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Back Pain Relief

20+ articles on pain and physical symptoms

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated. Please use my newest advancement, Optimal EFT. It is more efficient, more powerful and clearly explained in my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™.  Best wishes, Gary

The following messages came as a request for members of our email forum to submit their experiences with EFT as it relates to pain and physical symptoms. Nothing contained herein is meant as a substitute for proper medical advice or supervision.

Hi Gary! I used EFT successfully with my 24 year old daughter on Christmas Eve. She had tendonitis from a recent work injury and was in a wrist brace. Her SUDs rating was 7-8 and she was having difficulty holding anything in her one hand. We did two rounds of EFT and reduced it to a level of 1. It continues to remain at the level 1-2. Thanks, Lyn West

Hi Gary, Please share the following: In addition to using EFT with clients and always with successful relief, I have also used it on myself successfully for back pains/sciatica. I have been recently diagnosed with cataracts and since I have been tapping I "see" a definite improvement in my vision. I will be giving an inservice course to a group of nurses and nurse practitioners on stress. Some of them already know of my involvement with EFT and are looking forward to incorporating this technique in their professional and personal lives. Maurice Kouguell, PhD I have used EFT for 2-3 months. I have seen impressive results in the relief of physical symptoms. I myself had a chronic shoulder pain with symptoms consistent with fibromyalgia. I had seen a chiropractor and took OTC pain relief meds almost daily for the muscle pain. I targeted the shoulder pain with EFT and got relief within two rounds. I have had mild discomfort in the shoulder since then that quickly resolves with short rounds.

I also used EFT with a client who had been in a serious auto accident. Her Jeep Cherokee had been totaled and she was removed from the vehicle with the jaws of life. She came to my office hunched over with back and neck pain. I used EFT and within 2-3 rounds, she did not have the pain.

Last story! A close friend damaged her knee and had reconstructive surgery. For Christmas, she came to a dinner party. It was obvious that she was in serious pain, but also depressed about her inability to move around as she used to. After everyone else left, I asked her if she would like me to try EFT and she agreed. Within minutes her face lifted and she said the pain was gone. She had more range of motion than ever before. I also targeted her feeling "overwhelmed" and she became tearful, but this, too, subsided. She left stating she felt better than she had since the accident, she moved more easily and she SMILED. Days and weeks later, she is still doing well.

I have had some physical conditions in clients that did not improve with EFT, but usually there is great relief. Laura Campbell, BCSW

...personally, I have used EFT to reduce my menstrual cramp pain by more than 50%; i.e. I take about 25 - 50% less pain medication. I am frequently able to tap away cramping and when I can't, I need less medication to do the job for me. Best wishes, Mary Sheridan I have had several experiences of using EFT to resolve physical pain for myself and my family, but I will not bore you with these. Two dramatic incidents occurred with clients recently. A moderately retarded individual I know, who had recently had knee surgery, fell down the stairs just as his knee had begun to heal. He was so traumatized by this experience that he refused to walk at all (I already posted a description of the full case). In treating him for his fear of climbing the stairs, it was necessary to treat him for the pain in his knee. Two series of EFT were necessary to completely resolve this pain. After almost 3 months, this pain has not returned.

My partner and I worked with an executive secretary who had experienced chronic pain for many years as a result of long term steroid use. She had pain in her shoulder, chest, back and especially in her foot. She stated that she had a bone spur in her foot which caused almost unbearable pain. We had her focus on each of these areas and quickly resolved all of the pain except that in her foot. The pain in her foot took several rounds but did finally resolve. To test this we had her running up and down the stairs where we work. She was able to do this with no pain and without getting out of breath.

This treatment was done over four months ago. The only pain which has returned is some residual pain in her foot which so far she has not felt the need to treat again. Hope this is helpful. Tom Altaffer, LCSW

In my practice, I have helped people with many physical issues using only EFT. Sometimes, I have witnessed spontaneous remissions of pain while working on emotional issues or on entirely different physical issues. My clients have experienced relief from pain and discomfort relating to the following:

neck stiffness
stomach cramps
postoperative discomfort

Stephanie Y. Rothman, CHT I've used it [EFT] very successfully with a woman diagnosed with fibromyalgia. The technique helped not only in relieving her pain, but in increasing her feelings of energy and motivation. This was during a period when there had been no changes in her diet, medication, or usual pattern of activities, and the changes happened rapidly, so I'm relatively sure the EFT was responsible.

