By Kevin Kunkel
Being diagnosed with a serious disease or condition is life changing. It makes you stop in your tracks and begin to look at life differently. It can bring up a long list of fears and worries that are varied and strong enough to bring anyone to his/her knees. Breast cancer, for example, may afflict one with fears and worries such as: fear of dying; fear of the implications to one’s life, to one’s family, one’s partner, the effect on one’s children; a fear of surgery; of treatments/chemotherapy; of what will everyone say; would I feel disfigured,not myself, would I feel like a woman still; will I be able to work again, feel happy and normal again. One’s emotional worries and fears from the diagnosis alone can be enough stress to make one ill and one’s body and mind weak when we most need them strong.
An effective and proven technique to bring relief from gripping fear and anxiety is EFT Tapping (Emotinal Freedom Technique). EFT is a bodymind technique, within the area of energy medicine and energy psychology, that has helped thousands of people find relief from all types of physical, mental, and emotional pain and disease. It is free and widely disseminated online if you search for EFT Tapping. It’s a tool that I personally use and have professionally been fascinated by seeing the difference it makes for my clients in areas they otherwise felt helpless against.
What it is and How it works:
When we are worried or fearful, even just in our thoughts, our fight or flight system gets activated as If there is danger nearby. Our brain, especially our amygdala, keeps our brain and body more in survival mode rather than allowing the full and optimal use of our thinking and our healing capacities. EFT Tapping allows our brain and body to calm down around certain thoughts and feelings. We are then able to think and act more clearly and engage our body and mind’s phenomenal healing potential.
Put simply, EFT Tapping is a combination of non-needle acupuncture and quick talk therapy. One focuses on the emotion or event and states relevant words in order to bring up the emotional content within the nervous system. At the same time, one taps with one’s fingers on specific points along the meridian lines in order to calm the brain and body. The achieved goal is for the emotional charge to significantly change and often will often allow for a different way of thinking and feeling about the topic that is more healthy realistic and supportive. For instance, with some of the fears I mentioned above, one may be left with less charge around those fears, finding a depper sense of acceptance and surrender through the work, and in turn, more space to be clear on how to move forward in dealing with the concerns.
Please try out the following video to get a general example of how to use EFT Tapping to lessen our fears.
I use fear, but you can put in wherever you are at with it (grieving, sadness, anger).
Tips for doing on your own.
This example was kept more general, but when you are doing on your own, begin with right where you are and really make it like a conversation you are having with yourself with whatever comes to your mind around the topic or emotion you’ve chosen. You will slowly find your feelings and ideas shifting. You may have to stay on one specific emotion or idea and say it over 10 times (switching points every once in a while) before you feel yourself move past it or feel a new thought come. Respect the timing of your process.
You may do as many continuous rounds as feels good, but usually I do about 3 rounds before taking a break and checking in with where the client is at. You can then start again with where you are at. If a new enough issue has emerged you may want to do the set up statement, but you do not need to for your subsequent rounds.
You can learn a ton of tips and strategies by watching other’s videos on youtube. Simply search ” EFT for ____?” and you will find a number of different examples.
Hopefully you will receive the benefits quickly and effectively on your own. However, many people find it beneficial to work with a professional in the beginning to get the hang of it or simply because having someone guide and support you through challenging emotions is often quite helpful.
I am in the Santa Monica area if you are interested, but I am sure you can find someone close to you who offers EFT Tapping guidance no matter where you live.
Warm wishes on your journey to health.