Are you saying, “It is all in my head?”

Too many people with painful conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and even PMS have heard or felt accused by their medical doctors that their pain isn’t “real,” that maybe they are faking it, or that it is figment of their imagination. This is both disrespectful and scientifically ignorant. Just because the root cause of the pain cannot be seen by available technology does not make the experience less real!

There is much we don’t know about the complex interplay between the body’s physical sensations and the interpretation of the intensity and meaning of those sensations by the conscious mind. I believe pain is a messenger, bringing us important information. Where we feel it, and how it manifests, is often less important than what we do in response.

As a massage therapist, I touch clients who live with great responsibility “on their shoulders” who have tight, knotted muscles… in their shoulders. I know that if we release the physical tension, the clients will usually feel lighter emotionally; they will feel less “weight on their shoulders,” at least for a time.

As an EFT practitioner, I know that if we address the intensity of the feelings of responsibility—the overwhelm, the lack of control, the lack of time—the physical knots and the pain will also often dissipate.

As an observer of my own body/mind, I know that if I overstress these same shoulder muscles in physical labor, and they start to knot up, I am more likely to feel the same intense emotions of overwhelming responsibility.

Where is the dividing line between the physical and the emotional? In my personal and professional experience, I simply cannot find one. I believe all pain is a feedback loop where physical sensations and emotional aspects are intertwined. Pain is physio-emotional.

When you look at the energy system, this makes perfect sense. Our energy meridians flow in a recirculating loop. Tapping on any point echoes throughout the system. We have observed (for thousands of years now) that we can tune into an energy state by focusing on either a physical sensation or an emotional feeling (or both). They are interconnected, and energy therapy gets results either way!

But some people get blocked and reject EFT when they perceive that we’re not honoring the sharp pinching pain in their neck or the stabbing pain in their low back as being physical. “If there was an emotion there, what might it be?” For some, this question is taken as an accusation. It’s not meant that way. All we’re doing is looking for an effective avenue into the energy system.

Sometimes this combined physio-emotional avenue allows us to dramatically reduce the pain by tapping on “this pinching anger in my neck” or “this pissed off low back.” Unfortunately, it is hard to feel thrilled with the results if we start feeling defensive or start blaming ourselves or are just really confused why the pain is suddenly gone. If the pain was “real” (and we’re painfully sure it was), it can’t just vanish? Can it? And we certainly cannot heal from long-term chronic disease by “just” persistently tapping and removing physio-emotional disruptions! Or can we…

Energy therapy is very new to us in the west, and frankly, we humans have a hard time accepting dramatically different perspectives. That’s okay. We’re in the early stages of the integration of the global healing arts, as well as the very early stages of looking at the body as a quantum field of information and energy. In the meantime, when we find it difficult to understand what is happening, we can tap:

“Even though I don’t understand this, and I don’t know how it could possibly help, I deeply and completely accept myself.”