I have also been happy with some preliminary work with a person whose arthritis pain was impeding therapy. Regards, Ken Barclay, MS, MHP

I have used EFT successfully in a number of cases of chronic pain, including:

1) Back pain - One of the Vietnam Veterans in a group I was running suffered from chronic ongoing lower back pain. During one session we did one round of the EFT shortcut sequence on this and his response was an incredulous "It's gone! How did you do that?" He then spent the remainder of the session trying to bring his pain back or check whether it would recur - which it didn't - at least for the remainder of the session (approx. 1 hour)!

2) Shoulder pain - After about 3 rounds of EFT, a colleague reported that his shoulder pain from playing tennis, which had constantly plagued him was down from a 6 to "about a 2".

3) Migraine Headache - A participant in one of my Healthy Living groups had a severe headache, which she expected to follow its normal course and turn into a migraine. 3 rounds of EFT and the pain was gone.

4) Knee pain - A colleague to whom I was explaining EFT found that most of her emotional pain became concentrated in her knee. Whilst working on her emotional issues, the knee pain became first more intense, then gradually lessened and went away.

These are just some examples. Regards, Steve Wells I worked with a woman last summer who was experiencing a tremendous amount of stress in her life. She told me that as the stress-level had intensified, she'd developed ongoing pain in her lower back and left leg, which had been troubling her for a number of weeks. She had been checked out medically without anything being found, so I referred her to an osteopath whom I respected. We worked on some of the issues related to the stress, but I did not attempt to use EFT for the pain during that first appointment.

When I met with her the following week, the pain had intensified and was accompanied by some numbness in her leg. Since she was to be medically re-evaluated (by the osteopath) in just another few days, I suggested we try some EFT tapping for the pain. (I had not had much experience using EFT for pain, so we approached it as an experiment.) We were both delighted when the pain diminished to 0 after just two rounds of the EFT process. The numbness was reduced but did not clear completely.

The following week, she reported that the pain had increased only slightly by the time she saw the osteopath. After the osteopathic treatment, both the pain and the numbness were gone, and she has had no recurrence of these symptoms.

I have since used EFT to treat less dramatic instances of pain (headaches, sore muscles, eye strain), usually with very good results.

Warmest regards, Callie Currier, M.A. A colleague and friend of mine is a childhood diabetic. Ten years ago he had a serious bout with his eyes and seemed to be losing his sight. In October 97 he went to his doctor who said that things looked bad and he wanted to see him in December and if things weren't better, it looked like another round of laser surgery was in order. My friend felt that the original laser surgery had made things worse and it was very traumatic for him. I suggested that he do EFT for "the pressure in my eyes" every day without looking for a suds scale. He did, agreeing that at this point he would try anything. He returned to the Doctor in December and was told that he would not need to be seen again for six months!

Pretty amazing, this stuff! Wayne McCleskey

I have had a few experiences with treating pain:

A nurse was limping one morning and complained that she would have to take ibuprofen to make it through the day. She had twisted her foot and had a mild sprain. I showed her how to do EFT for the pain and it went to zero. She told me later that it did not return the entire day.

I was treating a lady for public speaking anxiety. In the middle of the tapping, she looked startled and exclaimed, "My terrible headache just went away!" Her speaking anxiety was also eliminated.

I was doing an EFT demonstration to a group. I mentioned that it might work on pain and one man volunteered to do a demonstration. He struggled to his feet and explained that he had arthritis in both knees and rated the pain at an 8. After one round of tapping, he said the stiffness was gone and the pain was down to a 1. He was delighted and started doing knee bends in front of the group.

While I was treating the arthritis case above, unknown to me, another man was tapping along. He later told me that he had considerable pain from diabetic neuropathy but it simply went away when he tapped.

