By Dr. Patricia Carrington
In this article, I will address the most frequent question that is asked of me by the many people. They want to know whether EFT can be used for one or another specific medical condition that they themselves suffer from or that someone close to them does.
Very often people write to ask me whether EFT can be helpful for a specific physical condition, often it is a serious one. Many of the conditions they mention are so rare that, not being a medical doctor, I may not have even heard of them, however, their questions are legitimate ones. The only trouble is that they are futile.
This is because we simply don't know whether EFT is useful for most medical conditions, and if the condition is rare, the answer is almost certain to be unanswerable. While we do have clinical evidence that EFT has been effective, sometimes remarkably so, in helping some of the more common ailments, even in such instances we have no statistics to tell us how OFTEN it is likely to be effective. When people ask me about the use of EFT for familiar physical conditions, I direct them to Gary Craig's website and suggest they enter a search there using that condition as a keyword.
When people are inquiring about EFT's use for specific conditions that are NOT reported on his site, however, I offer them an analogy. It would be futile, I indicate, to write to the Bayer Aspirin company inquiring whether aspirin is effective for reducing the pain of a specific type of fracture or a tumor that was pressing on some organs creating pain, or ANY OTHER SPECIFIC CONDITION. This is because aspirin, like any other painkilling substance whether it be chemical or organic, is NONSPECIFIC in its action — it's action is not directed to any particular illness or medical condition.
Similarly, provided EFT is not contraindicated for a given person, and there are almost no conditions that we know of where it is (one type where the use of EFT may be contraindicated are some forms of epilepsy, although EFT can be extremely effective for these same conditions if the proper precautions are used — in fact I am preparing an article on this subject now based on the work of Dr. Paul Swingle and his associates) — then I advise the person to view EFT as a generalized healing intervention that can't be pegged to a specific illness. It is likely that an imbalance in the energy system is being righted by EFT and that it can therefore be useful for an almost unlimited number of conditions. As Gary Craig has emphasized, the only answer to whether EFT can be applied under any specific condition is to TRY IT and see what happens, (provided, as I have said, that there is no medical reason why this should not be done).
We can also apply Gary's advice to identify the emotional issue underlying the physical condition and tap on THAT. This is often an excellent strategy. However, it is not always easy to accomplish because when emotional distress has been converted by the organism into physical manifestations such as illnesses, pain etc. this is usually either because the emotional distress is not accessible to the person's conscious mind because it stems from a time so early in life that it cannot be recognized, or because the emotion is so painful that awareness of it must be avoided and it can only be dealt with in the form of bodily symptoms.
When handling physical conditions with EFT, therefore, one of the first things I advise people to do is to address the fact that the person who is suffering from this condition may not have any awareness at all of any emotional causes that may underlie it. Gary gets at this indirectly by asking a person to GUESS what the emotional issue underlying their physical condition would be, if they DID know it. This is a very clever strategy that frequently works and should always be tried. Nevertheless, it doesn't ALWAYS work, and so I advise the following type of set-up phrase if Gary's "just guess what the issue might be" strategy fails. Here are some examples of such phrases:
"Even though I have no idea what feelings might be causing this, I choose to bring comfort and healing to those feelings." Or, "Even though I have no idea what feelings might be causing this, I choose to let myself know where I need attention and give myself love and support there."
Another useful strategy can be Gary's device of mentally placing the emotional issue "in" the affected body part, and tapping on that. For example, if a person who had severe pain in his knees, were distressed by a memory of a time when his mother made fun of them in front of his friends, a useful set-up phrase for him might be:
"Even though my mother made fun of me in front of my friends, I choose to let go of 'mother in my knees" That person would then repeat, "Mother in my knees"… at each tapping point. This strategy can be particularly effective because it takes the person off guard and really speaks to the problem.
There are many physical symptoms or illnesses that can be helped by EFT.
A major area that responds to EFT is the person's attitude toward an illness. No matter how serious or life threatening a physical condition may be, the person's ATTITUDE towards it is an enormous contributing factor which, if it becomes positive, can lead to recovery or at least, to a much more satisfactory way of handling the illness.
Here are some of the issues that can be usefully addressed by EFT in illness or injury:
If the condition has been long-standing, and the person has consulted many physicians or others, she may well have become discouraged, depressed or feel hopeless about ever finding a solution to the problem. If it is present, this hopelessness should be the first thing one tackles because it can seriously undermine any subsequent EFT work.
Some of the set-up phrases that can be useful for this purpose are:
- "Even though I don't think anything is going to help me, I choose to be surprised by a new possibility for healing".
- "Even though I don't think anything is going to work for me, I choose to be open to some important new solutions."
- "Even though I don't think anything is going to work for me, I choose to feel surprising optimism and a deep sense of hope."
Anger At Illness
A frequent result of illness or injury is a sense of outrage at the situation the person finds herself in. Some of the set-up phrases that can be used for this are:
- "Even though I'm furious at this pain (distress, etc) I choose to accept my anger as entirely normal and forgive myself".
- "Even though I'm enraged at having this condition, I choose to honor my anger and go on from there."
- "Even though I'm at the end of my rope with this, I choose to be patient and understanding with myself and do something wonderfully constructive for myself TODAY."
- "Even though I feel I can't stand it another moment, I choose to be aware of my own strength and stamina and contact the inner peaceful core of myself."
- "Even though I'm outraged at what is happening to my body, I choose to be continuously in contact with my Higher (spirit, etc.) Self and derive great beauty from it."
Anger at Physicians or Care Givers
Rage at people who seem to have let the person down, such as doctors who failed to diagnose correctly or prescribed incorrect treatment, can be a contaminating factor that hampers the recovery of any ill person. Some useful set-up phrases for this can be:
- "Even though I'm furious at (doctor, nurse etc.) for making that mistake, I choose to accept it, and go on, and become strong and healthy."
- "Even though I'm furious at (doctor, nurse etc.), I choose to let it go, and allow healing to occur throughout my whole being."
A negative aspect of many illnesses is the unwelcome dependence upon others it causes. Some EFT setup phrases for this are:
- "Even though I hate to have to depend on others this way, I choose to find an increasing number of small things that I can do for myself VERY SATISFACTORILY."
- "Even though I hate to have to depend on others this way, I choose to use this situation to learn how to receive from others, and from life (the universe, etc.)."
- "Even though I hate to have to depend on others, I choose to learn something absolutely essential for my life from this."
- "Even though I hate to have to depend on others this way, I choose to accept this situation as having a meaning which I don't understand at the moment."
These are just some of the ways that EFT can be of help in conditions of illness or injury. There are many others.