Zest for life restored


Jennifer Rahman used Imagineering and Palace of Possibilities to help restore zest for life for Arthur, her 72-year-old neighbour in Murcia, Spain.

by Jennifer Rahman

Arthur has been in ill health for 10 years, having had double heart by-pass surgery and knee replacement surgery. However, he is also the most positive person that I have come across of late – always smiling, always positive.

Arthur loves nothing more than tending to his rose bushes but has not been able to do so lately because of pain in both hands, which he assumed was the onset of arthritis. However, his cardiac consultant has found no medical cause for the pain and just puts it down to age. For Arthur, having to forgo his favourite past-time has resulted in a change in his personality, and he has become depressed and moody.

Sue, his long-suffering wife, heard from another neighbour that I was training to be an Emotional Freedom Techniques practitioner and asked me if there was anything I could do to bring him some pain relief so that he could resume his passion for gardening.

Arthur himself recognised his recent mood swings especially after Sue replaced all his favourite rose bushes with pots and pots of artificial flowers, which he hated. In her defence, Sue informed me that she too was suffering from ill-health, and plastic flowers seemed the best solution to their gardening dilemma! It was low maintenance and they could enjoy the flora all year round! Also, as both live on a tight budget, they could not afford to pay for a gardener. Neither did they want to accept charity from other neighbours, being the proud couple that they are. Plastic flowers in the garden may have been Sue’s solution to the present dilemma but it was Arthur’s nightmare!

I was apprehensive at first, in view of his ill health and wary of contributing to his health problems any further, but I too had noticed the change in his personality. As he has always been a good neighbour and friend, I eventually decided to give it a go, but with the following conditions:

  1. That they understood the EFT disclaimer that EFT is not a replacement for any medication, consultation or advice given by medical profession. EFT is also not a diagnostic tool but can help a client respond better to current medical care by improving the energy flow in the body and removing any negative emotions that may impede recovery.
  2. That Arthur would allow me to fully explain the concept and principles of EFT. I also provided him with as much written material about EFT and pain relief as I could and directed him to useful sites on the internet, for further research. I felt that Arthur needed to not only be aware of the potential of EFT, but also satisfy his queries about possible side-effects.
  3. That he watch the DVD The Tapping Solution to gain an insight into the process and its potential. Arthur had earlier asked me if I had any videos or reading material to share with him.
  4. That he should be honest with me and also let me know if he is suffering any discomfort or pain in the EFT process. I wanted Arthur to have control over the proceedings and wanted him to know that he could stop whenever he wanted. I also wanted to work with Arthur at his own pace and was very mindful of his ill-health.
  5. That Arthur is responsible for his emotions (positive and negative). He gave me written permission to practice EFT for pain relief regarding the arthritis in his hands.
  6. That Sue is also aware of his decision to try EFT and was in agreement.

Finally, I encouraged Arthur to seek the advice of his GP and family before I agreed to proceed. I felt that in view of his severe health problems, it was imperative that there was awareness, understanding and agreement by all concerned, to proceed with EFT. I wanted to address any concerns that medical staff or family may have before commencing.

On April 28 this year, I met Arthur and Sue at their home and waited for their feedback on the above. They had discussed it matter with Arthur’s cardiac consultant, his local GP and their daughter and all were in favour of trying EFT. They all knew just how much Arthur missed gardening and how it was now affecting his moods. Everyone wanted what was best for Arthur as he is much loved and respected.

Ensuring that Arthur was seated comfortably (and in the safety of his home and in Sue’s presence), I began my EFT consultation in earnest. I asked him to describe the pain in his hands and whether it was more painful in one hand or was the pain affecting both hands equally. I am aware that it is generally accepted that pain is one of the hardest conditions to describe as every person’s pain threshold and understanding of pain is different. I am also aware that arthritic pain can be different to diagnosed arthritis and wanted to avoid any pre-suppositions, from reduced finger co-ordination, reduced general ability and hand dexterity to stiffness of metacarpals and phalanges, on my part.

I wanted to get Arthur’s perspective on his situation and what abilities and/or limitations he was experiencing. So it was important for Arthur to describe the situation in his own words, especially what it meant to him and how it was affecting him. I wanted Arthur to describe what the word pain meant to him and encouraged him to use metaphors in his descriptions, if he was so inclined.