I trained a nurse in EFT who related the following. She had a post-op patient who was in considerable pain despite being given all the analgesics the doctor prescribed. (She was also complaining loudly.) The nurse stayed after her shift ended and showed the patient how to do EFT. Her pain went to zero and stayed there through the night, much to the relief of the patient and the nursing staff. The next day, the nurse found the patient happily tapping away when the slightest discomfort arose.

These are not all chronic and I did not make an effort to do long-term follow-up, but then painkillers are not long-term either. Jack Eason Rowe

Below is an excerpt from a post of mine from early November. Most people wanted some form of pain relief, only a few were interested in fear/phobia. I'll be back in my office on Monday and check my records for any other supporting material.

At a health fair last Saturday, I worked with 22 people in five hours. The chair was always full. Some were eager, others curious, others outright disbelievers. One man watch with militant disbelief (his words) as I helped his wife get rid of a building migraine (8 to 0). He then sat down (!) and asked if there was anything I could do for the constant pain of a heel spur he had been living with for two years. I tapped on him (intuitively it seemed to me more believable for him than self-treatment) and the pain resolved to zero. He and his wife came by several hours later, still smiling. Blessings, Mike Wright

Although my license doesn't permit me to treat medical problems, I have used EFT on myself and family. The best result for me is that I have reduced my medication for my hiatal hernia by more than 50% over the course of a year. In fact, my incidents of distress have also greatly reduced. Gloria Arenson

Once a week, I volunteer at a Distress Centre for people in crisis. Yesterday, one young woman called with a crisis and mentioned, as an aside, that she suffered from fibromyalgia. I asked her if she would like to try something for it - she said "sure". We tapped for about 3 rounds when she giggled and commented that she sure lucked out when she got me as her counsellor. Said she felt great - no pain and her depression went with it. Heady stuff.

Some time ago, I dropped in to visit a friend at her shop - she's a designer - and she was on her way home as she was feeling "nauseous, headachey and just plain blah". I asked her if she'd try a weird new technique - she agreed. We did setup, tapped, gamut, etc. & after 4 sessions she felt better - just tired - said she was impressed. I told her to do it herself when she got home. Sorry, I didn't follow up.

One of the aerobic instructors, where I work out, mentioned to me that his mother, who was visiting from France was suffering from shingles (she was stressed and distressed due to a death in the family). I told him that I'd fax him a copy of the Basic Recipe and when he was familiar with the pressure points and had taught them to his mother, he could call me and I'd work with her. He did and I did and after 3 or 4 rounds she was feeling much better - rash still there but pain and irritation way down. Her emotional state was also much improved. I told him to continue the tapping with her. This was just recently and we still have more to do-if he calls me back, that is. Still, pretty good, I think. Another one: Today, as I was driving, I felt a cramp beginning in my foot. They can get quite excruciating. I tapped on the CB & UE points, a few times each - and that was it - GONE. I didn't say anything aloud, just concentrated on the cramp - (and on my driving, of course). Powerful stuff. I'm now going to try to cure my husband of his snoring - a hydraulic drill is music compared to the sounds that accost me nightly. I'll keep you posted - if it doesn't work, my next post will be from jail. Sharon Toole

I have used EFT at several occasions with headaches, in which cases it offered fast relief. Also with joint problems, digestion problems, nausea and a yeast infection. One very clear case has been my own allergy for cats, a life-long history. Last year I visted a friend in Iowa, who has a cat. Within ten minutes I got an acute asthma attack, which I even had to treat with steroids. This year I visited him in his new flat in Brooklyn: same cat, same allergic reaction. The difference: 3 rounds of the Basic Recipe, all the symptoms vanished within a few minutes. I could just stay and continue our discussion for hours. Hope this helps. Willem Lammers

When I was first learning EFT, I recruited as many of the staff in my office as I could to "try" this new thing...Very skeptically they came in with their phobias, fears aches and pains etc. Two of the most memorable ones though were from the psychiatrists who work with me. One had severe back pain for which she had been taking pain killers for months. She was on her way to get her noon dose, and agreed to a round of EFT. After one or two rounds her pain was completely eliminated and it has not reoccurred (it's been several months now). The other psychiatrist had TMJ and rated it as a 7 at the moment. With a few rounds that was eliminated. That held for at least a few weeks, I haven't checked with him lately so I'm not sure if it still holds, I informed him that if he held his stress in his jaw it could return, but to just use EFT to release it. They walked away puzzled, and are now using EFT with their own patients!! Warmly, Mary Sise, CSW When my wife has a headache she reaches for me and EFT now instead of Tylenol or ibuprofen. Two to three rounds of EFT always eliminate her headaches.

