Sue came to see me for a relaxation massage and after taking her case history, she told me that for 18 months she had had constant pain in her left wrist and had limited movement. Lifting even light things was painful. Sue had seen her GP and a specialist about the problem who had investigated the possibility of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The results were inconclusive and Sue felt the next step was to see another specialist for further tests. I asked her if she was open to try a process call EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique to look at the underlying causes of her pain before her massage and she agreed. During the consultation she told me the pain began when she was still in her old job where she worked as an administrator for a small company. I asked her how she felt about the job and why she’d left and she told me it had been very stressful. Her boss had bullied her and she had hated going to work.
We began by getting Sue to tune into the pain in her wrist and rate the level of pain between zero and ten. She said she thought it was around a level 7 that day. I then showed her a series of acupressure points and whilst she tapped them with her finger tips we reviewed the emotions she had felt in the job, the pain in her wrist and events that had happened. After a couple of minutes, she noticed that the pain in her wrist had reduced to a level 2. Sue continued tapping the points, again paying attention to the physical sensations she now felt and acknowledging past events at work and how she felt about them. At the end of this second cycle of tapping the points, Sue said she had a lot more movement in her wrist and demonstrated picking up some objects off my desk. She said the pain was negligible. We concluded the session with a relaxation massage and Reiki treatment. Sue came to see me three months later in relation to a long term phobia that we also treated with EFT. When I asked her how her wrist was, she looked surprised and said, ‘Oh that’s fine. To tell the truth I’d completely forgotten about it.’
Jan was attending an event where I was demonstrating Reiki, Hypnotherapy and EFT and giving free 15 minute sessions. She was interested in a treatment and when I asked her what the issue was she told me she had chronic neck and shoulder pain, the result of a workplace incident that had happened three years earlier and had resulted in her taking considerable sick leave due to the pain.
Jan told me that she lived with the pain all the time and was taking prescription painkillers for it. She was employed as a disability worker, working with adults who were often violent and unpredictable. Jan described several incidents over the last couple of days that had left her feeling anxious. I suggested that as we only had 15 minutes, perhaps a quick session of EFT would help her let go of some of the anxiety she was feeling and she would also learn a tool to help her calm her anxiety when she was feeling stressed.
We began by focusing on the pain she felt at that moment, the emotions associated with it and the specific event that had led to the injury. As she tapped on acupressure points she said that she could feel her body letting go of tension. I then used a hypnotherapy technique in conjunction with acupressure to take her back to the event in a way in which she felt safe and would not re experience any trauma. At the end of the session Jan looked at me incredulous and said that the pain had vanished. I got her to try and imagine how it had felt before, to move her arms and to try and make it come back. After stretching and moving she said ‘ I can’t. The pain has gone.’
Jeff had been injured in a car accident 3 years earlier and had lain in a coma for two weeks when first admitted to hospital. He had received extensive surgery on his right shoulder, however after his release from hospital he was left with the sensation that his right arm was on fire. Jeff was a self-
In our consultation, Jeff told me that his current life was controlled by his pain. We discussed what Jeff would like to achieve and he identified more movement in his fingers as something that would give him back his independence. He also wanted to let go of the pain. Jeff had explained that his pain sensation did not increase with touch or massage. He was open to trying a form of traditional Thai acupressure massage that is called Nerve Touch therapy that I had been taught by its founder, Mama Lek Chaiya.
To assist with his depression and healing, I recommended Reiki treatments at the end of each massage. I also showed Jeff massage techniques he could continue with at home.
When Jeff arrived for his second session a week later, he was so excited. The constant burning he had felt for three years had gone and he had already started the process of weaning himself of his painkillers with his doctors support. We continued with acupressure massage and Reiki for 3 more sessions. Each week his movement in his fingers and arm continued to improve and by his 4th session Jeff was looking forward to returning to carpentry and had enrolled in a course to learn Reiki. He remained pain free and regained 80% normal movement in his affected fingers, wrist and arm.
Case Study 4: Pain in Shoulder and limited movement for 10 years.( EFT)
Alan came to see me as part of my quit smoking program. In this program I also assess other conditions that may be contributing to stress. Alan told me he had chronic pain in his left shoulder that impacted him daily as his work involved lots of heavy lifting. His mobility in the joint was limited by the amount of pain he experienced and some stiffness. Alan had injured the shoulder 10 years earlier in a skiing accident and had had sugery on the shoulder but had continued to experience pain and limited mobility since the operation. I asked Alan if he would be willing for me to examine the area and try some brief acupressure therapy (5mins). I used the acupressure points more as an assessment tool to determine where he was experiencing pain and to what degree. I then taught Alan the basics of EFT, emotional freedom technique which is particularly useful for clients wanting to quit smoking and address any anxiety associated with it. This technique focuses on Meridan points (acupressure points) and related pain/emotions. Alan focused on the physical sensations in his body he had when craving tobacco and where he felt anxious. We finished the session with addressing memories of the skiing accident and surgery. At the end of the session I asked Alan to review the pain in his shoulder. It had dropped from a level 8 out of 10 to a level 1 with greatly improved mobility. Alan seemed incredulous and I asked him to return form 2 more sessions to address not only the smoking but to monitor progress with his shoulder. Alan has successfully quit smoking and continues to use EFT for stress and work related strains and pains. Four months later he reported that his shoulder still feels great.
© Chrissy Ortner 2015