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Author of Soul Medicine.
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Professor of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine
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Author of Molecules of Emotion.
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author of The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem
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Note: This article assumes you have a working knowledge of EFT. Newcomers can still learn from it but are advised to get our Free EFT Get Started Package or our EFT Books and EFT Trainings for a more complete understanding. For more, read our EFT Info and Disclaimer Document. Please consult physicians on all medical issues.
Treating Sexual Problems with EFT
Dear EFT Community,
Dr. Silvia Hartmann shares how Emotional Freedom Techniques can allow us to address injuries and disturbances with sexuality, thus leasing us to a healthier sex life.
If we consider the billions upon billions people spend on all aspects and areas of their lives related to sex - and let us not forget, this includes the entire beauty and fitness industry.
It is interesting yet quite telling to note how little has been written on the topic of treating sexual problems with EFT.
What I would like to do in this article is to present a gentle progression into this area of every adult's life that is still so very difficult to talk about in public in a rational manner.
It is also my hope that there will be some amongst those who are reading this who will find courage and hope and will decide to lift the lid on this topic for themselves at last.
It really is essentially important in every aspect of everyone's life, whether they wish to acknowledge this or not - our sexual systems have inordinate impact on how we feel inside, of how much power we think we have, of course on our "creativity", no matter how it is expressed; on how much success we might believe we can have elsewhere; and in the end, on how much happiness there can be in our lives.
Please do not think that I am suggesting we should use EFT so we can go out and have more sex; that is not the purpose of this article.
What I want to do instead is for each of us to consider the energetic systems that are related to sexuality; these are systems of life itself and need to be given a great deal of respect and quite regardless of any adult's age or state of health or other circumstances.
I would also like to present a step by step system by which any individual in self help, or a counsellor/healer with their clients in a partnership healing setting, may approach the subject and move through the various layers in safety and without any kind of further traumatisation being necessary.
Before we even begin with any more specific treatments, a good place for anyone suffering from "shameful" problems of this nature is to tap the following soothing and strengthening statements, for example:
Please remember that EFT treatments are never meant to be something you force yourself or others to have to suffer through; we can start as far back when as we need to in order to make it as easy and gentle as possible to get real healing, change and forward movement into the systems of mind and body.
Once we are beyond the "denial" protection barrier and the issues are really here now in consciousness, the next step might be to simply think about "this whole subject" and tap without any opening statements, simply to take the edge off the tumult of feelings and memories so we can start to think more clearly, target more specific interventions and create change that will actually hold and last "in the field".
This is also a good time to use "tearless trauma technique" approaches and global symbols, numbers, or metaphors to help retain a distance from the problems and memories and still be able to make headway into what is a very serious and very sensitive set of systems.
For example, many women suffer from extreme disturbances in their relationships with their own bodies which often lies at the core of their problems; in many other instances it is a high contributing aspect.
To find a metaphor (such as the Lotus) or even a colour (the root chakra "red" can be used, for instance) and to use EFT treatment rounds about the feelings towards these abstractions can be a breakthrough experience of healing that is truly profound in its repercussions on overall health and happiness in both body and mind.
On the Meridian Therapy internet news group, a very experienced practitioner and EFT healer mailed for help with a lady client who hated sex following a childhood full of abuse. Now, this lady was married but could not bear to be touched.
She loved her husband very much and lived in a constant hell of wanting to please him and have him be happy and satisfied, yet being unable to control her flinch-back and panic reflexes which would arise automatically and in spite of her husband having "been so patient for all these years".
Not much headway was being made with this lady although she seemed responsive to EFT in other ways; the therapist was wondering where she might be missing something, where she was going wrong.
As I looked over the kind of opening statements they had been using it became clear right away that both this lady and the therapist were backing away from "calling a spade a spade" - and this is the next hurdle when we start using EFT for sex problems, fears, inadequacies, past trauma and bad experiences.
Whether we are working in self help by ourselves, or with other people, it matters not - once we get down to specific incidents or current events, oblique and roundabout descriptions of feelings, parts, acts and happenings can not get to the true core of the problems.
For many people, the whole topic of sex is so shocking, "dirty", unpleasant and generally contorted that there may be a lot of merit to just tap rounds of EFT on "those words" themselves and until they can be thought about and talked about in a rational manner and without the energy system going into instant reversal and even more shame and embarrassment ensuing.
