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Fears And Phobias


Essential Tremor and a cliff-driving phobia

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

by Gary Craig

NOTE: There are 3 important EFT features in this article....

1. How seemingly different emotional problems can be linked to the same underlying issues.

2. How either persistence or a delayed reaction can resolve a problem.

3. How cognitive shifts can signal relief before the treatment is tested.

Hi Everyone,

"Essential Tremor" was a new term to me until I met Rhonda Noble. (she gave permission to use her name)

It manifests as a shakiness in the hands and typically shows up while drinking a glass of water or eating soup with a spoon. For some people it shows up in their handwriting. It is publicly embarrassing. For Rhonda, it was particularly noticeable when in public situations or when she felt pressure to perform. She took great pains to hide it from others by avoiding the activities that brought it about.

Her doctors told her it was hereditary and that she would only get worse with time (she is 47 so, presumably, that gave her lots of time to suffer). Apparently, most of the women in her family have it. It's a sort of family curse. Many take medications for it with no lasting results (but several negative side effects). After some creative applications of EFT, however, the problem seems to have vanished. No medications. Nothing but tapping.

And, along with it, went another fear (more on this later).

As an aside, I often wonder about "hereditary causes" such as was propounded by Rhonda's doctors. The medical model suggests that hereditary ailments are "in the genes" (my simplification) and thus passed down from generation to generation. My quandary revolves around why, if something is "in the genes," can we provide such noticeable relief by tapping on emotional issues? Is it really the genes that are passed down from generation to generation....OR....might it be certain beliefs, insecurities, fears or guilts that are passed down the family line that, in turn, show up as "hereditary" physical ailments? Hmmm.

Back to our story. Rhonda was one of 12 dedicated EFT'ers who came to The Sea Ranch, CA (where I live) about one month ago for a 4 day intensive workshop on the fine points of EFT. The Sea Ranch is way out in the country and, to get here conveniently, one must drive along 6 miles of high cliffs along the ocean. By high cliffs I mean REALLY high cliffs--about 400 yards above the water. If you drive off the edge you free fall into the ocean and leave this life with a big splash.

Rhonda had been to Sea Ranch many years before and remembered those cliffs with great terror. Self tapping hadn't helped her with called me for an alternate driving route. This was when she also informed me of the Essential Tremor. We agreed to tap for these issues at Sea Ranch as an example for our workshop group. Interestingly, even though Essential Tremor and a cliff-driving phobia seem like different issues, my intuition was that the issues were linked. Rhonda, however, didn't think so.

So, early in the workshop, Rhonda worked with me in front of the group (and the camera--it was all videotaped) for her Essential Tremor. We did very little tapping directly for "this Essential Tremor" or "this shakiness." Instead, I spent most of the time going for underlying emotional issues.

As it turns out, Rhonda's mother was very judgmental--particularly about Rhonda's personal appearance (in reality, Rhonda is a very pretty woman--even striking). Comments like, "You look much better when walking away" were commonplace. Further, as a young girl, Rhonda was a member of a baton twirling Drill Team and was constantly being judged (by real judges who kept score) on her abilities AND her personal appearance. The judges scrutinized the shape of her legs and other body parts and, if she fell short anywhere, it reflected on the whole team.

What pressure!!

We applied EFT to (1) her mother's comments, (2) the looks in the judges' eyes and (3) all the other childhood judgments we could find. Periodically, I would test our results by having Rhonda drink a sip of water from a glass or eat soup from a spoon. Little by little, the Essential Tremor faded.

However, and this an important lesson, IT DIDN'T GO AWAY IMMEDIATELY. The improvement was noticeable but there was still some shakiness. To me, this brings up two possibilities...

1. We were on the right track because of the improvements, but there was still more to do...OR

2. We may have been all done but would need to wait for a delayed response to see evidence of it.

Only time would tell, of course. During the next few days and nights Rhonda ate meals (including water and soup) with our workshop attendees. The Essential Tremor "came and went"--although it remained noticeably improved. Also, she did some more EFT on it (in private) during subsequent workshop days.


Now here's one of the messages we need to get from this case. A few days later BOTH ISSUES VANISHED. Apparently, my intuition about the two issues being linked was correct. EFT'ing the underlying emotional issues managed to relieve BOTH problems. I don't know whether the result was due to Rhonda's persistence through some extra tapping or if she was blessed with a delayed reaction. Whatever....these intense and near-life-long issues have become non-events. I spoke with Rhonda today and here's what has happened since....

To avoid the cliffs on the way home from The Sea Ranch, Rhonda took the turn for the alternate (and longer) route. About one minute later she said to herself, "Why am I taking this longer route? I'm not really afraid of those cliffs." Do you hear an all-important cognitive shift in those words? Very important. Listen well. This happens a lot.

Even though we never tapped directly on this cliff-driving phobia, her fear disappeared...AND...her first clue about it was a mental "Ah-ha." To test it, she turned her car around and proceeded to drive along the cliffs with no trace whatsoever of her former fear. Whistles instead of white knuckles. Magic. Emotional Freedom.

Also, her Essential Tremor was Essentially Trashed. Although there have been many occasions for it to show up, it has apparently been erased from her standard list of responses. Recently it was put to the ultimate test on a boat trip with a group of 8 or so friends. At dinner time she was asked to reach across the table and grab a bottle of wine (with arm outstretched--a former no-no) and pour it into several glasses. She did this, of course, without any shakiness. However, the most important part of this was not the physical pouring of the wine. It was the fact that she didn't even think about it until after it was all over. In Rhonda's words....

"The exciting thing for me was that it never even crossed my mind that I might have a problem pouring that wine. I thought about what happened afterwards with a sense of astonishment. But that was about it."

Let me add a final note here. We don't know for sure if Rhonda's Essential Tremor is gone forever. Forever will have to come and go for us to know that. However, in my experience, it's "coming back" would simply indicate that more unresolved emotions are showing up. To me, Essential Tremor is Rhonda's bodily message about her unresolved issues. For some people, these things show up as neck tension while, for others, they result in headaches, backaches, ulcers, breathing difficulties and a long list of other ailments.

But, if Rhonda develops that shakiness again, she no longer has to rely on the conventional methods that failed her.

Essential Hugs, Gary


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