In this article, Jo Hainsworth, who suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) for more than 20 years, shares the insight she gained from finding her way to recovery with the help of EFT, highlighting a theme that often pervades CFS and other autoimmune diseases.
By Jo Hainsworth
I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS/ME/CFIDS) for many years, and completely healed as a result of EFT, so I know it can be done.
I did this as a result of following a comment by Dr. Carol Look that underlying most allergies is a belief that the person isn’t safe, and another comment along the same lines by Stephen Daniel.
Initially, I couldn’t relate to this, but fortunately EFT is “through me not by me” and led me to the answers. I discovered that this belief had, in fact, pervaded my life for many years.
The best metaphor I have been able to come up with to help people understand autoimmune illnesses is to imagine that the adrenals are like a burglar alarm (they alert that there is something unwanted in the body that needs to be dealt with) and the immune system is like the security guards (it helps remove the unwanted intruder).
When we have been through some sort of trauma, we can take on a belief that we are not safe or not able to protect ourselves. This can be as a result of one major trauma (for example a birth trauma) or it can be the outcome of a series of traumatic events, for example ongoing abuse.
When we take on this belief, we seem to unwittingly send the message to the burglar alarm that it has to be super vigilant and on guard all the time, which leads to the burglar alarm going off all the time. This results in adrenal exhaustion and serious fatigue.
This hyperactivity in the warning system also results in the immune system constantly being asked to protect our body against a perceived threat, that isn’t in actual fact harmful to our body. This is commonly seen in those with autoimmune illnesses with them developing more and more allergic reactions to various foods, pollens, and chemicals as time goes by.
In my own case, prior to doing EFT, I was convinced that my reactions were a result of long-term damage to my immune system by the drugs I had been prescribed over the years. But EFT helped me see that the things I was reacting to were actually benign, and it was the alarm system that was faulty. Since using EFT to recalibrate the alarm system, I haven’t reacted to a single substance in 18 months (after reacting to many, many substances for more than 10 years).
Autoimmune illnesses often start as issues with digestion–for those with pre-birth and birth trauma this can manifest as reflux, colic, or inability to digest the milk right from the start.
For some it manifests later as sinus infections due to lots of mucus, or food intolerances. It can be difficult to see the link between these digestive malfunctions and the immune system. The easiest way to look at it is that if there is a burglar in the house, there are higher priorities than sitting at the table and eating your dinner! The digestive system is sacrificed in times of high stress, and living with a burglar alarm constantly going off is high stress.
I believe that this is at least partly why so many of us with autoimmune challenges find our ill health starts as trouble with digesting our food.
If you are supporting someone who has an autoimmune illness (and I include in this category anything that results in a malfunctioning immune system–chronic fatigue syndrome/ME/CFIDS, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple food or chemical sensitivities or allergies, AIDS, recurrent thrush, systemic candidiasis, chronic sinusitis, cancer, hypothyroidism, etc.), you may find that some exploration of the “I’m not safe” theme is very useful.
An approach that can help is to first identify when the symptoms started, and look to see if there was anything going on in the person’s life in the year or so leading up to the symptoms.
However, I’ve found that this on its own is not always enough, as sometimes the event that resulted in the start of the immune symptoms was simply a trigger for the unresolved emotional conflict from an earlier trauma, usually in the first 7 years of life. I’ve worked with a number of people who have autoimmune conditions who had traumatic births and have taken on the belief that they are unsafe.
A traumatic birth is not limited to those for whom the delivery was traumatic.
I worked with one woman whose birth was uncomplicated, but her mother developed complications 24 hours after the birth and was rushed to intensive care. While the woman in question felt that it was unlikely to be an issue for her, when we tapped on it a thought popped up that, as a one-day-old baby, she was afraid that her mother was never going to come back and that she would die. This left her feeling unsafe, unprotected, and vulnerable, despite the constant company of her grandmother who never left her side.
For others, the feeling of being unsafe starts even before birth, as a result of their mother being afraid–for example, someone close to her being diagnosed with a terminal illness and her fearing the death of that person, or a conflict arising due to the pregnancy being unplanned, with termination considered as a possibility. We pick up so much while in the womb, these sorts of situations can result in us feeling unsafe and unable to protect ourselves.
For still others, the trauma may come later in life, from parents divorcing, with the child feeling unsafe and unprotected as a result of the way it was handled, or a sudden death of someone close, or other trauma that could result in them taking on a point of view that they are vulnerable and can’t protect themselves.
EFT is such an incredibly powerful tool that it is really only limited by our beliefs about how much we can heal. Many people with autoimmune illnesses have been told by the medical profession that there is nothing they can do about it, and that they need to change their lifestyle to manage the symptoms.
It’s important for us to remember that “incurable” simply means “curable from within.” We are so fortunate to have EFT to help us go gently inside and clear the specific events that could have resulted in us taking on the belief that we are unsafe and cannot protect ourselves. If you are working with someone with an autoimmune illness, or have one yourself, this sort of exploration could result in them or you being freed from the prison of the “I’m not safe” belief, if it’s an issue for them or you.
From my own experience, I know that there can be few more liberating things in the world, and I will forever be thankful for having been able to heal the “I’m not safe” beliefs and go on to live the active and healthy life that I do, with no traces whatsoever of the 20+ years I was seriously ill with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.