My journey back to full health from the misery of ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome was unfortunately longer than it could and should have been. If we (my husband, Pete, and myself) had known back then what we did now, the trial and error we went through could have been avoided and we could have honed in on those things which not only really helped me but also have since been scientifically proven to help.
One of the therapies I tried back when I was ill was Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) otherwise known as Tapping. I will be blogging more about this technique in upcoming blogs but, in a nutshell, EFT is a simple yet highly effective self-help tool based on energy psychology. It is based on the Eastern philosophy of gently tapping on energy meridian points throughout the body, the same meridian points used in acupuncture and acupressure. When I was ill, exactly how or why EFT worked was irrelevant to me; what I simply recognised was that I felt better after using it. EFT is simply amazing at helping with emotional, physical and behavioural problems, as well as helping to overcome negative thoughts.
I was taught EFT by an experienced practitioner who showed me where the tapping points were and how to tap effectively, for maximum benefits and health gains. Once I was taught it I could then use it myself at home whenever I needed to. There were times when it did not seem to be as effective as it could have been and it was then that I knew it was time to see the practitioner again as she seemed able to ask the right questions to bring up emotions that might have been hiding under the surface and which I was too reluctant to tackle myself. However, in general, tapping at home several times a day seemed to really help me feel more relaxed, which ultimately helped me feel physically better as well.
As I said, at the time, I did not really care how EFT was helping me, only that I knew that it was. However it is really interesting now with hindsight to read emerging research on EFT which scientifically demonstrates the physical effects EFT can have and why it was so helpful to my recovery.
A randomized, controlled trial study(1) has recently shown how EFT can have a physical effect on the body by affecting the biochemical marker of stress called cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone, often referred to as the ‘stress hormone’ as it is often elevated when we are suffering from stress, anxiety and depression. In this study, 83 participants were divided into three groups. Group 1 were given one hour of traditional psychotherapy, ‘talk therapy’, group 2 were given one hour of EFT and group 3 were the control group and given no interventions. The cortisol levels of each group were measured before and after treatments.
The results were staggering. There were no changes in the cortisol levels for participants in group 1 and 3, but in group 2, the EFT group, the cortisol levels decreased by 24%. The researchers were so amazed by this response they thought that there must be an error in the readings and they recalibrated their equipment and retested. After a lot of retesting which showed the same results, they finally accepted that there was nothing wrong with their equipment: EFT worked!
If one single session of EFT can have such a dramatic reduction in cortisol levels, imagine what regular tapping could do for your health?
As we have seen in our webinars, the stress response which is responsible for elevated cortisol levels has wide-ranging, debilitating physical affects on our body. Something which starts life as an emotion or a negative thought can actually impact in a very real, physical way on how we are feeling, exacerbating our symptoms and hindering the body’s natural healing response. In my case, the insidious impact of cumulative stressors which had crept up on me and which not only meant then when I got ME/CFS my body was already in a compromised, weakened state but which also kept me ill for so long, was a key factor in my illness. Working with our clients, we know that I was not alone. So many sufferers are hindered by the effects of stressors which are keeping them stuck in ill-health, it is really tragic and frustrating that not more is being done to make sufferers aware of what can be done to help them.
Looking back with the knowledge we now have from the researchers, I am convinced that learning and using EFT was a key factor in my recovery. (In fact, it is now a key factor in my life, as when I recovered I went onto qualify as an Advanced Practitioner of EFT!) We now know how important this simple tool is for our clients and teach it to them so that we are really putting control of their health back into their hands, or rather at the tip of their fingers. If you would like to know more about this amazing tool which can revolutionise your health see Pete’s YouTube video and join us for one of our workshops and tap yourself back to health 🙂
1. Garret Yount, Audrey Brooks and Dawson Church,The Effect of Emotional Freedom Technique on Stress Biochemistry; A Randomized Controlled Trial, Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease,2012