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Pain Management

Can EFT mask a pain to the detriment of the client?

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

Hi Everyone,

EFT has an impressive ability to alleviate pain without medications or invasive procedures of any kind.  But can it mask a pain in a way that causes further damage to the client?

Prudence is always the best policy in such cases.  However, in my experience, I have found that if there is an organic reason for the pain (e.g. broken bone, brain tumor, etc.) then EFT will either do nothing for the pain or give only partial, temporary relief.

In my observation this has been so reliable that I offer it to the medical profession as a tool to help diagnose whether or not there is a serious issue involved.

Hugs, Gary

By Burton Moon, PT

Hello Gary,

I want to address the concern that may come up for some practitioners of EFT and it's use for easing or erasing pain. Can harm be done through EFT by removing pain which may be protecting someone from moving in ways that may cause further harm and damage. For instance, pain usually accompanies broken bones. We don't want to remove the pain from a person with a broken leg so that they continue walking on the broken bone and so cause even more damage.

The following is an example of my work with a patient who had broken a leg bone and her and my experience with EFT.

I work as an inpatient physical therapist at Port Huron Hospital, Michigan. I see people with broken bones daily. I sometimes use EFT as a tool to help people ease their pain when I feel that I have no potential to cause further harm. Instead, I use EFT where their pain is limiting their ability to optimize their independent functioning. In lessening their pain with EFT, I can help them return to independent functioning faster.

Recently, a short, obese, seventy something woman was admitted to hospital for uncontrolled pain in her left leg. She had no identifable trauma. The onset of leg pain was sudden and was such that she wasn't able to stand or walk. She had a history of knee replacements and back surgery. The standard investigations were initiated to establish a cause of her severe pain - X-rays, CAT scans and MRIs were performed. No test confirmed that anything was broken. Standard pain management eased her discomfort. At which point, I was asked to see this woman and help her get back onto her feet.

She presented me with a not uncommon challenge. She was under five feet tall literally with a waist diameter bigger than her height. Her shape gave no firm places to hold her and where we held her was subject to extradordinary stresses. The challenge was to keep her safe while she got herself back on her feet. Her left leg was painful. Her right leg, she claimed to be her weak leg. Her size and shape made it difficult to support her and guarantee her standing up and return to her bed without falling. (She had't stood for several days by the time I saw her. It doesn't take long for such a size and age to lose the strength required to stand on her own). It was easy to get her to the edge of the bed, but standing and returning to sitting proved to be a dangerous and painful experience. My co-workers and I tried several times over several days. We were not making any progress and she was reporting more left leg pain which was spreading into her buttocks, back and into her right leg with the passage of time. The medical team was being challenged to find a solution. What was the cause of her pain and how to return her to her prior level of independence?

I want to add that this was a wonderful and exceptional person. Although she was worried and frightened about becoming bedridden for the rest of her life, something about her still radiated a very beautiful quality and it remained easy for her to laugh. She had lots of vitality and reasons to live. She and her husband had a special needs daughter that required total assistance for all basic functions of daily living. As I understand it, she and her husband had performed this for their daughter with total devotion for more than fifty years. This loving and caring emanated from them both.

However, her pain was getting worse and she was moving less and less. What to do? I did EFT. I worked with her for forty minutes in one session chasing pain. The pain left her right leg, buttock, and her back. It would not leave her left leg. I tried several times. It would not change. The next day, I checked with her. All her pain was gone, except in her left leg. Later that day, another MRI was performed and this one showed that she had a fracture in the neck of the long bone of her left leg - near the hip. Here was the probable cause of her pain. Three days later, this was surgically repaired. I saw her again 24 hours after surgery. In that meeting, she told me that since her EFT session, none of the pain of her right leg and back had returned. Her left leg pain did not change for the better until after the surgery.

I was able to help this person ease her pain where no harm could be done. However, my EFT intervention was unable to alter in any way the pain of her broken leg. Had it done so, I would have been into getting her up and on that leg and so done her further harm. Although this one case doesn't mean that we can absolutely trust that EFT might not mask a pain and so potentially lead to further harm down the road, it does indicate that there is an integrity in the energy systems of the body which continue to operate in its best interest of the patient regardless of what a practitioner like me may be trying to do.


Burton Moon PT

More articles on Pain Management and Pain Relief


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