“Stacy” came to me because she had chronic low back pain. The pain had started after she had been in an auto accident eight years earlier. At the time of the accident, she had been pregnant with her first child. The details of the accident were that she had been in the middle of an intersection waiting for traffic to clear so she could turn left. As she waited, looking forward and to the left, a car coming from the right rammed into her car without warning. The impact wrenched her back and gave her a soft-tissue injury. Although she and her husband had been extremely concerned about their unborn baby, the pregnancy had progressed normally and their baby girl was born without a hitch later that month.
Other than her chronic back pain, Stacy said that she had a great life. She was married with two young daughters and found a lot of meaning in her work as a wife and mother. She and her family had many close ties in the community to their friends, extended families and church congregation. Her doctors had given up long ago on finding the reason for her pain, as they could find no medical reason for it, so she was exploring other means of healing. Chiropractic care gave her temporary relief, but she was hoping for something permanent.
Stacy said that, although the accident had been upsetting, it hadn’t been traumatic, and it had been so long ago that she was getting fuzzy on many of the details. When I asked her to think about the accident and rate her present day intensity around it, she gave it a “two or three” on the SUD scale. However, when I asked her to rate the pain in her back, she gave it a 7. Since the accident had happened so long ago, and her back was hurting right then, we focused our work on the pain in her back.
I asked Stacy to describe the pain, and she said it felt like a dull ache that was situated to the right of her spine. It was shaped like a ball that was about four inches in diameter. It was in the lower right quadrant of her back and was black and dense.
We did several rounds of EFT using her description. We started with,
“Even though I have this low back pain to the right of my spine, I totally and completely love and accept myself.” We tapped on all the points, including the finger points and the nine gamut, and then I asked her for the SUD measurement for her back pain. It was “still a 7, or maybe a 6.”
We then used several other affirmations, such as,
“Even though my lower back is hurting right now,”
“Even though I have had this pain for so many years, off and on, and I just want to be free of it,”
and “Even though I have this black ball of pain in my right lower back.”
None of the tapping got her SUD below a 5, so I asked her to think back to the day of the accident. I then asked her what, after all these years, stood out for her the most about that day. After sitting quietly for a moment, Stacy said hesitantly that it was the fact that the man who hit her had been willing to jeopardize her safety and the safety of the other people on the road in order to try to be on time to an appointment when he was running late.
We did a few more rounds of EFT using the set up phrases,
“Even though the man who hit me put being on time ahead of my safety,”
“Even though I have had years of back pain just because the man who hit me was driving carelessly because he was running late,” and
“Even though the man who hit me has caused me a lot of pain over the years, I’m willing to forgive him so that I can get on with my life and let go of this pain.”
At this point, Stacy burst into tears. She said that she thought she had forgiven the man a long time ago, but she was feeling angry all over again.
We did a few rounds on her still feeling angry. Her SUD about feeling angry quickly dropped to zero, but when we were done with that tapping and I asked her if her back was still hurting, she said it was. It had dropped to a 4, but it still hurt.
I then asked her how she was feeling emotionally. She said she felt better, but that she was feeling disappointed with herself now that she realized she had not really forgiven the man who had hit her until now. She felt that she shouldn’t have held on to her judgment and resentment toward him for so long, considering the fact that, in the end, her baby had been fine, and that the accident had happened so long ago. Now she was blaming herself.
We talked a little bit about forgiveness. In my work as an EFT Practitioner, I find that, for my clients, sometimes self-forgiveness is the biggest challenge of all. I asked Stacy if she could think of any reason to not forgive herself for having held on to her resentment for so long, and after a moment’s thought she said no. I know from my EFT work and from my own life that forgiveness, when we have felt deeply wounded, can take a lot of time, energy and persistence to achieve and I felt a lot of empathy toward Stacy in that moment. I suggested to her that now that she had finally forgiven the man who had hit her, she was a perfect position to put everything related to the accident behind her; it wouldn’t necessarily serve her if she switched the grudge over to herself. After some more thought, she said she was willing to let it all go, but she wasn’t sure if she could. We did another round with the set up statement,
“Even though I stayed resentful toward the man who hit me for over eight years, I am willing to forgive myself for judging him and staying angry for this long. I acknowledge that I was doing the best I could.”
We tapped on all the points and included a nine gamut as well. After we finished that round of tapping, I asked Stacy how her back was feeling. She said the pain was gone, except for some tightness and residual soreness. We ended the session on that note, as we had been going for an hour and a half, and I felt that we had accomplished all that we were going to in one sitting.
Three weeks later I heard from Stacy. I was very happy to hear her say that by the following morning after the day of our appointment, the soreness and tightness in her back had completely disappeared, and had never come back.
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