A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a blog post called #GetLoud for Mental Health where I shared that I’d been struggling with some resurgent anxiety. In that post, I mentioned that I was trying an energy modality which is proving to be helpful in the treatment of anxiety and other health issues. It’s called EFT.
The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is “…a practical self-help method that involves using the fingers to gently tap on the body’s acupuncture points along the meridian lines of Chinese medicine. It is often referred to as…’Tapping’…Tapping helps us tune in to the negative patterns that we form around our uncomfortable thoughts, feelings, or troubling memories. We tap on the correct pressure points while bringing the thoughts or emotions into consciousness. The aim is to find relief, relaxation, and promote healing around the emotional or physical issues that hold us back.”
I was scrolling through Facebook a while ago, arguably not feeling the best, when I saw that a former colleague of mine, Carol Richard, had posted an article from the Journal Pioneer. The article featured Carol and her work as an EFT Practitioner Coach as well as spoke about her story and what brought her to the practice of EFT.
I had heard about EFT many times but never paid much attention. That’s often the case until you’re looking for a way to deal with health issues. Despite the fact that I lead a generally healthy lifestyle and take a small amount of medication to deal with anxiety, I’m interested in alternative methods for keeping it under control. I never liked pills, so I’m open to anything that helps me keep medication to the minimum effective dose.
After reading the article, I got in touch with Carol. She was happy to meet with me to talk about EFT and how it might help me deal with anxiety. I headed over to Carol’s place on a Sunday afternoon, admittedly feeling hesitant because I knew Carol from work and wasn’t sure I wanted her to know my “stuff.”
She welcomed me in and took me to her treatment room where I sat down in a comfortable chair.
I briefly explained my history of anxiety and depression and why I felt I was experiencing a resurgence. I told her that despite various coping strategies I’d developed, I was struggling with the fear of having an anxiety or panic attack and how I didn’t want to be alone because there would be no one to help me.
Carol listened carefully and jotted down a few notes. Then she told me a bit about her journey with EFT, what it was, and how it worked. She pointed out that she is not a mental health professional and does not diagnosis or treat. She explained, however, that EFT is an energy modality that can complement other types of treatment.
Carol explained that my not wanting to be alone for fear of having an anxiety or panic attack is a significant issue and not one that could be “cured” in one session. She also noted that there are often other issues to work through first. I understood that completely. I don’t believe we develop an illness overnight nor do we successfully treat it within that time frame. As well, some illnesses are chronic and the best we can do is manage them.
Carol said, “How do you feel about being here?”
“Embarrassed,” I replied. “Normally, I don’t personally know people who are treating me, and honestly, I’ve seen tapping done and it looks weird.”
Carol smiled. “I understand,” she said. “So the first thing we have to do is tap about your embarrassment.”
She ran me through the set up, the tapping points, and the script. When I say script, I don’t mean something canned. The script is one she developed on the spot based on our discussion and some questions she asked. Also, the script evolved as we worked through the session.
Prior to the first tapping sequence, Carol asked me how I would rate my embarrassment on a scale of 1 to 10. I said 8. The theory is that each tapping sequence will assist in reducing the level of emotion, e.g. embarrassment, fear, anxiety, and so forth that you might be experiencing.
Carol also asked me where in my body I was feeling this embarrassment. On this occasion, it jumped around between my stomach, my chest, my head, and my shoulders, so all of that was addressed in each tapping sequence. It’s common for the energy to move so that butterflies in your stomach may start feeling like tightness in the chest and then like a headache. Or the feeling may stay in one place. Interestingly, Carol said that at first, some people have trouble even identifying a feeling and how it’s manifesting in their bodies but in my case, I heard it loud and clear.
Carol and I tapped together for close to an hour, and I’ll admit, by the end of it, I felt exhausted. I suppose that’s the result of trying something new and working with powerful energies. Like any coach, Carol gave me some homework, but it was very easy: Go home and tap just a few minutes each day. So armed with an instruction sheet, I did just that.
When I returned the following Saturday, I had questions for Carol. How do I know when the feeling is 0 and not 8? What do I do if I’m working on something, and it feels like it’s still there but I have to stop so I can get ready for work? What do I do if I feel anxious during a meeting at work? Carol answered these questions and more.
At this session, I told Carol that I was feeling anxious about returning to work after two weeks of vacation because I knew there would be a lot waiting for me and I also had to be out of the office for a day-and-a-half for a management retreat.
So we tapped on this, and I was amazed to see all of the various feelings and emotions that arose, all of which we tapped on. By the end of this session, I felt ZEN. My anxiety level around returning to work had gone from 10 to 1, and I felt energetic and enthusiastic. I was no longer embarrassed to sit in front of Carol and tap, and I left her house that day with a smile on my face.
The next day, I felt some more anxiety creeping in around my return to work, so I tapped through it. I also tapped some more on Monday morning before leaving the house. When I walked into work that morning, I felt more calm and relaxed than I usually do when coming back from vacation, and a colleague even mentioned how rested I looked.
That, despite having used my vacation to move and get set up in a new home.
I have another session with Carol coming up and am looking forward to it. Between visits, I’m tapping on my own. Carol’s only caveat is that some issues that come up might be too big to handle by myself. That’s when I need to work with a practitioner so that I can be guided appropriately.
Carol and I were colleagues in the same division for a number of years, and since she started practicing EFT, there has been a big change in her. She positively glows. Like all of us, she has her issues and her bad days, but for her, EFT is a tool that helps her deal with all of that and has changed her life in the process.
My early results have been positive, and I plan to continue exploring and practicing EFT. For me, it’s another tool to deal with anxiety and maintain optimum health. On top of that, I want Carol’s glow!
If you’re interested in learning more about EFT, you can send a message to Carol at firstname.lastname@example.org and request a free 15-minute phone consultation to see if EFT would be a good fit for you. Also, you can check out EFT International where you’ll find Carol listed as an accredited practitioner under Discover EFT/Find an EFT Practitioner. Finally, here’s Carol’s Facebook page and her website (a work in progress). Check her out. I’m glad I did.
(The information contained in this post is based solely upon my research and personal experience. It is not intended as a substitute for consulting with your physician or other healthcare provider.)