Article written for the magazine “Tidings”
The following article was written and published in “Tidings” magazine. A specialist magazine for patients
who have had a Colostomy or an Ileostomy.
Emotional Freedom Technique – Could It Help You Cope?
By Christine Sutton MIPTI MAAMET, EFT-ADV
and Philip Davis MIPTI MAAMET EFT-ADV
As we read the last edition of Tidings, we became interested in the emotional and psychological effects of having a Colostomy or Ileostomy. There is some fantastic work being done by people for the physical, down to earth aspects of coping with one of these operations, but not much emotional help and support except from the volunteer counsellors such as Joan West who have gone through the whole experience and have eventually come out still smiling.
The sad truth is, if people have a very strong emotional problem such as fear, resentment or depression there is very little help that friends or even doctors can give. All too often someone suffering with these kinds of emotions would (at best) be told to cheer up or maybe they would be given a bottle of pills or even perhaps (in the worst cases) they would be sent they see a psychologist or psychiatrist.
None of these methods, in our experience, are very helpful. Being told to “pull yourself together” is alright if you are a pair of curtains, but is of little use to the sufferer.
Bottles of pills sometimes will work in the long term. However, pills can have dangerous side effects and mostly they just dope you up, masking the problem, not removing it.
When someone has an operation like a colostomy, typically, it will trigger a number of strong emotions in them: Anger, Denial, Resentment, Injustice, Bitterness, Apathy, Depression, Alienation, Disgust, Anxiety, Loss of Confidence, Embarrassment, Hatred, Guilt… to name but a few. Typically people will suffer from a combination of most of these emotions, at some time.
Left unchecked, these emotions can lead to deep depressions, physical ill health or even thoughts of suicide. These emotions will tend to alienate the sufferer from their friends and family at the very time they need these people the most.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a way of helping people with all this emotional turmoil going on inside them that was simple, practical, fast and cheap!!
Well, the good news is that there is a way, and it’s called “Emotional Freedom Technique” or EFT for short.
We can hear you thinking “Yes, yes, we have all heard it before. It’s the latest and greatest miracle cure that is the best thing since sliced bread and will solve all your problems and make a cup of tea while its doing it.” Well, that’s what we thought too, until we started using this technique on ourselves and our friends. The results were astonishing to say the least.
Long held emotional problems such as guilt, anger, resentments and phobias just seemed to evaporate in minutes, never to return. For example, one of the first people Philip tried EFT on was a friend that had not slept for nearly a month because she had been (sadly) beaten and raped in her own home. He applied EFT to her feelings of fear and insecurity and anger etc. The whole session took about 30 minutes.
Two days later, he rang her as he had not heard from her and was worried about her. She told him that after applying the EFT she slept right through the night and through the alarm and had to be woken by her children to take them to school. When she got home, she went to bed again and slept again until late in the afternoon. To date, several years on, she is still sleeping normally.
This kind of astonishing result is typical with EFT and we have seen it many times in our practices.
Where did EFT come from and what is it?
EFT was developed in the 1980’s by Dr Roger Callaghan in the USA, then refined by Gary Craig during the mid 1990’s.
EFT is a blend of ancient and modern medicine. It is based on acupressure: This is like acupuncture but, instead of needles, you tap on the acupuncture points with your fingers, and kinesiology: The study of the anatomy, physiology, and mechanics of body movement. EFT is sometimes called “The Tapping Technique” because its basis is tapping on 12 places on the face, hands and chest.
What EFT can do:
The proper application of EFT by an experienced practitioner can remove most, if not all of the emotional angst people suffer from traumatic events such as those associated with Colostomies, Ileostomies, Cancer, etc.
If a person with a Colostomy or Ileostomy is suffering with any of the emotions listed above (or typically a combination of these) EFT can remove the excess emotions without impairing the memory or the personality in any way. Having said that, people who use EFT regularly tend to develop a brighter, more cheerful outlook on life. They seem to have a greater level of personal peace, too.
What EFT won’t do:
EFT will not remove the need for an operation. It will not remove the need for a stoma or anything associated with it. It will not remove the memory of any event that has happened in your past. It doesn’t make cups of tea, either.
How does EFT work?
The basic theory is that the cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body's energy system. EFT restores the body’s natural balance, removes the energy disruption and thereby removes the problem.
With remarkable consistency, EFT relieves symptoms by an unusual (but scientific) routine of tapping with the fingertips on specific points on the acupuncture energy meridians. This process has been likened to someone sticking a screwdriver into the back of a television set. Naturally, you will get a “Zzzt..” short-circuit and the television will malfunction. EFT removes the screwdriver, and restores the television’s correct operation.
Interestingly along with emotional healing there is often noticeable improvement in the physical symptoms which arise from the emotional disturbance such as headaches, migraines, IBS etc.
Do you have to believe in EFT for it to work?
Absolutely not. EFT works whether you believe in it or not. It doesn’t matter if the practitioner believes in it or not. It doesn’t rely on any set of beliefs, religion or voodoo magic. It is a scientifically based routine that works equally well on everyone.
Are there any side-effects?
EFT is very gentle and rarely has any side effects. It is often combined with or used instead of other psychological procedures, because of its gentle nature. In our experience, people often feel energised after an EFT session. The only other side effects are good ones, where treating one problem will cause another problem to heal, spontaneously.
How long do the results last?
EFT is almost always long lasting. Physical healings are often impressive and enduring as well but are more likely to re-emerge than emotional issues.
How long does it take me to heal?
Unfortunately there are no hard and fast rules that may be applied here, because every problem is different, and every person is different.
Deeply rooted behaviours or beliefs will necessarily take longer to eliminate than some more simple problems but usually a person with even the most deeply seated problems will start seeing real benefits within (at worst) a few weeks, and some people (at best) within a few minutes.
Ultimately this technique can rid us of the excess emotional baggage we all carry so that we are free to get on with our lives and realise the full range of our potential and freedom. This will give us plenty of time to make our own cups of tea!
Would you like to be free? EFT really can help you cope.
EFT can be applied by qualified therapist in a one to one session or by phone and can easily be learned for self-help purposes. If you would like more information on this powerful technique please feel free to call or email either of us. We also run training workshops to teach people how to use EFT for themselves and for friends and family.