My first New Year’s Resolution is that I promise this will be my last holistic health article this month. The response to these last few articles has been really gratifying. Thank you!
In the last two articles I discussed Epigenetics and the Release Technique. Somewhere along the line, I came across a healing therapy called the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) which is the healing therapy developed by highly-regarded Nick Ortner. EFT is also called “Tapping.”
EFT is not a new technique. Ortner identifies and uses 8 of the 100 meridian points first used by Chinese healers more than 5000 years ago. If this train of thought sounds a bit dubious, that’s okay. I considered this one the same way. But, EFT works and it works quickly. I can almost guarantee that if you work with the concept, you will soon be visiting this therapy every day and in some cases more than once a day.
To maintain a positive attitude and ease the emotional stress while waiting for a new heart or as you engage your recovery from heart transplantation, you can really benefit from these three practices.
While the Release Technique has definitely helped me with my own demons, including self-doubt, the EFT has been most helpful for health and pain. Believe me, this is one holistic exercise that has a recognizable and fast effect. With my rib pain, this has been far and away the best therapy.
Recently, I have become committed to substantially changing my prescription intake. This does not mean that I will unilaterally stop taking prescriptions but it does mean that I strive to decrease the need for these medicines.
If your heart transplant or heart transplant waiting experience is anything like mine, you view your medicine as a necessary evil. In some cases, the medicine we take is poisonous to our other organs and bodily functions. If you doubt this, start reading the disclaimers attached to your prescriptions.
I have not needed to go the hospital for 8 months. Wow!!! That is very cool. I feel stronger and more agile every day. Yes, I have come a long way.
I am still taking reduced amounts of my anti-rejection medicines, Imuran, Medrol and Prograf. I still have some clotting and the pulmonary embolism. I am using the EFT to get that blood moving better. If I can rid myself of the steroids and eliminate the need for a blood thinner, that would be a magical outcome. Don’t bet against me on this!
Prograf and Imuran will be next. I think I cannot play around with Vfend or risk another fungal issue, so that medicine may outlast all the others.
Through self-discipline and exercise, I have nearly eliminated the need for insulin. That is not easily done at this time of year, especially if you reside with a baking whiz kid who likes to entertain and who sends everybody home with fudge rolls and cookies. But, lowering the sugar can be done.
In the past six months, my sugar level has registered over 150 on three occasions; once at Thanksgiving, when Suzanne and her sisters have a pie bake-off challenge and twice over the Christmas holiday. I am really hopeful to be rid of the insulin soon.
So, let’s get to the Emotional Freedom Technique or tapping. In its simplest form, the process works like this.
1. Create the setup. The setup succinctly states the issue at hand and supports with your out loud declaration that you deeply and completely accept yourself. In my case, the setup goes like this, “Even though I have this rib pain, I completely and deeply accept myself.”
2. Once you have created the setup, you use three or four fingers on one hand to tap the outside of your hand just above the wrist. As you are tapping this “karate chop area,” repeat your setup three or four times. At each tapping point, I tap at least ten times.
3. After completing the hand tapping, we should stop the part of the refrain that pertains to self-acceptance. So armed with a refrain that is “This rib pain must go,” I begin to gently tap the point inside my eyebrow above but inside the nose line. For tapping all these meridians, you can use two fingers. Tap with the fingertips and not the fingernails. Remember to repeat your new refrain.
4. After at least ten taps inside the eyebrow, let’s move to the outside of the eyebrow where the head begins to curve. Tap gently and keep up the refrain.
5. After the outside of the eyebrows, move to just under the eye, at the ridge of the bone. Remember to continue the refrain and tap gently with two fingers.
6. If I am satisfied with the way the exercise is going, I move to the area just under the nose. Here, I often change the refrain to something like, “When this rib pain is gone, I will play paddle (or golf or lift 200 pounds).”
7. After this, move your tapping to the chin just below your lip and above the ridge. Get centered on the nose line. Repeat the refrain.
8. Now, move to an area below the two points of your collarbone. Drop down one inch or so and move one inch in either direction. I always go near the heart. Tap gently. I often spend more time here. Keep up the refrain.
9. Move under the armpit and down about 4 inches. For me, this lands me on the exact pint where my pain originates. I am gentle here but I linger and continue the refrain. I also change my refrain. “This rib pain will not discourage me.” Over and over again. By this time, I am really focused.
10. Your final tapping meridian can be accomplished with one or two hands and four fingers from each hand. By this time I am into my refrain. The tapping point is the crown or center of the head. If you are not getting the karate tapping spot, start the tapping and express your setup by tapping this spot and then go through the same process ending where you began.
11. Take a deep breath. “I will play golf. I will play paddle. This pain will end.” Exhale deeply.
If you are not satoisfied with the exercise, start over. I hope you have as much luck with this as I have.
When I first started this, I was astounded. Ortner describes the tapping technique as Emotional Freedom Technique because he recommends it for emotions like grief, anxiety, fear and anger. Typically I use the Release Technique (see previous articles) for those emotions.
For pain, EFT has been great. I believe you can benefit from this. If you would like to discuss this or Epigenetics or the Release Technique, drop me an e-mail.
Here’s to you and a Happy and Heart-Healthy New Year!