My three year old daughter, Leah, recently had a rash on both her hands. We put lotion on it, but she complained of her hands hurting. Two rounds of EFT and the pain was gone and she was off to sleep in a few minutes. In the morning the rash was largely gone. OF COURSE, had the rash persisted in the morning, we would have called the pediatrician.

EFT is not a substitute for medical attention, just a good adjunct. I successfully treated a client who kept overdoing it on a bum knee. EFT helped him give himself permission to rest the knee so that it would heal.

My wife has suffered from sea sickness for many years. Alas, my agency's 25th anniversary party was to take place on a riverboat restaurant sailing up and down the Delaware River. EFT to the rescue. We treated her issue of sea sickness a week or so before the dinner in our home. No treatment was even necessary the evening of the cruise or on the cruise. She had no symptoms at all, not even queasiness. Regards, Jeff Bakely As has already been reported I have worked with clients and my family members for physical complaints with an outlook on "try it on everything" and see what happens. To this end the following physical complaints have had significant reduction with a suds going to 1 or 0.

Period cramps, tension headaches, blurred vision, sleeping pattern going to a full night's sleep ( this hadn't occurred for the person for 5 years), reduction in physical exhaustion, viruses, return of normal menstrual cycle. Also my 4 year old had never slept the whole night through until I started tapping after prayers - she now sleeps through to 5-6:00 am and then comes for a visit.

I have found the responses very encouraging and extremely consistent. I think it's great and am proud to belong to this group of practitioners. Everyone have a lovely day!!! Kind regards, Darryl Dewar

Like the rest of you, I have been using EFT on everything and have had some jaw droppingly awesome results. I can't remember all the people with pain who have been helped by the EFT algorithm, but I'll try to summarize the ones that stick out in my mind.

A very close friend of mine has arthritis that has caused her a lot of pain, and as a result she has had to curtail some of the exercise that she used to regularly engage in to keep herself strong and to keep her joints flexible. In the winter here in northern MN, it is often necessary to use indoor exercise equipment like NordicTrack, and she found that because of her pain she would have to stop after five or ten minutes. I taught her EFT, and now she just taps when the pain starts and keeps going without pain for a full half hour. (Her doctor knows about this and thinks it's a good idea, but thinks the benefit is "all in her head" anyway).

I was referred a self-described "broken down athlete" who is also diagnosed DID by her psychiatrist for hypnotic treatment of her pain that she was constantly experiencing. She was a virtuoso (virtuosa?) hypnotic subject as would be expected from someone diagnosed DID, and was generally able to do wonderful things with most of her pain through hypnosis (which I used first because that's what she was referred for and because I enjoy it so much, especially when working with someone with great talent). There were still some areas of pain that did not respond to the hypnotic approach, however, so I suggested we try this other approach (EFT) and she was pleased to leave the office without pain. I taught her the algorithm to use at home, and in a follow-up phone call this week, about four months after our last meeting, she indicated that she still uses the algorithm when she needs it, which is getting less and less frequently, and she is enjoying freedom from pain she has had for years.

