The question of why a person became ill in the first place is rarely considered. There may be events in her life, repressed emotions, or strong beliefs, which have contributed to her physical deterioration.
When a new seriously ill client comes to see me, one of the first questions I ask is:
“What was happening in your life before or during the time you became ill?”
I’m looking for stressors such as uncertainty, loss of control, and fear, which could have affected the balance in their lives enough to make them ill.
They usually answer, “I can tell you exactly what was happening at that time…” They recall specific events such as the death of a loved one, financial stress, relationship difficulties, or the loss of a job. These are enormously challenging and potentially highly stressful events. How we respond to them determines the impact they have on our bodies.
Together we then use EFT on how the client feels about the event: the negative emotions, beliefs and memories that she is holding about that specific time. Once these are cleared – and there might be many layers involved – she can reflect back with a comfortable level of acceptance about what happened, and focus on how she will move forward. The beliefs and emotions pertaining to that specific time could be well-established patterns; they are usually emotionally and physically debilitating. There is only so much stress the body can take, only so much support the adrenals can give.
I had dabbled a bit with EFT on my own in order to help resolve emotions that were arising from trying to manage life with a chronic illness. While I did see results, I felt that it was possible to go deeper using EFT, but was at a loss at how to do so. I happened onto Annabel’s site and was intrigued that she herself had overcome a chronic illness using EFT and decided to avail myself of her offer of a free 30-minute consultation. Even within such a short period of time, I immediately saw how much more effective EFT was working with Annabel than on my own. The difference for me was that, when doing EFT alone, I was relating to myself as being an ill person, while Annabel related to me as being a whole, healthy, powerful person who was capable of dealing with difficulties.
Darlene Bentley, Alberta, Canada
In using EFT for chronic illness, I’m also interested in why we remain ill. Everyone wants to be well, don’t they? No one chooses to be ill. Or do they? Is remaining chronically ill a way to remain safe and unpressurised? Fewer demands and expectations are put upon us when we are ill; we don’t need to prove ourselves, and finally, we don’t have to be responsible for everyone and everything.
There are very few people who consciously want to be ill, so it is our subconscious which holds us back and prevents us from recovering. It is the subconscious, afraid of stepping out of the present, familiar, comfort zone, which convinces us it is not safe to assume a new identity of health, vibrancy and mobility for whatever reasons.
Over the years, working with chronically ill clients, I have identified there can be insecurities around being well and healthy, after being ill for some time. One client said her illness was a relief, her ‘hiding place’, because if she were well, she would need to be exceptional in everything she did and gain everyone’s approval. She also recognised that if she were well, she’d probably be a workaholic. Another client said being ill was his ‘get out clause’ from being responsible for everyone and everything.
Many of the seriously ill clients I work with are very driven. They have expected a lot from themselves and often have been self-critical, striving for perfection in all areas of their lives. Most significantly, it has been challenging for them to say “no” to others and their lives have been about giving and pushing themselves to the limit.
The joy of EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) is that the technique doesn’t only clear emotions and limiting beliefs about past events, which may have caused us to become ill. We can also use EFT to clear limiting self-beliefs about who we are and what we expect of ourselves now; beliefs which could be preventing us from healing at a core level and reaching our fullest potential. With EFT as an accessible tool, we no longer need to feel a loss of control about our present or our future.
I have a chronic illness [Crohn’s] and working with Annabel doing EFT has been life changing. Whatever the issue I was dealing with, I found that her insight and compassionate guidance helped me to release long-held beliefs and behaviours that hampered my health and well-being. Annabel intuitively homed in on the key thoughts and feelings that were holding me back from healing and we tapped them away. I learned to say ‘no’, and feel deserving of taking time for myself without feeling guilty. With her encouragement, I changed my diet and took other steps to enhance my health. I feel better physically since I started working with Annabel and I have a greater level of self-acceptance. I can’t thank her enough for her support!
Marita Morrow, Vancouver, Canada