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EFT Tapping Improves Emotional Reaction to Glaucoma Diagnosis

clinical EFT handbook


by J. R. Rosso

“Betty”, a 36 year old woman and mother of two young children, contacted me for help with  her vision problem. She said she had been diagnosed with glaucoma seven years earlier and had, during those years, seen many traditional medical specialists as well as what she called “alternative” therapists.

She said that the “alternatives” helped her relax a little and the medical people gave her eye drops and told her that she would continue to lose her sight and to accept the fact that she would become blind.

When she arrived for our first session, her vison was so limited that her husband helped her walk from their car to meet me. I took her hand and slowly walked her, being careful to guide her through a doorway and over a low step and finally into the chair in front of me where we would have our EFT session.

Although I usually work privately with my clients, I invited her husband to stay with us during this first session; I felt it best to have someone familiar in the room with her  because of her limited vision even though I could tell that he was kind of skeptical of EFT, he was willing to bring her just to try anything to help his wife.

After taking her history, the first thing we worked on with EFT was her original diagnosis of glaucoma. I asked her to close her eyes while I tapped on her and she described: the doctor, the color of the doctor’s clothes, a detailed description of the room she was in at the time, the medical instruments in the room with her, etc.

We tapped on all the visual, audio, odors and kinesthetic memories of that eventful 15 minutes of her life that were connected with the diagnosis of eventual blindness.

Even though the doctor’s office smelled like alcohol and I didn’t want to be there, I deeply and completely accept myself for being in that office.

Even though I wanted to go home, but I had to be in that room with so many confusing instruments, I completely accept myself without judging my eyes.

Even though I didn’t want to be there and I was nervous and frightened, I completely accept the woman, wife and mother who I am.

And so we tapped on things such as:

the doctor wore a white coat and glasses,

the walls were green and there were posters of eye charts on the walls,

one of the instruments was making a ticking sound,

I sat near my husband and the doctor was standing,

the door was open and many people were walking in the hall,

the doctor had short brown hair,

she was about 30 years old, maybe a little older.

Then I asked her what were the words the doctor said to her when she told her that it was glaucoma and that she would become blind. We tapped on the doctor’s words. While I continued tapping on her, my client appeared cool, calm and composed about it all. 

Then I asked her, “How did the doctor’s words make you feel?” With that question, Betty’s composure changed. She actually sat far back in her chair as though moving away from my question. I continued to tap on her Karate Chop point and asked her, “How did you feel when the doctor said you would go blind?”

She said, “I felt lost.”  Then I asked, “When you were a child, did you ever feel lost?”

She opened her eyes, staring into the distance and a flood of tears arrived as she told me about when she was seven years old, sleeping in the same room as her little sister one morning, her sister tried to wake her up and told her to get out of bed.

For some reason, Betty ws so tired that she just couldn’t easily wake up. Finally, after her sister shook her, pulled on her and pleaded with her to get out of bed, she opened her eyes and followed her sister just in time to see their mother being carried out of the house on a stretcher and put quickly into an ambulance. That was the last time Betty saw her mother who soon died of a heart attack.

While we tapped on the following, I said all the words while Betty was crying:

Even though I couldn’t wake up to say good-bye to my mother and I never saw her again, I was a good daughter and my mother loved me.

Even though I feel so bad that I could not see my mother, maybe one day I can forgive myself.

Even though I had such a good mother but I was a bad daughter because I couldn’t open my eyes and wake up, I know my mother loved me.

And so we tapped on:

I couldn’t open my eyes,

I was so sleepy,

I never saw her again,

I feel so guilty that I didn’t see my mom for the last time,

she needed me,

I didn’t help her,

I want to see her again,

I never saw my mom again,

I want to see her,

I can’t see her,

I can never see my mother again,

never see her again.

Because of the strong emotions connected with not seeing her mother again, I felt that releasing the sorrow and the guilt that she was carrying with her from that moment in her young life was possibly a pivotal cause for the glaucoma. Betty continued sobbing while I tapped on her and spoke for her.

