Dear EFT Community,
Stubborn issues that persist even with several applications of EFT can often be relieved with more persistence and repeating the Setup and Reminder phrases with emphatic and loud emotion. This is shown quite clearly in Dr. Tam Llewellyn-Edwards' use of EFT on his own case of gout.
By Dr. Tam Llewellyn-Edwards
Readers may remember my case of the ex-gout sufferer who danced an Irish jig. I now have another case of gout to report—mine!
About 6 months after EFT successfully treated Sean's gout at a Practitioner Training Session in Ireland, I was surprised to find I, too, was suffering from this painful problem. The area affected was the lower joint of my left big toe. It displayed all the classic gout symptoms: a single joint affected, the area around the joint red and swollen, and, yes, excruciating pain.
I did not worry too much, as I was sure I had EFT as the answer.
Normally, it is not recommended that therapists (of any discipline) treat themselves, but self-treatment does have some advantages, as it is a wonderful teaching aid for the therapist.
The basic EFT formula seemed the thing, so I started with "Even though I have this terrible pain in my left toe, I am okay."
The pain dropped from a level of 10 to 3 or 4 in a few rounds but stuck at that figure. I could walk with only a little pain, so that was not so bad. However, it was soon back to 9 or 10, only to be driven down with more EFT. But it never fell below 3 and always returned.
I tried a number of different Setups with no better success, and I looked for an emotional component, but failed to find one. (Here another therapist may have had more success!)
I tried the thought of "If this problem did have an emotional component, what would it be?" and I even tapped for "Even though I cannot think of an emotional component, it does not matter."
After about a week, the pain started subsiding, as expected in the normal course of this ailment. I was satisfied with a partial success for EFT in that it had reduced my pain considerably and allowed me to walk without too much difficulty during the attack.
Two days later the pain was back, as bad as ever, and it reacted much the same way to EFT.
It was manageable, but not pleasant.
A couple of days into the second attack, a group of EFTers were meeting in Tickhill to hear about the latest developments and to discuss their experiences using EFT. As part of the session, we all tapped together, but privately each on his or her own current problem. Mine was, of course, the returned pain in my toe.
The Setup this time was "Even though I have this terrible pain in my toe, I choose to be rid of it NOW," and the intensity immediately fell to 0. In retrospect, I believe there was more emotion in the Setup this time.
Unfortunately, the next day the pain was back and refusing to move under EFT.
My schedule that day involved considerable walking, and I was very angry with myself for not being able to control the pain with a therapy I had been widely teaching as "simple and successful." After some more unsuccessful rounds, I was even more annoyed with myself and, almost in desperation, used a Setup of the form "Even though I have this terrible pain and EFT is completely unable to reduce it, I choose to be okay whatever."
The pain dropped to 0 and the toe has not troubled me since.
Even though there was no pain at all, my toe remained red and swollen for a number of days, and then the swelling reduced and the redness faded over a few days, as expected in the normal course of the ailment.
What lessons can be learned from this episode?
The first lesson is an old one: persistence, persistence, persistence.
Only by continuing to apply and reapply the basic formula was I able to reduce and control the pain during the first attack.
The second point I would like to bring out for discussion is emotion.
During the first attack, I had little emotion about it. In fact, I may have been a little too laid back—I knew it was no big deal and EFT would get me out of the problem.
In the more successful rounds of EFT during the second attack, my exasperation was showing and there certainly was some emotion. However, what surprised me was that in the final round, which produced immediate and permanent relief, my undoubted high emotion was not directed at " my problem" at all, but was (unjustifiably) directed at EFT and its apparent inability to save me.
For effective EFT, do we need emotion directed at the problem or simply raw emotion directed at anything? Perhaps the direction of my obvious emotion at this stage suggests the emotional component of the original problem. I still have some thinking to do on that one!
The final point I would like to bring out in this piece is one that has been aired before but which must never be forgotten.
Even though the pain had gone, I had not been "cured" of my gout. There was no pain, but the toe was still swollen and red and remained so for nearly a week after the pain had subsided.
Clearly, my toe still had gout even if my mind would not acknowledge the pain. During this period, there was no pain, but my toe felt different in a way that is hard to describe, but it was similar to the effect of an anaesthetic that has almost worn off.
Perhaps this is a clue to the mechanism EFT uses to handle pain.