EFT for Post-Polio Syndrome
(plus it lifted her husband's depression)
CJ Puotinen, EFTCert-II
(Add or view comments at the bottom of the page.)
A woman who called for information about an EFT workshop explained that she wanted to attend so that she could learn how to help her daughter. “I already know that EFT won’t work for me,” she said.
When I asked how she knew this, she said she had worked with an EFT practitioner for several sessions without experiencing any kind of change or improvement. She had had polio as a child and now has post-polio syndrome, which has caused a progressive loss of motor neurons and muscle function. As a result, she can no longer work. Because of incapacitating pain in her shoulder, she had surgery, but the surgeon botched the operation and now she worried about her deteriorating muscles and loss of function.
I had some free time that afternoon, so I offered to tap with her over the phone. Her pain seemed a logical place to start. In response to my questions about her pain and how she felt about it, she described her worst symptom as a rough-surfaced red softball-sized pain in her left shoulder projecting a spike that stabbed straight to her shoulder blade.
We tapped on:
Even though I have this hard, rough red ball of pain in my shoulder and its spike is stabbing my shoulder blade, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Even though this pain is incapacitating, irritating, and thoroughly frustrating, I love and forgive myself, I forgive my shoulder, I forgive the pain, and I forgive anyone and anything that might be contributing to it. I forgive my body for falling apart, I forgive myself for getting fat as a house, I forgive myself for being as weak as a kitten, I forgive myself for every disappointment and irritation and moment of impatience that has made me feel worse.
Even though this red ball of pain makes me angry, furious, and upset, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Even though I’m terrified of being helpless, living the rest of my life in a wheelchair, dying before I’m ready, and leaving behind people who love and need me, I choose to release this pain now.
Even though EFT doesn’t work for me, I’ve proven that it doesn’t, I’ve spent a lot of money and effort working with EFT and it just doesn’t help me, I’d like to be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to set the past aside, to forgive and let go of the past, to live in the present moment, and to let my body heal itself from the inside out.
This is a condensed description of a tapping session that took half an hour, with frequent stops for questions on my part and descriptions on hers. We alternated between long setup phrases, during which she tapped on her Karate Chop Point or rubbed her Sore Spot, and reminder phrases that changed at each EFT tapping point, such as pain, shoulder, hurts, angry, can’t work, frustrated, red ball, steel spike, this pain, upset, and similar “problem” reminders. Toward the end, because she responded well to positive reframes, we tapped some “solution” reminders, such as feeling better, I’m well, pain is receding, life is good, I’m happy, my body is healing, balanced energy, strong muscles, strong bones, good heart, love all around me, I can be happy, I can be well, I’m well.
I thought she had to be making progress because her voice kept growing more relaxed, her breathing sounded slower and deeper, and her sense of humor returned. Suddenly she exclaimed, “My shoulder feels hot! What does that mean?” She also had a massive draining of the sinuses on her left side, just above the painful shoulder.
I said, “I think it means that your energy is shifting and that maybe EFT works for you after all. What does your shoulder pain look like now?”
She realized that the pain had completely left her shoulder, but now it was lodged in her spine. After we tapped for the pain in her spine, she discovered that it had moved to her neck. After another round of tapping, it moved to her shoulder blade, then into her head. In each case, we addressed the pain with mechanical EFT: Even though the pain has moved to my spine, I deeply and completely accept myself. Even though the pain has now lodged in my spine, I love and accept myself. Even though the pain is stuck in my spine, I forgive this pain and let it go. Tap, tap, tap. Then she would check to see where it went, and we’d tap for that location.
“This is called ‘chasing the pain,’” I told her. “It’s not uncommon, and it’s a good sign. It means your energy is shifting, your meridians are clearing, and your body is beginning to heal itself.”
From time to time I would stop and ask whether her condition or the pain reminded her of anything. These questions made no sense to her until suddenly she exclaimed, “Yes! This does remind me of something! When I was five years old, I spent a year in an iron lung. I lived in a terrible institution with a very abusive staff. All of us kids were beaten and punished all the time. Our parents weren’t allowed to visit at all for the first nine months, and then they were allowed to come only on Sundays. Every Sunday the staff would line us up and warn us that if we complained about anything, we would never see our parents again. The pain I’m feeling now reminds me of having polio when I was young and spending all that time in the iron lung.”
We tapped on releasing her anger toward the abusive staff, which took some doing, but she realized that holding onto hurt and hatred harms only one person on the planet, and that is the person who can’t let go.
We tapped on:
Even though what they did was unforgivable...
Even though it’s impossible to forgive them...
Even though I don’t want to forgive them, I don’t even want to think about them, I want my energy to be balanced and flow freely, and I know that when my energy is balanced and flowing freely, my thoughts can maybe be positive and forgiving. I feel sorry for those people. They were doing the best they could with their limited resources. I feel compassion for those people, as they must have been desperately unhappy. I release the feelings I have carried around all my life toward those poor, unhappy, trapped, angry people. They must have felt overwhelmed. They must have felt desperate. Who knows how they felt. How they felt doesn’t matter. What matters is how I feel today, right now, and I choose to release anything but positive, compassionate, loving feelings toward myself and toward everyone on the planet.
