I am very aware that there are times when we have pain in the body that has an emotional base. There are also times when we just hurt ourselves. I just twisted my knee and it still hurts a few days later. Do I tap in the same way with this sort of physical pain as I would for pain that is emotionally-based?
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT/EvEFT) is a very powerful tool when dealing with physical pain. When I first teach EFT/EvEFT I generally start with physical pain for two reasons. First, EFT/EvEFT works so well, and second, it’s hard to deny the results. (The evaporation of emotional pain is easier for a new EFTer to dismiss, giving credit to factors other than EFT.)
When we are dealing with pain of any sort we need to remember that pain is nothing more than a signal. It’s one of the physical body’s ways of getting our attention and communicating information. Our shoulders can ache from stress because our body is telling us we need to slow down and take care of ourselves. Our ankle will hurt after an injury to tell us we should give it time to heal and avoid walking on it too much.
Even though EFT/EvEFT is so powerful at reducing (and/or eliminating) the pain we feel, we should make sure we are not just taking pain away without first listening to the information the body is trying to communicate to us. There is a famous story of a hypnotist who used hypnosis to numb the pain he was feeling in his chest. The pain was related to a heart attack. Since he only eliminated the pain and didn’t respond to what the pain was communicating — the need for medical care — he died from the heart attack.
Regardless of the source of the pain, we can use EFT/EvEFT for both physical and emotional aspects of the pain. Let’s look at how we can use EFT/EvEFT for a physical pain that has come from an injury and is not emotionally based.
1) The Physical Pain
Regardless of the source of the physical pain I generally approach physical pain the same way. While tapping from point to point I tune into the following (in no particular order):
- Is there a lesson the pain wants me to learn
- What is the shape?
- What is the color?
- What is size?
- If I held the pain in my hand, how much would it weigh?
- If I was going to make a model of the pain to show my friends what it is like, what substance would I use?
- If the pain could say something, what would it say?
- I trace the geography the physical pain with my mind
After I have done this for a round or two of tapping I tune back in to the SUDs level to see how it feels. If more work is needed, I repeat the process.
2) The Emotional Aspect of the Physical Pain
On the surface it might not seem obvious that there is work we can do with emotions of the physical pain. Just because the pain itself was caused by an injury, it doesn’t mean we don’t have emotions around the issue of having the pain or injury.
I am a firm believer that if we have negative emotions around a wound (physical or emotional) we slow down or hinder the healing process. When we have a physical pain it’s a good idea to spend time dealing with emotions about the pain. Some examples of the areas you can investigate are:
- How you were injured: Are you mad at yourself for how you got injured? Are you mad at someone else for how you got injured?
- How the injury is effecting you: Are you having a hard time doing the things you want to do and how is this effecting you emotionally?
- How people are responding to the injury: Are people trying to baby you? Are people not giving you enough attention?
- How the body is healing and responding to treatment: Is the body not healing fast enough for you and is this causing frustration?
As you can see, many emotions can arise from an injury that wasn’t emotionally induced. Dealing with these issues will help speed the healing process, or more accurately get out of the way of the natural healing process of the body.
The beautiful thing about EFT/EvEFT is it allows us to approach problems from many different angles. We can approach them through our minds (thoughts and memories), our bodies (physical sensations), and our spirits (emotions). For each issue you will find at least one of these entry points helpful. You will probably heal faster when you explore more than one.