Written by David Broome (introduction by Chris Woollams) January 2009
Hardly a week passes without a reader contacting CANCERactive and asking if we can tell them anything about EFT. ´There´s a man called Gary Craig and we all get his e newsletter´, said one lady in a cancer support group. But what has Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) got to do with cancer therapy?
A couple of years ago I had to do a speech on ´How your Brain can make you well´. For that I did a lot of research and discovered the work of people like Dr Bruce Lipton of Stanford University and Nobel Prize winners John Vane and Gunter Blobel. To summarise this briefly, your brain sends out messages via chemical substances - these may be via nerve responses, hormones or simple proteins. There are receptor sites on the membranes of all your cells that respond to these substances creating, for example, localised hormones called eicosanoids, which ultimately control the inner workings of your cells, even switching off the messages from your DNA inside the cells!
Given that these chemical substances are made up of molecules, atoms and, therefore, electrons, a whole new world is emerging on how energy controls the process. A depressed brain can actually result in a depressed breast cell and the production and action of ´bad´ localised chemicals can be affected by chemical substances and hormones like toxins, insulin, steroids and others, and even your natural body energy.
We know for certain that cells communicate with each other. We know for certain that stress releases ´bad´ hormones which in turn cause your cellular membranes to release ´bad´ eicosanoids that control what messages your DNA can send out. So suddenly we are proving that your thoughts and emotions really do control your DNA - and your health. The National Cancer Institute in USA agrees and now has added a number of important pages of information on energy therapies to its website. UK medicine men yet again lag behind. One who doesn´t is David Broom. We asked him to tell us more about Emotional Freedom Technique and how your emotions can make you whole again.
David Broom MIRCH is a registered medical herbalist, naturopath and EFT practitioner who has been in practice for 25 years. He uses Vega Testing (food & chemical sensitivity testing) and GDV analysis (Kirlian photography) to assist his diagnosis and works from Hurn Forest Clinic in Hampshire. David gives frequent talks on health matters and runs 4 seminars each year at the forest location. (01202-874149 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: hurn-forest-clinic.co.uk)
"Men go forth to wonder at the heights of mountains, the huge waves of the sea, the broad flow of the rivers, the vast compass of the ocean, the courses of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering."
St Augustine, Confessions
Book X, chapter 8
Emotional Freedom Technique was founded in 1995 by a Stanford Engineering Graduate who became an ordained minister. Gary Craig is a remarkable character by any standards. Whilst he does not pound the table for ´God´ on his website or in his seminars, he mentions that he does come at this procedure from a ´decidedly spiritual perspective´. Gary had looked at ´Thought Field Therapy´ which he refined and simplified to provide a quick resolution of negative emotional blockages to an individual´s health and happiness. He quickly and persistently demonstrated his ability to eliminate stressful anxiety and phobias such as flying or public speaking. He then went on to deal with people with chronic illness, and has had success using EFT to assist clients with a diversity of problems, including cancers and other degenerative conditions.
Whilst it is understood that people should be under medical supervision for any serious illness, EFT offers no threat to treatment methods and can complement most other choices of therapy.
EFT is described as ´energy psychology´ by Dawson Church, director of research at ACEF and this relatively ´new´ subject has arrested the attention of some of our greatest medical thinkers in the modern world. Deepak Chopra MD, renowned for his ground breaking works on quantum healing methods, and Candice Pert MD, former research professor at Georgetown University school of medicine, both advocate its use. Bruce Lipton PhD, author of ´The biology of Belief" did much original research and says that ´EFT is a simple powerful process that can profoundly influence gene activity, health and behaviour´. Others, like Dr Eric Robins say ´We see EFT curing medical conditions all the time´, and describes it as ´ the most clinically effective mind/body practice in existence.´
So what exactly is EFT?
EFT teaches you how to deal with emotional blocks which have lain dormant in the subconscious.
Energy points are stimulated by tapping over the acupuncture meridians in a systematic process, using the fingertips. At the same time carefully formatted words are chosen to evoke the underlying emotion which may contribute towards symptoms or disease conditions being experienced by the patient. In general it is a gentle process of observation, whilst gradually peeling layers of negative scripting from the mind, and finally inputting positive thoughts and phrases to replace the negative.
These are the tap points as illustrated on Gary Craig´s web site www.emofree.com from which you can download free information on his techniques.
| EB = Beginning of the Eye Brow|
SE = Side of the Eye
UE = Under the Eye
UN = Under the Nose
Ch = Chin
CB = Beginning of the Collar Bone
UA = Under the Arm
WR = Inside of Wrists
It may all sound like mumbo-jumbo. But using these phrases to alter existing thoughts and emotions, actually works.
A lifetime of believing
I never cease to be amazed by some of the chronic situations caused by parents providing their children with negative scripts which can affect them throughout their lives. Like the queens barrister who thought she was ´stupid´ because this is what her mother constantly told her. Despite a relatively illustrious career, this very intelligent lady still felt stupid and paid the price for this in her relationships.
A lot of our problems inevitably begin during childhood, because we hang on to every word a parent says.
Franklyn Covey, author of ´The seven habits of highly effective people´ wrote in 1988: ´I believe that giving ´wings´ to our children and to others means empowering them with the freedom to rise above negative scripting that had been passed down to us´. He goes on to say that tendencies running through families for generations can stop with you, and that this change can affect many lives downstream.´
Freedom from pain
Pain is a warning signal initiated by the brain. We can put up with it in short episodes, perhaps, but can we do anything about chronic unremitting pain which affects the quality of life. One of the most common sites of pain, in the lower back is often caused by emotional restrictions and can be significantly helped by EFT. Many chronic pains can be related to suppressed anger or frustration so it is good to talk over and tap through to the underlying factors. Patients are encouraged to express the anger they felt within the original situation and to wind back the film of the event, see it from a different perspective, and observe the situation objectively.
