By Pam Nolte
“Sally” is a 40ish woman who I have known for several years as an acquaintance. She had minimal experience with EFT (videos on YouTube). We had a brief discussion about EFT, which led her to me for assistance on her migraines. As an acupuncturist, she was familiar with meridians.
Sally arrived at our first session wearing dark glasses. She complained about the light in the room being too bright. I closed the shades to darken the room. She told me she had experienced migraine headaches since she was a teenager, at an average of one per month that sidelines her for two to three days. Lately, the duration, intensity, and frequency had increased to the point she was experiencing two headaches a month, instead of one. It was impacting her business and her home life with her son.
I explained tapping, including the 9 Gamut sequence, Chasing the Pain, Tell the Story, and other techniques.
We started tapping on her headache (at a SUD level of 9). She didn’t feel comfortable using the 9 Gamut. We started with the basic tapping.
Even though I have this throbbing, red nail being driven into my eye, I deeply and completely accept myself and all of my feelings.
This throbbing, red nail being driven into my eye.
The first round of tapping had no impact. We tapped two more rounds before there was an impact on her SUD level, moving from a 9 to 7.
At this point, I asked her when the headache started and if she could think of anything that had happened around the same time. She immediately started telling me about a client she had treated right around the time the headache started. The woman had come into Sally’s office and placed her coat on top of Sally’s, even though there was a free hook. The client had also feigned trying to touch her acupuncture needles several times. Sally kept telling her not to, but the woman didn’t listen. Sally felt like she had to treat her.
We tapped on the woman.
Even though I felt like I had to treat this annoying woman…
Even though she placed her coat on top of mine when there was a free coat hook…
Even though she tried to touch my needles…
The annoying woman
She touched my stuff
She put her coat on top of mine
She tried to touch my needles
I had to treat her. I didn't want to, but I had to.
We tried to use the full recipe with the 9 Gamut, but Sally had trouble with the eye rolls, even with me guiding her with a pen. She remarked that this was funny as she was always accused of rolling her eyes. And now she was having trouble rolling her eyes. I noted that as something to look at.
We checked in on her headache after her SUD level on “the woman” reached a 3. She said the pain was back and now it felt “like a friend.” She thought that was such an odd description. I asked her if she’d ever felt or heard that. She remembered a time when she was a kid. She fell and skinned her knee. When she cried, her babysitter told her to stop since “pain was a friend.” Sally imagined how confusing this would be to a kid, especially one who didn’t have many friends.
We tapped using the Tell the Story Technique.
Even though I was confused when the babysitter said pain was a friend, I deeply and completely accept myself.
After several rounds, alternating between tapping out loud and to herself, the SUD level went down a bit. We were about to start another round, when she snickered to herself and then laughed. She said when the babysitter told her pain was a friend, she had rolled her eyes and the babysitter walloped her.
Even though the babysitter walloped me when I rolled my eyes, I deeply and completely accept myself and all of my feelings.
I rolled my eyes
She walloped me
I can’t believe she hit me
I rolled my eyes
I guess that pissed her off
We tapped a couple of rounds hitting different points with different statements. I asked if she was ready to try the eye rolls again. Sally nodded. I circled the pen and she followed, never missing a point. I had her try it on her own. She skipped a couple of points, but couldn’t stop laughing. She said it felt so good to roll her eyes.
We tapped through the babysitter story. She stopped at a new point when she remembered saying to the babysitter that she would tell on her for hitting her. The babysitter said no one would believe her.
Even though the babysitter said no one would believe me…
Even though I felt betrayed by the babysitter when she said no one would believe me…
Even though no one ever believes me…
She burst into tears while she tapped. She rubbed and tapped the Gamut point while I tapped her collarbone points until she calmed down enough to talk. Not being believed was a theme of her life and she had never known why. Until now.
We circled back to her headache and the annoying woman. Other than a slight tightness behind her eyes, the headache was gone. Her annoyance with the woman client, however, had returned.
Even though I’m irritated by this annoying woman who touched my tools when I asked her not to, I deeply and completely accept myself and all of my feelings.
At the end of this round, she said, “Maybe the woman didn’t know any better.” When I asked who, she said both the client and the babysitter. She felt this was a vast improvement over what she’d been thinking and feeling, though she was still nervous about dealing with the client again. I gave her homework to tap through her anxiety when she thought about the woman client.
A month later, she contacted me. She hasn’t had a single headache since our session. Based on her calculations, she should’ve had two or three. She also said that she felt generally calmer and more capable of handling her business and home life. We scheduled another session to continue the work.
Overall, this was a successful session. We were able to address her migraines and childhood issues. Sally experienced some significant cognitive shifts. Of the most important, she now understands where her theme of “no one will listen” came from. Since our session, situations have arisen in which she felt no one would believe her, but she stood up for herself. She now feels more capable and empowered.