Monday, October 31, 2011

Using EFT for chronic fatigue syndrome

Dr Robert Scaer calls syndromes such as chronic fatigue dis-eases of the freeze response. Dr Veronique Mead has also written an article entitled: ME/CFS and Freeze: A Metabolic State of Hibernation That is Not in Your Head.

Please customise these phrases to how you feel and to suit your own unique situation. EFT short cut diagram.

Even though I feel ... I deeply and profoundly accept myself

Even though I am so tired, I accept myself

Even though I am too tired to .... I accept myself anyway

Top of the head: I'm exhausted
Eyebrow: I want to sleep
Side of the eye: I want to hide
Under the eye: From ...
Under the nose: I am so tired
Under the chin: Of ...
Collar bone: It's all too much
Under the arm: That's the way I feel

Top of the head: Everything is such an effort
Eyebrow: I have no energy
Side of the eye: To ...
Under the eye: And that makes me feel ...
Under the nose: It's really difficult to feel this way
Under the chin: About myself
Collar bone: About others
Under the arm: About life

Top of the head: It feels too ...
Eyebrow: I'd like a break from this exhaustion
Side of the eye: This tiredness feels ...
Under the eye: The alternative to this tiredness would be ... ?
Under the nose: And that feels ...
Under the chin: I don't know how I feel about that
Collar bone: Am I ready to let this go?
Under the arm: Even a little?

Top of the head: What's making me feel so tired?
Eyebrow: When did I start feeling this way?
Side of the eye: What's sapping my energy?
Under the eye: Where is my energy gone?
Under the nose: What's holding my energy down?
Under the chin: What am I holding down?
Collar bone: My energy feels ...
Under the arm: I feel ...

As she had been walking from the ward to that room, she had felt such pure hatred that now she had no more rancor left in her heart. She had finally allowed her negative feelings to surface, feelings that had been repressed for years in her soul. She had actually FELT them, and they were no longer necessary, they could leave ~ Paulo Coelho, Veronika Decides to Die

Monday, October 24, 2011

Going around and around

When we feel trapped in a closed loop the consequences can feel awful. We are trying our hardest to find our way out but all we seem able to do is go around in circles repeating the same things over and over again. There seems to be no way out of the vicious cycle and that can feel hopeless.

When people are referred to as an “angry” person or a “fearful” person, what they are probably experiencing is feeling caught in this closed loop. They are acting out their emotions for some relief. I don't believe labels like this are helpful at all because they just do not get to the core of the issue. I believe we need to look beyond the surface behaviour to truly hear and understand what is really happening and actually do something constructive about it.

Peter Levine describes a 9 step method called pendulation for transforming trauma which you can find here. EFT can help you feel the frightening emotions and sensations associated with the immobility response so you do not become overwhelmed and stay frozen in a continuous helpless loop.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Using EFT for OCD

Why do we perform rituals? Sometimes to celebrate, to soothe and comfort or to honour something or someone, the reasons are varied. Obsessive compulsive anxiety dis-orders such as OCD also have ritualistic elements. Take someone who washes their hands all the time, what do they gain from these repeated actions? I would say, a sense of safety, routine, comfort, security, some sense of control, and many other things that will be unique and meaningful for them.

OCD is a symptom, or a collection of symptoms, mostly due to unfelt pain. Unfelt pain often manifests as anxiety and one of the most common sources of anxiety is an attachment dis-order. If we don't bond early on with our mothers/caregivers we won't feel safe, comforted, loved and secure. In the experiment below, we can see the powerful effects that a strong attachment can provide.

It's very important to honour the defenses or rituals someone has created for themselves in order to feel safe and comforted. Shaming and criticising doesn't work, it often drives the person deeper into anxiety and shame which then needs to be relieved in whatever way they have found works for them. See if any tailenders (objections in the form of emotions, beliefs, thoughts, memories, sensations) come up when you say the following:

I honour my need to feel comforted

I honour how I am meeting my unmet needs 

I accept my need to repeat ... to feel safe

I choose to feel kindness for my need for (name the need, or needs, that you feel most strongly right now)

My behaviours/rituals make me feel ...

Doing ... makes me feel very safe and that feels good

Ritual is the passage way of the soul into the Infinite ~ Algernon Blackwood

Monday, October 03, 2011

Being in your body and aspects

One of the most important (and common) reasons that EFT does not work is because of unresolved aspects. Aspects can be anything; a smell, a look, the taste or texture of something, a physical sensation, a feeling. If you have been working for a long time on a particular issue and certain aspects are just not “going away”, you might not be fully living in your body.

We need to be in our body to feel, taste, touch or smell. If we are dissociated in any way we are not in our bodies. We can't successfully address and dissolve certain aspects and bring the emotional charge to 0, if we are not embodied. If an issue is left at 2, 3, 4 or more on the SUDs scale it's like an open wound that hasn't closed or healed properly and the chance of reoccurrence is high. The body is where we are able to feel difficult, uncomfortable and even terrifying emotions and sensations, and it's for those very reasons that we dissociate from our body. James Joyce puts it so well in Ulysses when he writes “Mr Duffy lived a short distance from his body”.

Does anything come up when you say the following statements, preferably out loud? Tap on anything that might come up.

I am comfortable in my own skin

I can feel any emotion without being overwhelmed (this not does not have to be true 100% of the time, it's human to feel overwhelmed sometimes, but when it's your normal response to certain emotions, you know that that emotion needs healing)

I can stay with difficult sensations in my body without being overwhelmed

I can stay present in difficulty without avoiding, distracting, burying, denying or suppressing how I feel

I feel ... about my body (be as truthful as you can be here, if you find you don't want to admit something, that is EXACTLY what you should tap on)

Don't explain your philosophy, embody it ~ Epictetus