Arthur informed me that both his hands were equally painful and felt sharp pain whenever he tended his roses. He mentioned that his cardiac consultant had said that there was no medical reason why he should feel pain in his hands and was keen to see if EFT could provide an explanation.

I decided to use Gwyneth Moss’s Imagineering technique to ascertain the root cause of Arthur’s pain. I explained the technique to Arthur and Sue summing it up as a journey into his body, via the eardrum, to visit the pain site. Arthur laughed saying that it reminded him of a 1960s TV show called Journey to the Centre of the Earth,but he was willing to try it out.


This is a gentle EFT technique that uses ones imagination to “connect to the images, emotions and felt senses arising in the right side of the brain ... to gain access to the roots of the dis-ease”.- Gwyneth Moss, EFT Master.

Using Arthur’s reference to the TV show, I asked him to imagine himself inside the spaceship used in the show and to shrink this to the size of a pin-head and to enter his body via the ears. I asked him to manoeuvre this spaceship to whichever organ he wanted. This was a test run to ascertain if Arthur could use his imagination to reach the core issues of his pain. He found this entertaining so I asked him to go back into his body. He wanted to visit his heart and his hands, which he said were the sites of his pain. I asked Arthur to describe his journey to his heart first and as he exited his body he described his heart as “dark, gloomy and cold”. I used the hot words, dark, gloomy and cold, to set up the tapping sequence as follows:

The setup statement

“Even though, my heart is dark, gloomy and cold, I deeply and completely accept myself.” This was repeated three times while stimulating the Karate Chop point.

Reminder Phrases:

  • EB (eyebrow): This dark, gloomy and cold heart is not healthy
  • SE (side of eye): This dark, gloomy and cold heart is not happy
  • UE (under eye): This dark, gloomy and cold heart, is that all there is?
  • UN (under nose): This dark, gloomy and cold heart is not making me enjoy my life
  • CH (chin): This dark, gloomy and cold heart seems lifeless
  • CB (collar bone): This dark, gloomy and cold heart is scaring me
  • UA (under arm): This dark, gloomy and cold heart, wants to live
  • TH (top of head): This dark, gloomy and cold heart, wants to be happy again.

I then asked Arthur to go back into his body and take a look at the site of his pain. He used his imagination and in his little pinhead spacecraft visited his painful hands. I noticed a change in his expression, which seemed to distress him and immediately asked him to come out of his body.

Pursuing my line of gentle questioning, I asked him what he saw and he said: “My heart is in my hands and it is crying.”

He looked at me puzzled, as if to say, “am I making this up. Am I really seeing my heart in my hands? Is it really crying?”

I asked him how he felt about this revelation. He replied: “Frightened, scared and very worried.’

I am aware that when a client encounters a painful or traumatic emotion during the process, Gwyneth Moss recommends that the practitioner should tap on these emotions to reduce the intensity and when this is done, to ask the client to re-enter the body and continue until the next emotional blockage is encountered. The tapping process is repeated until the client can safely explore the site of the pain and the accompanying emotions peacefully.

I gave Arthur time to regain his composure and when he was calm again, I explained that what he saw was not what was physically or literally happening. It was just a visual representation, which is an indirect and metaphorical manifestation to the emotions of the underlying cause to his problem. I reminded him of the principle of the Imagineering Technique, which is to find the chain of connections to the root cause of the problem. It was important to help Arthur understand his core issues and bring this safely into his awareness.

To proceed, I casually asked if Arthur could recall a specific event or memory relating to the emotions of being frightened, scared and very worried. He replied that he felt like this when he had his first heart attack at the age of 45 and it scared him. His cardiac consultant in the UK had advised him to take it easy but he found this very hard to do. Arthur was the breadwinner of the family and felt guilty at not being able to work as hard as he did before to provide for Sue and his daughter. However, he never complained about the situation and was resigned to it. He had sometimes wanted to scream but did not, for Sue’s sake.

This inability to express his frustration and emotions, made him feel “useless”. This was often how his father described weak and workshy men who “did nothing more than whinge about their problems instead of getting on with life.” Although this was a general remark made by his father many years ago, it had unconsciously become Arthur’s benchmark and general frame of reference regarding employment, family responsibilities and his health problems. I asked if he agreed with his father’s comments and he said he did. He loved his father and in his own opinion, men who did fight shy of work, are useless.

