Last week I was in Portland, OR visiting my sister. On Saturday we took my sister’s dog Addison to the vet for a regular check-up and to have her nails trimmed. (The photo is of Addison looking at me while I was doing client sessions from my sister’s.)
Addison doesn’t like having her nails cut. She was already a little skittish, but when the time came to have them done she did everything she could to hide in a room that had no hiding place. It took my sister and a vet tech to get Addison on the ground and hold her down, while another vet tech clipped her nails.
She started to fight. Every time a nail was clipped she would jump (or jumped as much as a dog can with two humans holding her down with all their strength).
Then I started to tap. It was very simple. I just moved from point to point and thought of all the things that Addison might be feeling.
This is scary
I don’t know what is happening
I am confused
My thoughts weren’t any more complicated than that. Within 20 seconds Addison was completely limp and relaxed. My sister took her weight off Addison and removed both of her arms.
For the next 45 seconds Addison didn’t move while the vet tech clipped away. She didn’t twitch, she didn’t flinch, and she didn’t yelp.
When the job was done she jumped up, shook off her coat, and went for the treat I was offering her.
Based on this experience I thought it would a great time to reshare an awesome interview I did with Susan Peach about how to tap for animals. In addition to the audio you will find the transcript of the interview below. I would love to hear your stories about tapping with animals in the comments section.
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Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)/tapping is not only a powerful tool in transforming our own lives, but we can use it to care for our loved ones. This is not limited to just humans, but we can extend this love and care through tapping to our animals as well. In this episode I talk with Susanne Peach about how tapping for animals is similar and different to surrogate tapping for humans. Susan gives a number of very practical tips in how you can start tapping right way for your animals.
Guest: Susanne Peach
About Susanne: Susanne Peach, Animal Energy Behaviorist, has been surrounded by animals her entire life. She has had the opportunity to study the energy of animals in many instances, from time spent on her godmother’s farm in Germany to a designation as a certified wildlife rehabilitator. After successfully using EFT on humans, she learned by trial and error how to apply it to animals. She’s dedicated her life to helping animals have emotionally happy and healthy lives, tapping for animals all over the world.
Links & Resources From Episode:
- Chain of Worry article by Susanne
- Sign Up For Susanne’s eNewletter
- More than 40 articles about tapping with animals @ emofree.com
- EFT for Animals Forum
- Tapping for animals is done by surrogate tapping. If you are not familar with surrogate tapping check out Pod 3: How, What, and Why of Surrogate Tapping
Want more info on surrogate tapping?
- What Is Surrogate Tapping – The Basics
- How Parents Can Tap For Their Kids
- My Favorite Tapping Tool
- The Hardest Tapping You Will Ever Do
- Can We Tap To Change The Behavior of Others
- When We Carry Burdens For Others
* * * Transcript * * *
Gene: What are some of the issues that we can use tapping for when we are tapping for animals?
Susanne: I would try EFT on everything for animals, believe it or not. The obvious issues would be anxiety, separation anxiety, fear of thunder, fear of the vet, everything that you can think of. But keep in mind I would also use EFT on animals as a preventive measure. For example, my dog just had an ACL surgery 3 months ago which is CCL on dogs; it’s knee surgery and there is no way of getting around it. This is one of the times of course always go to your vet. EFT isn’t meant to replace good veterinary care. While I tapped for him, for the knee surgery, here’s what I did differently, Gene. There were 4 dogs that they have in this knee surgery. I tapped for my dog before we went to the vet and when we got to the vet. Specifically when he was going under anesthesia and when he was in surgery, I asked the vet exactly what time that was. The reason why I want to ensure that his body accepted the anesthesia as being good for him at this time, that his body would appreciate it. Also, all of the changes, the cut and everything, would be in my dog’s best interest and his health’s best interest. And that he would come out of anesthesia beautifully. My dog tended to be very nervous at the vet’s office. All of the technicians and the vet said that he was the most relaxed after surgery. When they were all coming out, he came out the fastest. And so, use it on preventive care, use it for physical stuff, use it for emotional traumas. Like I said, for physical issues as well, I’ve done lots of work on different animals; horses, pet dogs, llamas. Of course EFT doesn’t cure everything, but probably the biggest is when I worked on a cat once who had cancerous tumors and after 3 months of EFT, they were gone.
