To answer it, let's try a little exercise : close your eyes, take a deep and slow breath, and think about an uncomfortable situation you experienced. The first one you can think of. Not a big trauma now, we don't want you to get in distress. No, just something that raises say, a 3-5 out of 10 "bad feeling" (shame, anger, sadness...) 10 being "really bad". How does that feel? 
Now forget about it and CHOOSE to feel good. Can you?
Well done if you truly can. Most people can't.

Let's face it, whether we want it or not, negative feelings and experiences are there. Moreover, the one you just recalled is a conscious one. Your subconsicous holds many more of them. It built a full "database" of these, in an attempt to protecting you from getting in trouble again in similar situations.

Let's try a second exercise : close your eyes, take a deep and slow breath, and think about that same uncomfortable situation, and start tapping on each of the points while describing the story and how you feel, as if you were talking to a very trusted friend, preferably out loud. KEEP AT IT for a few minutes. Progressively start introducing what you'd rather feel about it.
When you feel ready, CHOOSE to feel OK about it. How does that feel? Usually, there some level of relief, or even full relief, If nothing happens, it might be a good idea to explore why it doesn't work.

I see 3 ways to talk about past difficult times or about negative thoughts :

1. Talk about it to try and get it off your chest, or just to share it. It can work.
I have to say, when the intensity is strong, it only brings me some relief, not freedom. 

2. Talk about it to a competent professional.
It normally will help get an understanding of why you're feeling the way you do. It might allow you to let it go. Maybe that suits you, and then, you're sorted :). I am very grateful to the therapists who helped me move forward over years of depression, but I confess I only got full relief and healing after a few months of tapping. Again, that's me, and we are all different.

3. Talk and Tap, or any other form of "energy psychology". EFT is the best one I found so far.
Then you might be getting to another level, I certainly witnessed a lot of people who did.

If you car doesn't start in the morning, you can ignore it, be positive and hope for the best ("it will start, I'm sure it will!").

You could talk about it, maybe it'll help, you might get good tips from friends and fix it ("you know, it was to be expected because of this and that. But now it'll get better!").

Or you can call a mechanic. Tapping is like calling your very own mechanic. You have to explain to your mechanic what's wrong, so he/she can address it. So when tapping, you usually have to state the current situation first (negative feelings, bad memories), before you get to "reframing it" by first considering the possibilities (What if?) and only then, when you're ready, when it does come from your heart, choose what you'd rather have (I choose to let it go, feel safe, forgive etc...).

In Tessa's story, if Anne hadn't accepted to "mull over" a past event, not a nice memory but not something she was thinking about all the time either, she wouldn't have enjoyed this "weight lifted from my chest"...

Does that answer? Any comment, please let me know.

EFT as all techniques of Energy Psychology, provides us with a holistic approach for improving our well-being. It is based on several techniques, mainly acupunture on one side, an ancient Chinese Healing method, and modern psychology on the other side.EFt can also be used together with other techniques such as NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) or Ho'oponopono. 

EFT does not involve any needles, and can be performed with success on and by children from an early age.

The process (very simplified) is based on "rounds" or "series" of tapping. It begins with tapping on the side of the hand, then a number of specific points on the upper part of the body, while talking about the problem at hand. The intensity of the targeted emotion or pain is measured before and after each round, ona 0 (no intensity, all is well) to 10 (hight intensity) scale.

EFT evolved on top as a self healing technique helping as well on physical ailments where emotions don't seem to be involved at all.  However, EFT is NOT a medical procedure, and you are advised to consult the appropriate medical staff for any medical issue.

You will find here a free manual to learn it on your own.

You can successfully use EFT yourself as easily as you would use a screw driver for a simple project (like putting one screw in a piece of wood). But you might face more complex situations (like building a house frame with your screw driver!). In that case, I'd suggest you contact me for professional support. I might be able to answerr your question immediately. If it is not the case, I always offer a 15-20 minutes initial free meeting so you have all the information in hand when you decide to work with me. Enjoy your discovery!

 

Are you being specific enough? 

If you tap with "even though I don't feel good, I love and accept myself"... well, it's highly improbable that anything shall happen! We're dealing with our subconscious, and our subconscious is like a child. It needs very precise indications on what is to be done! That was actually Ger's issue at the beginning.

What is it exactly that makes you "feel bad"? Here are a few examples:

- Even though I am anxious about the meeting in 2 days....
- Even though I have this heartburn because I ate too much...
- Even though I feel guilty that I didn't do this or that...
- Even though I have a pinching pain in my right shoulder...
- Even though it made me feel sad when so and so said blah blah blah....

 

WondrgSmil2 Are you using your own words?

When you learn EFT, you learn the usual formula "I love and accept myself". However, for at least 2/3 of my clients, when they first come to me and I ask them to say "I love and accept myself" and tell me how true it FEELS (0-not true, 10-absolutely true), they often answer something between 1 and 6-7. What is the point in trying to be positive using a sentence you don't really believe in? Julia would probably have had no results if we'd kept going with that formula. Find your own "magic formula", until you can truly love and accept yourself. It could be something like :

- I am a good mother/father/friend/sister/brother...
- I am honest and reliable.
- God/the Universe (adapt it to YOUR belief system) loves me and I am a good person.
- I am a loving and caring person.
- I am generous.
- I'm good at my job and I'm proud of myself
.
- I am open to the idea that I could one day accept myself....

