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How to Use EFT to Return to Your Natural State of Well-Being After an

Posted on January 23rd, 2013 by | 6 views
by Wendy Garrido

As moms, we do our best to get our baby off to the best possible start, but life doesn’t always go according to plan. If your birthing experience was not what you planned, you aren’t alone. Maybe you had an unplanned cesarean delivery, emergency surgery for a retained placenta (like I had), or some other, unexpected wrinkle in your birthing plans.

Recovering from a surgical intervention can be one of the most challenging parts of post-birth healing, especially on the emotional level. 

It’s important to heal those emotions and move beyond the experience for your own well-being, and equally as importantly, for your baby’s well-being. (She or he is much more aware of the sensations in your mind and body than you probably realize.) 

If your heart gets tight, your stomach tenses, you can’t stop crying, or you have other physical or emotional reactions when you think about your birthing experience, you can benefit from this simple, highly-effective technique.

Use This Simple, Easy-to-Learn Technique with Amazing Results

Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), also known as “tapping,” is a gentle acupressure technique that calms the brain’s amygdala and helps to dissolve the stress hormones that get stored in our body during and after stressful experiences.

The technique consists of tapping gently on various points on your body while stating the thoughts and feelings you’re experiencing.

If you still have an emotional reaction when you recall your birthing experience, EFT can help, whether you gave birth yesterday, or five (or twenty!) years ago.

You can experience powerful emotional shifts doing it by yourself, or engage a practitioner to guide you through the process.

In the next section, I will explain my favorite way to do the technique on my own.

The ABC’s of Returning to Your Natural State of Well-Being Using EFT

Read through these steps, then read the examples at the end and come back and actually do the process, step by step. Just reading it won’t do you much good (and it may not even sound very believable) but you’ll notice an amazing difference when you complete each of the steps.

A: Assess Your Feelings

Acknowledge the reality of how the experience has affected you and how you feel about it right now.

Sit comfortably, with a paper and pen or pencil nearby. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and think about your birthing experience. Then ask yourself these three questions and jot down a couple words, or at most a sentence, that answers them:

I.        What feels like the worst thing about my birthing experience?

For some people, this answer will be really obvious. For others, it might feel like EVERYTHING was awful. Just pick one part that stands out, and know that you’ll get to the rest later.

II.       How do I feel when I think about it?  

Are you disappointed?  Sad?  Angry? Guilty?  Hurt? Frustrated? Upset? Pissed off?  Say it in your own words, however it feels true to you.

III.     On a scale of 0 to 10, how strong is this feeling?

Notice any tightness or sensations in your body related to this feeling. If tears are rolling down your cheeks, it’s a 10.

B: Be Honest

Give your feelings a voice and find some acceptance for yourself.

Using approximately the amount of pressure you would use to drum your fingers on a table, tap with two or three fingers on the fleshy side of your other hand, below your pinky, where you would do a karate chop. (This is known as the karate chop point and is labeled “0” on the diagram.)

While tapping continuously on this point, state (out-loud) the feeling or thought and the worst part about it, followed by “...And I love and accept myself anyway.” 

[feeling] + [the worst thing about it] + “...and I love and accept myself anyway.”

Repeat this sentence three times while tapping on the karate-chop point.

*If it is really uncomfortable to say, “...and I love and accept myself anyway,” you could change it to “and I would like to love and accept myself anyway” or “and I choose to try to love and accept myself anyway.”

C: Consider Alternative Perspectives

This step helps you release the feeling, realize that there are perspectives and possibilities besides what you’ve been thinking and feeling, and that they might be equally as true as the perspective you’ve been taking.

Using the same amount of pressure as in the previous step, the next step is to tap gently approximately 7 times on each of the points shown in the diagram.

1.      Top of the head

2.      Inside of the eyebrow

3.      Outside of the eye

4.      Under the eye

5.      Under the nose

6.      Chin

7.      Collar bone

8.      Under the arm

9.      Front of the rib cage

Tap through all the points 1-8, in order. Say the phrase for Round 1 at each point, as you tap. Then tap through all the points again, saying the phrase for Round 2, then again for Round 3.

I.        Round 1 - Letting Go

“Letting go of this [feeling]...”

II.       Round 2 - At Least

See what thoughts come to mind, starting with “At least…”  You can use the same one over and over, or come up with different “At least…” sentences. If you can’t think of anything, just repeat the “Letting go…” phrase.

III.     Round 3 - Maybe

See what thoughts come to mind, starting with “Maybe…” You can use the same one over and over, or come up with different “Maybe…” sentences. If you can’t think of anything, just repeat the “Letting go…” phrase.

Notice any yawning, deep breathing, heat, tingling or other indications of a release of emotion and relaxation in your system.

*You can mix and match during these rounds, so just say what comes to mind. If it’s an “at least” during the “maybe” round, just say it and continue to say what comes to mind.

Repeat Parts A, B and C

Close your eyes, take a breath, and go back to the questions in Part A.

Most likely*, you will notice one of two things:

I.       The “worst part” and/or the feeling has shifted.

Before, you were angry at the doctor, now you just feel sad for your baby.

