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EFT for Osteoarthritis: Clever Approach to Dealing with Pain

EFT for Sports Performance


By Patzia Gonzalez-Baz

“Stella” (not her real name) came to see me recently because she had osteoarthritis in her right knee, and swelling due to a Baker’s cyst (a benign swelling found behind the knee joint); and she had quite a bit of pain. Her family doctor told her the only thing that could be done was to take analgesics for the pain, and ice on the knee. She could also have a steroid shot in the knee.

Stella was taking the analgesics, and her stomach was feeling terrible. She wanted to know if she could get relief with EFT. I told her we could work on the emotional components of her pain and arthritis and that it might or might not be a one minute miracle. We’ve been having sessions once a week and the SUD level of intensity of her pain was at a 9 on a SUD scale of 0 to 10 and her leg was quite swollen from the knee down to her ankle when we started.

9 Setup Statements we Began Tapping:

Even though I have this burning pain in my right knee, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though I was dismayed to hear I had develop osteoarthritis, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though I have osteoarthritis, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though the doctor smiled as she gave me the diagnosis, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though the doctor told me this will never be cured, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though the doctor doesn’t want to be bothered by my symptoms, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though my knee is sore when I wake up in the morning, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though I can’t sit cross-legged anymore, I deeply and completely accept myself.

We were not getting much relief, when she mentioned that when she called her mother, to share what the doctor had said, her mother was ecstatic!

We Began to Tap:

Even though my mother was happy that I developed osteoarthritis, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though I can hear the glee in her voice, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though I’m scared I’m going to end up as crippled by arthritis as she is, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though I swore I wouldn’t be like her, and now I have her disease, I deeply and completely accept myself.

We also tapped on her “worst” mother memory. At the end of the session, Stella’s pain had gone down to a 6, but her leg was still swollen.

By now, I was intrigued as to why we were making so little progress. The next session, I invited Stella to close her eyes and imagine she was going inside her knee. She drank an “invisible shrinking potion” (she’s a Harry Potter fan) and went into the knee accompanied by Professor Dumbledore as backup support. She described the inside of her knee as a cavern that was very red, with a pipe that was tied up in a knot and leaking some liquid goo that was just lying there.

We Tapped:

Even though the cavern looks very red, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though the pipe is tied up in a knot, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though the pipe is dripping liquid goo, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though this liquid goo is just lying there, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Then I asked what emotion she felt as she looked around. She said she felt she was choking, and there was sadness.

We tapped for the choking and the sadness, and what came up was a memory of her dad saying goodbye to her and telling her that he and her mom were getting a divorce, and she had never cried but kept it all in. Stella was 7-years-old at the time; she didn’t have anyone to talk to and felt she had to be brave.

We Tapped:

Even though Daddy is saying goodbye, I was such a good girl.

Even though I was so sad, and confused and lonely, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though I didn’t want Daddy to leave, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though Daddy looks so sad, I deeply and completely accept myself.

He’s holding his hat in his hands, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though I was brave, I now choose to express my sadness.

Even though I was choked up, I can now express how I feel.

Stella was connecting for the first time to all the feelings she had buried about the experience, and expressing them as we did round after round.

We Tapped:

Even though I am so incredibly sad, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though I feel so hurt, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though I feel so lonely, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though I feel that I did something to cause this, I deeply and completely accept myself.

After this session, the pain SUD level of intensity number went down to 0, and the swelling was reduced by 80%. Also, she said that the inside of her knee now looked pink and shiny. There was a lot less goo on the floor, and the pipe looked straight and normal.

We have continued working on that event, and included her relationship with her mother during her parents’ divorce. Stella can now go up and down the stairs without pain, and she can sit cross-legged for short periods. She still has some swelling on her knee; the Baker’s cyst has not completely disappeared, but there has been a huge improvement and we’re still tapping!