Annoying symptoms can be dispersed after a single session. Progress varies as with any form of treatment, but EFT is something that can be applied easily at home and without direct supervision once you have learnt the basics. Repeating affirmations serves to reinforce the positive scripts which we choose to develop, in place of the damaging ones.
EFT and Cancer
Recently on the Gary Craig website, there is a stunning article by Rossanna Massey DC. Following persistent EFT sessions for a patient with an angry pancreas, Rossanna wrote, ´She told me that her blood work and CAT scan findings were all normal and quite a contrast to the first time they were taken. Her Doctors were completely dumbfounded by their findings, and said that it all the years they´ve treated patients, neither one of them have ever experienced a spontaneous healing. The mass at the head of her pancreas was completely gone and she was deemed cancer-free.´
Many people have a problem with their weight - especially cancer patients. For many, using EFT to obtain their correct weight only requires identifying the underlying emotions behind your personal issues with food. There are reasons why people overeat and why certain foods can be hard to resist. Often the reasons are rooted in our subconscious memories and behind them there are powerful emotions which override reason. Sometimes people need to gain weight and the same principles apply. From a psychotherapeutic point of view the question is ´What is eating them?´
The root of the emotion will often reveal itself through the words or memories of the patient. A lady in her 40´s addicted to eating chocolate when her husband wasn´t there, suddenly remembered being bullied at school. The bullies snatched her sandwiches and dispersed them so that she couldn´t eat. In despair she secreted the chocolate where it could not be found and came to see this as her ´saviour´ during times of stress. Once having realised this and applying EFT she ceased to crave the chocolate and the issue is no longer a problem.
Revisiting a buried emotional even does not have to be a massive psycho drama and is like rewinding a film but not necessarily appearing in it. Some practitioners will use role play techniques and visualisation to help the process. Many conversations can take place during a typical session, and there can be sudden re-awakenings of memories which have long been dormant.
Stress and anxiety are key triggers with addictions. The many ways we calm ourselves are typically not only food, but alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes as well. When we´re bombarded with stressful situations the emotions that most often ride in tandem with stress and anxiety are centred around seeking comfort, and this is then followed by guilt.
For example, someone may start their day focused and ready to eat all the right things to keep their diet on track. However, when a stressful trigger occurs they automatically reach for something to eat. This feels good momentarily, but the initial good intentions have been undermined by the emotions. Once having broken the rules, guilt kicks in and they enter the comfort zone, which requires full indulgence! This negative chain of events can last for years in spite of best intentions.
Our past plays a role in how we perceive ourselves, and how we think others perceive us. The writings on our subconscious walls may be etched there because we took on a negative comment years ago, and believed it. The good news is that with EFT, you can learn how to collapse those beliefs, and defuse them for good!
Social excuses are common, like the classic for addicted smokers which tells them that that they have to smoke because their friends do. Someone once told me that for her to lose weight, it would not be fair on her overweight friends!!
Then there are others like, "My job is so stressful I just have to unwind with alcohol" to which the practitioner replies, ´But does that have to extend to a bottle of whisky, ´every´ night?´
From this one can see how multi-layered a weight issue can be. The bottom line is that things are not likely to change unless the issues are addressed both on a cellular, and energetic level.
EFT has been described as the most effective self-help technique of the 21st century. The manual stimulation of certain acupuncture points by tapping on them with your fingertips is a mechanical trigger while addressing a specific negative emotion aloud evokes the buried emotion. For many who have tried this, the limiting beliefs in the subconscious are defused and the underlying emotional core issues dispersed. It will not change what´s happened to you in the past, or remove a bad memory.
What EFT and other related fields can do is can change the emotional charge behind the memory so it cannot continue harming you anymore.
Surprisingly you don´t have to believe in it for it to work. The approach is simple and not confounded with unnecessary jargon.
Within my own practice, which includes herbal medicine, dietary & allergy assessments & acupuncture scanning devices, EFT has played a significant role. Personally, I feel that comprehension of the underlying principles of this remarkable therapy could revolutionise our understanding of the causal factors of illness. As a traditional healer, my belief is centred in the core principles of ´healing´ which regard the body as essentially a self-restoring mechanism. Can we be sure that many of our ´inventions´ including various ´drugs´ might not be indirectly injuring us by interfering with the body´s natural signaling systems?
In my own EFT program I advise patients to provide positive instructions to their body, to bring about corrections which are necessary to restore the healing process. This sometimes includes a healing statement which ´asks´ the body to provide warning signals if we are about to do something which is against its better interests. This may connect with certain foods or chemicals which are potentially harmful for that individual.
Above all we have to allow this natural healing process to occur, by giving the mind permission to work gloriously free from emotional restrictions and poisonous legacies from the past. EFT will ´do no harm´ and possibly help to bring us to a state of awareness from where we can see more clearly what causes illness.
Sherwin B Nuland is a Surgeon and Physician who teaches at Yale University. Author of many best selling books on the body, he wrote in 1987 in ´How We Live´ (published by Mackays of Chatham, Kent) ´There are circumstances in which it may be possible for deliberate conscious thought to affect autonomic and therefore even cellular responses. If this is true of deliberate thought, how much more must it be true of the constant stream of mental processes that ceaselessly churn through our minds, much of which lies in the realm of what may be called the subconscious´
While Gary Craig in the USA provides excellent clinical training via his extensive DVD training libraries, (emofree.com), in Britain I can recommend Steven Coburn, (Stephen@inspirationplus.net or Tel: 01202 674636)