Susanne: So here’s what I say, that’s not always the case but try it on everything. Everything!
Gene: In doing the preventive stuff for something like a visit to the vet when you know what the procedures are is something that you know is going to be stressful for the animal. For things that are physically obvious, that makes sense. You talked about fear and separation anxiety, how are you able to figure out that’s what you’re supposed to be tapping for?
Susanne: That’s a great question Gene and that’s actually something I will have a conversation with the humans and they’ll tell me what the behaviors are, if they’re afraid of thunder and what not, but it’s not always a fear of the thunder. Sometimes we can trace it back to fear of loud noises; perhaps they were abused in previous homes or as a puppy. What I do first of all is I have a really great questionnaire that I have people fill out. Based on the questions, that kind of gives me a good idea as to what to tap on and to get to the core issue such as, when did this behavior start? When did you notice the behavior at its worst? One of the questions that I put on there, which was based on all of the work that I did and this pattern that kept coming up, is I would ask people if there was an injury or an emotional issue that has not healed, an injury that hasn’t healed. Maybe it’s been 9 to 10 months or a year and you’ve done everything as a good veterinary care. Then I ask the question, what is going on in your life, in the human’s life in the time of the injury or at the time this trauma first occurred? It is so interesting Gene to see how many times – I would say 80% to 90% of the time – we can find something significant in the person’s life that the animal took on and affected the animal. Do you want to hear an example of that?
Gene: That would be great, yeah!
Susanne: I worked with a man, he called me about his dog who had injured his leg 9 months previously and the leg was not healed and he was very concerned. I asked a lot of questions and then I asked what was going on in your life. The guy said, “Nothing really.” And I said, “OK, how about a couple of months before the injury?” He said, “You know what, that’s when my investments had gone down so drastically that I found I had to work an extra year. I had planned on retiring and now I had to work an extra year and I was so upset and I didn’t feel secure.” Here’s the crazy thing, I thought let’s try to tap on that. I tapped on the animal; even though I didn’t feel secure, even though there were changes, even though my daddy was so upset and he was worried, I choose to know I’m safe. ****, the dog didn’t get better. So just try it, go for it.
Gene: It sounds like the investigation that we do with our animals is the exact same investigation that we do when we’re tapping on our own issues as far as looking at history, recognizing one thing and things like that. And then on the other hand, there is also a second level of investigation that happens in regards to doing the investigation around the humans and the way that the animals take on and emotionally mirror what’s going on in their caretakers’ lives.
Susanne: That is absolutely right because we know animals are great healers. What we are not aware of is they often mirror exactly what’s going on with us. A number of people I have talked to whose animals, particularly when they adopt animals and they don’t know what the issues are, that turn out to be the same issues that they had. Possibly the person was abused and his animal was abused or something. It’s so amazing. Or the animal takes on the issue. You’re right on that. You’re right on target.
Gene: If those are the kind of similarities, is there any dramatic difference in doing EFT with animals versus doing EFT with humans?
Susanne: Yes! Actually it was quite different. I had to work through this the hard way because I started when my dog and I were in a car accident and at that time I had not heard of anyone using EFT on animals so I had to mess around with it. What I found is most animals do not like to be tapped on in particular those animals who are abused. The horses that I worked on, that I had to rescue, obviously it’s not safe for you to work on very hyper animals. I even worked on charging cows and such. Yes, we surrogate tap with humans but what is different with surrogate tapping for animals is that there are a couple of different things to know. You take on their persona, think of it from the animal’s point of view when we tap. That’s what I do. Also what I found totally by accident is when I surrogate tap on animals, I will often feel something within my body or an image comes up that is totally unrelated to me or anything I’ve experienced. When I start tapping on whatever it is that comes up, often the animal’s issues will go away.
Gene: That sounds very similar to the experiences I’ve had with surrogate tapping for humans. That sense of placing ourselves in their point of view and also paying attention to what arises as we do that and oftentimes find our way to really good information. When we tap for our animals, we’re not in a circumstance where we have the same communication that we have with one of our regular clients. I can’t turn to the dog and say what’s your SUDs and he’s going to bark 4 times to let me know where it is from zero to ten. How do I know if one, if I’m being successful; and two, if I’ve done enough work or if I need to continue doing the work because there is some relief but I don’t know if we’re done or not?
