Making Progress Slowly with Back Pain

A few weeks ago I was away attending a three day NLP training. I’ve stayed at the same B&B a few times. The last time I stayed my landlady, let’s call her Mary, she mentioned that she was having trouble with back pain. I mentioned that I new a procedure that may be of help to her and promised to demonstrate it when I was next visiting.

On the Friday evening when I’d settled in and had a cup of tea, I asked her about her back pain, it was about the same as before. I reminded her of my offer to show her EFT in the hopes that it might relieve some of her pain. She was keen to try it, even after I warned her that it might look a little bit strange.

Now in her early sixties, Mary had injured her back lifting milk crates when she and her late husband had run a farm. The lower back pain had been on and off since then, and had become very noticeable in the last seven years and included bouts of sciatica in her right leg. She showed me some of her medical reports which stated that she had a height reduction between lumbar vertebrae four and five which lead to a trapped nerve and sciatica. In the ime since the accident she’d been to her GP, an osteopath, chiropractor, acupuncturist, massage therapist and physiotherapist with varying degrees of success. Amongst other treatments, she’d had anti-inflammatories, cortisone injections, hot water bottles, ice packs and a rubber ring to sit on.

I explained a little bit about the process and asked her to become aware of her pain and rate it on a scale of zero to ten, she rated it as an eight as a specific sore spot to on the right of her lower back which was sensitive to the touch. Her description of the pain was ‘a very sore back’, so we used that as a setup statement. I used the ‘Yorkshire’, rather than the ‘Californian’ version of the setup, whilst tapping the Karate Chop spot.

“Even though I have a very sore back, I’m alright, I’m OK ….”

We tapped through all the points on the body and finished on the crown of the head point. Then I asked her to rate the pain …. “Oh, I’d say it’s about seven and a half!”. I was a bit surprised, I often get drops in pain from eight to a four in the first round, was I missing something? I enquired carefully about the location and quality of the pain, Mary reported it was in the same place with the same quality, just the intensity had dropped slightly. ‘Oh, well’, I thought, ‘let’s make the setup more potent by rubbing the Sore Spot rather than the Karate Chop spot’.

“Even though I’ve still got a very sore back, I’m alright, I’m OK …”

Once again we tapped all through the body points, then I asked her to rate the pain .. ‘Oh, I’d say it was a seven now!”. Once more I enquired about the quality and location of the of the pain, they were unchanged, only the intensity had diminished, using the Sore Spot hadn’t made the dramatic difference I’d hoped for.

‘OK, we’ll do it again’ So we did. “How’s the pain?”, “About a six and a half!”

‘OK, time for the ‘Californian’ setup phrase, let’s see if that makes a difference’

“Even though I’ve still got a very sore back, deeply and completely accept myself ….”

She laughed, but said it anyway. When we’d finished tapping, I asked her again about the location and intensity of the pain: same place, same quality, the intensity had dropped to six!. I like to check for the quality and location of the pain because sometimes the pain moves, or changes, perhaps from a throb to an ache. Each time this happens you need to adjust your setup phrase to cope with the differences, in EFT circles this is called ‘Chasing the Pain’, this didn’t seem to be happening in her case.

‘Right! Time for the Californian setup and the full recipe, body and hand tapping, eye rolling, humming – the whole works’

“Even though I’ve still got a very sore back, I deeply and completely accept myself and forgive myself….”

She followed my lead through the whole process, finger tapping, eye rolling and humming without complaint. “Pain level?” “Five and a half”, “How would you describe your pain, what words would you use?”, “A sore back”. Hurrah! We’d reduced the very sore back to ‘just’ a sore back. So back to the tapping.

“Even though I’ve got a sore back, I deeply and completely accept myself …”

Tap, tap, tap …. “Five!”

And again …

Tap, tap, tap …. “Four and half!”

And again …

Tap, tap, tap …. “Four!”

Every few rounds she got up and went for a little walk around her living room to check how things were progressing.

Tap, tap, tap …. “Three and a half”

Tap, tap, tap …. “Three! Now it’s a slightly sore back!”

The quality and location of the pain had not changed in all this time, only the intensity had dropped.

“Even though I’ve got a slightly sore back, I deeply and completely accept myself …”

Tap, tap, tap …. “Two and a half!”

Tap, tap, tap …. “Two!”

She remarked that she was more aware now of the numbness and cold sensation in her buttocks. She rated both at five. So we switched subjects for a little while.

“Even though I’ve got a numb bum, I deeply and completely accept myself …”

Can you imagine how this would look to an outsider, two grown ups tapping away reciting ‘numb bum, numb bum, numb bum’, fortunately nobody came visiting.

Tap, tap, tap …. “How numb is your bum?” “Four and half!”

Tap, tap, tap …. “Four”

Etc, etc, etc …. “Half, I can only just feel it”

We went through the same process for the sensation of coldness in the buttocks, reducing by half a unit every time. Mary reported that she could feel a warm glow radiating down into her buttocks from her lower back. Then we returned our attention to the remaining back pain.

“Even though I’ve still got a slightly sore back, I deeply and completely accept myself … ”

Tap, tap, tap …. “One and a half”

Etc, etc, etc …. “Half”

We stopped at that point, she took a walk round her sitting room and said she felt more comfortable than she had in a long time. Earlier she’d said that she had difficulty walking up steps and hills, so we went out of her house and walked up some steps and up a short slope without any difficulty.

The whole process from start to finish took about two and a half hours of more or less continuous tapping.

The following morning the changes seemed to be holding up, she was reading my little EFT booklet and was going to practice whenever she felt a twinge of pain. On the Sunday morning she said she’d had some discomfort and we spent twenty minutes after my breakfast tapping away, clearing away the loose ends.

What I learnt from this experience is that even if you are making slow progress, it is still progress and that persistence pays off.

Update: I’ve since phoned her and found out that the back pain has returned but to a much lesser extent that it was previously. We’re going to set up a time to do some telephone tapping to see if we can reduce it some more. I’ll keep you posted.

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