While tapping, she felt a connection between what she experienced as a child with polio and what happened during and after her recent surgery. “Once again I was left completely at the mercy of people in the medical field,” she said, “and I could not take care of myself. I could not protect myself from them. It was a feeling of complete and utter helplessness.”
This realization triggered a flood of tears. At first she didn’t know why she was crying, so we tapped on how even though I’m crying and I don’t know why, all of a sudden I’m full of tears and I don’t understand it, I deeply and completely accept myself. Then she realized that her tears were triggered by feelings of helplessness, both after her unsuccessful surgery and during her year in the iron lung.
That’s when we tackled the surgeon who did everything wrong when he operated on her shoulder. We tapped about every mistake he made and every problem he caused and how she would love to hang him by his incompetent thumbs from a bridge, how she would cheerfully run over him with a truck, a tank, a bulldozer, how she would be delighted to blow him up with dynamite, or just watch him drown and disappear.
We tapped about every hassle presented by the insurance companies, every irritating follow-up visit with doctors and physical therapists, every symptom, and every disappointment. Then we tapped on how even though I’m really mad, upset, angry, disappointed, disillusioned, and stressed to the max, I would love to release all that unbalanced energy and those unhappy thoughts and let my body heal itself from the inside out. I choose to be well. I choose to have strong bones, strong muscles, a strong heart, and a strong, positive mind. I’m a survivor. Look at all that I’ve been through. I wasn’t supposed to live, then I wasn’t supposed to walk, then I wasn’t expected to do much of anything, but I did all kinds of things, I ran a business, traveled, married, raised a family, and made a wonderful life for myself. I’m strong. I’m capable. I can do anything. I can let go of the past. I bless the past for it has brought me to this perfect moment. I choose to be here now. I might even choose to forgive Dr. O.
By the end of our session, which lasted about an hour, she still had some pain, but it was less than what she had started with and had moved to yet another location. It was difficult for her to comprehend that EFT had removed energy blocks, allowed her energy to flow more freely, and had possibly done something to improve her condition, but she decided to just relax and enjoy whatever relief she experienced.
The next day, I received the following email from her:
“CJ, I really enjoyed talking to you on the phone yesterday and you were so generous to help me with tapping, right then and there on the spur of the moment. I wanted to let you know of some of the outcome of that session on the phone.
“First, even though some of it brought me to tears, I felt better afterwards. Also, you made it clear that something was working, even though the pain moved somewhere else. I believe that yesterday brought forth a long-forgotten memory of my stay in the hospital as a child with polio. I remembered that we children were punished severely if we cried. I learned very quickly to become invisible and not be noticed. I learned survival skills -- give those in charge what they want. I had forgotten all about the forbidden crying. Now it makes sense why I never cried as a child or as an adult. I thought it was because I didn't want to reveal any weakness or vulnerability. I didn't cry until more recent years. Instead, I got angry. But no crying. Once when I was a teen, I suppressed crying so much while watching ‘West Side Story’ that I had to leave the show and was physically ill. So I tapped that it was OK to cry.
“Even more amazing was what happened with my husband today. He tried tapping (in private) for the first time while I was at the doctor's. He was out on an errand when I returned. When he got home, his behavior was most unusual. He walked in the door smiling (he doesn't smile), walked over to me, gave me a hug and kiss and told me he loves me....again unusual behavior. He continued smiling until he left for work. He told me that he tapped for the depression that he has had his whole life. He can't remember not being depressed. Here is what happened. After he finished his strenuous bike exercise, he did the tapping sequence twice from the EFT Manual I had downloaded. All he did was follow the basic recipe, except he said his affirmation statements to both Sore Spots, to be sure he got the right one. He just borrowed his setup phrase from the manual on depression. Very simple. He is a simple man in many ways. His depression is chronic, mild to moderate, but persistent. He thinks that maybe the strenuous exercise that he did before tapping may have augmented it. The resulting feeling he got was very intense in a good way. He said he immediately felt different, happy. He said it was so profound that it was almost scary.
“He went into the tapping in a depressed state and walked away feeling profoundly different. This morning, he told me that he was bouncing off the walls all night at work, which means that he felt very good. He says he still feels good this morning. Altogether, he tapped for two complete sequences, but in only one session. This morning he has been talking to me and even talking to our birds and dogs. He is usually stone-dead quiet and won't talk even if I try to engage him. He told co-workers at work about what happened, and I'm sure they were surprised at the change in him. He has a reputation for not being social.”
View All Articles by this Author
CJ Puotinen has been an EFT practitioner and instructor since 2002. She has received the following credentials by examination: EFTCert-II, EFTCert-I, EFT-ADV, and EFT-CC. Until his retirement in 2010, she worked with EFT founder Gary Craig as a writer and editor of books and articles about EFT. CJ teaches EFT workshops in New York and Montana and works with clients by phone and Skype. Visit http://taptheworld.googlepages.com.
Leave a Comment
Disclaimer: All information on this website is for educational purposes only, and the content is not intended to suggest that it is a
substitute for proper medical care or good common sense.
While EFT has produced remarkable clinical results, it must still be considered to be in the experimental stage
and thus practitioners and the public must take complete responsibility for their use of it.
In addition, the articles on this site represent the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the
founder of EFT, Gary Craig, nor the owner of this web site, Stefan Gonick.