by Lisa Snow
While the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is relatively new to the chemically sensitive (MCS) community, EFT has been used by patients and professionals around the world for many years, and is a safe and effective way to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life for people living with MCS. This brief article will explain what EFT is for people who have never heard of it, how EFT can be used for MCS, who can benefit from EFT, and how you can get started at no cost.
As you all know, MCS is a physical disease whose onset often begins with one or more chemical exposures. It is in no way psychosomatic or “all in your head”! So although EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Technique, the name does not mean that EFT practitioners consider MCS an “emotional” issue. EFT works at a physical level to help the body heal itself by balancing the energy system. Unlike conventional medical treatments that advise patients to simply avoid the chemicals to which they are sensitive, EFT actually helps to desensitize those chemicals, so that the person with MCS has a reduced reaction the next time they are exposed to the chemical, or has no reaction at all. Even so, EFT is NOT a “cure” for MCS.
EFT involves gentle fingertip tapping on points on the face and hands, which are the endpoints of the energy meridians used for thousands of years in acupuncture and acupressure. Unlike acupuncture, EFT involves no needles and is completely non-invasive, non-toxic, and extremely easy to learn. EFT is not a substitute for medical care from your conventional or alternative doctor, but is a powerful addition to other forms of treatment. EFT does not have any harmful interactions with prescription medications or supplements.
EFT is designed to be able to be used by laypeople. Unlike conventional medicine which makes patients passive recipients of care, EFT allows you to take charge of your own health. In addition to the demonstrable physical benefits, many MCS clients report that because they can use EFT by themselves it is very empowering. EFT clients who do “homework” between sessions experience dramatically better results that clients who only use EFT during sessions with a practitioner. Therefore, EFT is most beneficial to people with MCS who start out highly motivated, and remain determined to put in the work to help themselves.
EFT for MCS involves four key approaches:
1) EFT can target individual chemicals to gradually desensitize them so the person with MCS no longer reacts to that particular chemical, mold, food, or other substance;
2) EFT can address specific symptoms, even when the person with MCS isn’t sure which chemical or chemicals triggered that symptom;
3) EFT can deal with the original chemical exposure(s) that occurred around the time of the onset of MCS;
4) EFT can tackle the stress, frustration, sadness, and emotional trauma that often accompany MCS.
The fact that in EFT we can and do address emotional issues does NOT mean that emotional issues are the cause of MCS. Instead, emotional issues are typically a RESULT of having MCS. Many people with MCS have one or more emotional issues in common. The frustration they have experienced in trying to get properly diagnosed (many people with MCS are misdiagnosed, told it is all in their imagination, or are shuffled off to many different specialists before getting their MCS diagnosis); the ignorance of the disease on the part of friends, family, coworkers, etc.; and the battle against the medical, legal, and insurance systems to find places to receive appropriate health care, to get insurance to cover the doctors they need to see, and/or to qualify for disability coverage. Also, there is the daily stress of trying to avoid a lengthy list of chemicals & foods. EFT can help clients reduce stress and replace this frustration, anger, and sadness with calm, hope, and confidence.
Initial EFT consultations are available at no charge, and typically include an extremely detailed health history as well as an EFT demonstration. MCS is a jigsaw puzzle. No one approach is the answer for all clients or all symptoms. Many people with MCS have spent years trying to put the puzzle together with blood tests, skin tests, and visits to environmental illness doctors and other conventional and alternative health professionals. In the health history part of an initial EFT session, we try to help you put a few more pieces into the puzzle. For example, many people with MCS also have one or more of the following: intestinal diseases (Crohn’s disease, Colitis, IBS, Celiac disease, Candida, etc.), food allergies or food sensitivities, mold exposure(s), tickborne infections (like Lyme disease), elevated heavy metals, and of course severe and/or repeated chemical exposure. Of course not every client will have all of those, but many will have at least one. These are all clues that can help EFT sessions be more precise and effective.
The health history part of the consultation also looks at the all-important events that began at the exact same time or right before the onset of MCS, such as new medications, a different diet, and of course mold or chemical exposures. Even though the list of things that were different when your MCS started may not seem related to your symptoms, the things that were going on right when your MCS started are ALWAYS important. We also look for patterns in the lists of things to which you know you’re sensitive. For example, sensitivities to things that look, feel, and smell as different from one another as magazine ink, car fumes, polyester fabric, and perfume are actually closely linked—in this case, they’re all petroleum products. For some people with MCS, using EFT to zero in on the underlying sensitivity to petroleum could reduce the reaction to some or all of those substances, or at least make them easier to clear individually later.
Unlike acupressure or some forms of energy medicine, EFT involves the client tapping on their own acupressure points; there’s no need for the practitioner to do the tapping on the client. Therefore, EFT is the ideal healing modality for people with MCS who are homebound or who don’t want to drive a long way to see a practitioner. EFT sessions are available over the phone and in online text chats, so even people with MCS who are sensitive to EMFs (electro-magnetic frequencies) from the phone can still experience EFT.
Most people with MCS will have noticeable improvement in symptoms and quality of life within a couple of months of EFT, and major improvement within a year. Proactive individuals who use EFT on their own between sessions and continue to educate themselves about MCS may experience some relief even more quickly. Because EFT is new to most people with MCS, and because each person’s symptoms are unique to them, it’s usually more productive to do a few 1-on-1 sessions before joining a small group class. Extremely discounted sessions and classes are available to MCS clients who are unemployed, homebound, or on disability.
I have been an EFT practitioner for 5+ years, hold basic and advanced certificates in EFT, and specialize in clients with MCS as well as people with food allergies. If you think EFT could be a helpful addition to your existing health care, you can sign up for a free sample session by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the below information:
Number of years you have had MCS:
What other doctors/health professionals have you seen?
Have you used EFT before for ANY issue: Yes / No
Have you used EFT before for any MCS symptom: Yes / No
Best time to call is: Weekday afternoons / Weekday evenings / Weekends
Would you be okay on the phone for a full hour? Yes / No
Would you be okay on the computer for an hour? Yes / No
Lisa Snow is an EFT practitioner, nutritionist and personal trainer with a focus on food intolerances and chemical sensitivity. She provides free initial consultations to review your health history and offers private/group phone or Skype EFT sessions. Find out more at eftforallergies.com.