Susanne: That’s another time where it is different to do EFT on animals. Here’s what I do. In testing the work, sometimes I don’t know exactly what the core issue is or I don’t even know what the real issue is. So what I’ll do is what Gary Craig called Golden Garbage. I’ll start tapping and it’s so amazing to see how many times the animal will respond. They will have subtle changes in their behavior and this why it’s really important to understand what normal behaviors are in each of these different animals. If I’m tapping on a horse and I’m not sure if it’s right but suddenly it starts licking its lips and you know he’s getting relaxed and I know I’m heading in the right direction. Another time I worked on a dog and I wasn’t really sure as to what the issue was contributing to the emotional behavior. I just started tapping and as soon as I started tapping, “Even though I’m upset that Jennifer…”. – a teen girl in the household went away to college – the dog started moving kind of doing that bike ride like there was no tomorrow, just shaking. I knew I was on to something. When I find that there is some kind of an issue, perhaps the animal becomes more agitated, I might back off a little but I know I’m in the right area. I’ll just keep tapping on that until the animal relaxes. It’s true. In some cases, we don’t know right away if we’ve done a great job with the animal, if we’re done with them. But what I always do is I always tell the people, give it 24 hours. If we don’t see results in this session for whatever reason, give the animal 24 hours because there is something strange that happens with animals, Gene, that I have found has not happened with most humans. Many animals take about 24 hours for the changes to occur. It could be that they’re in the protective mode, they’re holding on to it, whatever. I always tell the people don’t be discouraged if you don’t see any changes in this session because EFT continues working over time. There are ways that we can test our work. I was working with a dog who was terrified of loud noises, not just thunder but shotguns and everything. You can do the testing of the work without bringing in thunder obviously but mind you when you test it, start off with something small. So when we do some tapping, she’d clap her hands and see if the dog has finally moved on. But if I’m not sure, I’ll just keep tapping and I’ll check in with the person too. A lot of the work with animals is intuition; knowing when to keep going, knowing when we’re done. Something else that comes into play is I will ask the person, “While we’re tapping, did you have any memories of anything?” This is another component; we can talk about the chain of worry. But the person say, “Oh yeah, when you we’re tapping with that with my cat, I remembered when I was a little girl, this happened”. So whether it was related to the cat or not, it’s worth tapping on the person by coming back to the cat because we are so connected to our animals that they do pick up on so much. Does that make sense?
Gene: Absolutely! That makes perfect sense. So let’s say that I’m in a circumstance where I’m working with my pet and I have a pretty good idea if I think what’s going on. I spend some time tapping for them, tapping with them. I don’t necessarily get any physiological response I wait 24 hours. I don’t notice any change even though I’ve given it some space and some time. What are some of the reasons that will prevent me from being successful of tapping with my animal?
Susanne: The number one reason that I come across over and over when you’re working on your own animals is not getting yourself out of the way. I wrote this article called Chain of Worry because I found it happened to me as much as I have worked with animals. It was happening when I was working with one of my dogs. Here’s what it is. We are so connected to our animals, there’s almost this invisible chain between our hearts. When I would work on the animal and clear out their issues, if I hadn’t worked on the worry that concerned the anxiety that we feel for the animal then the animal will pick up on that and their issues come back again.
Here’s what I found: I first had to work on the person and I think about 80% to 90% of the time where I will tap on the person about their fears and anxieties and concerns for the animal, what this does is it gets them out of the way. It gets their outcome out of the way, relying on the outcome. And it gets them out of the way so that can clearly tap on the animal. I definitely know that you don’t care about the animal, you don’t notice when something is going on, or you don’t love them anymore but we need to break that chain so that our animals aren’t constantly feeding off of it. Once you start tapping on your own concerns like, “Even though I’m so worried about Rover. What if he doesn’t get feel? He’s my best friend. I choose to be grateful for having him as he is.” And when you do that, the animal will relax quite a bit more and we can get through the issues faster.
Gene: You know I love that advice. I give that exact same advice for anyone who’s tapping surrogately for anything. That there’s such an amazing power when we’re able to get ourselves clear and get ourselves out of the way and get whatever we are helping to co-create in that circumstance cleaned up because that is always the easiest place for us to do work because that’s our own stuff.
