By Bernice Vergou
I had a really beautiful experience a few months ago that I would like to share. Once a month I do some volunteer work at a palliative care center, mostly with cancer patients.
Earlier this year, a 79-year-old woman (I'll call her Teresa) was booked in for a massage. She had bowel cancer but had declined surgery and chemotherapy. As she was in a lot of pain and her medications weren't relieving this adequately, the palliative care supervisor had booked her in for some TLC.
I asked what was happening in her life, and Teresa told me about the cancer and the pain. I asked her how long she had had it, and what else was happening in her life at the time.
She told me that much worse than the actual pain was the fact that she was really suffering—from grief and guilt—at having recently put her husband into a nursing home, as she could no longer care for him at home.
I told her I would do some cranial balancing and a back massage, but that I would also like to show her a very simple self-help technique that just MIGHT (no promises here) take the edge off her pain. She agreed to try it, so we tapped for the pain, for the deep distress at her decision to put her husband in the home, for her guilt, for "all the emotions" locked into her colon, and more.
We used Setups such as:
"...This guilt in my gut ... this overwhelming guilt ... this huge distress because I had to put him in a home ... I’m so angry at myself for getting sick..."
I suggested she even hold one hand on her ascending colon area (which is an unusual area to develop a carcinoma) while she tapped.
I also used a little "tasteful" PET (Provocative Energy Therapy—learnt from Steve Wells and David Lake) by working in some expressions such as "I’m so special—no one else gets cancer there! I’ve really done a perfect job of this, too!" because it had come across that she was quite a perfectionist, and to have had to put the husband in a home was regarded by her as a personal failure.
This made Teresa laugh. Suddenly, she looked absolutely surprised and said tentatively, "The pain is less!"
I then said:
"Hmm, you are such a perfectionist; you have done a really good job, there, haven't you! Now, IF the pain comes back, here's something to keep in mind.
"If you take your pain medication, and you get, for example, three to four hours' relief, and then the pain comes back, you wouldn't just fold your arms and say ‘Well, that didn't work, I'm certainly not taking that medication again,’ would you? You would just acknowledge it had a short-term effect, and TAKE ANOTHER DOSE.
"You can apply the same principle to EFT. If one round gives you some relief, even if it is for only 10-20 minutes, all you need to do, if the pain comes back, is to tap another round!"
Teresa liked this logic. So we tapped a few more rounds, including some for forgiving herself, particularly with regard to putting her husband in a home. I completed the session with some cranial balancing and a back massage, as promised.
Generally, I don't get to see these patients again. A nice ending to this story, however, is that two months later I had a private patient who turned out to be Teresa's next-door neighbor.
After our session, the new client said, "I have an elderly next-door neighbor who has bowel cancer and I would love her to know about the work you do."
So I gave her a card and a basic handout sheet to pass on.
The next week when the new client returned for a follow-up appointment, she said she had gone to visit the neighbor, to give her the information, and the neighbor (Teresa) remarked, "I know that woman! I saw her at the cancer center and I have been doing her exercises [i.e., tapping] every day and my cancer pain is in remission!"
As this was such good feedback, I reported this to the cancer center the next time I went, and as four months had now elapsed, the supervisor looked up the records regarding this client, and sure enough there were two entries: "home visit—patient comfortable, pain in remission; second home follow-up—patient canceled proposed appointment at pain management center, no longer required."
How personally satisfying to have been involved in making Teresa's life more comfortable.