain -- One of the Vietnam Veterans in a group I was running suffered from chronic ongoing lower back pain. During one session we did one round (application of the EFT process) of the EFT shortcut sequence on this and his response was an incredulous, "It's gone! How did you do that?"
He then spent the remainder of the session trying to bring his pain back or checking whether it would recur -- which it didn't -- at least for the remainder of the session (approx. 1 hour)!
2) Shoulder pain -- After about 3 rounds (applications) of EFT, a colleague reported that his shoulder pain from playing tennis, which had constantly plagued him was down from a 6 to "about a 2."
3) Migraine Headache -- A participant in one of my Healthy Living groups had a severe headache, which she expected to follow its normal course and turn into a migraine. Three rounds of EFT and the pain was gone.
4) Knee pain -- A colleague to whom I was explaining EFT found that most of her emotional pain became concentrated in her knee. Whilst working on her emotional issues, the knee pain became first more intense, then gradually lessened and went away.
These are just some examples. Regards, Steve Wells
- I worked with a woman last summer who was experiencing a tremendous amount of stress in her life. She told me that as the stress level had intensified, she'd developed ongoing pain in her lower back and left leg, which had been troubling her for a number of weeks.
She had been checked out medically without anything being found, so I referred her to an osteopath whom I respected. We worked on some of the issues related to the stress, but I did not attempt to use EFT for the pain during that first appointment.
When I met with her the following week, the pain had intensified and was accompanied by some numbness in her leg. Since she was to be medically re-evaluated (by the osteopath) in just another few days, I suggested we try some EFT tapping for the pain. (I had not had much experience using EFT for pain, so we approached it as an experiment.)
We were both delighted when the pain diminished to 0 after just two rounds of the EFT process. The numbness was reduced but did not clear completely.
The following week, she reported that the pain had increased only slightly by the time she saw the osteopath. After the osteopathic treatment, both the pain and the numbness were gone, and she has had no recurrence of these symptoms.
I have since used EFT to treat less dramatic instances of pain (headaches, sore muscles, eye strain), usually with very good results.
Warmest regards, Callie Currier, M.A.
- A colleague and friend of mine is a childhood diabetic. Ten years ago he had a serious bout with his eyes and seemed to be losing his sight. In October '97 he went to his doctor who said that things looked bad and he wanted to see him in December. If things weren't better, it looked like another round of laser surgery was in order.
My friend felt that the original laser surgery had made things worse and it was very traumatic for him. I suggested that he do EFT for "the pressure in my eyes" every day without looking for a suds scale. He did, agreeing that at this point he would try anything. He returned to the doctor in December and was told that he would not need to be seen again for six months!
Pretty amazing, this stuff! Wayne McCleskey
More on EFT
Please note that in addition to eliminating pain, EFT has been a consistently effective healing tool for hundreds of other physical, mental and emotional ailments. For more information, you can explore the EFT Web site and its numerous success stories regarding fears, phobias, emotional traumas and physical ailments.
While a complete description of EFT is beyond the scope of this article, you can learn all the basics from the free EFT Get Started Package on the EFT Web site. This includes a free download of the 79-page EFT Manual. Those wishing to save time and dive right in can get the affordable five-star training DVDs.
Please consult qualified health professionals before putting EFT into practice for yourself or others.
Christine Wheeler is an EFT practitioner and freelance natural health writer. Christine and Dr. Carolyn Dean co-authored IBS for Dummies (Wiley Publishing) where they present EFT as one of the natural treatments options for people with irritable bowel syndrome.