Gene: So I really love that and I think that’s great to point that out here. So, what capacity can our animals benefit from the borrowing benefits of us doing tapping?
Susanne: The borrowing benefit as you know is probably one of the most powerful tools in EFT. In particular with animals, I find this is yet an untapped area. I would love to see all humane society using this because in many times I have gone into a group of animals. For example, I was hired by a woman who trains service dogs. I walked into the house and there were like 8 dogs. They were all hyper and in a frenzy. I just do a group tapping and they all calmed down. Calming them down was great with borrowing benefits. You can do it intentionally. Do a group tapping. Or you can set the intention which most of us do now. But before every session or at the beginning of every session I always ask, what are the issues with the other animals in the house or perhaps the other people? And let’s set the intention that the tapping we do will benefit them. Here’s a really great thing that hopefully everyone will be seeing soon is last year the EFT organization came on a film. We’re working on a dog and some horses. When we got to this corral with the horses, we sat down. They were pretty antsy. There were about 11 of them. They were spread out and kind of running around. We quite set the intention that the tapping we’re doing for this one particular horse that I was brought out to work on will benefit all of the rest of the horses and whatever issues that they have. We have cameras there, we have new people there. It was a bit of a change for these horses. It was the most amazing thing that after about 10 minutes, one of the cameraman said “Look at that.” They turned around and all of the horses had gathered right behind us where we were sitting. They all had dropped their heads; their eyes were closed, totally relaxed, totally comfortable with us. I asked the woman,“Is this normal?” She said, “No, they usually don’t calm down this fast.” So think of the way we can use it in humane society. Another really good example is we recently had wildfires here in Boulder, Colorado. I had worked with some llamas on a ranch and unfortunately the wildfires got really close to the llama ranch this year. In fact the fire has burned down the house of the owner. It was very traumatic. All of the llamas were safe, the 126 llamas were safe but the woman was pretty distraught. Understand that when wildfires get that close to animals, they go into that natural panic mode because they’re fighting for their survival. So I went out the next day and spent about 6 hours with these llamas, tapping all of them at once about the fears of the wildfires. It’s not to say that they won’t run when wildfires come again but it’s to know that now they’re safe, the wildfires are out. And also they’re safe even though the woman that owned the ranch was still very distraught. There’s so many ways we can use borrowing benefits.
Gene: So what would be the one thing you would tell someone who has some EFT experience and it’s the first time they’re going to try and use the protocol to work with their animal? What’s the first thing you would tell them to keep in mind or the first thing you would tell them to help them to be at ease as they do that work?
Susanne: It’s probably the same thing I teach in my EFT classes. As I say, tap on yourself to get yourself out of the way and then ask that the words come through you that would most benefit the animal. Once you tap on getting yourself out of the way and just go with it, pay attention to what comes up. That’s really important. Also be very specific with the animal; use the same movie techniques, use the same thing, be very specific about issues with animals. Don’t tap on, “even though I have this anxiety,” that’s too general.
Susanne: I tell everyone try it. The one thing is it can’t hurt but sometimes you can make an animal agitated if you found the core issue just like with people and things get a little worse. I always tell people the phrase to bring in with animals, which pertains to people as well but most especially with animals, is to bring in the phrase, “Even though this is going on, I choose to know I’m safe. Even though this is happening, I am absolutely safe and secure now” because the bottom line for animals is their safety.
Gene: Great! Well, thank you very much for your time.
Susanne: You are so welcome. There are lots and lots of stories out there and lots of examples. This is the least that we can do for animals. It’s so wonderful to finally have this fantastic method to address the emotional behaviors and challenges of animals. They give us so much love and unconditional love which we don’t get anywhere else. So it’s the very least that you can do. One other thing that I do want to say is another wonderful tip in working with animals is people who have trouble tapping on themselves, and we’re all guilty of that, sometimes we don’t take the time or we don’t feel comfortable tapping on our own issues, I tell people tap on your pet’s issues and set the intention that you’re working on your own issues. It’s a borrowing benefit. By working through the animal on yourself, you’ll be quite surprised to see how well that really works.
Gene: That’s a really great way to get around our own resistance. I like that a lot. Cool!
Susanne: Yeah! It is really quite fun.
Gene: Again, thank you very much for your time!
Susanne: You are so welcome Gene, thank you!