I have used EFT with pain resulting from motor vehicle accidents, burns, fibromyalgia, tmj (this latter case had been through a university pain clinic and a tmj program including biofeedback without significant relief before EFT), and many other conditions. Hope this helps. Jonathan Speare

Have not used EFT specifically for pain reduction. I have one client who suffers from fibromyalgia and when we did EFT for some emotional issues, she mentioned that some of the pain in her shoulder seemed reduced. I hope to address her chronic pain soon - she has been in emotional crisis and that was a priority. I've printed a number of the case studies to share with her. One of the issues we will probably have to deal with is whether she believes that she deserves to be free of pain. Susan Hykes A man I am presently treating in a couple situation occasionally/frequently has nearly uncontrollable panic attacks just before he drifts off to sleep. This almost always causes instant diarrhea for him. After asking him to perform the complete EFT procedure six times a day as a preventative for a week, he reports in three weeks' time only two occasions prior to sleep where he felt the onset of anxiety. Then he tapped the EFT shortcut and fell promptly asleep both times. No more diarrhea. Best, Fritz Frurip LMFT

Hi Gary and Everyone,

I have used EFT with many different physical conditions as well as pain with great success. The one that stands out in my memory is the client who had fibromyalgia for at least a year. She had tried many different therapies; she said that the one that helped the most was acupuncture but even that was not sufficient. She was at that time using morphine and two other pain medicines for some relief. Considering that EFT and acupuncture use the same energy system, I thought it was worth a try. She told me that the day before she had a massage of her arms with no relief at all of the excruciating pain afterward. She also said that she felt that she had let God down by being so ill that she could do the work that she was supposed to do (teach small children). After that broad hint I asked her to tap the side of her hand and say "I accept myself even though I have this disease". Immediately she had no pain in either arm! She was amazed as you can imagine. We completed the EFT process and the remainder of her pain in her neck and shoulders also left her. I followed up with her the next week and she reported that her relief lasted only 1-2 hours at a time. She repeated the treatment as often as necessary during the day and if she wakes in pain always with immediate relief. She was able to decrease the amount of pain meds she was taking and greatly enjoyed the control she had over her pain that she had never had before. Mary Stafford, M.Ed., TFTdx, C.P.C.

When hypnosis was a larger part of my practice than now (due to "power" therapies) I frequently found people who like to be "in control" would develop headaches when we were exploring personal difficulties in hypnosis. It used to be described hypnotically as "patient resistance" but in fact I believe it represents a layer of anxiety, fear etc for that person that has to be carefully and gently explored.

I have found the same headaches with EFT and again the person tends to be people who like to be "in control". I have gently urged them to stay with the process and have found that the site of pain will usually jump around a bit then settle and go. When I have come across this feature I have resorted to the full EFT sequence and from memory I can not recall any experience where the pain did not go.

When using hypnosis I have sometimes had to get the person to their safe place and close the session down with the person understanding that a) there was more work needed on this issue and b) we would follow this up next session. I have not had to resort to this with EFT. I'm not sure if that is due to the nature of the problem being discussed, the type of person I was working with, or the difference in techniques. My gut feeling is it is the difference in technique. Anthony T Smith

About 15 minutes ago I concluded a session with the owner of a business in my town. I happened in his store earlier today and noticed that he was hobbling. I asked what was wrong and he explained that since July he has been having excruciating pain in his arms, shoulders, hip, and thighs. He also had a terrible tingling sensation in his fingers and particular discomfort in one middle finger. He said he had several medical work-ups and was even treated for 'Lyme's' disease. In a few days, he had plans to be on his way to seeing a seventh doctor.

I invited this gentleman over to my office and saw him after his business was closed. We started with the pain in his shoulders which he rated at 8. After a few rounds of EFT the pain was down to zero in the right shoulder and about one in the left. Also, the pain in his hips were down to zero as well, even though we did not tap for that. We then tapped for the numbness and tingling in his fingers and went from a rating of eight to zero in his right fingers and to one or two in his left fingers. Then he said that the middle finger in his left hand was experiencing some discomfort which he rated at eight. We did EFT on that finger discomfort and it went down to about one or two.

Needless to say, he was amazed at the relief he received. I was quite impressed myself. I told him that there was no guarantee that the pain would not come back so he left with a copy of EFT-on-a-page pledging to do more tapping if the pain returned. I also gave him a copy of the manual since he was eager to read more about EFT. This experience was quite heartening.

I trust that this sharing is indeed helpful to others who, like myself, are learning how to be of service to mankind. Sincerely, David T. London, PH.D."


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