Last weekend, shortly after I woke up, I got a knot in between my shoulder blades that was so uncomfortable I had a 2 hour Yoga practice mainly focusing on my upper back and shoulders trying to work it out. Then I watched hours of videos on different exercises to release the pain, trying every single one I could find. It was easing up a little bit and by the next day after doing all the exercises again, it finally disappeared. I've been known to get a knot there before or a kink in my neck that lasts for days but this time I was determined to get rid of it as quickly as I could and I actually surprised myself on how fast as was able to release it.
However, by the end of that first day, I started getting intense shooting pains in my pelvis. This immediately alarmed me as I have had several conversations about my old back injury with a friend recently, who is currently suffering from back pain. We were discussing how debilitating it is and the different forms of treatments we've both tried. I was happy to report that I've had several years of zero back pain after finding a miracle Massage Therapist. Then a couple days after this particular conversation, these shooting pains began. The pain wasn't located in the same spot as my injury but pretty close and from what I can remember I don't recall having these types of shooting pains, so it was worrisome.
They continued throughout the next day and by the following morning they had stopped. Only to return briefly that evening and the following evening. The next day I woke up and although the shooting pains seemed to have ceased, I was quite stiff and sitting aggravated the area. I took it easy for those days, being careful not to cause any more issues and then when I woke up the next morning, I could barely walk. At that point, the panic started to creep in as I remembered how for at least two years, I couldn't sit without excruciating back pain. It was a long road to recovery and I thought it was all over.
Since that day, on a hunch, instead of sleeping in my bed, I moved to the futon which is much softer. I woke up the next day, still a little bit stiff but I could actually walk without much pain or limping like the previous day. This was an indicator that it's time for a new bed.
Although I was feeling much better, this weekend I decided to do some tapping on the pain. This is known as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). I pulled out my book, "The Tapping Solution for Pain Relief" by Nick Ortner and started doing some of the tapping exercises. Tapping is similar to acupressure, but instead of putting pressure on select points on your head, face and torso, you are tapping on the spots, while describing the pain, then saying or asking whatever comes to mind.
The idea is that you want to call the pain out, by describing it as much as you can. I started by focusing on what I had been feeling and where. I wrote some of these words down and then rated the pain from 1-10, with 10 being the worst. That day I was feeling it was at about a 6 on the pain scale. Then as I tapped on the various points, I described the pain and where it was located. I continued to do this for several rounds.
"This back pain. This shooting back pain. This dull shooting back pain. This dull shooting back pain in my SI joint. This dull shooting back pain in my SI joint on the right side of my pelvis."
As I have learned some time ago, any physical pain we feel, is our body's way of telling us that something is wrong. Normally if an accident occurs, we know why and how the pain came about. It's in those moments where pain just appears out of nowhere that we need to listen to our bodies and figure out what it is trying to tell us. So I started to speak to the pain, "I am here. I am listening to you. What do you need to tell me?"
I then asked and said whatever popped into my mind and noticed the pain started moving around. So I commented on that. The pain continued to move, from the right to left side, then to my left thigh, then to my left knee. Throughout all this tapping, I kept thanking the pain for letting me know that something was wrong and that I was a now aware that I needed to make some changes (ie a new bed!) and continued to show my appreciation for being notified by the pain I was feeling. Once the pain moved to my knee, I thanked it for moving through my body, I stretched my legs out and asked it to move through my leg and out of my body. It lingered a little longer then popped back over to my right pelvis, before settling into my left knee again and finally leaving.
This whole process maybe took 10-15 minutes. I just talked and tapped for the entire time, completing the session with several deep breaths. Afterwards, I wrote in my new tapping journal, some of the words that I was saying as I tapped and rated the pain again which had decreased significantly.
I first became aware of EFT about 6 years ago, in the midst of my brutal back injury. What's amazing about this technique is that it can be used to help with anything such as stress, anxiety, depression, overwhelm, fear, relationships and even finances!
This is a very vague description of the process of tapping but over the years I've done a lot of research and practice with it. I even developed a Tapping Workshop which I have done with many friends and clients. It is a very powerful technique and although there can be some immediate results, it can also take daily practice for quite some time, especially if you are working on pain that is related to some deeply stored trauma in the body.
I know that different things come into our lives for different reasons. I got into Yoga to help me deal with the physical pain from two motor vehicle accidents 18 years ago! I became a Yoga Teacher as I knew how much Yoga had helped me with my pain. I then became a Reiki Master, wanting to learn more ways in which I could heal my body and others and then discovered EFT, just another modality to help deal with pain and not to mention just about everything else! This back experience feels like a reminder of all the techniques I have learned over the years on how to heal myself and my passion for helping others!