Making peace with sinusistus

Last week I had a bit of a head cold. On Wednesday morning was woken at 4.20am by toothache of the face. If you’ve ever had sinusitis you know what I mean, a dull ache behind the cheek bones.

After trying to get back to sleep for a while, I realised that it was going to be a bit of a struggle. I decided that I didn’t have much to lose so I started using EFT on the symptoms.

Even though I’ve got toothache of the face …..

No change.

Random thoughts about how this wasn’t going to work wandered through my mind so I tried …

Even though I don’t think this is going to work …


No change.

I went back to tapping on the symptoms. Several rounds of tapping reduced sensation a little and provoked a lot of snorting messily into a handkerchief.

I did some more tapping for ‘aching cheekbones’.

Not much change

Then I tried the excellent Imagineering process developed by Gwyneth Moss. I got some benefit from that, but not much.

After trying several other processes to reduce the pain, each with little success. I realised that the problem was that I wanted the pain to go away.

You might be thinking: Duh, isn’t that the point?

There seemed to be two parts to my suffering, the sensation itself and the resistance I was experiencing towards the sensation.

As an experiment I tried …

Even though I want this pain to go away ….

Something surprising happened, the sensations of pain stayed the same, but I felt much less bothered by them. I lay down and went quickly back to sleep.

Buddhists talk a lot about suffering, this gives the unfortunate impression that we’re a miserable lot. Suffering is an unsatisfactory translation of the word dukkha which could be better translated as unsatisfactory!

We find certain aspects of life are unsatisfactory because things are not the way we would like them to be, they are the way that they are. Perhaps I’d like to be thinner, richer, younger. I’m not, but the discomfort caused by what I want grating up against what is, is experienced as suffering.

I didn’t want sinusitis and the sensations of sinusitis, the sensations were bad enough and then I added a layer of suffering with ‘I don’t want this’ and ‘I want this to go away’. Once I tapped that reaction out, it was ‘just’ a sensation and I could go back to sleep.

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