Bedside EFT

Pain Management for bed-ridden patients

By Holly Holmes-Meredith, D. Min., MFT, CCHT

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Using EFT for pain management can be one of the most rewarding applications for both the receiver and the practitioner of EFT. Watching a person move from pain to relaxation and more well-being in a matter of a few minutes is truly an experience of grace. Most of our experiences of pain are two dimensional: We experience pain physically and emotionally. Here are a few examples of EFT sessions conducted in the hospital setting or the bedside of women in pain and in physical and emotional crisis.


Betsy, a colleague and fellow-hypnotherapist called our office administrator to say she wouldn't be seeing clients during the week because she had been flat on her back in pain for four days. Her pain level fluctuated between an 8 to 10 on the SUDS scale (0 being no pain and 10 being intense pain). The only time Betsy had left the bed was to crawl to the bathroom. Her back muscles were in constant spasms and she was taking vicoden which seemed to barely diminish the pain. She had hardly slept in four days. When I got Betsy's message I called her to tell her I would be over that night to see if we could work together to help her get some relief.

Betsy has not taken the EFT course but she had had a very brief introduction to The Basic Recipe when I tapped for her months ago for some ankle pain . I think she was expecting that we would do hypnosis for pain and yet she was very receptive to doing EFT when I arrived. She was in bed and in misery. Her pain was a 9.

I did the tapping for Betsy. All she had to do was lie in bed, verbalize the set up and keep track of her aspects. We worked for about forty-five minutes and discovered many emotional aspects to her pain. She was resentful towards her family for not being "backed-up". She was exhausted from running the household and caring for her son and husband. Issues of her co-dependence and martyrdom also surfaced as aspects related to her back pain.

The tears flowed and the pain began to subside. Betsy started to understand how her energy system and muscles held all of the emotions and resentments she felt unconsciously. After our forty-five minutes of tapping she was at a level 2 on the SUDS scale. She was exhausted, unable to tap any more and needing sleep. After four days of not walking, she got out of bed and walked me to the door to say good bye and thanks. Finally her pain cycle was broken and she could get some sleep.

I spoke with Betsy the next day. The pain was dramatically reduced and she had slept well. Our EFT session significantly reduced Betsy's physical and emotional crisis. She was scheduled for an MRI and a consultation with a back specialist.

Betsy's test results show a bone spur on the vertebrae and so she is considering surgery. She is managing the pain with EFT, and hypnosis and is back to work. She also realizes she has relationship work to do with her family and family of origin. I am enrolling her in our next EFT class so she can take her healing to the next level.


Jan is a graduate of our hypnotherapy institute. I got a call from her partner the day after Jan's hip replacement surgery saying that she needed help. I was at her hospital bedside that afternoon. Jan was in the aftermath of major surgery. She was in pain, had dangerously low blood pressure, was too dizzy to get out of bed, (which her doctor required), her stomach was too upset to eat and she was constipated.

Jan's partner asked me to help and assumed I would do Reiki and hypnosis. However, this was a perfect time to introduce Jan to EFT. She lay in bed, verbalized the set-ups and aspects and I tapped for her around the IVs. Because Jan and I had rapport and mutual trust I took no time to explain EFT. I just tapped.

In about 15 minutes (about 20 rounds of EFT with short-cuts), Jan's state dramatically improved. We tapped on all the physical symptoms and all of the emotional aspects that came up: her fears, her anger at her body for not responding to all of the many alternative treatments to surgery, her grief for the loss of her hip and her sadness for all the life activities she had missed out on because of her disability. With SUDS levels at a 0, I ended with five minutes of Reiki and left her to sleep.

The next day I got great news. The afternoon after we had done the EFT Jan had eaten without stomach upset, she walked for the first time without dizziness, her pain was manageable, her blood pressure was normal and she had a bowel movement! Her post-surgery crisis was over and the longer healing journey had begun.

Jan has since had her other hip replaced and is on the mend from her second surgery. She used EFT effectively for her second hip replacement pre and post-surgery needs.


Jan referred me to her friend Anna who was in the hospital for advanced stages of cancer of the lymph system. When I walked into her hospital room I knew Anna was not long for this world. She was lethargic, her color was grey, her legs were so swollen and painful that she could barely move and she was on drip morphine which she could control as her pain got worse.

We wheeled Anna outside for some fresh air and some EFT. She was at a 8 pain level (with morphine) and at a 10 level of fear of dying. Anna was incoherent and unable to follow the EFT procedure. She wanted help, though, so she gave me permission to tap for her. All she had to do was answer questions as best she could. I tapped while she went in and out of consciousness. Because she was on morphine I had no idea if EFT would work.

Interestingly, it worked remarkably well. Anna's physical pain went down to a 2 and her fear and agitation went to a 0. She announced that she wanted to go back to bed and sleep. She held my hand with gratitude and awe as to the relief she felt. EFT shifted Ann's pain and emotional state of fear dramatically. I learned from Jan that Anna passed on several weeks later. I was grateful for the opportunity to share EFT with her to bring some peace and relief into her last days.

In closure, as a practitioner of EFT you may find that life presents many opportunities for you to share your skills in times of pain and transition. The personal rewards of assisting someone in a crisis are sweet and profound.


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Author's Bio:

Holly is the Clinical Director at HCH Institute in Lafayette, CA where she conducts her private practice and teaches CA licensed Certification programs in EFT. Reiki and Hypnotherapy. Holly has a series of EFT/Hypnotherapy CDs that teach EFT and provide relief for pain, anxiety, insomnia and smoking. She also provides on line EFT video conferencing sessions for clients.


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