Thursday, 4 February 2016

Emotional Freedom Technique

Toward the end  of 2013 I started a 6 session course of therapy using the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) .
"EFT is an emotional version of acupuncture, except we don't use needles. Instead, we use a simple two pronged process wherein we (1) mentally "tune in" to specific issues while (2) stimulating certain meridian points on the body by tapping on them with our fingertips. Properly done, EFT appears to balance disturbances in the meridian system and thus often reduces the conventional therapy procedures from months or years down to minutes or hours." (emofree.com,  to read more information about it click on the link)


In times past I would have bypassed this kind of thing. I've always been a bit of skeptic and never really saw a need. But 6 years of chronic illness has taught me that the body and mind are interconnected and if I am to have a hope of feeling better I need to take care of both.
I began the sessions with an open mind. Emotional Freedom Technique had been recommended to me a couple of years before, by a person I respect but I hadn't done anything about it. I also had been struggling for the past year with emotional consequences and stresses of living with ME and was ready to try and overcome them.

I think your therapist would make a big difference in how you respond to EFT. I was very fortunate with mine. Gillian Morris Coaching was open and honest with me from the start. She took some time explaining EFT with me and going through some experiences she had and how it benefitted her. She said I was her first ME case so we would be taking this journey together. Gillian said we would focus on dealing with the emotional,  psychological aspects of the illness.  She stressed that she wasn't offering a cure,  but she was hopeful that I would feel some benefits.

What she said made sense to me and I felt hopeful too. I was asked to rate my pain and my stress.  She then asked me Questions about both; what the pain was like,  where I felt it,  What I was feeling stressed or anxious about at the time.  We then tapped on those things.  Gillian would say the words and I would repeat them.  I was impressed with how she was able to take the answers from the questions and reflect my feelings so well with the affirmations.  If she said something that didnt sound like me,  or reflect my feelings then we would change the words and tap again.

Right from the first session and throughout the course I knew when we had hit on the real problem as I would begin to feel in control and more calm. Many times I would have a light bulb moment where the affirmations she spoke made sense and helped me to see things differently,  in a more positive,  copeable light. In our last ever session the circumstances were quite stressful at home and I felt very anxious.  We tapped on that and I wondered how I could feel differently as the situation couldn't get better.  Then we continued to tap and as she spoke and I repeated the words they made sense and I realised that because I had no control of the situation it was useless of me to worry.  Circumstances would be the same regardless of whether I worried or not and so I chose not to worry.  It felt easier to do that than it would do usually.  Tapping about the situation and speaking out the affirmations regarding my problem really helped to make sense of it and gain control. I think this is one of the great benefits of tapping with a qualified practitioner rather than on your own.

The real testament to the technique came as we focused on my pain.  The sessions were in the evening,  so by that point I was in a lot of pain everywhere.  A couple of times she showed me specialised tapping to send good energy and help with the pain.  I tried to keep an open mind with this,  but my skepticism came back.  However,  both times we tried this tapping I felt the pain become cooler and felt a release. We were both amazed at the difference it made.  The pain relief wasn't long lasting, each time the pain returned within a 10 minutes,  but it was nice while it lasted! The only other thing to have brought relief from pain naturally is the Perrin Technique (more on that to come in a future post). The pain relief with Perrin was slower to come, but it was long lasting as it made improvements to my health in general and not just the pain. I was amazed, however, that EFT could bring relief from pain and so I'm interested to see as I continue to tap, will that increase and improve.

The sessions I had with Gillian were powerful.  I dealt with emotions and stresses I didn't even know I had,  but through the insightful questions and affirmations they were brought up and I was able to deal with them.  One example of this is in the session we dealt with the stresses I had at the time of becoming ill. I've always been a believer that the past is in the past and it doesn't bother me anymore,  so I was surprised when we tapped about my job,  particularly my feelings about leaving it,  that I felt a lot of sadness and regret that came out as we tapped.  We spent more time tapping on it and I was able to deal with the issues and release the negative feelings linked to it, leaving me lighter and more at peace about it.

I had six sessions with Gillian in total and through those sessions we tapped on my physical symptoms,  the issues around the time of becoming ill and my diagnosis,  my present stresses and bad health,  my fears and battle with myself,  and pain.  I would look forward to each session and come away feeling refreshed,  stronger and more able to cope.  Since the sessions have stopped I have endeavoured to continue tapping but have not always found it easy or remembered to tap at times when it has been most needed.  With two little kids it can be hard to find time alone to do it,  but Gillian taught a discreet form of tapping to help in those times.  Although I miss the sessions with Gillian I do find that when I do the proper tapping I feel the same relief from anxiety that I did with her,  thanks to her guidance during the sessions.

For more information from the founder of EFT see emofree.com
To contact Gillian Morris Coaching and for up to date information and special offers see Gillian Morris Coaching.