By CJ Puotinen
It is well known that stress shows up in our bodies in a variety of physical ways. Sometimes we have stress-related headaches or back pain or stomach disorders.
Fortunately, there is now a simple no-meds way to reduce stress and its related physical symptoms. The example in this article involves a stress-related cough.
Most of us cough once in a while, or we develop a hacking cough when we catch a cold or breathe smoke. But Natasha Donnolley coughed so loudly that when she went to school, she had to sit outside the classroom so that other students could hear the instructor. That's some cough!
Donnolley, now a consultant with a human resources development firm in Australia, visited a dozen health professionals, including respiratory physicians, allergists, acupuncturists, and radiologists. "In the end," she says, "the only diagnosis I could get was that the cough was stress-related."
When Donnolley finally discovered a treatment that worked, it didn't involve tranquilizers or other prescription drugs. As unlikely as it sounds, she cured herself by tapping with her fingertips on key acupuncture points, mostly on the face and torso, while focusing on stressful thoughts. The procedure she used is called EFT, which stands for Emotional Freedom Techniques.
"For eight years, the cough would only go away for very short periods of time," says Donnolley. "At best I would only cough a couple of times a day, and at worst I'd cough constantly. It was such a loud and deep cough that people cringed and you could hear it blocks away."
Donnolley studied relaxation techniques and stress management, but these tools made little difference. As a last resort she decided to try hypnosis and was referred to Dr. David Lake.
"During my first session with David," she says, "he explained EFT and how he found it more successful than hypnosis. I agreed to try it out. We first tried it on my fear of spiders and other insects. I was amazed at how my fear dropped by 50 percent almost instantly.
Prior to that I would hyperventilate if a spider was on the wall, but EFT made it possible for me to pick one up on a newspaper and walk it outside!"
Between sessions, Donnolley continued to tap at home three to seven times per day while thinking about a variety of problems but mostly focusing on her cough. "By my third session," she says, "I was coughing only occasionally and had a more optimistic outlook and a feeling of well-being that I had not had before."
As Donnolley explains in the report she posted at the official EFT Web site, "I suffered with this terrible cough for over eight years and I thought I would have it for life. In just three sessions and from tapping every day, my cough has totally gone. I cannot praise this technique enough! It really has changed my life, and it has changed those close to me who have seen the change in my life.
"I come from a family of health professionals and have a very scientific background. I have to admit I was extremely skeptical when Dr. Lake first explained EFT to me, but after trying everything else, I was willing to try anything! I am still stunned at how successful tapping has been for me. I still tap every day for a variety of problems, even things as minor as not wanting to go to work in the morning. To me it has been nothing short of a miracle."
EFT's official Web site has published hundreds of reports about cases like Donnolley's in which stress and the symptoms it causes were relieved by simple tapping. EFT is also effective in treating all types of physical, mental, and emotional ailments and phobias in children and adults of all ages.
While a complete description of EFT is beyond the scope of this article, you can learn 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 in can get the affordable five-star training DVDs.
Please consult qualified health professionals before putting EFT into practice for yourself or others.