The “Reframing” Tactic For Relieving Pain

man re-framing his pain and eft, emotional freedom techniquesEFT doesn’t always work to alleviate pain of course – nothing works for that in every instance – but it works so often that many people are turning to tapping for important help in managing their pain.

I won’t review here the various ways that EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) has been successfully used up until now for pain relief and for other physical challenges, but I recommended you do your own search with respect to this.  You may find some surprising and wonderful things as you read about this.

However, following my interest in exploring new ways to use EFT (the real frontiers of its use) I will suggest some ways right now that may help you to control pain which may not yet be familiar to you.  I encourage you to try them with the awareness that we are engaging here in an experiment.  What works for one person may not be what works for another, and vice a versa.  The method I’m going to tell you about today makes use of a practice called “Re-framing.”  You may or may not of heard of re-framing, it involves removing your thoughts about pain or discomfort from their present context – usually by changing the words you were using in your mind to describe this condition to yourself – and placing the pain in an entirely new context by looking at it, and ultimately by tapping on it, in a completely different way.

Let me give you an example of how this works.  It involves an incident recounted by the leader of a workshop that I attended many years ago.  This man happened to be addressing problems of vision at the time and wanted us to understand the powerful relationship between mind and body and the effect of re-framing a pain or distress.  To illustrate his point, he told us his own experience after having an operation for a near fatal brain tumor when he was in his early 20s.

He had suddenly developed with the doctors declared to be an “in operable brain tumor” and was told by the doctors that there was only a slim chance that he might survive an operation, and because he nevertheless opted to undergo it, a high risk surgery was performed.

This man remembers vividly lying in the hospital after the operation in a state of silent despair, listening to the comments of medical personnel around him to the effect that his condition was “hopeless” and there was “nothing they could do for him.”  He felt devastatingly alone and completely abandoned.

 As the days passed in the hospital, he then subsequently developed a strange and disturbing symptom.  Several times a day he would feel as though a “bolt of lightning” were shooting through him and throwing him onto the floor (or back into the bed as the case might be).  It was terrifying and seemed to him that he was being struck by a mortal blow each time it happened.

Then one day something unusual occurred.  Something within him seem to tell him “what to do” and quite suddenly he decided on his own to view these periodic shocks in an entirely new light.

He decided to re-label them in his mind as evidence of “healing”.  From that time on, each time one of these shocks occurred he would say to his body, “Thank you.  I know you are healing me by this.”  After he started doing this he actually began, to his own surprise, to welcome the shocks as evidence of the “healing” that his doctors had told him could never happen.

What is remarkable about this story is that not only did this transform this man’s experience while he was in the hospital, but he began mysteriously command despite the dire predictions of the medical staff.  He was eventually discharged from the hospital as being “in remission” for some “unidentified reason”.  This was more than 30 years ago.  He had remained without a recurrence of the brain tumor ever since. 

He did not of course have EFT at the time to assist him in this natural “reframe”, but it is available to us today and any of us can make use of a similar strategy using tapping.  Here is how you can use EFT in this manner with respect to pain or any other form of physical distress which you might be experiencing.

First, identify the physical pain, distress or discomfort that you would like to be rid of, and call it “this pain…” or “this distress…” Then write down a detailed description of just what the pain is, or clearly articulate it to yourself verbally if you do not have access to pencil and paper.  For example, you might characterize your condition as “this pain on the right side of my left hand…” Be very specific, then add any of the details you choose to identify with the pain.  Make your description as detailed as possible.  Later, when doing EFT, you will be referring to it as simply “this pain (or distress)” but will know exactly what you mean by that phrase.

Now give an intensity rating to the pain on a 0 to 10 point scale (a SUDS level) and formulate a comforting EFT statement for the pain such as:

“Even though I have this pain (distress, etc.), I choose to know that it is here to heal me.


“I thank the universe for sending me this pain (distress, etc.) to bring about a breakthrough in my healing.”  Try not to figure out just what this “healing” consists of, or whether it what form it will appear in.  Whether they healing will be a physical transformation, a sudden liberating thought, a new style of coping, or the result of a situation occurring that will forever change your life – simply don’t try to out dad guess it in terms of what form it may take, but just know that a healing will take place and that the pain is a signal of that healing.  Then use EFT as follows:

On the karate chop spot, repeat your full EFT statement three times while tapping on a phrase something along the lines of “Even though I have this pain (distress), I choose to know that it is here to heal me.”

Or, “Even though I have this pain (distress), I thank the universe for healing me through this pain.”

And never mind whether you believe what you are saying – that is irrelevant.  Just say it.

Now do one round of EFT, starting with the eyebrow spot and repeating the negative part of this statement (e.g.  The words “this pain… This pain.. etc..) at each tapping point.

Next, do one whole round of EFT, starting with the positive phrase only (e.g. begin tapping on the inner eyebrow spot, saying “I thank the universe for healing me through the pain”… or, “I thank the universe for allowing this pain to bring me an important change for the good.”  Then take your intensity rating once again and note how you feel about the pain now.  Keep repeating this EFT sequence until you feel a noticeable shift.  Hopefully, you will eventually begin to feel that your uncomfortable symptom is now a “friend” with a positive message for you.

When this occurs, write down on paper, one under the other, every possible positive “message” that this condition might be trying to convey to you.  Let your imagination run wild when you do this.  Never mind the logic of the statement, just write it down, as in:

“The pain is telling me that I can survive this big (scary, uncomfortable, painful, etc.) situation, and still be alive and hopeful.”


“The pain is telling me that I am far more resourceful than I had any idea I could possibly be.”


“The pain is telling me that there are many more ways to handle this than I realized.”


“The pain is reminding me of the persistence of life – my body’s wish to help me heal.”  etc.

There are no limits to the kind of constructive messages that may come to your mind if you allow yourself to do this experiment.  You may want to finish by doing a round of tapping on only one positive phrase that contains one of the above messages.  For example, repeating a phrase such as “the robustness of life… The robustness of life…” or, “my amazing capacity to heal… My amazing capacity to heal” at each tapping point.

Later in the day, you can repeat this positive round of tapping at intervals as needed.  Then retake your intensity level and see how much discomfort you have at this point.

This method can be so transformative when it works that I would strongly suggest you try it the next time you have the need to reduce a distressing physical symptom.  It can bring a powerful message to you about your own ability to heal yourself.


To Re-frame your pain by tapping, do the following:

  1. Identify the physical pain or discomfort you want to remove.
  2. Formulate a reframing EFT statement that direction to see the pain as actually being a signal of healing. (Just make this up in your mind and give little attention to whether or not it is actually true at this point.  Remember the story I told above about the man with a near fatal brain tumor who use this method to completely heal himself.
  3. Repeat your chosen EFT sequence until you feel a noticeable shift of some sort and then relax and do some sort of pleasant activity and less the healing incubate in your subconscious mind.

You may get some surprising results from doing this.  If you do, it would be great if you could share these the rest of us in this tapping community by commenting below.  I have found it unusually effective to deal with pain through Re-framing it in this manner.  I hope you find it to be so as well.



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