Are you struggling with the emotional aspects of having a chronic illness?
Do you understand that your physical discomfort – regardless of its causes – can be somewhat alleviated by learning to effectively process your emotions and calm your nervous system, but aren’t sure what would be most effective for helping you with this?
Getting diagnosed and living with a chronic illness is difficult in so many ways for our bodies, minds, and spirits.
I’d like to introduce you to a technique I’ve found to be extremely helpful in dealing with all the ups & downs that living with chronic illness brings to our lives: EFT Tapping.
EFT Tapping has numerous benefits for those with chronic illness, and in the post, we’ll get into all the details so you can be well-informed on how this wellness technique can benefit you, as well as getting a free workbook to help you get started.
Disclaimer: While I talk about how EFT Tapping can benefit those with chronic illness, I’m not a licensed medical physician, psychotherapist, or psychologist, and I’m not offering medical advice.
For my full disclaimer policy, go here.
(Psst…here at The Thriving Spoonie, I use the term chronic illness to refer to not only chronic and rare diseases, but also chronic conditions that are not considered “diseases”, chronic pain, and any other life-changing medical condition. If you can at all relate to this post – it’s for you! And if you have ideas on how I can make my writing more inclusive of this community, leave a comment and let me know!)
How Your Mental Health Is Affected by Having a Chronic Illness
Being diagnosed and living with a chronic illness can have a huge impact on your mental health. Studies show that between 20% to 25% of people dealing with chronic conditions also suffer from some type of mental illness in response to their condition.
When we look beyond just the symptoms of chronic illness, we can begin to see why this might be:
If you’re newly diagnosed, you may be feeling shocked & are flooded with thoughts of “why me” and “it’s not fair”. (psst – you may also find this post helpful for combating these feelings)
You may be angry that you’re sick, sad because of what you may lose the ability to do because of your illness, or fearful of what the future holds for you.
You may also be stressed and confused about different treatment options, as well as the lifestyle changes you’ll have to make.
Even if you were diagnosed some time ago, it’s completely normal to continue to cycle through various emotions in response to being chronically ill.
EFT Tapping can help you process these difficult emotions, as well as reduce overall stress and discomfort. Let’s take a look at how.
What is EFT Tapping?
EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Technique, and is part of an emerging field known as “energy psychology”. It was developed by Dr. Roger Callahan in 1979, who was influenced by the work of George Goodheart. Goodheart noticed through his study of TCM that simply palpitating the meridian points affected the emotional and physical body.
The algorithms properly known as EFT were developed by Gary Craig, a student of Dr. Callahan. EFT combines cognitive therapy and the energy meridians of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Like acupressure, tapping increases endorphins, the body’s feel-good neurotransmitter. This is why even without a specific focus, tapping can elevate your mood.
Gary realized that by adding affirmations to the practice, one can more easily release the emotional distress surrounding a range of issues – from past trauma to current stress, to physical ailments.
He also noticed that EFT Tapping would become a wonderful way to empower practitioners to help heal themselves by no longer needing to rely on needles and acupressure tables to find relief.
You can learn more about the general benefits of EFT Tapping and the traditional tapping points in my blog post on EFT for beginners.
How Can EFT Tapping Help With Chronic Illness?
EFT Tapping can help you deal with the emotional aspects of being chronically ill by calming the nervous system via the amygdala – the part of the brain in control of our flight or fight response.
With EFT Tapping, we bypass the “thinking” part of the brain and go directly to the “feeling” part, allowing us to process and move through the emotions more quickly and efficiently than other techniques like talk therapy, which simply uses the “thinking” part of the brain, and do nothing with the emotions that arise in response to events in our lives.
EFT helps alleviate compound stress which can exacerbate chronic illness symptoms and neutralize the experiences so that they no longer affect us.
What Situations Can EFT Help With?
At this point, you’re probably wondering if you can use EFT Tapping as a sort of “grab & go” self-care technique to help you deal with stressful chronic illness-related situations in the moment.
And the good news is, you absolutely can!
Here are some scenarios where doing some EFT could be of great benefit to you:
- Any time you’re looking to balance your nervous system and emotions
- As you are able when dealing with a flare-up
- Before or after doctor’s appointments to help process stress & anxiety
- When you wake up to help reset your mind and feel more present and alert as you tackle your day, which can in itself be a stressful thing when living with chronic illness
- Practice EFT before bed to encourage a peaceful mind, even if you aren’t able to get much sleep
As you can see, EFT can help ease the discomfort and stress in every area of your life!
Now, let’s wrap all this info up.
Here are the biggest takeaways from this post that I hope help you manage your chronic illness with a little more ease:
- EFT Tapping helps stop the fight or flight response, which can be overly active in people with chronic illness due to the intense amount of pain and discomfort they deal with
- It can also help with pain since it increases endorphins, much like acupressure & acupuncture
- As emotions fluctuate in response to everything chronic illness brings to your life, EFT Tapping can help ease the struggle in both your body and mind, and help you regain a sense of balance, groundedness, and control.
How Can I Get Started With EFT Tapping?
While working with a trained practitioner who can help you form your tapping script and work through issues as they arise, EFT can also be effectively practiced alone, once you’ve got the tapping points and script formulation down.
To help you get started with EFT now, so you can feel relief fast, I created the EFT Tapping For Chronic Illness Relief Workbook. You can get access to this workbook for FREE – just fill out the form below to get access!