Have you ever stubbed your toe against the kerb, or caught your hand on the side of a hot oven/pan/iron, chopped your thumb when you were aiming for the cabbage (it’s best not to ask me to shred cabbage!), bumped into an armchair/doorway/person, missed a step up/down, scalded yourself in steam from the kettle, spilled a freshly brewed mug of tea, hammered your fingers and missed the nail, tripped on the mat, fallen off a swing, slipped on ice/mud/banana skin? What about paper cuts and blisters, bruises, grazes, insect bites, over-reaching for the top shelf, minor whiplash even? The list is endless.
These are just some examples of everyday accidents, the sort of things that can easily happen when we are too tired, not properly awake, too busy, not concentrating, trying to do too many things at once, distracted, in pain, limited in some other way, or just clumsy.
How we respond
And what is our accompanying self-talk – whether it’s thought, muttered sotto voce or shouted out loud? It can often be negative. We berate ourselves – or blame our bodies. For example, have you ever caught yourself saying any of these?
"That was stupid! I’m an idiot! You fool! How could you be so careless? Bad back! Look what you’ve done! You’re always doing that! You never learn! Ouch!!"
And more colourful variants 🙂 .
What can we do about it?
EFT, we know, is a superb tool for handling emotional and physical upset. And it can work perfectly well in these scenarios in its standard form, ie by naming the problem and tapping with a reminder phrase. For example:
Even though I (stubbed my toe), I deeply and completely accept myself... (I stubbed my toe)
Even though (‘That was stupid!’), I accept myself anyway... (That was stupid!)
Ho’oponopono (ho-o-pono-pono) is an ancient traditional Hawaiian spiritual practice. The word translates simply as making right, more right, the path, and it implies choosing wellness and excellence from the outset.
Today we are more likely to have come across a modern Westernised adaptation based on the cyclical repetition of these key phrases:
I love you. I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.
Combining the two practices
NB I am not a medic and this is not medical advice. Please always take responsibility for your own wellbeing and consult a health professional where necessary. What follows is just based on my personal experiences and observations.
In combining EFT with Ho’oponopono, we use the phrases from Ho’oponopono in place of a reminder phrase as we gently tap around the points. The order really doesn’t matter. What’s important is starting right away. It’s a conversation with our body, and we address the injured body part in particular. We use one phrase at each tapping point.
I like to expand the ‘Thank you’ phrase into two:
‘Thank you for knowing how to heal’ and ‘Thank you for healing now’.
What we actually say
Here’s an example:
Side of hand: Even though I (stubbed my toe), it was just an accident...
Top of Head: I love you.
EyeBrow: I’m sorry.
Side of Eye: Please forgive me.
Under Eye: Thank you for knowing how to heal.
Under Nose: Thank you for healing now.
Chin: I love you.
Collarbone: I’m sorry.
Under Arm: Please forgive me.
Top of Head: Thank you for knowing how to heal.
EyeBrow: Thank you for healing now.
Side of Eye: I love you.
Under Eye: I’m sorry.
Under Nose: Please forgive me.
Chin: Thank you for knowing how to heal.
Collarbone: Thank you for healing now.
Under Arm: I love you.
And so on...
How much do we need to tap?
Keep tapping rounds until the pain/stinging/throbbing/itching has subsided or gone away.
I have been amazed at how quickly this promotes healing and how easily it reduces or eradicates ongoing painful or uncomfortable physical sensations.
In my experience, the single most important thing is to stop what we were doing and start tapping immediately. That gives the best chance of reversing or minimising any physical damage already inflicted, preventing worse damage happening, and not allowing what’s there to become entrenched – whilst simultaneously encouraging the healing processes to begin straightaway.
In responding with self-compassion rather than self-blame, negative emotion is not being downloaded, encoded or stored (eg as ongoing pain or symptoms).
Sometimes, some top-up tapping might be beneficial after an interval – a few hours, a day, maybe even a week, depending on the nature of the mishap – I am still experimenting. No two cases are the same, but we do know that in EFT persistence or repetition is often required, just as it is in conventional and natural medicine (for example, take this dose every so many hours, do this exercise and repeat so many sets per day/week).
In summary, this is a wonderfully simple way to incorporate EFT and Ho’oponopono into our everyday lives, to foster our health and wellness (emotional and physical), and manage those minor mishaps. I invite you to experiment! But I must also remind you that I am no medic and this is not medical advice. Always consult a qualified health practitioner if in any doubt about the nature or severity of an injury.
Hilary Jones is an AAMET Accredited Certified EFT Trainer NQT. She specialises in trauma, emotional and physical pain, and works in person and online. She is proud to serve as a member of the EFT International Executive Board.