Recently, a man who I’ll call “Robert” visited my practice. An educated, articulate man in his 50s, Robert had been having severe, chronic pain in his head for almost 20 years. Many years ago, he had been diagnosed with a rare illness called AVM, or arteriovenous malformations. AVM is a disorder of the blood vessels and arteries. About half of all cases occur in the brain, brainstem and spinal cord. When AVM growths occur there, it often carries with it high risks of stroke, paralysis, loss of speech, memory or vision. Because of his illness, Robert was disabled and had been unable to work. He complained of intense and constant pain on the left side of his head, vertigo, and fatigue. His symptoms were even more exacerbated by the heat of the summer. Any sort of exercise or rapid movement made things worse for him. He often had to spend much of the day lying down and resting.
Robert lived alone. In just the last 3 years alone, had been rushed to the emergency room on 5 separate occasions suffering from serious life-threatening emergencies in which he almost died. He told me he had seen no less than 12 doctors, and none of them had been able to help him much at all. It was clear that Robert’s health situation was precarious. He was on several medications for pain management, including one that was a potent morphine derivative.
On top of all that, Robert was very distressed at his eroding financial situation. He had been a hard working man most of his life, and had continued working as long as he could, until his illness prevented him from being able to hold down a job. He lived on a small disability stipend, and financially, things were very difficult. At this point, he was worried that he was approaching a point where he would have no choice but to dip into his retirement savings.
I asked Robert if he had had energy work before. He stated that he already knew a lot about energy work. He said he frequently gave Reiki to himself. (Curiously, he also acknowledged that he had never actually had anyone else work on him.) Robert also told me that he was knowledgeable of qi gung and practiced it frequently. He also said he knew acupressure and had tried treating himself in that modality. And yet, despite the medications and the other modalities he had tried, his pain levels remained stubbornly high.
Whenever someone new comes in, especially if they are sitting with something unfamiliar to me such as a rare illness, I often make an assessment on what might be the best energetic approach to use. Given that there’s a limited amount of time in a session and that it takes time to try different energetic approaches, I look for what I call an “opening”, or a place to start in moving into the energetic field.
Since Robert had mentioned he gave Reiki to himself, I decided to look at other approaches. I tried a Divine Openings healing on him, but observed it did not have much impact. His pain remained high. Ditto Matrix Energetics, where I tried to find an alternate reality for him.
Finally, with only a few minutes left in the session, I asked him if he had tried EFT, or Emotional Freedom Technique. He shook his head and said no.
I started by asking him to describe the pain that lived inside of his head. Robert described it as a hot, orange dull pain that went from the front of his head to the back, and that it was most intense over his left ear. On a 1 to 10 scale of intensity, 10 being intolerable, he reported his pain was a level 8. He also described the feeling that there was a lot pressure inside of his head. I asked him what, if any, emotion might be living in his head. He replied, “Worry and stress. I’m worried about having to dip into my 401K savings to live.”
We began a sequence of tapping. As we went along, I focused the tapping statements on different aspects of how he reported his pain (orange, on the left side, pressure, stress and worry about his 401K situation). I could feel intense heat being released from within my own body. That has always been an indicator to me that a lot of energy is moving within the client.
After we finished a few rounds, I had him sit silently for a few moments. I asked him what he noticed.
“Wow!!” he said. “My pain has dropped from an 8 to maybe a 3 or 4.” He was delighted. He reported that the color of the pain had shifted from orange to a medium blue, and that it was cooler and some of the pressure had eased. We had only tapped for, at the most, 5 minutes, and just that amount was enough to help move some things.
We were out of time by that moment, but Robert was excited and hopeful. For the first time, something seemed to work on his pain that did not involve heavy medication. I saw a spark in him when he considered the possibility that some of the pain was reflecting his intense anxiety about his financial situation. He told me he had not paid much attention to the effect of how he felt emotionally about what was going on, and perhaps he should.
I encouraged Robert to continue tapping at home, in the event the pain flares up again. I told him I was hopeful we could drop the pain level even more. EFT has been found to be effective with chronic pain, and it is such a simple thing to try. After all, there’s no downside if it doesn’t work, and the payoff can be wonderful. The important thing is to focus on the specifics of the pain and the situation. EFT practitioners always say. “If you want to be terrific, be specific.” Robert and I got as specific as possible, and some things shifted for him. I am excited to see what changes happen for Robert and where he is at his next appointment.
EFT can be so simple, yet work so nicely. With no drugs or side effects involved, all it takes is a bit of guidance, an open mind, and a few minutes of tapping on points of the body. From a conventional medicine point of view, none of this story about Robert makes much sense. There was no “logical” reason why Robert’s worry about his 401K would be related to the excruciating pain he felt in his head above his left ear. But in energy work, we merely follow the body’s lead, and it took us to a break through for Robert. I do not know why the other modalities I tried did not generate the same result, as they have worked in other people. Of course, it is possible the other modalities helped “loosen” things up so that the EFT could finally make some shifts. I have no doubt they probably did help. Regardless, I am just pleased we found an approach that did seem to help Robert.
Before you go … Would you like a great way to feel better fast when life gets tough and you’re stressed?
Certified energy healer and mentor, helping sensitive, spiritual, perfectionist women create happiness and success in an imperfect world!
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