Tapping for Early Medical Trauma

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For anyone who has experienced a medical trauma early in life, a trip to the doctor triggers deep seated fears until the trauma is addressed.  Until healing begins, a simple annual physical exam becomes a reminder of the earlier trauma, often through physical responses such as anxiety and dread that make no logical sense at all.  In truth, logic is rarely present during situations that frighten us.  At these times, it is the body that reacts to whatever the medical trauma might be, these reactions laying dormant in the physical systems until life presents us with circumstances that activate them, and activation is the portal to healing.  Fortunately, as we pursue our healing course, Tapping can help to calm anxiety that comes with otherwise neutral circumstances, and it can also help us to gain insight into why we feel as we do and so release these terrors.

A Personal Example

When I was very young I was hospitalized for seven months in a children’s ward of a Tuberculosis Sanitarium.  During the period of my quarantine in the late forties, very little was known regarding children’s needs for the comfort of family and familiar things, partly because the emphasis was on hygiene and bed rest, and partly because we had not evolved into the recognition of children’s sensitivities to the loss of  regular loving, familiar contact.  My period of rigid isolation set me up to feel terror whenever I smelled hospital smells or heard the word doctor all through my childhood and young adulthood.   Consequently, after my release, my terror at ordinary physical checkups often made me physically sick with the worry that I would again be separated from my family.  During my teens, my fear of separation was so great that I used to lie about symptoms in order to escape a doctor’s visit, often with potentially serious consequences.  During my young adulthood, I did my best to mask my anxiety with alcohol and smoking.

Tapping on Fear

Recently, I was reminded of my past doctor terrors when I experienced UTI symptoms and felt reluctant to call my doctor for a checkup.  It has been a very long while since I’ve felt anxious about a doctor’s appointment and when my intuition told me to tap on my fear with my journal at hand, I did.  In no time, I was able to  make the appointment and receive the treatment I needed.  This was a good thing, because my symptoms required antibiotics and would have gotten much worse had I postponed the visit.  Because I chose a doctor conservative in her approach to medication, I trusted her judgment regarding the best course of treatment.  By the end of my visit, I felt both relief at receiving what I needed to heal and gratitude for the Tapping sessions which brought me to my doctor’s office relatively quickly.

The Wisdom of the Body

I can’t be sure why my early trauma revisited me this winter.  I’ve worked to heal my early experiences fairly consistently, long before I discovered EFT, through cognitive therapy, and since discovering EFT with Tapping and Matrix Reimprinting techniques.  What I am sure of is the wisdom of my body:  Some remnant of early trauma prevented my immediate call to the doctor, and once I became aware of this, my tapping allowed me to move forward.

If we listen to its messages, the body will do its best to lead us to what we need.  And if we are consistent with our tapping routines and engage in the vital dialogue that is possible with our remarkably sensitive body-mind systems, we can support our health for a long, long time.  The stumbling block for many is how to engage in this vital dialogue.

How to Know What to Say

A frequent reason for not Tapping when faced with the echoes of early trauma is the fear that we will not know what to say or that we will say something wrong.  The artfulness of EFT/Tapping is its adaptability.  If fear is present in our resistance, simply tapping “I’m frightened and I don’t know why,” for several rounds soothes the body and allows for the calming influence of rational thought.

Tapping on our feelings of stupidity or irrationality are also helpful:  “I don’t know what to say.  I feel too stupid to figure this out.  I hate being afraid and not knowing why I’m afraid.  I want this to be over. Why am I still affected by something that happened so long ago?  This is just so frustrating.  I’m ready to be over this.  There is no reason for me to feel afraid but I’m still afraid.”

The Heart and Its Reasons

Pascal reminds us that “the heart has reasons reason never knew.”  The truth is, there are many situations and feelings that are not well served by logic and rationality.  Our feelings are vitally important as messengers from our body.  We often forget when we speak of the unconscious that the body is its container; something as nourishing as a massage can trigger a whole host of early fears because everything we are not yet ready to face and to embrace is stored in our physical being.  Tapping calms our feelings enough to undertake the work of really listening to what our physical messengers are saying.

It is important to remember that fear is, potentially, a magnificent friend because of its ability to build a bridge between what we consciously understand and unprocessed experiences we’ve stored in our muscles, bones and blood unconsciously.  Thankfully, Tapping is a profoundly empowering tool, one that helps us to work with our fears, even those caused by serious early medical traumas.  These traumas may never leave us entirely, but they can be befriended and transformed into a reliable source of perspective and even wisdom.  Tapping, along with rest, conscious eating, time in Nature, and overall loving self care, can become a vitally important aid in the process of healing from early trauma.  May you discover through Tapping your personal store of wisdom and insight today, and may this discovery help you to craft the life you long to live.

Until next week



Jane Buchan, MA, AAMET Advanced Practitioner, jane@winterblooms.net, 802-533-9277

Jane is a Learning Coach specializing in neutralizing cultural age, gender, and race constructs to support learners of every age.  To engage her coaching services, please contact Jane by phone (802) 533-9277 or email, jane@winterblooms.net.  Be sure to put Coaching Query in the subject line.