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Other Physical Issues

Chronic Fatigue

Tips for working with SEVERE chronic fatigue syndrome (CFE/ME)

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated. Please use my newest advancement, Optimal EFT. It is more efficient, more powerful and clearly explained in my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™.  Best wishes, Gary

Note: This article assumes you have a working knowledge of EFT. Newcomers can still learn from it but are advised to peruse our Free Gold Standard (Official) EFT Tutorial™ for a more complete understanding.

Hi Everyone,

Among Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients, Sasha Allenby from the UK was once in the severely affected "25% group." EFT was instrumental in her recovery and she gives important pointers for readers dealing with this population. About her own situation she says, "Yet EFT can have amazing benefits for this group. I know this because I was one of this group several years ago, but made a remarkable recovery using EFT. The crippling pains that I was experiencing as part of this condition subsided with EFT, and with the help of Karl Dawson, I cleared much of the emotional turmoil that was at the heart of my condition."

Hugs, Gary

By Sasha Allenby

Dear Gary,

I would like to share with you some work I have been doing with severely affected CFS/ME (chronic fatigue syndrome) clients. Within the illness there is a “25% group” who are so debilitated by ME that they are often completely housebound, wheelchair and bed bound and dependent upon caregivers for their everyday needs. They are called the 25% group because about a quarter of those challenged with ME are in this group. This disabled state can last for years or even decades.

This is the group that needs us most as practitioners but the ones that we probably see the least. Although EFT is hugely popular with those who are overcoming CFS/ME in general, many in the 25% group have given up hope about healing from their condition and do not seek alternative therapies or hold out any hope that life could be any different.

Yet EFT can have amazing benefits for this group. I know this because I was one of this group several years ago, but made a remarkable recovery using EFT. The crippling pains that I was experiencing as part of this condition subsided with EFT, and with the help of Karl Dawson, I cleared much of the emotional turmoil that was at the heart of my condition. I am totally dedicated to helping others overcome CFS/ME using EFT and have worked with a number of clients who are in the 25% group. So I thought it might help to share with other practitioners the considerations of working with the highly specific needs of this group.

Be aware as a practitioner that if you have been contacted to work with someone in the 25% group, it is usually by a family member or care-giver, so always ensure you have the permission of the client before you go ahead. In carrying out home visits what practitioners will probably find is a person who is extremely isolated from the world and who is often gripped by fear and anxiety. Many will be too weak to turn themselves in bed or take a sip of water independently, and they often cannot talk or think straight. They are likely to have light and noise sensitivity and severe pain, and to be lying in a darkened room, often wearing dark glasses.

People ask me where to start with a client in this condition. The answer is to work extremely slowly using EFT. Your long-term work as a practitioner is to find the core beliefs and life experiences which have contributed to the triggering of the condition. As a practitioner there may be a tendency to want to get to the underlying cause straight away. After all you have seen the benefits of EFT and know that overcoming key life traumas will benefit substantially. But this is a very long way off for the client in this group. So expect to work really slowly, and understand that progress can be non-existent in this condition without a tool such as EFT, so the fact that you inch forward is incredibly positive.

Introduce EFT and yourself very simply. Perhaps something along the lines of, "I'm going to show you a technique which may help your recovery. We can start by reducing your symptoms. Is that OK with you?"

Then start by tapping on the symptoms. If they can tell you what they are feeling in a word or sentence then great, but some will just lay there whilst you tap on them, and you can guarantee that they are tuned into their problem. Encourage your client to focus their mind on one symptom at a time if they can. And if they are not able to speak, try and find a method such as a hand squeeze to let you know that the symptoms are improving.

Tap very lightly, as lightly as you would tap on a new born baby, as the sensation of any physical contact can be extremely heightened due to the system being on red-alert. If your client cannot speak, you can speak the set-up phrase or reminder phrase for them, but speak in a whisper. Some will prefer silence. Obviously exclude the nine gamut at this stage. It might be weeks or even months before you can start the full EFT protocol.

In the meantime you can help the client to use creative visualization to heal the symptom or pain that you are tapping on whilst you speak for them, so that they feel involved in the process, and so that they are engaging their body-mind in the healing. You may only be able to work for 10-20 minutes at a time. End your session with a very short visualization of sending light and healing energy throughout the body either with or without tapping.

At the end of the first session, spend some time showing the care-giver the EFT protocol. This way if you want to switch to telephone consultations after the first visit you have trained the care-giver to facilitate further sessions over the phone. Also encourage the care-giver to tap on the client several times per day as part of their routine if the client is willing, and to increase this very slowly to 10-20 rounds per day over the course of the next few months. If there is more than one care-giver, emphasize the importance of passing this information on, and try to talk to or work with the other care-givers at some point.

As the client’s cognitive function starts to improve you can also teach them to do imaginary tapping on their own throughout the day. Tell them about this quite early on, even if their cognitive function is not working, as they may remember it just from the sensation of being tapped. Of course real progress will have been made when they can physically tap on themselves.

When you have gained the client’s trust and you are starting to make progress on symptom management you can start to look at the underlying issues. But you may need to wait until there is some stabilization of the physical state of your client before you do this. Be respectful of your client and extremely gentle.

Some examples of what you might need to approach in the long-term are similar to most illnesses such as clearing the emotional issues around the illness; clearing events around the trigger to the illness; overcoming limiting beliefs about their ability to heal; clearing childhood and life trauma; addressing self-sabotaging thoughts or behaviours; addressing secondary gains, etc. There is often a tendency to perfectionism with this group and they have often been very driven before the illness. Your detective work is to find out their life experiences that have created this tendency and resolve them with EFT. Many of these clients also see the world as a dangerous place and again it is crucial to find out why they have this view and to shift their perspective with EFT.

I hope that any practitioners who are contacted by a caregiver of someone from this group will be encouraged to work with them. Following these basic guidelines should help the practitioner to feel like they have a good starting point, and as always the work will unfold from there.

With love and blessings,

Sasha Allenby

p.s. Thank you so much, Gary, for providing this amazing tool that has given me my life back, and is enabling me to help others do the same. I am forever in gratitude to you.


Explore our newest advancement, Optimal EFT™, by reading my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™. More efficient. More powerful.