EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) was developed in the 1990’s by Gary Craig, a Stanford engineering graduate and a spiritual ordained minister. His technique works in a similar fashion to the Chinese medicine technique of acupuncture, but rather than inserting needles, certain acupuncture points are tapped with the fingers. The idea is that both emotional and physical symptoms can occur as a result of blockages in our energy system caused by perpetual negative beliefs or previous painful experiences. These blockages can eventually manifest themselves into physical symptoms with this technique working on releasing those energetic blockages.
Unusual pain presentations
The longer I work in the field of physiotherapy, the more I have come to believe that there is more at play when it comes to the pain experience than the mere physical symptoms felt in the body. I have seen a number of people whose symptoms don’t quite fit an expected physical pain presentation. For example, someone who experiences a left sided repetitive shoulder problem despite most repetitive movements being performed with the right arm. Or very commonly, someone who experiences a left sided joint problem, going on to receive extensive treatment to alleviate the pain, to then develop the exact same symptoms a few weeks later on the opposite side. Or people who experience significant joint pain with MRI scans that show no indication of any injury. Cases like these, and many more unusual examples, are incredibly common and can be very perplexing when trying to understand things from a western medicine viewpoint.
Of course a western approach to treatment can be very powerful and its effects should not be underestimated. There is strong evidence for the benefits of biomechanical assessment, soft tissue manipulation, electrotherapy and exercise on the treatment of physical pain. However there is a group of people who do not appear to respond to conventional treatment. Whose pain persists despite the use of a multitude of various therapeutic techniques or whose symptoms jump from one area of the body to the next. It is with this group of people that I feel a western approach is failing. With this belief, I began investigating other treatment modalities and came across EFT.
I believe EFT is worth exploring for pain presentations that have not responded to mainstream treatment. I have begun my training in this technique and am quite keen to explore its effectiveness with the local population here in Manchester. I am not charging for this service, and all I ask is that you come with an open mind (especially those who are a fan of evidence based, double placebo RCT’s). I would like to use EFT with those experiencing chronic pain that has not resolved with traditional treatment approaches. I believe this technique will work best with those who have a genuine desire to resolve their symptoms and with those open to the idea that there is more to our existence than what our eyes can perceive or what science can explain. I imagine that treatments will require at least two to three follow ups. For those wishing to join me on this journey of exploration of the effectiveness of EFT, please get in touch by text or email.
For those of you who are exceptionally cynical of someone who would use such an approach, I direct you to my colleague Minas, an energetic medicine sceptic and a hardcore fan of evidence based treatment (I give him another five years of mainstream physiotherapy practise before he cracks). I look forward to hearing from you.