While many of us are familiar with experiencing anxiety or even panic when it comes to medical appointments that hurt or could deliver bad news, I needed EFT in a place where nobody would expect it: the optometrist.
I have been near-sighted since I was 10 years old, and it got progressively worse - a lot worse. If they did not have these great "slim" cuts for glasses nowadays, I'd have a coke bottle look (can't wear contacts). So going to the optometrist never has been fun for me, especially since nobody considers that an emotionally sensitive situation, including the optometrists themselves ("Wow! You are the worst case I've had in a long time!").
In the past, I always took somebody with me, for emotional support. This time, however, I thought that was ridiculous and I should get over it. So I went on my own.
Well. After I got my general eye-exam (fine, no reason for worry there), the assistant started me on the test for new glasses. I already got a bit nervous, but tried to keep that down.
And then it happened. I had to take off my glasses to read the chart.
I could not read the largest letter on the chart which is, as I know, an E, but if I had not known that, I would not have been able to read it. I told the assistant that, and she just said: "O.k., tell me how many fingers I am holding up."
I could not tell with certainty how many fingers she was holding up.
She came closer, twice, and finally I managed. Then she said the doctor would see me in a moment and left the room.
At that point, I was about to burst into tears. I felt humiliated and utterly vulnerable. When I realized that the doctor could enter at any moment, I started to panic. Until I remembered that this was the perfect time to do EFT!
And so I tapped:
Nobody understands how stressful this is for me
All these callous people
They don't know
They don't understand
They don't care
Get me out of here!
This blocked energy in my body
After that, I added some reframing phrases:
I soothe and comfort myself
I choose to relax now
I'm o.k. anyway
It's just glasses
Nobody is out to hurt me
I improve the flow of energy in my body now
I tapped several rounds and took a deep breath. The urge to cry was gone, and I felt somewhat stable.
At that point, the optometrist entered the room and did the testing for new glasses. It was still somewhat stressful, but it did not overwhelm me.
After that I got to pick two pairs of new frames which was fun!
On my way home I wondered how many people might be out there who are emotionally challenged by situations that are a piece of cake for everybody else. Like a client of mine who got panic attacks when she entered a grocery store. Or the friend who feels very anxious when she needs a haircut.
All of us should be more conscious of the potential emotional vulnerability of others, including providers of services that are not scary per se. Of course, EFT is such a great tool to have "handy" in those situations…
Carna Zacharias-Miller is an EFT International Certified Advanced EFT practitioner in Tucson, Arizona. Her specialties are working with people who grew up in dysfunctional families, www.MissingMother.com, and introducing EFT into the dance community. Carna's new blog, www.sacredquestforlove, explores the spiritual side of emotions. You can also find her books on the site, The Way of the Ugly Duckling and, for dancers, It Takes Two To Tango.
From the EFTfree Archives, which are now a part of EFT International .
Originally published on Dec 21, 2013.