Christine Disant explains how EFT helped a client recover from breathing difficulty resulting from a deep traumatic reaction to grief about the death of her mother.
Lucy got into a deep traumatic reaction and couldn’t breathe properly, when a conversation with friends reminded her of her mother, who had passed away a year before.
We were at a friend’s for a barbecue. One of the people in a group, John, was talking about some time he spent in Spain. He said that in Spanish, when you say that someone is your north, it means it’s the person who inspired you or guided you, usually a parent or a close relation or friend. While this sounded like an harmless statement, Lucy started crying and left the room as fast as she could.
I knew this was about her mother, who passed away a year before, aged about 52. Lucy is in her early thirties, and I also knew her father died some years before, and she was now ‘the North’ for her two younger sisters. We had had a conversation about EFT with that same group of friends earlier in the year, and before Lucy left the room, I had noticed that she had attempted to tap her karate chop point.
Although I normally would not interfere, I followed her and found her in a protected area of the garden. I asked her if I could join her. She nodded yes. She was crying and in shock, but accepted that I proceed to tap on her directly, without saying anything. She had difficulty breathing and was gasping painfully.
She calmed down a little after four or five rounds. As soon as I felt she could speak, I asked her to confirm my guess, and yes, this was about her mother. She said that only the evening before she had realised that she hadn’t cried for a long time. She also said that she was sometimes sick.
She soon started to cry uncontrollably again. As I asked what she was feeling, she said ‘sadness’. We did a round on
“Even though I have all this sadness about my mother, and it’s so hard that she has gone, and now I’m on my own, I still completely love and accept myself”,
using reminder phrases such as “this sadness / so sad / too hard / it needs to get out...”.
As she was still having difficulty releasing some air and was massaging her belly, I asked her where she felt a pain. She indicated her stomach. I asked her what she called this place, since I had a feeling she would not call it ‘stomach’. She eventually said ‘solar plexus’.
“Even though I have all this pain in my solar plexus and that needs to get out, I choose to release it”.
It was the first round where I could ask her to move her eyes, sing and count, while I was tapping her gamut point. Sure enough, the release we were talking about came up: she eventually vomited. I kept tapping with the reminder phrase ‘this pain’ for about three more rounds, doing all points except under nose and chin because it was not practical, and also focusing on myself for a short while too, so I could stay available to her.
She calmed down completely, said “that feels good”, smiled and lay down on the grass in the sun. I asked if she wanted me to stay or leave her alone, but she asked me to stay. We moved to another place in the garden, a bit more sheltered from potential visitors. She asked me to explain more about EFT. I gave her a short history. As she looked peaceful, I tested her by asking who was her North. She started crying again within a few seconds, she also said that it was bad timing because a friend had dropped her and she didn’t have her car and couldn’t go home on her own. I offered to take her home if/when she wanted so it was one less thing to worry about.
Getting back on our main issue, we did one round on
“Even though I feel so sad, ...”
using a variety of reminders around the idea of sadness and release. It was the first round she actually tapped herself. She calmed down.
We talked about various things. She asked if it was normal to be sick. I reassured her and told her of Rossana Massey’s pancreatic cancer case where it looks like the cancer eventually got out of the body as gas. She also mentioned that she felt the under-eye and collarbone points particularly powerful.
Each of the EFT points are related to a specific emotion and organ, and people usually have a point or a set of points that resonate more with them. I explained to Lucy that these were probably her points. I talked about other points she could do too (under chest, under arms).
As I cracked a joke about my tea getting cold because of her, she laughed. Again, I tested her. It took a bit longer (about 30 seconds...) but she cried again. The gasps had gone at that stage, though. She did one more round with
“even though I still have all of this sadness, I still love and accept myself”.
Lucy was still crying and told me she was frustrated because she actually wanted to get back to the group.
“even though I’m so frustrated that I can’t get back to our friends, and I feel like this has no end...”
We got some relief, but the frustration was still there. I asked her what her frustration looked like. Based on her answer, the next round was :
“even though I have this black ball frustration the size of a fist, in my upper right chest, and I’d like to go back to the others, but this has no end, I choose to feel calm, I accept that the tears are not finished, I choose to feel calm for now, and to know that the time will come when the tears will finish, when I’m ready, and I love and accept myself.”
using a variation from the set-up as reminder phrases.
She calmed down completely. She stretched and yawned, which are usual signs of relief. I asked her how her frustration was. She said it was gone. “Not even a ping pong ball left?” She laughed and said “not even”. We talked a bit more.
I tested her one last time on her north and she was OK answering that it was her mother. She said she might walk around for a while. We moved back towards the house and met John on the way. I left them to talk, John being quite sorry he obviously had started a crisis, however involuntarily.
Lucy actually joined us again immediately after. She was yawning a lot but she looked OK. Later in the day, I asked if she wanted me to take her home, she smiled and said she was OK. She remained smiling and even laughed many times for the rest of the party.
I had been learning about and practicing EFT for about eight months, and just completed my Level 2 Practitioner training at this stage. While I was already convinced about EFT’s power, for the want of a better word, I was amazed at the level of peace Lucy could reach in less than an hour, starting from a deep trauma reaction. If I had any doubts before, I was now convinced that day I had to become an EFT practitioner, and do my best to help bringing relief wherever I could. May Lucy’s story and all the others bring peace to many people.
Lucy did not have any other crisis on that matter. When 10 weeks later she went through another trauma as her grandmother passed away, she could face it more easily using EFT as well as other meditation techniques she’s familiar with.