This question came up in discussion recently. Here are some thoughts and examples based on my own early experiences as to when, whether and how successfully we may be able to modify or eliminate our own headaches using EFT.
Yes, we can
EFT originator Gary Craig famously said, "Try it on everything."
If we can identify the cause of the pain or tension, or any memories or events that may be underpinning the headache then, once we have tapped through them, the answer may very well be "yes." The reason for the headache has been neutralised or eradicated and so the headache itself disappears.
For example, one New Year I accidentally set the casing of a tea light on fire. The bitter, acrid fumes got up my nose and down my throat, and I was worried about the effect of the chemicals released. So I tapped:
"Even though I’m worried about the effects of those chemicals, I deeply and completely accept myself."
"Even though I feel foolish for setting the tea light on fire, I deeply and completely accept myself."
I’d become aware of some slight irritation in my nose and a dry bitter taste in my mouth, so I tapped some more, using those phrases.
Using memories of specific events
Next, a migraine started and two memories surfaced, so I processed each in turn using EFT:
Firstly, after a routine gas fire service, I was shocked to find the fire disconnected, and heard the phrase, "We don’t understand why you’re still alive!"
Secondly, a new gas fire was fitted and some test smoke felt caught in my throat. I felt worried about the long-term damage from that too.
Coming back to my current migraine that New Year, I wondered what emotion my head pain might represent. The answer was sadness, and I tapped through a couple of memories of New Year sadness that surfaced.
Tapping on the pain itself
I also addressed the pain itself. It was like a metal pole boring down into my head. After a couple of rounds of tapping using this phrase, it was more diffuse. I continued to tap as the pain changed:
– I have this metal potato masher pressing down on my head
– the pain’s become more focused in the front of my head
– my head feels like an over-inflated football
– it just feels sore"
Eventually my headache was gone, and the memories never resurfaced.
No, we can't
Sometimes it may simply be too late, too painful, or too much effort to tap in the moment - I rarely can!
Gary Craig also said, "Don’t go where you don’t belong."
It is always recommended that we consult qualified health practitioners regarding symptoms. Sometimes a headache might be an indicator of a serious underlying medical condition, which we ignore at our peril. We all have our blind spots too, so we may be able to tap on ‘everyday’ headaches as part of our own self-care but need outside expert help for more complex or deeper-seated headaches.
Some other course of action may be the key. Perhaps the external environment needs to be changed, for example, that faulty gas fire. Perhaps our internal environment needs attention, for example, the body is simply dehydrated.
While tapping alone may not eradicate today’s headache it may still be of benefit, for tomorrow's health and wellbeing - for example, by raising awareness, and bringing clarity to our choices.
Sometimes the relief may be delayed or partial. The first time I tried tapping for one of my headaches, I got nowhere – or that’s what I thought. After ten minutes of tapping, I lost interest. Ten more minutes later, I noticed that the head pain had completely gone! I often observe this lag effect: a delay while the system resets itself before we experience the benefits of our tapping.
On another occasion, I was due to travel to an EFT event, but I had a bad migraine. So I tapped:
"Even though I have this migraine at my left temple…"
"Even though I’m not really fit to travel…"
My SUDS level came down a little, just enough to make the pain more bearable, enough to set out. I tapped at intervals, which helped manage the pain during the train journey but not get rid of it; the fact that I was ‘keeping going’ worked against that. What my body had needed from the outset was a cessation of activity: rest and sleep, but tapping had modified the headache in the meantime (and allowed me to travel).
As these examples from lived experience suggest, perhaps the answer to the question ‘Can we tap successfully for our own headaches?’ is not yes, nor or maybe but yes, no and maybe.
Hilary Jones is an Accredited EFTi Master Trainer and Mentor specialising in the relief of emotional and physical pains and a wide spectrum of traumas.
Photo by Sander Sammy on Unsplash.