EFT for Severe Cerebral Palsy

Dear EFT Community,

Astarte, from New Zealand, shares how she used EFT to help a severely disabled cerebral palsy client. "Mary" progressed from being unable to speak to being able to say the names of her caretakers. Eating and drinking became easier for her, and her sleep improved. Mary was "over the moon" at this progress.

-Stephanie M

By Astarte

I have been working with a 22-year-old woman with severe cerebral palsy caused by medical misadventure at birth. My client, I shall call her Mary, was brought up by loving parents and has two younger, healthy siblings. I would describe Mary as intelligent, well balanced, and well cared for. She is nonverbal and communicates by nodding and shaking her head in answer to direct, closed questions.

Mary was initially brought to me for biweekly 1-hour therapeutic massage sessions to ease the aches associated with being wheelchair-bound. I consulted with her parents and caregivers and offered EFT as part of the package from the beginning. Mary looks forward to the 15 minutes of EFT before her massages.

At the recent review conducted by the government compensation corporation, it was agreed that Mary's treatments should continue because she was more flexible and easier to handle as a result of the massage and was sleeping better. Whilst the EFT treatments were not acknowledged by the compensation corporation, I have heard from Mary's parents and caregivers that the EFT treatments are having a profound effect as follows:

Mary had tantrums; the result of utter frustration at not being able to get her message across. During these tantrums, Mary would flail wildly and growl aggressively. She would work herself into a state of high anxiety and was impossible to hold down (Mary is 5'2" and maybe 85 pounds). On average there would be two to three tantrums a month and they would last for up to 10 minutes, with a long cooling-down period, during which Mary would have to be taken home and one of her parents brought home from work to be with her.

Having gained Mary's permission, I always start with the affirmation "I am Mary's voice." I always tap complete rounds of EFT with no shortcuts because it's quicker than checking with Mary on how things are going. For this problem I tapped for:

Even though I have this frustration that I can't easily make myself understood...

Even though I get so angry that I can't speak with words...

Even though people are so thick because they have difficulty understanding me...

At no stage did Mary indicate she felt sorry for herself. She is totally accepting that this misadventure happened and is very fulfilled in other areas of her life. During the first 2 months, the frequency of tantrums reduced to once a month. Three months down the track, Mary hasn't had a tantrum for 5 weeks.

Mary's sleep was disturbed most nights by bad dreams (not nightmares, according to Mary) about a member of her family being hurt or killed through an accident at work. Mary is put to bed at 8:30 p.m. most evenings and supposedly sleeps 11 hours. Mary confided in me and her caregiver/companion that she often wakes in the night and worries about her family members.

We tapped for:

Even though I'm really worried that XXX will get injured or killed at work...

Even though I wake up in the night after dreaming about XXX getting injured or killed...

Even though I have difficulty getting back to sleep after I've had a bad dream...

Within three sessions (I do one round on each topic per session), Mary has found she rarely wakes up with bad dreams. She reports she is now sleeping well.

Now here's the really exciting bit. On her second visit, Mary insisted that her caregiver/companion give her a drink of water. (I won't go into the details of the communication, but it took 10 minutes of Mary's agitated shaking and nodding to get this communication through.) In preparation, Mary had to have a neck-brace fitted to hold her head up so that her mouth faced upward, a number of towels were placed around her shoulders and on her lap, then the caregiver poured water, drop by painful drop, into Mary's mouth as Mary gulped and spluttered to swallow. I asked if the procedure was similar for feeding and, yes, it is. As a result of this spectacle and after she had been "freed," I asked Mary if she'd like to tap for improving her drinking and eating ability. She nodded enthusiastically.

Since then we have tapped for:

Even though my mouth parts do not work together...

Even though my throat doesn't coordinate with my tongue, which doesn't coordinate with my teeth and jaws, which don't coordinate with my lips...

Even though the nerves from my brain to my mouth parts are not connected properly...

Even though the communication from my thoughts to the movements of my mouth are impaired...

We finished with some positives:

...my coordination is improving.

...the nerves from my brain to my mouth-parts are regenerating.

...I am learning to coordinate my mouth-parts.

...I am getting better at swallowing and speaking.

So, miracles take a little longer. Reports from caregivers suggest that Mary is now able to have blackcurrant drinks without dyeing her clothes or theirs, she is eating more easily, and is now saying the names of two of her caregivers. Admittedly, you've got to be listening carefully, but Mary is over the moon. She can now "talk."

For the past three sessions we have added:

Even though the messages don't get through to my hands and I can't pick up small objects...

Even though the messages don't get through to my legs so that I can't balance on my own two feet...

along with the corresponding positive affirmations.

So we'll wait and see.

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