I wrote down his ‘hot’ words as being:
Frightened, scared and worried.

To get a confirmation from Arthur, I asked him if he felt ‘useless, guilty, frightened, scared and worried’ presently and he confirmed that he did.

He went on to describe his frustration at not being able to tend to his beloved roses and how much he hated looking at Sue’s plastic flowers in his garden. “It’s not fair,” was a phrase he repeated over and over again.

I asked him to describe the feeling and he said: “It’s as if I’ve had my hands amputated. What’s the use if I can no longer use my hands? I am disabled!”

He began to cry but with some comforting words from Sue, he regained his composure, saying: “At least, I am still alive.”

I asked if this last statement was euphoric or said in resignation to his plight to which he replied: “Well, I am not dead yet.”

I noted Arthur’s new ‘hot’ words as they emerged during our conversation:
It’s not fair
No use of hands
Still alive/ not dead yet

These were highly emotive words used by Arthur to describe his current circumstances. However, I needed to collapse these feelings into one (or two) emotive words that summarised his feelings. I reflected on Gary Craig’s ‘table top and table legs’ analogy and while all of Arthur’s feelings are important, they may vary in terms of intensity, discomfort, heart felt pain and negativity. Being able to collapse all these emotions into a ‘negative emotions grid’ for Arthur meant that I could address the most important and intense of these feelings first as well as place them in order of their priority to him.

I repeated the hot words used by Arthur and asked him to confirm (or change) the emotions expressed, let me know which emotion caused him the most frustration or discomfort and whether these words resonated with him.

Arthur said that the emotion that frustrated him most was “unfairness of it all”. This was a change from the words previously used which were “It’s not fair”. The former metaphor showed a slight shift in emotions but it resonated better with Arthur and threw up new hot words of ‘unfairness’ and ‘it all’.

I asked him to explain, in his own words, what ‘unfairness of it all’ meant to him. I explained again to Arthur that this would enable me to fully understand his perspective on the situation and to avoid any presuppositions on my part and/or any misunderstanding in communication. I further explained that no two people may have the same terms of reference to the statement ‘unfairness of it all’ and I wanted to understand his view of the statement.

Arthur elaborated that he had ignored his original cardiac consultant’s advice to slow down following his first heart attack and instead increased his work load by taking on more shift work in order to create a nest-egg for Sue and his daughter. He did so foolishly in hindsight, but at the time it seemed the right thing to do to provide for his family, should anything happen to him in the future. He was always reminded about his father’s view about being workshy and this pushed him further to succeed, which he did.

He was able to provide for his family comfortably in the following years and was able to take early retirement aged 50, confident that there was sufficient money to see them through. However, since moving to Spain, he suffered subsequent heart attacks and had double by-pass surgery which meant that he was presently not able to enjoy the fruits of his hard work and to make matters worse, he could no longer even enjoy gardening. This was his bug bear and he felt useless all over again. This was his explanation about ‘unfairness of it all’.

New hot word:
His bug bear

To be added to ‘unfairness of it all’ and ‘useless’. This emerged repeatedly during the course of our conversation.

I reminded Arthur of Gary Craig’s Discovery statement: “The cause of all negative emotion is a disruption in the body’s energy system.”

This negative emotion becomes deeply embedded in a person’s psychological and behavioural persona and psyche and any attempt to change theses established patterns of behaviour and thought will face some degree of resistance from what Anna-Marie Podma, author of The Deeper Secret refers to as the ‘No’ current, also know as the unconscious realm. This No current is the key saboteur of many change programmes and needs to be neutralised before treatment can commence. It will also ensure that psychological reversal of the negative emotion takes place, thus putting a stop to any interference with further efforts to overcome the problem.

However, before proceeding, I informed Arthur that I needed to take an Intensity Rating at this point as I could see that he was getting emotional and felt that it was opportune to take an advantage of Arthur’s in the moment response to the problem. I explained the Intensity Rating procedure to him and asked for a Subjective Unit of Distress (SUD) between zero (lowest) and 10 (highest). He said it was a 7.