 

WondrgSmil3Is your pain hiding something?

Let's say you've worked on all the aspects of your shoulder pain (pinching, pulling pain, restricting etc..). You got some sort of results, but then, that's it, it won't bulge any further. You could assume that it's "good enough" or that "it doesn't work".
Or you could choose to find out why the pain is still there. Is there a hidden thought or feeling that might be keeping the pain going? Would that pain be covering another one? Louise's "stiffness" is a good example. Would it be worth exploring a few more avenues? Such as:

- When did it start?
- What was happening at that moment in my life?
- How did this make me feel? (anxious, helpless, worried, sad, furious, ashamed, angry, depressed, panicked, embarrassed...)
- Does this pain remind me of another time when I had a similar pain? If yes, what was happening at THAT time?
- Say it's a "nagging" pain, am I nagging myself for anything? Shoulder pain :  what am I shouldering?

 

WondrgSmil2Are you holding any deep resentment, anger, sadness... ?

These are prime candidates as pain inducers. Look beyond the pain, and see if there's anything or anybody (including you), you need to forgive or let go? Julia's story again is one of many examples. A few tapping ideas would be :

- Even though Joe Blog really hurt me when he said xxx, maybe one day I could choose to forgive him.
- Even though my teacher said I was useless when I was 9 years old, he was probably doing the best he could, I'm tired carrying him with me, I might choose to forgive him,
- Even though I felt really hurt when xxxx happened, I forgive myself for carrying this resentment around.

 

WondrgSmil3Would you have a very good reason to keep this pain or feeling with you?

Sometimes, it's quite dificult to imagine ourselves without a pain, it being in the body, mind or spirit. We've lived with this pain for so long, that it's now part of ourselves, so if we get rid of the pain, we might loose a little bit of ourselves. Marguerite's arthritic pain was one of these.
Or people expect us to have a specific problem, because that's the way it is... Or so THEY believe. Mary's nervous exhaustion might help there.

We "prefer" to go on with the pain, instead of having to face a new "me" or a new life. All this is obviously completely beyond our conscious mind, and it usually goes with anger against ourselves, shame, depression and the like. A few typical examples could be : a pain in the foot/leg (prevents us to move forward, to go somewhere, in our lives or physically), back pain (lack of support...), pain in the neck (well, who in your life is a pain in he neck?!?! :-) or in the shoulders (something heavy we carry, like a responsibility or guilt...). The limit to that list is our imagination and capacity to create... It's endless. Here are a few avenues to explore:


- What/who would I be without this pain?
- If the pain went away, what could/should I do?
- If I don't feel this, what will people say? And how will it affect me?
- What is this pain preventing me from doing?

  

WondrgSmil1Are you being persistent enough?

"Minutes wonders", as EFT's founder Gary Craig called them, do happen, more than you'd expect. These are the times where a 2 or 3 minutes tap might relieve a person completely, sometimes from very old issues.  It was like that for Natalie or for Shirley. However, more often than not, it does take persistence to get to the result. Examples are plentiful: Lynda's story could be considered a minute wonder, because nobody could have imagined such a stunning result, but it also took persistence, over about 20 minutes. Dealing with first aid type issues might also take persistence, like the fire log story there, where it did take 5-10 minutes tapping non stop. Try tapping 5-10 minutes non stop on one issue, unless you're in acute pain at that time, as I was, you might get bored of tapping, stop, and miss the possibility of wonderful healing! And what about Anne's heartburn? After all, after the first round of tapping, the intensity was only down from 4 to 3, not an impressive result, but with persistence it was a very different story... A few tips to fuel your persistence :

- What does not having an immediate result make you feel? (bored, disappointed, angry, helpless, annoyed, sceptical, stupid, uninterested, even more convinced that this doesn't work ?:-).... Tap on that feeling. .
- Trying tapping on the issues every couple of hours, a few days in a row if necessary...
- Talk to somebody you trust about your pain, they might have an insight about it you never considered....

- Tap without words, just focussing on the feeling, visualise the feeling/pain... flying away from you...
- and obviously I assume you explored all the other tips in this article!

 

WondrgSmil5Is your pain too deep? 

Sometimes, we are just trying to bite more than we can chew. Some pains are so deeply ingrained in our personal history, and we are so used to them, that we can't really see them anymore, therefore we can't sort them out on our own. We miss the point. Isn't it always so much easier to tell a friend what they might be doing wrong, when we don't see what WE are not doing right?

That's when you need to get help. Find a practitioner you feel comfortable with (me? :-), and talk to them. They'll help you go the extra mile to either find the source of the issue and un-root it, or to address enough aspects of the issue that you don't need to get to the source anymore. Also, sharing them is part of the relief mechanism.

 

Any more questions or comments, please contact me.