Sex is an area which might really have the very highest and least talked about emotions present, whether they may be in the forms of memories of trauma and abuse, or simply every day experiences of fear and failure.
In intimate relationships, there are a huge array of very specific triggers of physical sensations, of body postures which are never assumed at any other time, of thoughts and emotions, of sights and scents - in short, there are unusually many aspects to sexual sensation or performance problems.
For really thorough and long lasting healing interventions with EFT that will hold up fully "in the field" we likewise need to be thorough with ourselves or with our clients and make sure that we get all the relevant aspects and treat them until the person feels a true sense of release.
This also very strongly pertains to being able to directly deal with causative memories later on; to be able to describe truthfully and without feeling ashamed what really happened, and to use EFT to finally break the hold of the past, once and for all.
This might also mean that counsellors, coaches and therapists might need to treat themselves for feelings of shame or embarrassment so that they may be able to provide their clients with the stabilising influence and confident guidance they need.
Especially sexual abuse survivors have symptoms that are clearly a direct result of what happened to them a long time ago but which are not necessarily directly related to having sex at all.
Many for example find it nearly impossible (or indeed, entirely impossible) to present themselves for intimate physical exams with a doctor or gynecologist.
They may also experience problems about taking even top layers of clothes off in public (such as at the beach or in communal changing rooms) or other types of symptoms, from being unable to sleep with the window open even a little way or having to sit close to fire exits in restaurants - there are a multitude of symptoms.
Starting on these rather than on the memories or feelings from the causative events directly is often a very good "way into" these frightening mindscapes.
I would make the comment that anyone who either knows or suspects that their sexual problems have been caused by abuse or trauma might consider seeking the aid of a qualified meridian energy therapist they feel really comfortable and safe with. Self help is a wonderful thing but indeed, some things are really better faced with a knowledgeable guide by ones side.
Should this apply to you, there is also the option of pre-treating fear or any reason to NOT go ahead and find resolution for these problems in self help first and use the EFT self treatments to get yourself to a place where you can ring up and make an appointment.
This is of course a vast topic. This article is only designed to give you some ideas of what we can do with EFT, and that you can expect to see a real improvement in many areas of your sex life if you decide to use EFT in that centrally important context.
Whether it is male "performance" or female abilities to feel what the body can feel and flow with the sexual experience as we were designed to by God and the Universe, energy reversals and blockages are always something we can remove, treat and thus, get a great deal more out of our sex life.
We have already briefly touched on trauma and memories that can cause such reversals and energy blockages; here, I am particularly thinking about emotional responses which are indicators of other types of blockages such as:
Fear. Performance anxiety, thinking that you are not good enough, that there is something wrong with you, that you are "no good at sex" or that you don't deserve to have orgasms, that God thinks sex is bad or that you shouldn't be having it at all - these and a million more fears are the first and prime candidates to destroy the flow of energies through the systems and make our bodies cease up, cramp up in fear and panic and stop us from flowing with the sexual experience in an open and natural fashion.
All of these fears, if they are allowed to be expressed and treated with EFT, can and will recede and this really makes a big difference to your sexual experience.
Shame. Shame, guilt, disgust, distaste, embarrassment - these are really of one category and they are very difficult and painful emotions indeed that are guaranteed to keep an individual in sexual hell for their entire adult lives.
Interestingly, these forms of emotions which are very visceral with aspects of real physiological responses such as gagging responses, feelings of nausea and sickness, breathlessness etc, respond beautifully to the application of EFT and these are excellent self help candidates. In the privacy of your own home and your own mind and body, you can begin to treat such responses with the aid of your own body, or perhaps photographic or artistic representations of what is causing the problem.
I would make the side note that fetishes and strong (but unwanted) desires for certain situations, people or objects can be treated successfully with EFT, even if they have proven entirely untreatable with any other known method or approach; treating issues of shame and guilt about fetishes is also a very, very healing and reconciling thing to do and regardless whether an abatement in desire for the fetish is required or not.
Anger. Anger and feelings of rage at self or at others clearly preclude loving sexual flow in relationships - even with the self. Many people don't even know that they are angry at themselves or at their current partners; usually this is anger by proxy because it wasn't either the self or the current partner who ever did anything wrong to deserve this.