I explained the nature and purpose of using the Basic recipe in which Arthur will:

  • Be a participant and not a bystander in the process
  • Receptive accountability and responsibility of the emotions emerging in the process.
    As Arthur and Sue are a loving and close couple, I decided to also include Sue in the process so that she too could:
  • Understand Arthur’s perspective of his current predicament
  • Understand the range of emotions he was experiencing at the moment
  • Be a co-participant in the healing process
  • Be emotionally supportive to Arthur in his healing process.

I also explained to Sue that by being a co-participant, she would also benefit herself. The ‘Borrowing a benefit’ concept was explained fully. This made Sue more eager to help in the process as she now had two vested interests in the healing process: her husband’s wellbeing and her own.



I explained to Arthur and Sue that there were two parts to the setup statement – the ‘Even though’ part and the affirmation part: ‘I deeply and completely accept myself’.

Arthur however, felt that it was arrogant to say “I deeply and completely accept myself” and that when I had used it as part of the Imagineering technique, the words felt ‘alien’ and did not sit well with him. I asked him to choose an affirmation that suited him better and he wanted to use instead “I deserve to feel better”.

Knowing Arthur as the proud man that he is, I thought his choice of affirmation was appropriate to him. I also felt that his affirmation sentence provided him with empowering words, emotions and determination to achieve his healing goal, that is, to feel better so he could enjoy his retirement with Sue and enjoy gardening once more.

Note: It is important that the client chooses words that resonate with him/her as this will not only expedite the healing process but makes the process more personal, empowering and directed by the person themselves.

Hence Arthur decided the following setup statement, while tapping on his Karate Chop. To enhance Arthur’s psychological receptiveness for the desired change via Psychological Reversal, I asked him to repeat the affirmation three times while stimulating the Karate Chop. I also asked Sue to repeat the actions and statements used by Arthur and me in the tapping sequence. This she did.

“Even though, I feel this pain in my hands and feel useless, I deserve to feel better.”

After repeating the statement three times, I asked Arthur to stop, take a deep breath and give me another Intensity Rating. He was embarrassed to tell me that it had risen to an 8.He did not want to let me down but I reassured him that firstly, it was normal for changes in intensity ratings to shift up or down and secondly, the EFT procedure was not about pleasing me but was his own healing programme and what matted most, was his healing. This relaxed him more and he began to enjoy the procedure.

Next, we started the tapping sequence, using reminder phrases to describe the problem. Why is this important? The tapping sequence is designed to restore an optimal flow of energy through the body’s meridians, or energy pathways. To treat a problem by stimulating acupoints, the energy disruptions must be mentally activated. Therefore, tapping on the eight acupoints in this sequence, while thinking of the problem, not only balances the energy system in the moment, but it also retrains the body to be able to hold the problematic thought without the energy disruption and thereby neutralising the unwanted negative energy. Continually tapping, while repeating the reminder phrases, in this case, helps Arthur keep himself psychologically attuned to the situation that has triggered his negative emotions of feeling uselessness and unfairness of it all while the stimulation of the eight acupoints will help neutralise them in the process. This was explained fully to Arthur and Sue not only to increase their awareness of the healing powers of EFT but also so that they understand the purpose and the importance of the choice of words, the effect of stimulating specific acupoints to remove energy blockages and the neutralisation impact of using affirmations in the process.

  • EB: This sharp pain, this uselessness, this unfairness, it is stopping me from enjoying my life presently
  • SE: This sharp pain, it’s unfair!
  • UE This sharp pain, it hurts my hands
  • UN: This useless sharp pain, it is not benefitting me at the moment
  • CH: This unfair sharp pain, I want it gone
  • CB: This unfair sharp pain is affecting my health even more
  • UA: This useless sharp pain, what good is it doing me?
  • TH: This sharp painful pain, it’s stopping me from doing the things I enjoy.

I then asked Arthur to take a deep breath and to guess his Intensity rating and he was as surprised as I was when he said it was a 2! However, at this point, I noticed that Arthur was feeling tired and I was concerned for his health. Arthur confirmed that he was tired and I explained that it was one of the side effects of the process but was a positive indication that the energy was beginning to flow.

I asked him if he wanted to carry on and he said yes. However, noticing how tired he was, I decided not to proceed with the full Basic Recipe and omitted the Nine-gamut procedure as I felt it would be too much for him and would only prolong the process. I asked him if the pain in his hands was still sharp and he said that it was more of a pin prick. This showed a reduction of the pain that he had felt as these months and I felt another short-cut tapping sequence to ‘chase the pain’ would not only alleviate the pain but would benefit the couple.

