My scans are clear ….
When I read that email from my client Keren, I was touched deeply. I knew that we had cleared some of the issues surrounding her cancerous tumors but I hadn’t allowed myself to expect a clean scan for her.
Trusting the tool
When Keren first contacted me, I was a little apprehensive. I do mostly emotional work and don’t focus on serious physical illnesses. However as soon as we talked, it was clear she wanted support on the emotional aspects of her journey. And while I didn’t know the path we would take together, I decided to trust both the tool as well as my skills. The memory of stories of Gary Craig working with cancer patients for a week in California years ago inspired me to say yes. And the clear results from each session keep me saying yes …. And what is a pure delight is that while Keren feels emotions very strongly, she clears very quickly using tapping. As soon as we started working and I saw both how responsive she was to EFT and also how insightful she is, I knew we were on the right track.
The aspects of a serious illness
During our first six sessions, spaced two to three weeks apart, we addressed different aspects of her journey:
- The triggering emotional event
- Subsequent losses: grief over the loss of a normal life
- Trauma of medical events
- Being sensitive/emotional and how to make space for that
- Releasing the cancerous cells rather than battling them
- New aspects of the triggering emotional event
Triggering emotional loss using Tearless Trauma
The most immediate area to address was an emotional event that preceded her cancer diagnosis. Her father, who loved her very much and whom she loved deeply, died after a challenging illness. The grief of this loss was crushing her, producing constant anxiety in her body, a gripping knot in her chest. Frankly I don’t know how she functioned with such grief locked in her heart. Given the level of intensity just naming the issue, we used a variation of the Tearless Trauma. Five to six rounds on this grief lowered it from a 10 to a state of calm. She responded very quickly to the tapping, getting immediate relief as we moved through the points. By the end of the tapping rounds, she was able to talk about the loss with no crying or apparent stress.
The best part was when she emailed me the next day saying she woke up without the heart-crushing anxiety for the first time in years.
Having dealt with a physical chronic condition myself, I know the many ways it wears on a person. We used several sessions to address some of the secondary losses of having been in treatment for many years. Not having a normal life, the loss of the opportunity to have children, being defined by the illness: all these themes were woven throughout several sessions.
Trauma of medical events
We also addressed some of the specific memories of bad medical experiences: instances where the doctor was too abrupt in how he gave bad news or the shock of a new test result. We cleared the specific past instances using Telling the Story, walking through step by step what happened, tapping as we went. Each incident took several rounds as new aspects were uncovered.
One of the underlying core issues for my client is that she is very gentle and feels emotions deeply. She was judging herself for being so emotional. Since we have been able to release some of the stored trauma and emotion using EFT, she feels more equipped to process her feelings and not get crushed by them.
Releasing the cancerous cells rather than battling them
This tapping was a bit tricky but as my client talked about the cancer, I could feel resistance, anger (rightfully so) and a sense of betrayal. She was using positive imagery to wash away the cancer cells but a subtle feeling of separation and rejection felt to me like a block for her rather than a tool. (I’m a user of homeopathy and understand that in homeopathy, symptoms develop in the least dangerous part of the body. So while most allopathic practitioners consider a skin rash something to be gotten rid of, a homeopath sees it as a good thing – a signpost and in fact we can have gratitude for the skin rash trying to bring the body back into balance.) Similarly, rejecting the cancer outright felt to me like a rejection of the body as well.
While completely honoring her desire to stay positive and visualize a cancer-free body, we did some tapping on a more relaxed release of the cancerous cells.
Some of the language used was:
Even though part of my body is killing me and taking over, I am open to the idea of loving all of me.
Even though I can’t love the cancerous cells, they aren’t part of me, I am open to the idea that they were once part of me.
Even though this part of my body has gotten off-track, I am open to the idea of releasing these cells from my body.
New aspects of the triggering emotional event
Anyone who’s lost someone loved knows that the holidays and procession through the first year is the most difficult. As the holidays approached, my client re-experienced more grief around her loss that we tapped on, again reinforcing the idea that the depth of her loss mirrors the depth of the love. Intense emotions (SUDS 10) triggered by upcoming holidays dropped to a calm zero after several rounds. The next time we talked, the emotion was up again to a five or a six. She described specific aspects of her father and the holidays and we were able to tap on those feelings, again getting them down to a zero. What is interesting is what happened when we got down to a one or a two. Often I stop before getting to zero, something I need to improve upon. This time I asked her if we should go for zero, we did, and we achieved a whole new level of insight about an aspect of the loss for her.
Opening my heart
Working with Keren is a heart-expanding experience for me. Just like the first time I worked with rape or attempted murder or attempted suicide, it’s a bit of a shock for me as I walk with my clients through their pain. And while I do feel calm and supportive and open-hearted during the sessions, I also allow time for myself afterwards, tapping and getting my own support as needed. I also have to resist trying to fix things or look for the silver lining when there wasn’t one. I am learning from Keren that there is a heart-expanding grace in facing one’s experience head-on.
More than the tool
Each experience with a client shows me that it’s the unique synergy of client plus practitioner plus EFT that gets such great results. And while EFT is an absolutely astounding tool, there are other aspects that have contributed to the results Keren is seeing. Her openness, emotional honesty, courage, insight and trust are all traits she brings to the table. These characteristics make it easy for us to find the issues to tap on. Similarly, my level of skill with EFT and compassionate coaching as well as my foundational work with trauma, family constellations and spiritual practices play a role in our work.
Back to the basics
Working with Keren I am reminded of a few basics:
- Getting to zero; don’t stop at a one or a two level of SUDS.
- Getting specific: tapping on the sights, smells, colors, words said, every step along the way of the issue.
- Trusting the tool: Gary Craig often said to try EFT on everything. It’s okay to have some apprehension if you are working on an issue that is new to you. Find the intensity, apply EFT, and keep going.
- Re-remembering the power of EFT: I forget what life was like before EFT. I forget not knowing what to do with stifling, crippling grief or pain or sorrow or loss. Introducing Keren to EFT was a delightful reminder of the life-changing power of EFT.
“It’s about time” by Keren
“I had tried everything. I started chemotherapy treatments two weeks after my father passed away… almost five years now. The emotional toll of these two events was almost too much to bear. The fight to live was on and the grief over my father was stuffed inside. My emotions were controlling my life and leaving me unable to do even the simplest task.
Finally I turned to my sister and poured out all my frustration. After talking about several things that might give me some relief she suggested EFT. I had never heard of it, but was willing to try anything. I began looking that night for an EFT practitioner. I let my intuition lead me to Deborah.
Our first session seemed to go by in minutes. She was so gentle and calm and with a few words from me knew exactly where to focus. I was thinking…”this is too easy”! I felt more calm and much lighter, but in the back of my mind I thought “this anxiety will be back tomorrow”. It wasn’t. For the first time in five years I woke up with no anxiety or stress in my chest. That big burning ball was gone, and it stayed gone. I was so happy I could not believe it. I was so excited I emailed Deborah right away!
We have been working together for months now and I am so thankful to have found her. My husband, my sister and my friends can’t believe the difference in me. They say the “old me” is back. I say it’s about time.”