Using EFT to Relieve Joint Pain
In this article, certified EFT practitioner Robin Friedman highlights a pattern common to EFT work, that is, that the location of pain in the body often holds a metaphoric clue to the source of the pain. In this case, Robin's client Mary discovered that the pain in her shoulder reflected her desire to shoulder the suffering of a close friend.
By Robin Friedman, Certified EFT Practitioner
When I was teaching and presenting EFT to a class, one of the participants, Mary, reported that she had been woken up the last three nights with a sharp stabbing pain in her shoulder. She didn’t have any idea why it was there or what had caused it. She never felt the pain in the day, and was not feeling it in the moment, but it was very painful at night, about an 8 on the SUD scale, and because it repeatedly woke her up, she was not getting the sleep she needed.
I asked her where the pain was and to be as specific as she could about it.
“In my left shoulder blade, in the muscle, under the bone.”
How long have you had it? “For 3 nights.”
Did something specific happen 3 days ago? “Nothing that I can remember.”
How do you feel about having this pain? “Not happy, frustrated, annoyed. It wakes me up!”
What kind of pain is it—sharp, dull, throbbing? “It is a sharp distinct pain in a distinct area. It is kind of coming out, bulging.”
If it had a shape, what shape would it be? “Like a hard pit shape.
If it was a color, what color would it be? “It would be a cannonball material, a dark, heavy metal.”
How big is it? “About an inch and a half.”
If there was an emotion in the pain, what would it be? “Disturbance, with something fuzzy under it.” She thought this was odd, but it is what came to her, so we used that.
If the pain had a message for you, what would it be? “Stop worrying.” Mary was very surprised to hear that pop out of her mouth!
How do you feel about yourself with this pain? “Annoyed. I wouldn’t have this pain if I didn’t allow it to happen.”
We began tapping and did several Setup Statements with variations of:
Even though I have this sharp pain in my left shoulder blade, and it keeps waking me up in the middle of the night, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
We tapped through all the points with the descriptive words she had given me about the pain. As she was talking about the size and shape of the pain, she suddenly exclaimed, “Oh my goodness, I am exactly describing the tumor my friend just had taken out of her ovaries!” And she realized that she had just visited her friend 3 days ago.
We kept tapping and some reframing seemed to follow naturally:
Because I love her so dearly, I wanted to shoulder her pain.
Because I love her so much, I wished I could help.
Because I am such a healer, I may have taken her pain into my body.
But it would be more helpful to her, for me to be healthy and whole, and rested.
I choose to help her by being healthy, happy, and rested.
I thank my body for the message to not worry.
I know that worrying is praying for what I do not want to happen, and I choose instead to pray for what I do want to happen.
I do want to see her well, happy, and thriving.
I thank my body for the message to not shoulder someone else’s pain.
I’m so thankful that it woke me up until I got the message.
Then I asked her what she would like to put in her shoulder instead of the pain, and she wanted to fill it with peace, contentment, and hope. We tapped a few rounds of peace, contentment, hope, and health to fill both her shoulder and her friend.
She e-mailed me the next morning and said: “Thank you again, Robin! My shoulder pain is in the past! I think I purposely woke up a couple of times to see if I had that pain in my shoulder—first time nothing, second time I felt a twinge and told it to go away, third time nothing!”
This is an important point, because it seems that the body not only has the pain, but also has the habit of the pain. So, by her telling the pain to go away, she was acknowledging that the message of the pain had been heard and she didn’t need it anymore. After that night, she did not wake up again and the pain has not returned.