Although Betty now lives here in Italy, her native language is Spanish; for that reason I asked her to repeat the tapping phrases in her native language. My native language is English and I always work with my EFT clients and students in their native language.

I have found it critical for clients to tap in the language of their childhood when working on the events of those early years. Here, in Italy, most people grew up speaking and hearing the local dialect of their particular village; so I ask them to repeat the tapping phrases in that particular dialect.

In addition, my husband and I have a Bed & Breakfast here and guests come from many places of the world for EFT sessions during which I always ask them to repeat the tapping phrases in their language or dialect.  Even though I rarely understand their words when clients speak in their different dialects or in Chinese, German, Swiss, Spanish, Dutch or French, their positive results from EFT have been profound.

When Betty’s grief went down in intensity from a high-10 on a scale of 0 to 10, to a 6 or 7, I asked her about the second-from-the-last time she saw her mom:

Even though I feel so guilty that I slept late and I didn’t see my mom when they took her away, I remember her sitting outside in the yard, at the little table, sipping a glass of lemonade with a neighbor, sitting next to the lemon tree, I can smell the lemons, she was talking softly, it was so beautiful and warm outside, I was playing with my friend near her, my mom wore a light-colored dress, she was smiling.

During this “set-up” while tapping her Karate Chop point, I asked her to imagine her mom on that beautiful warm day next to the lemon tree, turning to little Betty and telling her that it was okay that Betty slept so late on the day they took her away, that her mom understands why she was so sleepy that morning, that her mom didn’t want her to see her that morning, that her mom wants her to remember her like this, next to the lemon tree and that her mom loves her and forgives her, and that she was a beautiful daughter.

We tapped on happy memories from her childhood with her mom.

Betty’s guilt, then her sorrow, then her sadness, all went to, as we say in Italian, un bel zero (a beautiful zero). The pressure (of glaucoma) that she had felt in her eyes was down to a 2 in intensity. After that first session, as we were walking outside just two hours after she arrived, I asked her to look around, “Is there any difference?” I asked. “Yes, a little.”

She described the colors and shapes around her as her husband, listened with that slight confusion that skeptical people often have when they can observe the powerful results we usually get with EFT.

When she arrived for our third session together, Betty told me that for the first time in seven years, she could see the reflection of her own face in the mirror. S

he also talked about being able to finally see the homework that her children bring home from school. In Italy, there are local traditions of weekly outdoor markets that are crowded with stands of everything from local cheeses and vegetables to clothes and farm equipment. People come from the surrounding areas to shop and just to enjoy the festive atmosphere of the mercati.

After our fourth session together, she said that she asked her husband to drive her to one of the biggest local markets and to leave her there. Her vision had improved greatly but it was not yet perfect. She told me that before getting out of the car, she felt some fear because there were so many things and people to bump into as well as sidewalk curbs that she could fall over. So, she tapped on her fears with EFT and then spent a lovely morning enjoying the market on her own for the first time in seven years.

Betty took to EFT like a duck to water.

During the course of our work with EFT, a total of three two-hour sessions and one one-hour session as well as a few brief telephone calls, she has continued to do her EFT homework, tapping on vision symptoms and/or any negative emotions or emotional pressure (physical pressure, by the way, is a major symptom of glaucoma) on the average of 4 or 5 times a day.  She is now clearly able to notice that anytime she has vision symptoms, there had been some kind of emotional stress before the problem started; so she taps as soon as she becomes aware of it.

She also does EFT on her husband and has helped him with allergies and she taps regularly on her two children.

She called me early this morning with so much excitement in her voice that, at first, I could not even understand her. She said that while washing the breakfast dishes, the peripheral (side) vision that she had “lost” many years ago, returned to her. The main vision problems that remain now are, what she describes as thin vertical  “strands” that move around, getting in the way of her sight; she is confident that soon, with EFT, they will also go away.

Our first session was two months ago. As I’m wondering how to close this writing, my attention is on a colorful bunch of fresh wildflowers that my husband collected from our land. How wonderful the gift of sight is.

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