By R.A. Hass
This is PART 1 of a three part series of articles on how to work with Fibromyalgia as a spiritual energy imbalance. Those of us who are unlicensed energy method practitioners need to avoid the language of therapy or medicine. Since my unfortunate experience with the law around this issue, I have been seeking to describe how I use energy methods to help people to activate the creativity of what’s possible in any situation. For me, there is a deeper, more positive truth in what the health care system might call a “diagnosis.” Read Part 2.
Fibromyalgia as Disharmony of Spirit
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, fibromyalgia is a “disharmony of the spirit.” Can you apply that thought to this description of two “typical” fibromyalgia sufferers?
*Eight years ago, Tammy worked as an office manager and had three young children. Then her husband died, and her children began to have problems adjusting at school. A single working mother with a stressful job, Tammy would lie awake nights worrying about her situation. “My sleep went off first. I never had trouble falling asleep before, but I would lie awake night after night, thinking about my kids and my job, and it seemed that I never had a deep, sound sleep, even if I dozed off. After a while I would wake up in the morning feeling stiff all over and extremely tired. When I went to see my doctor he gave me an anti-depressant, but it didn’t work, plus I gained weight.” Gradually, Tammy’s condition worsened.
*Sheila is an elementary school teacher. Six years ago, her twenty-four year marriage ended in a very bitter divorce. Four years ago, she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. She had multiple complaints: fatigue, depression, muscle aches, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, and poor memory. She always woke up between 1:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m., feeling restless and remembering a lot of dreams. She drives herself to excel in her work, but she is finding it very stressful these days, and often thinks that she can’t handle it any more.
Acupuncturists say “Wherever there is pain, there is no free flow of energy. Where there is no pain, there is free flow of energy.”
Both of these women were in pain, neither slept well. Tammy was mostly worried, and Sheila’s emotional tone was more angry. Both had responded to the life conditions that befell them by tightening up inside. Perhaps this inner tightness led to their developing the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
At the deepest level, however, both Tammy and Sheila were experiencing a disharmony of spirit, a constriction of their deep self expression, the natural free flow of energy in their body, mind and spirit.
How medicine, psychology and spirituality describe fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a syndrome diagnosis (many different recurring symptoms under one umbrella).
Fibromyalgia is a complex nervous system pain disorder (shows up in many ways in the nervous system).
Abnormal brain activity starts with a trigger, but does not return to normal.
The trigger may be repeated over time.
This brain response may be adaptive for protection.
The sensitive temperament is able to regulate physical and emotional response only when there is very low stimulation in the person’s environment.
Chronic emotional and physical pain is obstructed spiritual energy, a constriction of the heart, reflected as pain in the body.
Some of the essential qualities of spirit are love, expansiveness, generosity, creativity, imagination, possibility, openness, growth, flow and purpose.
A sensitive person feels unable to fully express his/her true self in what feels like a harsh, critical, wounding world.
As a result of traumas, a sensitive person may eventually respond by constricting their whole being around a thought: “I can’t express what I really feel, I can’t be who I really am, I am not good enough. In order to matter or have significance, in order to have inner peace, and in order to justify taking care of myself, I must be ill.”
Energy Psychology Perspective
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Heart is called the ‘King’ of the organs.
The Heart houses the Spirit, and controls the emotions. Sadness and anger weaken the Spirit; the body can become ill.
Fibromyalgia is an interruption in a particularly sensitive person’s electrical system resulting from emotional trauma.
Repeated experiences of stress or trauma can disrupt the energy system and restrict the flow of life, limiting access to our capacity to think and act and make choices.
If we repress the emotions (sadness, anger, fear) that arise in response to our traumatic experiences, the electrical system disruption will eventually show up as pain and dis-ease in the body.
Clearing the disruption with energy techniques can clear the pain, change thought, change behavior, and open the Heart, resulting in healing.
I think that these three ways of describing fibromyalgia are just using different words for an obstruction or a tightening–the “not-free-flow”– that is happening throughout the mind-body-spirit system.
The “pain of the spirit” means to me that the person is restricting the free flow of their life expression, in this case, Tammy with worry and fear, and Sheila with anger. Holding worry, fear and anger inside for a long time eventually shows up as pain in the physical body.
How can we tap for a disharmony of spirit?
As tappers, our underlying premise is that the flow and balance of the body’s electromagnetic, subtle energies are important for physical, spiritual, and emotional health, and for fostering well-being. EFT works within the ancient Chinese meridian system to balance the whole energy system.
If we start tapping for fibromyalgia by saying “Even though I have FM, I deeply and completely accept myself,” all kinds of inner objections may instantly pop into our minds. That phrase might be a starting point, but only useful at the beginning to uncover all the beliefs and feelings that lie under it.
So really, tapping for fibromyalgia means reaching to the deepest levels of how we think about ourselves and what is possible for us in the world. We are not “treating” fibromyalgia in the western medical sense, or as a Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor would. We are tapping for the pattern of energetic constriction in our bio-electric field that is showing up as our physical discomfort, our feelings, our beliefs, and our self talk. Each person with FM is different, unique.
A good place to start is to tap for the pain specifically. A good follow-up to that is to ask ourselves, “If this pain or discomfort or these tears had a voice, what would it be saying?”
When we really listen to what our symptoms are saying, they want us to change our lives, and change how we think about and talk about ourselves. Inner balance and harmony follows our thoughts. Tapping can open the door for harmony at all of our energetic levels. But–it requires that we allow our lives to change deeply too. For many people, that is the hard part.
Tapping for Fibromyalgia to Bring Harmony to the Spirit
Begin with pain in the body
Use imagination and metaphor
Tap for painful experiences
Tap for beliefs that were formed from them, understand and reframe
Tap for emotions that arise from the constricting beliefs
Tap for self blame, high expectations. Invite allowing, trusting
“…and I honor myself for how hard this has been for me.”
“…and I deserve to take good care of myself”
Incorporate the person’s sense of spirituality to build a sense of personal sovereignty:
This is Where I Stand: I am bringing harmony to my spirit
It is very possible to heal from fibromyalgia. You don’t really need to know anything about the energy structure of fibromyalgia to be helpful to yourself or others with tapping, but the language of balancing a person’s energy structure is a useful frame to hold the story and the healing process in.
Bringing harmony to this energetic pattern that we call fibromyalgia asks us to work with the deepest level of identity. Not everyone is ready for this, but it is a truly worthy road to walk.