Proceeding straight to a second round of tapping (eliminating the set up statement as it was not necessary), Arthur, Sue and I repeated the following:

  • EB: This pin prick of a pain, it’s still there
  • SE: This pin prick of a pain, it’s still a pain
  • UE: This pin prick of a pain, it needs to go completely
  • UN: This pin prick of a pain, it still has a hold on me
  • CH: This pin prick, it’s holding up my gardening plans
  • CB: This pin prick, Go!
  • UA: This pin prick, is really, really annoying
  • TH: This pin prick, hurry up and go!

Again I asked Arthur to pause, take a deep breath and give me an Intensity reading. He said that the pain had gone and to prove it to Sue and me, he began flexing his fingers without grimacing. He was delighted but I could see that Sue was still apprehensive.

I asked her if she wanted to share her inner thoughts with me and she said she would later. Obviously she had seen how happy Arthur was, being pain free, that she did not want to disappoint his new-found emotional freedom. Arthur was really feeling tired so we decided that we should end the session but should he feel the need to see me or discuss anything in private, I would make myself available. As we were leaving, Sue said she hoped for Arthur’s sake that the pain had really disappeared for good. She said she did not want to see him disappointed if the pain returned. I reassured her that EFT and changes to negative emotions was permanent. However, she could discuss this at length, if she still had any doubts.

A week passed and no word from Arthur or Sue. I decided to pay them a visit. Arthur welcomed me with open arms and was proud to show me his new rose bush in a pot. Sue too was equally pleased and informed me that she has seen her husband suffer a lot and was therefore naturally concerned for his wellbeing. She also said that after the session, Arthur felt very sleepy and slept quite a bit for two days. However, on the third day, he insisted that Sue drive him to the local garden centre as he wanted to buy a rose bush. Planting the new shrub in a pot, rather than in the ground, meant that Arthur could sit comfortably while tending to his rose bush without exertion. Arthur told me that inspired by EFT, he plans to tap every day until he replaces all of Sue’s plastic plants with real ones! This was Arthur being creative, enjoying his passion once more for gardening albeit with potted plants and visualising his ‘Palace of Possibilities’. That’s his new goal for the future. As for Sue, her ‘borrowed benefit’ was to be a happier person and enjoy each day for what it is.

Learning Note:

In this case study, I have learnt some invaluable lessons.

  • To ensure that a client with severe health problems is aware and understands the disclaimer that EFT is not a replacement for on-going medication, treatment and medical advice. The client should, where possible, discuss his/her intention to partake in EFT and receive advice from the GP/consultant.
  • To ensure that a client with severe health problems is made aware of not only the benefits but also the possible side effects of EFT.
  • Listening to key hot words is crucial. So is any shift in emotion or metaphor to describe the situation.
  • It is important for the client to choose their own metaphors or emotive words to describe what they are feeling. The more a client resonates with their words, the faster the healing and subsequent empowerment.
  • How crucial it is that the client understands all the elements and steps of the tapping procedure so that they can own their emotions, accept responsibility and understand what is happening or likely to happen to their bodies, emotions and behaviour.
  • That there is no script or prescribed sequence for EFT. That the tapping sequence is just a suggestion as it is easier to undertake and remember.
  • That the entire EFT session is customer focused, customer-led (direction) and solution based.
  • That it is okay for a practitioner, like me, to be flexible and not to follow the tapping sequence rigidly. The tapping sequence needs to fit the person’s requirements in the moment itself and it is important for the practitioner to be aware of the client’s change in mood, behaviour, emotions and inner strength. In this case, I had intended to use the full Basic Recipe including the nine-gamut points, but seeing Arthur’s exhaustion made me decide to omit this sequence in favour of the short-cut version after all. What is important is that the means justifies the end and in this case, Arthur achieved his goal and is now pain free and able to enjoy his hobby again.
  • Perseverance is key and if one technique does not work, then try another till the right fit is found. Hence it is important for the practitioner to have more than one EFT tool in the toolkit.

Jennifer Rahman
Level 2 Practitioner
LifeMaxx International
Email: maxx email

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