Anger choked down causes big vortices and blockages in the energy system; worse, it causes sexual expression to become of a different flavour than it would otherwise have been. It also precludes honesty and intimacy in sexual relationships with self and others, so to treat anger and rage issues is always a good idea.
Here, I would like to clearly state that to have anger issues in any context, sexual or otherwise, is not a character flaw or some genetic defect but simply always and only a response to painful things that have happened to us in the past -"It hurts and that makes me angry" in a very simple cause-and-effect.
EFT is particularly good at healing these old wounds and injuries once and for all, and when that happens, anger simply ceases to exist. It doesn't require a great deal of "forgiveness work" or any hardship other than to just simply repair the injuries in the energy system in the usual way, namely by firstly becoming aware of any issues of anger, giving them expression and doing the EFT treatment as usual with your own words, for example:
Every single anger, rage or hate you can release from yourself with EFT will be a burden released and help you think, feel and flow more freely.
A great area of stopping people from even trying to treat themselves so that they may release their energy blockages and reversals is in "thoughts of shame and morality" - things they were taught or things they believe.
For example, there are many people who think that if they liked sex any better than they did or didn't find it disgusting anymore, that would mean that they would turn into lust driven animals and run around in the streets, doing it with everyone and everything all the time.
This is absolutely not so and nothing but an old wife's scare story.
Someone with sexual instincts which have returned to a state of natural flow will of course seek out sexual partners; but they will not be indiscriminate or stupid about it and much less develop into rapists or paedophiles. Quite in the contrary - those sorts of behaviours indicate a problem rather than ever representing any form of solution.
"Thoughts of shame and morality", as installed by fundamentalist religions for example, cause the most tremendous problems.
The drive to sexual expression is one of the most powerful forces we have in our adult lives and the fact is that if this expression (with a partner or by yourself) becomes mis-routed or perverted, of course we will have the corresponding powerful disturbances and "perversions", if you will.
Releasing blockages, untangling contortions and generally speaking, allowing the mind-body systems relating to being a sexual being to return to a state of health and flow cannot do anything else than to help make life easier, less stressful and more as it was always designed to be.
Discussing truthful opening statements and working together with EFT in a partnership to help both partners achieve deeper, more profound and more exhilarating experiences is a truly magical thing.
There are many variations on "Partner EFT" - just sitting opposite one another and touching the points on each other, mirror fashion, either in silence or whilst both say an affirmation or statement of love or intent to change something for one or both of the partners is absolutely fascinating and more intense than most practised Tantra specialists achieve after years of dour practise.
Allowing each other to help each other remove the last blockages and reservations, fears or contortions to experiencing true intimacy with each other is one of the most extraordinary things you could possibly do in a relationship, no matter how you achieve this; gentle touching rather than tapping can keep this process loving and entirely flowing and non-mechanical.
Including the EFT points in a massage can be used easily and without having to say too much; kissing them is a more advanced version which I particularly enjoy, especially when it comes with an opening statement of, "I love you and I desire you deeply and completely."
If you do not have a partner, doing EFT for your own hopes and dreams, fears and limitations in an intimate setting with yourself is a breakthrough experience of learning to love yourself in every way if you will allow yourself to have it.
There are many people who for one reason or the other wish to use sexual energy not for sexual expression in partnership but for other purposes, such as raising energy for healing or spiritual development.
I would point out that we still are in a place where these sexual energies themselves must flow freely first before they can be transmuted into something else. If these energies are blocked or disturbed, they cannot function in the spiritual flow either - no matter what, and no matter how, sexual energies need to flow freely, lightly and cleanly, without contortions and blockages.
I estimate that having ones sexual systems in order might well account for at least 30% of any one adults effectivity and happiness in this life. This doesn't mean they have to have sex at all; and it doesn't mean they have to have a partner.
What we do need however is to address our injuries and disturbances in these systems urgently and as one of the first and most important areas of enquiry when there is something wrong with our lives. It simply is structurally of the essence for a long and healthy life, and at least as important as are diet or exercise to which so very much attention and thought is being given.
EFT gives us a tool at last with which to do this, without fear, shame or guilt; in the privacy of our own homes if need be, and in so doing, allows us to free up unprecedented energies for health, for activity, for success - for life.