I was perusing Cure Zone last week Monday and came across a brief mention in an old archive about EFT Therapy. I decided to go head and download the eBook, "The EFT Manual," by Gary Craig, and give it a try.
I really don't know if it is the positive affirmations from the EFT, or the fact that I've been massaging the "sore spots", but since starting EFT last week, after three days I'm the most pain free I've been in years AND I feel more rested. And LOTS more energy. The EFT may sound quacky to some, those of you who don't believe in "energy flows" and chakras and accupressure and such, but it was free to do and only would take some of my time—and not a lot of it—so I thought I'd give it a try.
I started the EFT last Monday, and was still painful most of the week. But I woke up Saturday morning with almost no pain. Still some in the hips, knees and back, but only at maybe a 1 or 2 out of 10! I did have a headache most of Saturday, and did feel dizzy Saturday into Sunday. I suspect the dizzy was either from a tight neck vertebrae at C1, or just a "healing crisis" from maybe "stuff" being put loose in the body from the lymph for my system to get rid of. But otherwise, it's just about the best I've been in years.
Friday, Saturday, Sunday and this Monday, I've had a hard time falling asleep (onset insomnia), BUT I still feel somewhat rested, not quite what I would yet think of as what would be normal for a normal person without a sleep disorder, but close!
It could be that the awful "arthritis" that I was feeling the last month was backed up or even sluggish lymph. The "sore spots" the manual says are two spots that tend to build up lymph. When I first started, my sore spots were excruciating to rub, but on Saturday I noticed there is almost no pain in them any more. The sore spots are 3 inches down from the bony protrusion of the collar bone at the base of the throat, and 3 inches outward. You'll KNOW where they are when you rub because it'll be painful. Basically it's the area just above each breast on the chest wall.
But, I've also worked on trying to use every positive affirmation I could think of that I might need. The positive affirmations are like "Even though I have this pain in my neck, I accept myself completely and deeply." Replace the "I have this pain in my neck" text with whatever you want to work on.
Though I haven't gone through all 4 steps of EFT for each of the the issues I'm applying the affirmations toward. Most of the time I just wind up doing the first step, which uses either the sore spots or the karate chop spots (instead of rubbing the sore spots you can tap on the karate chop spots ... that's the fleshy area on the side of the hand with the pinky, where you would be using if you were giving someone a karate chop ... it's an accu-pressure point or somesuch), but I do mentally do the remaining steps as a kind of "surrogate." When I have the time and the privacy, since the tapping part would cause some raised eyebrows, I'll go through all 4 steps.
And I've definitely been trying to address any reverse, negative thinking that I can think of that may have been holding me back. I.e., one that I have done ALL steps on because I do think it's an issue and I'm sure I've sabotaged myself with reverse thinking is regarding my sleep. I've used each of the following affirmations. I've reworded differently the following ways because as you can imagine the difference in perception approaches the problem in different ways. This all is just a sample of some of the affirmations I've been using, definitely not all inclusive:
• Even though I fear to sleep, I accept myself completely and deeply.
• Even though I fear to sleep deeply, I accept myself completely and deeply.
• Even though I fear I am not safe when I sleep, I accept myself completely and deeply.
• Even though I fear I am not safe in my sleep, I accept ...
• Even though I fear I am not safe when I sleep deeply, I accept ...
• Even though when I sleep I do not feel safe, I accept ... (this addresses feeling unsafe WITHIN dreaming, I think)
And, after doing those reverse thinking things, I've been giving myself positive ways of thinking. I'm not sure if that's what you are supposed to do with EFT, as the instruction manual is sort of confusing, but I figured straight out positive affirmations could not hurt:
• I am safe, and I accept ...
• I am safe even when I sleep deeply, and I accept ...
I've also done the affirmations with neck pain (like "Even though I have this neck pain ..."), and had it lessen (but not totally go away at the time) within seconds of doing the steps. And have done it for back pain and also had it lessen immediately, and just felt my whole body relax more.
I've also applied it toward my anger toward a couple family members in a new situation that has just been tearing me up emotionally the past few months, which in my case usually means physically because I definitely internalize my emotions to my body. After applying the EFT to the situation, I am now totally OK with one of the two people and no longer upset with her at all. The other one, I still am and may need to work on that LOTS more. But I am emotionally healing over it much quicker than I expected—I was thinking it was going to take me years. And instead, for the first person I was over it in a few days. The second person, I feel milder anger, but I think if I keep at it I'll get over it much sooner than I ever thought (better than my NEVER EVER wanting to speak with her again).
I definitely internalize my emotional upsets, and sometimes don't even realize how upset I am until I notice that I have a tight chest, or my arms are shaking, or my jaw is shivering. It was a survival mechanism I think from when I was a child in an environment in which I feared for my life and well-being ... if I bottled up the emotions and reactions, the people I feared might not notice me so I could slip into the background and be invisible enough that I wouldn't be the next selected victim. I do think that probably carried over into my sleep patterns ... I can't sleep deeply because I won't be able to notice when I'm in danger and react appropriately to the situation, so my brain has wired me to arouse from level 3 sleep every 1.5 minutes to level 2 (no apnea causing it, so it's definitely a brain thing).
My body has been in survival mode for so long, become stuck in a perpetually "on position" of fight or flight, and it's put a strain on me physically. I'm probably more of a flight person, thus tucking away the emotions and trying to be invisible. But I am analytical and so "fight" with the brain on a conscious level with reason, research and common sense. I guess for me high emotion = flight (inward presentation), high thought = fight (outward presentation). But that all probably means I need something like EFT to address issues that have been internalized and are affecting me physically even though I may not realize what they are.
I've also applied it to my weight. Haven't been losing any, but I feel satisfied with smaller portions quicker (a very strong feeling of "I'm satisfied and just don't want to eat any more," and that's not the affirmation I was working on. The thought of eating beyond being satisfied almost raises a physical aversion to additional food. I actually cannot overeat much right now. For weight, when it came to the muscle testing (running the finger across the thumbnail as suggested in the book), I definitely had some reverse thinking ... testing for "I want to lose body fat" at first the finger would NOT move across the nail, so subconsciously I did not want to lose weight. I did some of the step 1 affirmations to work on that. "Even though I don't want to lose body fat, I accept ..." Then retested and did not have the similar reaction and the finger smoothly went across the nail. I did the same for some other possible weight loss reverse thinking that I might have that may negatively be subconsciously affecting me. And I do think it's had a positive influence despite how hokey and pop-psychology it sounds.
Or maybe I'm just finally killing something off with some of my other alternative medicine stuff that might have been overwhelming the lymph system, and rubbing the "sore spot" may have helped to clear out some of the "dead stuff." Don't know for sure. Maybe it's a combination of all of them. But I do know I'm physically and emotionally feeling MUCH better, almost overnight. Still painful most of the week. But I woke up Saturday morning with almost no pain. Still some in the hips, knees and back, a little in the hands—but that was severe a week ago, but only at maybe a 1 or 2 out of 10! I did have a headache most of Saturday, and did feel dizzy Saturday into Sunday. I suspect the dizzy is either from a tight neck vertebrae at C1, or just a "healing crisis" from maybe "stuff" being put loose in the body from the lymph for my system to get rid of. But otherwise, it's just about the best I've been in years.
I've still got a LONG way to go, but this has been a big plus and definitely something to add to my arsenal. A good thing to add to my iodine, colloidal silver, oil pulling, etc. I'm really curious to see if the others will do better with some of the emotional baggage gone ...