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Article : Using EFT To Heal Trauma
Name : Margaret Munoz
City: Sydney
State : New South Wales
Country : Australia
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It’s quite likely that you have been visited by some sort of trauma during your life to date – most people have. Trauma can be defined as a serious injury or shock causing physical, psychological
or emotional distress. Trauma can enter your life in many different ways and may be major or minor. It may be something that happens to you directly such as being in a car accident, or indirectly by witnessing a trauma which affects someone else such as watching the twin towers falling on September 11th.
Traumas include accident, illness, childhood abuse (mental, emotional, physical and sexual), witnessing others in the family being abused, being in hospital away from parents, separation, abandonment, divorce, being betrayed by a friend or lover, diagnosis with a life-threatening
illness, medical tests and treatments, death of a loved one, a suicide attempt, the suicide of someone close, military combat, adult physical or sexual assault, being burgled, business failure,bankruptcy, being involved in a court case, exams,,,, and of course many other things.

The impact can be profound and while creating short term symptoms can also sit in our subconscious producing disturbances many years later that we don’t even relate back to the event. (See Glenda’s story at the end of this article). Some severe traumas will cause Post
Traumatic Stress Disorder which without treatment can turn into mental health disorders. In 2007 46.4 % of American servicemen and women who served in the Iraq or Afghanistan wars were officially diagnosed with PTSD.

Everything that’s happened to us is stored in our cellular memory. Sometimes this memory can be triggered off by an event or circumstance or it can surface from time to time of its own accord. Oftentimes we’ve developed strategies for keeping the effects of the trauma at bay and sometimes this is so effective we’ve lost touch with it on a conscious level but it’s sitting in the subconscious wreaking its particular form of havoc.

Some sort of shock usually accompanies trauma and in its most obvious form can cause fainting due to the sudden dilation of the blood vessels which reduces the amount of blood going to the brain, restlessness, anxiety, a weak and rapid pulse, cold and clammy skin, sweating, shallow breathing, nausea and vomiting. I think it’s generally assumed that shock just subsides but my experience is that the shock can be held in the body for many years.

The good news in all of this is that EFT is such an effective and powerful tool for working with trauma because you can reach beyond the conscious mind. It’s possible to work with trauma without the person being re-traumatised. Many people are reluctant to work on past traumas
because it feels too painful to bring up. The trouble with this is that you are left still carrying the pain on a daily basis and with all the distracting, addictive and self-sabotaging mechanisms to
deal with.

There are ways of working with EFT which means that the trauma you have to go through to heal is minimised. You also don’t need to tell the details to a practitioner if you don’t wish to
and it doesn’t matter if you don’t remember details – relief and healing are still possible. It’s interesting however that when you tap on an event the details often come back to the surface and the emotions and physical sensations around them can be released.

EFT can be applied to trauma in different ways.

Firstly, as immediate first aid. You can tap in any traumatic situation involving either yourself or other people, for instance at the scene of an accident or receiving a phone call with bad news. I
used it when I fell onto rock during a bushwalk and went into shock while waiting for someone to pick me up. I tapped immediately and the symptoms, especially the nausea, passed really quickly. You don’t have to say anything, don’t bother with a set-up statement if you can’t think straight – just tap. The knack is to remember to tap – if you tap regularly you’re more likely to remember to use it in a critical situation.

Secondly, you can use it on a day-by-day basis to deal with an on-going trauma such as the illness of a loved one. One of my clients had to deal with the sudden diagnosis of her husband with a life-threatening tumour. We tapped our way through all the challenges that she had to meet – the shock, her fear that her husband was going to die, all his anxiety and suffering, the invasive medical tests, incompetent medical treatment, his major operation, being on her own
while he was in hospital, her own exhaustion as a carer with so much to do etc. It is a wonderful support system that is at the end of your finger tips.

Thirdly, to clear past trauma. It doesn’t matter how long ago it happened, it can still be cleared. And it can be a one-off incident or something that was on-going. As I’ve said, it’s not necessary to have a clear memory of what happened, nor is it necessary to speak of the details if that is too painful – it can still be cleared. Gary Craig’s “Tearless Trauma Technique” and other methods can be used to help reduce distress.

If possible I like to offload the shock before working on different aspects of the trauma. I’ve found it very effective to tap on releasing the shock out of the cells and the cellular memory
allowing it to come into the energy system to be released – no matter how long ago the trauma occurred. I find people are often really surprised at the effect that this has because they have no idea that the shock is still sitting in their body. Then I like to scramble the way the memory sits in the nervous system. I love doing this because it’s so good to see people smile or laugh at what they were previously traumatised by.

Amazing things can happen when you clear past traumas – it can have a hugely liberating effect. I would just note though that I personally think it’s best to work on trauma with a professional because it’s easy to get lost in the emotional and physical symptoms that come up and then not be able to tap your way through them. A professional can help you get the end result that you want with the minimum of distress.

