Elbow Pain : uncovering the emotional “layers” of physical pain through tapping .


When I first started learning tapping I had quick success working on emotional issues, with myself and others.

Maybe because I have been a counsellor my whole adult life, and it feels very natural to me to talk about emotions.

Tapping on physical issues seemed more complicated, and I did not have so much success so quickly.

But I did learn a lot about the concept of "layers" in Emotional Freedom Technique, and the mysterious and subtle ways in which tapping can work with the unconscious mind.

I had this annoying pain in my right elbow for months which I thought would be a good challenge for my new tapping skills.

It was not excruciating, and it didn't really stop me from doing anything.

But it was frustrating me and it wasn't going away.

I rated it about a six out of ten at the time.

I was worried that perhaps I was making it worse by continuing with my usual fitness routine, which at the time was pretty intense.

Boxing twice a week, weights once a week, and running pretty long distances twice a week.

We had run a few half marathons that year, and I was feeling a bit tired and cranky.

But I didn't really want to give any of it up.

It was helping me to cope with my job as a Sexual Assault Counsellor.

I was also starting to introduce more yoga around this time, as I suspected I was doing too much, not listening to my body enough, and perhaps needed more gentle exercise.

But there just were not enough mornings in the week to fit all of these activities in.

I was way too tired after work or at night to even think about doing anything extra.

On top of all this I was enthusiastically learning all I could about Energy Psychology and Energy Medicine.

Can you see why I am often referred to as an "All Or Nothing" person?

I had also been wanting to write a blog for years, but clearly was not making time for it, and I didn't know what to write about.

I think I was distracting myself with exercise, because deep down I was afraid to write a blog.

It was easier to say I was "too busy" to write than to face up to the fact I was afraid. 

Around this time when I went to my boxing and weights sessions, I found myself getting annoyed at various things.

So as well as tapping on the physical sensation in my right elbow, I started to tap on some of my frustrations in those classes, to see if that helped.

The pain would reduce quite a bit for few days or weeks after tapping, but it would come back.

In EFT when the issue comes back, it often means that you have not addressed all of the "layers" to that issue.

Think of an onion, and all the different layers of it.

Each tapping session might peel back one or two.

And the next layer might have a different underlying meaning or "aspect" to it which you haven't covered fully with the tapping yet.

This is often because you aren't aware what that layer is about.

Something I really love about EFT is how you will often be given a clue about the next layer or "aspect", either whilst you are tapping, or in the following days.

It will just pop into your head, maybe as an image, a dream, or some kind of knowing.

I received the message that I needed to be doing EFT with my sexual assault clients at work, which I was resisting.

Whilst I knew I wanted to do this, I was afraid to bring it up with my boss.

And I was afraid that my clients and colleagues would think I was strange if I started talking about tapping on meridian points.

I remember consulting the Louise Hay interpretation of elbow pain, which suggested I was having trouble changing directions and accepting new experiences.

That I was not being "flexible".

That was exactly where I was at.

I wanted to move forward in my life, to bring in tapping and writing, but I was afraid.

I tapped on these issues over a number of sessions, and got more information each time about my "layers".

It's pretty confronting in a way, to be taking so much responsibility for your own emotional issues.

I could no longer say I did not know what the pain was about. But I was finding it hard to make the changes I knew I needed to make.

After a while I started training in EFT, and started tapping with my sexual assault clients, with the blessing of my boss, and with lots of success.

I was so much happier at work, feeling lots of job satisfaction from being able to help people more effectively by using EFT.

I also asked for help with starting my blog. And began taking baby steps towards that.

I felt like I was doing all I could to change my direction in life.

But the pain kept returning, and I was frustrated.

I wondered if maybe EFT doesn't work so well for physical pain?

Or possibly I was just not skilled enough at it yet. 

One day I was tapping on my fear blocks with writing, which I had already done repeatedly. And during this rather emotional session, I received a memory from my adolescence.

It didn't seem relevant initially, but I knew from my studies to pay attention to anything received from the unconscious mind during tapping.

I remembered being at high school, and my Science Teacher commenting on the large thick scar on my right elbow.

When I was two years old, I fell off the veranda at home, and broke my right arm very badly. Apparently the bones popped right out of the skin. 

I still have this scar on my elbow.It must have been huge when I was two!

I remembered this teacher telling me how unattractive my scar was, and that I should ask my parents to arrange cosmetic surgery.

He said it was "such a pity that a pretty girl like you has such an ugly scar".

I was in shock at first. Then I was furious!

I had never been embarrassed about this scar before that day.

People often asked me about it, and I would proudly tell them the story  behind it.

But now here was this authority figure telling me I should do something to change it.

I didn't agree with him, but I was incensed that he thought it was okay to say that to me.

Throughout my life I often remembered that and felt really angry about it.

With the clue of this memory, I decided to change the direction of my tapping.     

I tapped on my anger at this teacher for saying that to me.

How dare he? How rude and inappropriate.

I was surprised at how angry I became as I tapped on this memory.

But guess what? The pain was gone after that.

And it never came back.

I actually forgot about it for a few weeks after that last session, which is often the way tapping works.

Then one day I was bringing the groceries in, and I realised that my elbow felt completely normal. And it had been for a while.

I was thrilled.

It took quite a few goes.  And I had to be a real detective, with an open mind. But I got there. And now I know to be persistent.

Sometimes your onion doesn't want it's layers all peeled back at once.


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2 Comments on “Elbow Pain : uncovering the emotional “layers” of physical pain through tapping .

  1. Wow – this is so interesting.
    Like you, I used tapping for emotional issues. Fortunately, I didn’t have many physical ones, but when I talked about how great tapping was to a friend, she tried it on a physical issue. I don’t think she was impressed with the outcome, and didn’t seem to think she had any emotional problems, so we didn’t talk about it anymore. However, I thought I’d give it a go with a physical problem. I can’t even remember what was wrong now, but I do remember that nothing changed after one session! I gave up.
    I always have a thorough understanding of the physiology of my physical problems, and I wonder if this is what prevents me from trying to heal a physical condition with unconventional healing. But, perhaps that’s an excuse for not making the effort.
    Next time, hopefully, I’ll remember this blog and I’ll give it another go, but be persistent like you.
    Thanks. X

    1. Thanks Juli. You probably don’t have many physical ailments because you deal with your emotional issues as they come up. That is the greatest gift of EFT. Yes I am still less confident with using it for physical issues, but just see it as more of a challenge to solve that jigsaw puzzle. And as I apply the basic recipe more often with physical things when they begin, they are less likely to develop or become chronic. Apparently you have to have been holding onto some negative thoug6for quite a while foreading it to manifest into physical problems.

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