II.       Or, the intensity of the feeling has dropped

Your anger at the doctor was an 8 and now it’s a 5.

In this case, ask yourself, “What’s the worst part about that worst part?”

In either case, repeat parts A, B and C with these new answers.

*It’s fairly unusual that nothing has shifted by the end of this process, but there is another, equally simple, step in the technique that can be applied when that happens. To explain that is outside the scope of this article but I would be happy to provide more information, simply send me an email.

You CAN Reveal Your Natural State of Well-Being

Think of this process as peeling off the layers of an onion. As your mind and body release the various aspects of the event, you get closer and closer to your natural state of well-being.

If you continue using this technique and uncover all the painful aspects of your birthing experience, you’ll eventually be able to recall it all, in detail, but without feeling the emotional charge of all the related stress hormones.

Amazing, huh?

Getting back to your own, natural state of well-being when life doesn’t go as planned is the most important thing you can do right now to get this incredible new being you’ve given birth to off to the best possible start in life. 

Examples

You now have in your hands a unique variation of the EFT process, The ABC’s of Returning to Your Natural State of Well-Being. I have developed this process over 12 years of practicing EFT, and it integrates all my knowledge and experience about our mind, body and feelings. This is the very same technique I use with my coaching clients and teach them to do on their own.

Here are some examples of what you might feel, say and think as you go through the ABCs.

Although you might think that these four examples would apply to four different people, it’s entirely possible that these might all come up for one person as she does the process and “peels away the layers” of her experience.

Sadness About a C-Section

A: Assess Your Feelings

I.        The worst thing is…

that I had to get cut open.

II.       I feel…

so sad.

III.     On a scale of 1-10, it’s a 9

B: Be Honest

While tapping on the karate-chop point, say:

[feeling] + [the worst thing about it] + “...and I love and accept myself anyway.”

“I feel so sad that I had to have a c-section, and I love and accept myself anyway…”

C: Consider Alternative Perspectives

Tap through all the points in order, three times.

I.        Round 1 - Letting Go

“Letting go of this sadness…”

II.       Round 2 - At Least

“At least my baby is okay now...”

III.     Round 3 - Maybe

“Maybe things wouldn’t have turned out as well if I hadn’t had a c-section...”

Disappointment About Not Having a Natural Birth

A: Assess Your Feelings

I.        The worst thing is…

...that I didn’t get to give my baby a peaceful, natural birth like I wanted.

II.       I feel…

so disappointed.

III.     On a scale of 1-10, it’s a 10

B: Be Honest

While tapping on the karate-chop point say:

[feeling] + [the worst thing about it] + “...and I love and accept myself anyway.”

“I feel so disappointed that I didn’t get to give my baby a peaceful, natural birth like I wanted, and I love and accept myself anyway…”

C: Consider Alternative Perspectives

Tap through all the points in order, three times.

I.        Round 1 - Letting Go

“Letting go of this disappointment…”

II.       Round 2 - At Least

“At least I can give my baby a peaceful natural experience now…”

III.     Round 3 - Maybe

“Maybe I can help my baby understand what happened and why…”

Anger at the Doctor’s Decisions

A: Assess Your Feelings

I.        The worst thing is…

...that the doctor ignored my protests and just did what she wanted.

II.       I feel…

So f**king angry...

III.     On a scale of 1-10, it’s a 10

B: Be Honest

While tapping on the karate-chop point say:

[feeling] + [the worst thing about it] + “...and I love and accept myself anyway.”

“I am so f**king angry that the doctor ignored my protests and just did what she wanted, and I love and accept myself anyway…”

C: Consider Alternative Perspectives

Tap through all the points in order, three times.

I.        Round 1 - Letting Go

“Letting go of this anger…”

II.       Round 2 - At Least

“At least we both came out of it alive...”

III.     Round 3 - Maybe

“Maybe it would have been worse if she had listened to me...”

Regret That You Didn’t Take Someone’s Advice

A: Assess Your Feelings

I.        The worst thing is…

...that I didn’t do what my midwife told me to.

II.       I feel…

Guilty…

III.     On a scale of 1-10, it’s a 10

B: Be Honest

While tapping on the karate-chop point say:

[feeling] + [the worst thing about it] + “...and I love and accept myself anyway.”

“I feel guilty that I didn’t do what my midwife told me to, and I love and accept myself anyway…”

C: Consider Alternative Perspectives

Tap through all the points in order, three times.

I.        Round 1 - Letting Go

“Letting go of this guilt…”

II.       Round 2 - At Least

“At least I did most of the things my midwife told me to...”

III.     Round 3 - Maybe

“Maybe it wouldn’t have made any difference if I had done what the midwife said anyway...”


Wendy Garrido, founder of www.OneAmazingMom.com, helps new & soon-to-be moms give birth confidently, make parenting more fun, and raise children who believe in themselves and care about others. Wendy chose her own schools from the age of 2.5, when her mom told her that she would know which school was right for her, based on how it made her feel. She lives in Oceanside, CA with her husband, Prem, and daughter, Shanti, born in May 2012.

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