Glenda Palmer’s Story

I approached Margaret just before Easter 2008. I was feeling “trapped” and out of sorts: bored, frustrated, resentful, and down. I felt very “stuck” in personal relationships, my job and life in
general. I wasn’t sure what was wrong in particular, just this awful feeling of being stuck and an intuition that perhaps something was trying to get my attention.

We started with my telling Margaret about my concerns: Very matter-of-factly I related how I felt afraid of moving on. I felt ambivalent and stuck in a job that also had some good points, a marriage breakdown 10 years ago that still seemed to haunt me, the deaths of my parents and
brother, and (almost as an after-thought) a car accident that had occurred a long time ago.

Immediately I mentioned the car accident, Margaret invited me to start tapping, which came as a surprise to me. The accident happened 28 years ago, and the other issues seemed to be more “current”. However, I went along with it and when I started telling Margaret about what
happened, almost immediately I started sobbing. I really don’t remember much about what actually took place during the session. What I do remember is Margaret tapping on me, talking
about “this terrible shock”, “this awful shock” and I thought, “yes, I am in shock, yes, I do feel hurt”.

As I related it to Margaret, the accident seemed to be happening in the present. I couldn’t stop crying over my mixed emotions: the shock, the fear of being in a physically dangerous and isolated place and not being rescued for some hours, the loss of my new car which was
damaged beyond repair, the loss of the relationship with the man who had been driving my car, the relief of not being too badly injured. I felt completely overwhelmed by it all. [Note from Margaret: one of the main aims of this type of work is for people to not have to re-experience the trauma but sometimes what has been stored suddenly comes whoosh to the surface as with Glenda. However it is short-lived and she is soon laughing, as you’ll discover in the next

Margaret asked me to then tell her again about the accident, and to visualise what was happening as if I was watching it as a black and white movie. Margaret kept tapping on me as I did this. Then she asked me to think of a couple of cartoon characters and to visualise myself
and the man as those cartoon characters. I was to then go through the “movie technique” of the accident but this time, my “role” in the movie was replaced by Garfield the Cat! Finally, I visualised my “movie” while Margaret was singing a “can can” ditty. I remember laughing a bit while I was doing this. We did several more rounds of tapping, then I took a deep breath, and had some water.

At the end, when Margaret asked me how I felt, I honestly didn’t know. I explained it as: “I feel like there’s something missing in my head, but in a good way”; “I feel like a circuit has been broken”; “I feel like something that used to travel around my brain on this long, tortuous, winding pathway, has now been zapped”. It was quite extraordinary. I left the session feeling amazed and excited, and so grateful for Margaret’s expertise and the power of EFT.

As a background to this I’ll explain that in the past I would divide the story of my life into two - before the accident, and after the accident. I was 28 when I had the accident, and nearly 56 when I saw Margaret. For 28 years I had been haunted by the accident and what happened.

Within 2 weeks following the accident, I developed panic attacks and agoraphobia, and I changed from a person who had been a world traveller and unafraid of most things, to a fearful,
bewildered, frightened, phobic invalid. I had to have three months off work on sick leave, and went to various doctors, who all prescribed tranquillisers. I became addicted to tranquillisers, but I thought it was a small price to pay, as by taking them, I was able to negotiate my way in the world, and “appear normal”. I needed tranquillisers to leave my house, to get to work, to drive my car, to attend any social

About six weeks after the initial session, I spoke to Margaret about my feeling that I needed to address the fear of panic attacks and agoraphobia as a consequence of the accident. I was once again amazed that I cried and was so deeply hurt about my first panic attack after the accident, and my subsequent addiction and isolation. Margaret tapped on me as we covered these aspects using the movie technique once more, and at the end I felt such wonderful relief.

I am coming to realise that now I am rid of the debilitating, unfounded fears that dogged me for half my life, the world really could be my oyster. I have been given a new freedom, and the
opportunity to live in a healthier, happier, more productive way. The question now is, what will I choose? How do I want to make the most of the opportunities that seem to be manifesting nearly every day?

In practical terms, it means that I am planning an overseas trip, and then I will look around for a new job. However, the real development, the beautiful outcome, is that I am recognising that by living in the moment - this moment - I am in a powerful, supportive place of wonderful choice and opportunity. I can understand and appreciate these choices and opportunities without the burden of the fear and isolation of the past that previously had coloured all my experiences.
I have a sense of positive anticipation and expectation that I am and will be alright, no matter what happens. The future no longer needs to be feared and will unfold as it needs to for the higher good of all, and when that time comes, as well as this moment, I am as happy and joyful as I choose to be.

I am so very grateful to Gary Craig, EFT and Margaret for freeing me from 28 years of hurt, fear and isolation.
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