To a considerable degree, the success and virtuosity in applying EFT to its full potential is to be able to formulate the correct opening statement, or should I say an opening statement that is close enough to direct the re-balancing effects of the EFT treatment in the right direction.
This has the disadvantage that unless there is a conscious conception of the problem, it can't be presented for treatment at all (see Shadow Emotions, MET6196); this also represents a limitation when dealing with "body memories", i.e. experiences that are either not retained in consciousness at all (but are remembered or imprinted directly in the physiology) and also, in the case of the so called "repressed experiences".
With some problem, the disturbances in the energy system are an interlinked "problem group" and when this problem group contains body memories and/or repressed experiences, it cannot be successfully resolved - at the conscious level of investigation, it fully appears that there are no more aspects left, yet the problem still persists. One could think of this as being able to treat the available material like a part of an island showing above the water level, yet there being other parts to the island which are below the water level and therefore, out of conscious reach.
The EMO system relies on working with direct, physiological experiences the client has to firstly, locate the disturbance in the energy system, and then to treat this disturbance directly, rather than via an abstraction, such as would be in the case in the description of an emotion, a feeling, a subject matter, a word, a memory etc.
As such, it has the following immediate benefits:
1. As there are no interface devices such as metaphors, words, emotional labels etc being used, it is impossible for the client to go into their ordinary thought processes about the nature and cause-and-effect of the problem. In the case of people who have either studied or engaged in a lot of therapy or counselling, this is a real blessing because there tend to be prejudices and expectations of how things might have come into being - and these are often quite erroneous.
By not "talking about" the problem, much time is saved and many misleading directions need never be explored.
2. As a direct physiological response - a sensation rather than an emotion - is the directional device, it is comparatively easy to know when a problem has gone. The pain and the discomfort are gone and that is simply put, the greater convincer, even before the behavioural and cognition changes have been noticed.
3. It is virtually impossible for the practitioner to make any mistakes, because no further detective skills are required than to simply ask the client where in their body they experience the problem, and as the treatment progresses, to keep asking for feedback which directly guides the treatment sessions in the right directions.
4. The order and sequence of any aspects is taken care of as the most immediate and strongest physiological sensations are being treated, one after the other, as they present themselves.
5. As what is being treated are nothing more than disturbances in the energy system, the question of ecology doesn't arise or becomes non-sensical. Clearly, there can be no merit in a weeping sore in the energy body, any more than there be any reason to wanting to retain such an injury in the physical body. The intervention is not so much one of change, but of simple healing and returning what was broken, to its rightful state of health and functioning.
All of the above core benefits can be also be had with using EFT; this is possible by using the physiology directly and deliberately as the guide and entrance point to deciding what opening statements to use.
As this is both highly effective and extremely useful, I am very happy to be able to add to the Emotional Freedom Techniques repertoire with this Body Protocol and I am delighted to share it.
The EFT Body Protocol
Whenever there is a severe disturbance in the energy system, although people will notice what they call "emotions" by preference, this disturbance *always* has a physiological component, an actual physical sensation associated with the disturbance.
For example, when someone unexpectedly gets told, "You're fired!", they might report "feeling as though someone punched me in the stomach".
That sensation in the stomach is not psychosomatic but absolutely real and represents an indication of the underlying disturbance in the energy body.
Similarly, all and any so called emotionally based problems have one or more physical symptoms, sensations and locations.
These are found by asking the client, and the description becomes the EFT opening statement.
So, the person who was fired and still feels "emotional" about this event, will be asked,
"When you think about this problem, where do you feel it in your body?"
"It is in my stomach."
"And what does it feel like?"
"It feels like my stomach is sinking."
Which gives us the opening statement of:
"Even though my stomach is sinking, I deeply and profoundly love and accept myself."
The test is simply to ask the client to think of the scenario that had caused the disturbance again to find any other body sensations that would be treated in the same way.
Here is another example.
One gentleman had a very severe fear of public speaking he was sure had derived from being afraid of his father. Much psychotherapy and energy therapy had not resolved this, however.
When asked to think about getting up to speak in public, the following physiological sensations arose in this sequence:
1. His hands would go cold. ("Even though my hands are going cold, ...")
2. He became aware of a "huge pressure in his throat". ("Even though I have this huge pressure in my throat.")
There were the following other physiological symptoms in the original discussion but these did not occur again *after the throat treatment round* had taken place:
3. A trembling in the upper arms, shoulders and neck;
4. Try mouth, swallowing rapidly;
5. Break out into sweat, hands first, then under arm, then head.
It is often the case that following a treatment for a sensation, such as the cold hands, the client derives all manner of new insights and connections that they had previously been entirely unaware of, no matter how much time they had spend in other therapies.
Here is one last example.
This gentleman suffered from "low self esteem" and "depression". When asked where he felt this problem in his body, he indicated his jaw with his hand whilst still consciously thinking about it for quite some time, then finally he said, "In and around my mouth, like a hard tightness."
This was treated straight up with no further discussion as to his history, past or any other treatments he might have had and within seconds of the energy disturbance having been resolved, he began to shout out loud, "I know what it is! How can anyone take me seriously if I never speak out for myself, never tell them who I am, and that I'm worth something!"
This is a good example how with these "sensation based" treatments often incredibly obvious connections come to light. However, they are only "incredibly obvious" with the wisdom of hindsight, and one must wonder how many years it might have taken to find out the connection and resolve it, if ever.
The questions, "Where do you feel that in your body?" and "How does it feel?" can be applied to any presenting problem at all and are absolutely not restricted to physiological problems.
Here is the entire protocol once more, in brief:
1. Enquire about the problem.
2. Ask, "Where do you feel this in your body?"
3. To formulate a precise opening statement, ask, "What does it feel like?" (3-5 procede differently in EMO).
4. Use the client's exact words they used to describe the physiological sensation to formulate the opening statement.
5. Apply EFT.
6. Enquire about the problem once more.
7. Repeat 2-6 until there are no body sensations remaining when the client thinks about the original problem or reports a major change, breakthrough or requests a pause before going further.
This protocol can be usefully employed for long standing global problems of any kind, and also for sensations "in the moment" even if they don't make any sense or seem entirely unreasonable.
It is particularly useful for topics that seemingly have too many "conscious aspects", reasons, gains, contortions and other explanations as to why they absolutely need to be kept. Focussing on, and dealing directly with, the physiological sensation side-steps conscious based objections to healing and is extremely effective.
I would suggest for practitioners to try this protocol on any of their own current or long standing situations, problems, seemingly irresolvable conflicts in order to get an understanding of how it is different from the standard thought and memory based approaches; and to get an understanding of how basic physiological feedback, simple straightforward sensations in the body, can hold the simple answers to what might have seemed like impossibly complex problems.
The EFT Body Protocol is reverse engineered from EMO.