My client, who has fibromyalgia, told me that the EFT work we did together in our sessions works really well for her, but when she tries to do EFT on her own, she can’t think of what to say.
So, while we did a session together on the pain she was feeling in her legs, I tracked the questions I asked her and how we worked with and embroidered her answers.
Of course this doesn’t cover anywhere near everything possible to ask or say, but it might help guide someone else with the same puzzlements. Also, this session provides a useful template for any physical problem, not just legs. You could even modify it for emotional issues.
Ask yourself the following questions, and any others that occur to you. Listen inside. Pay attention to thoughts, worries, images, physical sensations, symptoms, feelings that arise. As you will see, each of these questions elicits many trappable phrases.
- Tap for all these insights
- Tap for your answers to the questions.
- Make up new questions as they occur to you, and tap for those too!
Remember that there are no “right” words to say when you are doing EFT, just as there are no “wrong words.” If you are working with someone else it is super-important to stick with their own words in the set-up phrases, or during the point tapping. Absolutely avoid telling them what to think, even if what you think they should think is brilliant, or necessary for their evolution, or whatever.
You might offer suggestions, but always with the invitation to just try on what you are saying, and if it doesn’t feel right, to reject it. Our job as tapping facilitators, even (especially!) with ourselves, is to be partners, co-creators, and collaborators, not authorities armed with should’s or must’s.
The phrases that my clients and I tapped for in this session are in italics.
- Where specifically do you experience the pain?
Tops of my thighs, knees
“Even though I have pain in …”
- What is the worst part?
My knees are weak, I can’t trust them.
Even though my knees are weak…
Even though I feel like I can’t trust my knees…
- How would you describe it?
“Even though I have soreness in my knees…”
- Soreness like what?
Like an ache, like my knees ache
“Even though my knees ache…”
Like my muscles are not toned
“Even though it feels like my muscles are not toned…”
Continue to use each phrase in italics in this way, sometimes as a set up statement— “Even though…”, and sometimes as phrases to say while tapping on each point. (Note: there is no way to do this “wrong!” You can’t do any harm, only good.)
- When do you feel it? What triggers it?
When I am stressed and worried
- When did it start?
Exhausted from exercise
Tension in my body
- When was the first time you felt something like this pain?
Some time after that auto accident ten years ago (work with all the aspects of the incident)
- Make a metaphor – what do your legs feel like?
As if they are waking up from hibernation,
Like they haven’t been used, no strength in them, like a bear coming out in spring.
(Later in the process, I wove in some imagery about bears: bears are powerful… feels so good to come out of that cave… the fierce protectiveness and will to survive and thrive of the mother bear for her cubs, and your fierce protectiveness for your own body, your will to thrive)
- How do you feel about your legs hurting?
- What specifically is embarrassing about it?
(Note: “What, specifically…? is an excellent question to ask to get deeper into vague answers. With EFT the more specific you can get, the better it works.)
I feel out of shape.
Walking that short distance should not be an issue.
Frustrated with my body.
Mad at my body.
- If there were a deeper emotion under the pain, what would it be?
Worry that if I don’t overcome this, pain in activity will get progressively worse. Worry that the cycle of pain will get worse every time.
Worried what the future will be.
Anger — it’s not fair!.
- What might that be like? (In other words, be specific about the worries and the other feelings)
My physical abilities will be further limited physically.
I am not as strong as I want to be .
I think of myself as strong, but my body is keeping me back from that.
- When you worry, how do you do that?
A vicious mental circle: worry—exercise—pain—worry—stop exercise—worry
…It is a gerbil wheel of worry.
Any time you can find a metaphor, like “gerbil wheel of worry,” utilizing it amplifies the possibilities and the effectiveness of your tapping. The inner unconscious mind responds very powerfully to metaphor. You can just let associations to the metaphor arise imaginatively as you tap. This engages a whole other dimension of your experience, one closer to something in you that is actually feeling and producing the pain itself.
(At this point my client’s leg pain was almost gone…)
Following are some questions to ask in order to find new things to add, after you say “Even though I have some remaining pain in my legs, I deeply and completely love and accept myself and…”
- What do you want instead?
I want to fix my body, not mask the pain with drugs like my friend does.
I want a strong and healthy body.
- What state of being would you have to be in for this to be true?
Excited about physical activity peace, health and well being, knowing that I am enabling my body to feel good for my future.
- If you were no longer worrying, what would you do instead?
I would be having new adventures, appreciating my body.
- I Choose:
…to appreciate my health, my body
(“Even though I only have a little pain left in my legs, I choose…”)
- What specifically do you want to appreciate about your health and your body?
- I Choose to appreciate:
My legs — that I can still walk.
My legs for holding me up all these years.
My legs for helping me to stand up for myself.
My arms, that they can give people hugs.
My body, that it can feel joy.
- I Choose:
To look forward to each new adventure.
To look forward to the future.
To put my attention toward what I want, not what I fear.
When you tap, use your imagination, your curiosity, your associative thinking, and especially your humor to come up with images and phrases about the use and purpose, even the spiritual purpose, of your topic, “legs,” in this case.
Of course you can do this with any subject, and this is what can make EFT so fun, I think! Be as wild and dramatic in your imagination as you can. Let healing be joyful!
legs support you
they are your greatest friends
legs allow you to stand tall,
to stand up for yourself
to take a stand
to stand out
to take you places
to get you where you want to go
to take you away from what you want to avoid,
jump for joy
run to what you want
kick things out of the way,
kick a path open for you,
legs allow you to be flexible
be as short as you want or as tall as you are—inside and out….
Now, sprinkle all these phrases in as you tap along.
Use your own imagination, let it RUN free!
Give your intuition its own legs!
Offered with love and blessings from Rue