I just finished presenting a two session stress reduction course last night for the Durham Women’s Cancer Support Group. It was an enjoyable experience for me and I think for them. I like to find out what’s helpful and what’s not in my trainings so I handed out some feedback forms. One of the responses that came back eloquently summarised the principal oddity of EFT, which is to say that it’s odd!

I was sceptical to start with that the tapping would really work, but I am pleasantly surprised to discover that it actually does, even though it seems like quite a strange thing to do!

I couldn’t have put it better myself. It’s an interesting experience for me to be presenting this stuff in front of a room of people, who until they get a positive experience of the results of the tapping, probably think I’m barking mad! I’m impressed by those hardy souls who decide to persist and find out what happens when they try it out for themselves. It’s nice not to have to bark on my own!

Sleeping your way to understanding

An interesting article in the New Scientist: While you slumber, your brain puts the world in order notes that during sleep we don’t only strengthen our memories but we also extract themes and rules from the masses of information we soak up during the day.

Bob Stickgold from Harvard Medical School, the author of the report, said “We’re not just stabilising memories during sleep, we’re extracting the meaning.”

This ties in well with my experience, particularly on NLP trainings where our trainers would suggest that our ‘other-than-concious’ minds should and would process what we’d learnt during the day. I certainly found that I would sleep well on these courses (and dreamed like a lunatic), a sign for me at least that sorting, classifying and integrating of the learning was going on whilst I rested in the ‘Land of Nod’.

At the end of the day I suppose this is just another scientific validation of the old adage that ‘we should sleep on it’.

Fear of flying (not)

It’s always nice to hear how clients are doing. Especially when you are working with fears, you can tap away in your office on all the aspects of the fear and anxieties about whatever it is: fear of flying, or fear of medical procedures, in the hope of neutralising it all. However, until they’ve gone and done whatever it is in the real world you just don’t know for sure that it’s going to work. So it’s very rewarding to get an email like this from someone who used to suffer from fear of flying.

I used the techniques and they had a huge impact on the lowering of my fear of flying. I used the head/eye/ face tapping on the days before the flights and the more subtle tapping in the departure lounges! It really helped. Did the 11hr flight to LA pretty calmly. No major churning stomach at all. After that the two shorter flights ( still 6 or 7 hrs each!) seemed more of a breeze. I even ENJOYED ( shock horror!) the flight from the west coast to the east as I had a window seat and could see the magnificent contours and colours of the desert, followed by the Rockies, followed by endless miles of prairies before arriving in the more built up east coast .

Have actually just returned from a quick visit to Belfast and a very short 40 mins flight both ways, and felt chilled out both times..

Thank you so much Andy. You’re a star. Will keep working on the technique as and when I need it.

What I particularly like about this is the last line. ‘Will keep working on the technique as and when I need it’. That’s the spirit! In my opinion EFT is as much about training someone how to use it for themselves as to ‘treat’ someone. I love it when someone takes that on board – literally in this case.

Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings …

I received this email from a friend, she’d received it from friends in California. It’s a little “Awwww, bless!!!”, but I hope you’re going to let me off.

A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4-8 yr olds.

“What does love mean?”

The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think:

“When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.”

Rebecca- age 8

“When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.”

Billy – age 4

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Tap dancing

A client of mine at a cancer support group, let’s call her Mary, has been using EFT to good effect. I worked with her a little while ago about test anxiety. This test anxiety is not about a driving test, or a maths exam, but a call back to hospital after several years remission from breast cancer to investigate a suspicious lump.

Shortly before she was due to be tested, we worked together in an EFT session reducing the fears and anxieties surrounding the test and what it might mean. She was naturally apprehensive, fear of re-occurrence is a is a big issue for people who have been through cancer, come out the other side, and have no inclination to go back.

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How do you know that?

Do you ever notice what you say to yourself. Many people, including me, have a stream of internal dialogue, a running commentary on what we are doing and how well we are doing it. It’s often most noticeable when we feel we’ve made some blunder. “Oh, what an idiot!”, “How could you be so stupid!”, “I wish I hadn’t said that, what was I thinking?”, and so on.

For many of us this commentary is not delivered in a friendly understanding tone, quite the contrary, we often berate ourselves in a way that would get us beaten up if we were to use it on other people. We’d also want beat up anyone who used that tone on us, but we ‘happily’ castigate ourselves without mercy.

If you recognise this in yourself, I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one, you might like to ask yourself: “Is this kind of commentary doing me any good?” or “Would I expect this from a compassionate friend?”

If the answer to those questions is no, what can you do about it? Here’s one way to work with critical thoughts, borrowed from an American Zen monk Cheri Huber (just in case you were wondering about the name, in the Zen tradition ‘monk’ is a unisex term).

When you notice yourself having a critical thought, say to yourself in a friendly, interested tone of voice: “Hmm, that’s interesting, how do you know that?”. Wait for the answer. When it comes it may well be another critical thought (they run in packs), if so ask again in a friendly tone “Hmm, that’s interesting, how do you know that?”. Just continue in this vein, you may find yourself learning quite a bit about the way your mind works.

In this way you can begin to question the unquestioned authority of these thoughts, many of which were absorbed in childhood and have been knitted into your internal experience. It may take a lot of persistence to challenge all the negative thoughts and comments that are floating around in there, but a little awareness followed by a quizzical enquiry may go along way to making them much less convincing.

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