By Vivian Choi
One of the great things about EFT is that, if we so choose, we can free ourselves from the emotional charges (especially the negative ones) that some of our life stories have on us. It’s not about denying or forgetting what happened, but rather about looking at these events with a fresh perspective and not being triggered into “fight or flight” or any other counterproductive responses. That’s what I saw happen to my client Nina.
Nina (not her real name) had been experiencing a lot of stress recently due to some major changes in her life. She had separated from her husband and moved out with the younger of her two children. She felt she needed more financial security, so, having newly qualified as a music therapist, she took on a full time job at a care home, in addition to giving private music lessons after work hours. The new job and environment proved more demanding and tiring than she had anticipated.
As she was a newcomer to EFT, I asked her to tap along with me so that she could familiarize herself with the meridian points while telling me about her concerns. I then asked her to focus on one recent incident that was particularly trying for her. She remembered a moment when she felt demoralized while putting away handchimes after a group session at the care home. We then proceeded to deal with this using the Movie Technique. She titled her movie “Handchimes Are Heavy.” She felt that her physical exhaustion was at an 8 on the SUD scale.
We tapped using Nina’s own words. We set up saying:
Even though these handchimes are so heavy, I fully love and accept myself/accept this job.
Reminders Phrases were:
These hand chimes are SO heavy, so tiring on my arms
SO heavy and I have to put them away
I have to walk all the way downstairs to put them away
It’s only 3:15!
I thought I was tough, but maybe I’m not after all…
Her exhaustion had not improved much after a few rounds. I then introduced the 9 Gamut Procedure by saying, “Now, we’re going to do something strange. You can just follow me.”
When we finished, she had a clear shift! She told me, “I’ll gain a lot of wisdom and experience and will really develop my knowledge and skills in this job. It will probably get easier.” She added, however, that she still felt really frustrated, the real reason being that there were too many people to control. Since her SUD level was still quite high at a 6, I thought we’d change tactics and proceeded to deal with the frustration using imagery.
I asked her what that frustration looked like. She said, “It’s like a golf ball, it’s white, hard, heavy, had a bumpy surface,” but the SUD level dropped to a 4.
We tapped on:
Even though I have this frustration that’s like a golf ball, I love and accept myself completely/I’m okay.
The Reminder Phrases were:
This white/hard/bumpy/heavy golf ball.
After one round, the ball became marble-sized with SUD at 2. “But I need this [frustration]!” she insisted. We tapped another round anyway, and it became a soft red bean; the SUD level was at about a 0.
To see if this frustration had its roots in earlier life, I asked if she remembered any event in her past when she had felt similar emotions. She quickly recalled an incident when her mom tried to wash her hair when she was about 6 years old. We used the Tell the Story protocol to deal with this childhood incident.
She could hear her mom’s voice shouting and scolding her. We started to tap on her mom’s voice:
Even though mom is shouting at me/scolding me, I love myself anyway/I know I’m okay.
But Nina interrupted the round to say that it was NOT her voice that bothered her, but the influence of that on her life—that everything felt like a fight! We hit on a core belief: “Fight” seemed to be a theme running through her relationships, work, etc. She said she could feel her mom’s hand pressing her head down in order to wash her hair in a basin of water, and she kept pushing back up.
We tapped on that “fight”:
Even though Mom’s pushing me down/pushing my head into the water … even though I’m trying to push my head back up… I know I’m okay.
I don’t like washing my hair. I don’t like water on my face. She’s pushing so hard, I need to push back up, it’s a fight…
During the second round, she interrupted and said she now understood her mom’s emotions. She appeared calmer now and said that it must have been difficult for her mom, especially when the kid did not cooperate.
“It feels like a different story now,” Nina added.
At that point I thought it was okay to conclude.
Nina called me the following evening. She said she had started work at 8 a.m., but had not felt tired all day! It was great to see that Nina could begin to see that life does not have to be a fight. It’s never too late to take charge and run our own show.
Note about the author: Vivian Choi was trained as a classical pianist.