Dear EFT Community,
Massage therapist, Suzanne Zacharia, shares how she combines EFT with massage therapy with great results.
By Suzanne Zacharia
How I use EFT with massage is as follows. A client comes to me for a massage and I explain to them that I do EFT as well, and that it could help them further release pain and muscle tension, as well as dealing with related emotions. I may at some point in the massage stop to hold their hand and “do some tapping” on points on their energy meridians, such as on the face, torso, and hands.
If they say yes to EFT (the vast majority do straight away, the rest do at a later session), then I explain that I may say some strange-sounding statements and to just bear with me and go with it. I may introduce the 9 Gamut Technique at this or a later stage, if I intuitively feel it is needed.
If they seem unsure about this strange new therapy, I explain EFT as “it looks stupid, it feels silly, but hey, if it works…” At which point they add, “It’s worth a try.”
So I start with the massage as usual, with the client on their back, facing up. Then when they start relaxing, I say, “I’m going to hold your hand now and do some tapping.” So I start tapping their pain. Of course, there are all the related emotional bits, which we deal with as they come up.
Even more exciting for me though, I have noticed something very interesting with EFT for mechanical back pain. To explain briefly, we all compensate the way we hold our backs in order to be in the position of least pain, and this could twist or contort the back into even worse positions, and we compensate even further and so on. When EFT works on one part of the back, say “upper right shoulder,” another part of the back gets the pain, say “left hip” or “top right of my neck.”
My guess is that EFT actually physically relieves the muscle tension that was contorting us in one position to compensate for pain which is then revealed as we un-contort.
According to my osteopath colleagues, compensation often involves only millimeters and can be caused by a joint being as little as a millimeter out of position. The un-contorting, for want of a simpler description, could be a series of relaxations throughout the back, neck, shoulders, even knees. Our bits are, after all, connected to each other in one body. This has exciting ramifications.
For instance, this could point to the real mechanical culprit in the body that requires exercise or a chiropractor/osteopath, in which case I refer the client on or advise them to do the appropriate exercise; or it could point to the part of the body where we normally store our stress, making us more aware of our negative physical patterns.
As well as helping with my massage clients’ immediate emotional and physical needs, another interesting phenomenon is emerging. The EFT is somehow motivating them to take real action to help themselves in other ways. Let me illustrate with the case of Sharon, a fairly typical massage client.
Sharon walked into the shop where I have a clinic upstairs, asking if we had an aromatherapist. Since I do not do aromatherapy, the proprietor persuaded her to try my “special” massage instead. In the consultation, it transpired that Sharon’s life was on a low, with a cold that just would not go away, stress headaches, eczema, sore knees, and an achy feeling in the legs. She had tried aromatherapy before, and it helped somewhat.
She had not heard of EFT, and of course I soon persuaded her to try EFT with the massage.
I did my usual thing, as described above, and scheduled another appointment. The next time she came to see me, she said that her life had changed. She was back at the gym, and “doing things” again; she felt she had a miraculous recovery. I’ve treated her a couple of times since, and she was still working out at the gym, doing things with her children and family, and basically living a full life. I called her today to get permission to write about her case, and she said, “You can say anything, Suzanne, anything to spread the word!”
I now train other massage therapists, personal trainers, and others, in using EFT for their clients. The first course was only 3 days after my trainers’ training with Tam and Mary Llewellyn. Here are some common questions and my answers.
How much experience with EFT do I need in order to start adding it to my massage?
If you are already a qualified and experienced massage therapist, then you have enough knowledge in your area of expertise. For instance, if your clients tend to be office workers that respond to stress by tensing their shoulders, you can tap on “this stress in your shoulders.” Another good one is “this tension in your back.” If someone is in pain, it may be best to tap for the part of them that is in most pain and follow the pain as it subsequently travels around their body, till the maximum relaxation has been achieved all over.
Do you generally apply EFT at the start of the massage or toward the end?
Usually about 10 minutes into the massage.
Do you do the EFT while the patient is on the massage table, and if so, when?
Yes. I usually start with neck and shoulders (client facing the ceiling), then either move onto arms then EFT or straight onto EFT.
When you start with the EFT Setup Statement, do you use the EFT terminology just as if it were a “regular” EFT session?
Yes, although I tend to use the Karate Chop point instead of the Sore Spot, especially for women. Since the client is in a relaxed state by then, I also usually say the words for them rather than asking them to repeat them.
Do you incorporate massage at various points?
No, I do the EFT very fast for an average of 10 minutes. After this, the spasming and the worst of the tightness has gone, and the muscles are more malleable.
How do you apply the 9 Gamut Procedure?
I don’t, but I do tap on the Gamut point with every round.
What other differences are there compared to a regular EFT session?
There may be points that will be impossible to reach politely due to the client’s physique, and you can simply leave them out, or you can use alternative points, such as those described in The EFT Manual.
The client is on the table and agrees to EFT. You described that she said her life was sort of on hold. Did you follow up to get specific aspects to tap, or did you tap generally your own words about life on hold or something like not living life to the full?
This client came to me with specific physical symptoms and I tapped on that. You can ask the question, “if there was an emotional reason for this pain, what would it be?” and tap on the answer. If the client is suffering from stress or an emotional problem, I ask them to tell me about it while I silently tap on them. I then move onto the usual EFT procedure, provided they are still awake! If the problem is too big to be dealt with along with the massage, I stop when they have achieved relief on a smaller issue, give them homework, and suggest a pure EFT session.
Do you do surrogate tapping while carrying out the massage?
There is no need, imho, because I am touching the client anyway. By the way, after the EFT, I just carry on with the massage and finish as usual.
This is very exciting, and I look forward to helping more massage therapists use EFT!