My new EFT/fibromyalgia metaphor this week is a burning house. The image came as I was getting ready for my most recent EFT session.
Mopping up after the fire:
In my previous session with this person, she had tapped through a life-defining trauma from her early years. The trauma had left her feeling fearful, left her with a sense that the world was a dangerous place. Her daily feeling: “I’m not worthy.” What a fire to carry around in her soul! What a fire to have burning at the health of her body, mind, and spirit! As I prepared for the next session it felt like we were in mop-up mode, after the fire had been put out.
And that’s exactly what happened. The fire was out. The woman beamed. Her pain levels had decreased. We mopped up – started tapping at the anxiety of being a person no longer defined by pain. She had been defined for so many decades by her pain, that the state of pain free was completely unfamiliar, and it made her anxious – but, I knew the fire was out because she said, “this doesn’t make me feel unworthy, just anxious.” These words were entirely new to this woman, but deep and strong and full of power, as a result of tapping out the fire.
Most fibromyalgia treatment turns out like training the fire hose on the flames escaping from the windows of the burning house. The water can knock down the window flames, but inside the house, the structure is still on fire, the fire is still burning, the structure is being consumed.
What happens if you don’t put out the fire?
On the Internet I discovered the story of a woman who had been struggling for decades with severe obesity. Four years earlier she’d gotten a gastric banding surgery, and finally, after all those decades, she’d lost her weight and overcame the problem She was ecstatic. Four years later, what happens?
Four years later this woman gets diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
In the metaphor of the burning house, gastric banding surgery equaled spraying water on the flames outside the windows. Whatever the fire inside the house was, it continued to burn. Four years later, the flames were once again leaping outside the windows – this time as fibromyalgia.
EFT says that if you can get to the core emotions and tap on those, it can put out the fire. As I begin using EFT with people with fibromyalgia and other pain, this is EXACTLY what I experience. Why do I write about this with such a feeling of confidence, even though I’m so new on the learning curve?
- The majority of literature about fibromyalgia notes that there is often an emotional or physical triggers that marks the start of fibromyalgia pain.
- The majority of literature that studies the disposition of people with fibromyalgia notes that most people with fibromyalgia have sensitive natures. (This alone may explain why fibromyalgia shows up much more for women than for men.)
- Literature that explores the life experience of people with fibromyalgia notes that a larger than normal percentage have experienced early life traumas such as sexual abuse.
These are fires in the body and the soul. Gastric banding may be effective but it just treats the symptom – overfeeding our fat cells – it doesn’t do anything to put out the fire. In the case of this woman’s story, the fire erupted four years later as fibromyalgia.
And nothing in this story ever mentioned the fire in the house. They are absorbed with the flames coming from the windows. First the gastric banding. Now the fibromyalgia symptoms. Different flame – same fire in the soul. Missing the connections.
Put out the fire inside the house. Stop the fire where its burning down the structure. Then the flames coming out the window will go away too. This is the approach of EFT.