“As a clinician who works with people suffering persistent pain, I have had excellent results with EFT for our patients. I have used it for opioid reduction and it has certainly supported my patients through it comfortably with much less withdrawals then a patient not using EFT. The reduction of pain and anxiety through this modality has certainly given them a fantastic self- management tool as often when they need help it is not often when they can see their clinician. It has also enabled patients to gain confidence in themselves and to find who they are again beyond their pain. A most valuable tool to have in one’s treatment toolkit!!”
This comment was left by a health professional at an EFT training – and reminds me of how tapping has been explored many times for pain.
Pain is a very real thing, although medicine still finds it difficult to objectively measure it. Any of us can suggest how strong a pain is in our body, but there doesn’t yet exist a scientific or medical test where a third party could accurately tell us the level of pain we are feeling (e.g. by looking at the brain).
This tells us that pain also has an emotional element, and it influences the impact and severity of what we feel. Did you know that 80% of chronic pain is considered to have psychologically factors involved?
Chronic pain is often associated with a range of physical, psychological, and social risk factors, and is usually described after 3 to 6 months. With an acute injury or similar, the body usually heals within 3 months, so any significant pain after that might highlight something else is happening for the person. After years of pain, the pain tends not to be a signal of damage anymore. And so health professionals look at the emotional factors in the situation.
When people feel emotional pain, the same areas of the brain get activated as when people feel physical pain too. So there seems to be a link between pain and emotions.
When you think about it, the brain is very connected with the rest of the body: there are direct connections from the brain stem and spinal cord to the circulatory and lymphatic systems. Every cell in our body is linked the nervous system and so when there is a physical pain and someone has a feeling about it (e.g. anger or distress), neuro hormones get released to match the feeling.
Research shows that being a negative mood makes pain sensations in the body magnified. And the opposite is true: in healthy volunteers, feeling positive is associated with reduced pain.
So what the take home point? If you experience pain in any shape, and for any reason, then taking note of your feelings will be important. Emotions can magnify or reduce the actual sensation of pain. So changing your feelings may be part of the recovery process.
Make some notes now about your own pain if you have any: where you feel it, when it started, what else was happening in your life at that time, and how you feel about it now. Here are some questions to get you started:
• When did the pain start?
• What was going on in my life at that time?
• Did something specific happen?
• Who was I with at that time?
• Did anyone say or do something that made me really mad?
• What was I feeling at the time?
• Is the pain trying to tell me something? Is there a message I hadn’t seen before?
• Who would you be without this pain? Does that scare you?
• What’s the upside of holding onto this pain? Is the pain serving you, helping you in any way? (Maybe you don’t have to go to the job you hate, or visit your in-laws…)
• What’s the downside of holding onto this pain?
2 Ways to use Tapping for Pain Issues
1. You can tap on the physical sensations of pain for relief (intensity and severity) just introduce some relief. You can simply tap and breathe (tap on each point but just say the words ‘breathe’ or ‘relax’ as you tap – this is to just introduce a physiological calm, rather than address any problem). You can describe the pain in terms of colour (red), feeling (angry), texture (hard), temperature (hot), and density/weight (heavy). So it might look like “this red, angry hard slab in my neck”. After tapping down the intensity, you may then be in a position to start tapping on what is actually happening to cause this pain.
2. Use tapping to explore WHY you have this pain. Have a think about WHEN it started (e.g. there may have been an injury). If there was no injury, think about what was happening in your life at the time the pain started (and even think 6-months prior). You can tap on memories with the Movie Technique in EFT or Matrix Reimprinting.
Always seek the support of a professional and skilled EFT practitioner if you need support with this.
If you want to see where the current research is at and what it means – have a watch here.