How Tapping can Help in Pain Management

One of the most common symptoms of chronic illness is pain. Unfortunately, this kind of pain sometimes does not respond to pain relief medications that are currently available. For example, nerve pain is unique because of the mechanism behind the pain. Normally, when we experience pain, it’s from something like a cut on a finger. The local area around the cut sends the signal to the brain that the finger is in pain and the brain responds with some natural pain relieving hormones. Current painkillers are very effective for that type of pain. Nerve pain, however, acts very differently. Rather than having an injury that then sends a signal to the brain that something hurts, the pain initiates in the brain and sends a signal to the local area that something hurts. As a result, painkillers may not help since there is not an actual injury or reason for the pain other than the brain’s own message. While there are a few medications that address nerve pain, more research is needed to create more effective interventions. As a result, managing disease and living well often requires a well-rounded approach that can include both medication when effective as well as emotional tools and social support. 

I personally know how frustrating it is to feel like there aren’t enough solutions to physical pain. Through my own experiences, I have found another tool for symptom management and what I am about to share is a game-changer!

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is commonly known as tapping and is a newer tool in the world of psychology for processing emotions in a healthy way. It is highly effective and people who may have spent years in therapy without progress in a particular area often report amazing results from just a couple sessions of EFT. One of the lesser known uses of EFT is to relieve physical symptoms, especially pain! EFT can be extremely effective for pain relief when done with a qualified and effective practitioner. 

Tapping has been used by thousands of people to relieve chronic pain and nerve pain. I remember I actually cried tears of joy when my nerve pain eased up the first time I used tapping for my pain. I could not believe this tool was real and I was so grateful for the relief. And the best part was that this was a tool I could use on my own any time! 

I teach all my clients with chronic illness how to tap for pain relief and the results are simply astounding. I have clients who have gone from experiencing daily migraines to only once a month. EFT is a very powerful tool that I believe every person should have, especially anyone living with chronic illness, most notably chronic pain. One of my clients called it her “therapist in a pocket,” and another client of mine refers to tapping as his “natural on-demand vicodin.” 

Why does tapping help reduce pain? Countless studies, especially in the field of psychoneuroimmunology, have found evidence of the connection between physical pain and our emotions. A Stanford study found that focusing on romantic feelings led to pain relief. Researchers in Holland found that feelings of sadness or anger exacerbated pain for patients with fibromyalgia. Most notably is an article published in 2012 in the Journal of Clinical Psychology which reviewed over 100 studies about the connection between pain and emotion and concluded that emotional pain and distress has a strong correlation to the experience of felt physical pain. This does not mean that our pain is not real. It is very real. What’s important about this research is that we can more effectively manage and reduce pain through effectively managing and processing emotions. The field of psychoneuroimmunology has proven that the body stores emotions through various mechanisms. This can be seen at the organ and cellular level. If storing emotions is leading to pain, then it stands to reason that moving those emotions out of the body will lead to relief. Of course the mechanism here is a bit complex but what’s important to know is that this is a simple technique that can be highly effective in reducing pain. 

Tapping for pain requires practice and is much more effective with an experienced practitioner. It is also best to work with a practitioner who specializes in pain syndromes or chronic illness since not all EFT training emphasizes the methods that are most effective for pain. I have been using tapping for several years and use tapping every day with my clients. Thanks to Sanguine, you can learn how to effectively tap for pain relief in a two-part workshop I am teaching later this month. In the workshop, you will first learn the basics of EFT and then you will have extensive practice implementing this tool in order to reduce pain. This is the most powerful mind-body technique for pain. If you are facing pain, I sincerely hope you will join the workshop to see the results for yourself. I also highly encourage you to find a local EFT practitioner to work with regularly which will also lead to long term results. You are also welcome to reach out to me and join one of my coaching programs at which includes extensive tapping. There is also an app called the Tapping Solution. I think this is a great tool but do want to emphasize that doing it with a practitioner will be much more effective for anyone who is new to tapping. 

On a final note, I wish that the medical world had a better solution pain management and I believe that with more patient-centric and personalized research, we will get there. In the meantime, I am so grateful to have such an effective tool. I hope this inspires you to try tapping for yourself!


By Kaley Zeitouni

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