Chasing the Pain
I teach business executives and employees how to release their stress using EFT. Most of my work is doing seminars in companies. I also do follow-up sessions individually, usually over the telephone. I was doing EFT with a client the other day for the tension and pain she felt in her neck. It was near her right shoulder. On a SUDs (Subjective Units of Disturbance Scale) of zero to ten, she was at a nine. Although the pain was in her neck area, soon we were doing what is called in EFT, “chasing the pain.”
The pain moved to different locations in her body. It started in her neck, moved to her arm, then her back, her chest and returned to her neck. Along the way, it also changed in intensity and quality. For example, at one point it went from a pain to an itch and then to a hot feeling. We just paid attention, doing EFT and following the pain, checking to discover and notice any changes along the way. After a few minutes doing several rounds of EFT, the pain was down to less than one.
Chasing the pain is described in the video series, Steps Toward Becoming the Ultimate Therapist. For me, the key to chasing the pain is letting it lead you and following your intuition. Throughout the process, I kept asking, “Tell me what’s happening now.” As I said, the pain changed to different forms such as itching and burning. We just adjusted the setup phrase to reflect this as we went.
In chasing the pain, people sometimes feel defensive or judgmental. They don’t understand what’s going on or they don’t like the feeling of not having control with what’s happening in their bodies. I might hear, “I shouldn’t feel this,” or “I don’t want to feel this,” or “This is bad.” These thoughts create more resistance. I just tell people to gently notice what’s going on and describe what is happening. Have a childlike curiosity. Be attentive and aware. Instead of judging, simply notice, that’s all.
Here’s are some questions that may be of value when “chasing the pain.”
“If your pain could talk, what would it say?”
“Who or what does this pain remind you of?”
“Where does this sensation want to go?”
“If you could choose to feel a sensation other than pain, what might it be?’
“Are you willing to let this pain go free?”
After doing rounds of EFT and changing the setup phrase as we chased the pain, the intensity diminished from a strong nine to almost zero in just a few minutes. (She said it was about a half.) One of the things that also happened is that an emotional issue came up about this person’s husband. This seems to confirm that pain is usually the physical manifestation of an emotional issue.
If you do EFT and find yourself chasing the pain, let it go and notice where it will flow. On Gary Craig’s Website, there are other examples of chasing the pain.