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Recently I had a session with a client who had been suffering with jaw, neck, and shoulder tension for some time. As she spoke her narrative, a story that covered more than fifteen years of physical and emotional pain, I imagined her striding forcefully down the street. In my imagination, her walk was such that her feet slapped the pavement hard as she moved forward. This woman is delicate in appearance, the seeming antithesis of someone who might slam her feet on the ground as she walked or ran. In time, I brought up the image as a next-step suggestion.
The appearance of helpful, guiding images often happens during the best tapping sessions. What do I mean by best? Both facilitator and client are thoroughly invested in the transformation process tapping can initiate. Sometimes the images either or both parties receive are outlandish, sometimes mundane. What is consistent is the potential for valuable insight to be unleashed by the image. Jung often arrived at this place through a process he called Active Imagination. Yoga poses can also gift us with images, as can meditation and other forms of body work. To ignore these images in favour of a formulaic script often prevents us from discovering an innovative solution to a long-time problem.
In the case of the delicate woman and the image of her vigorous walking, I acknowledged the potential wisdom in the image by suggesting she go for a walk and hit the ground with intentional force as she moved forward. When we spoke during our next appointment in two weeks time, the first thing she offered was thanks for the ‘walking forcefully’ suggestion. Walking in this exaggerated way had helped her to get in touch with and release deep anger that had been fueling her jaw and neck pain. She discovered that walking in this way provided a safe way to release her anger and bring her into what I like to call cheerful assertiveness, something we all need to cultivate from time to time.
I learned about the Five Elements or Rhythms in my Foundations Eden Energy Medicine (EEM) Course. In the Five Elements system, each of us is balanced by a healthy combination of water, wood, fire, earth, and metal energies. Each of these elements governs two (in the case of fire, four) meridians. A person with a healthy wood element (influential in gallbladder and liver balance) is very decisive, speaks her mind, expresses ‘clean’ anger, and sometimes walks in the way that I imagined this client walking. We can strengthen a weakened wood element by imitating the healthiest wood behaviours. Looking back on our session together, I understand that I intuited my client’s need to strengthen her wood element by walking in this highly assertive way.
EEM is a body of knowledge I make use of in almost every Tapping session, not because I intend to do so, but because Energy Medicine and Energy Psychology are so intricately interconnected in my experience. No doubt people who have studied other Wisdom Traditions receive insights from these, whether they be from shaman, reflexology, massage, Reiki, or other wisdom practices. This is the brilliance of Tapping. Whatever skills and knowledge we may bring to our Tapping sessions is amplified by the energy shifts Tapping invariably initiates, especially if we are open to considering the in-the-moment gifts our collective wisdom tools provide.
Until next week
Jane Buchan, MA, AAMET Advanced Practitioner, firstname.lastname@example.org, 802-533-9277