People do not seem to do a very good job of taking care of themselves. Sometimes there is a real desire to engage in good self care or to follow medical advice, but a fear or “block” stands in the way. Well, the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) can help us to get back on the track. A few examples will be outlined here.

Do you have a health care “phobia”? Health care phobias may be the result of traumatic experiences in childhood, like being held down to receive a treatment. The mind then associates that level of fear to medical situations in general. Fear of needles or blood being drawn may be one of the most common. At some hospitals they are using acupuncture, cryoblation (nerve freezing), controlled breath, etc. to provide relief to children who experience pain as the result of surgery, chronic illness, or routine vaccinations. As great as that is, the fear still exists. EFT can actually reduce or eliminate the fear. Health care fears for children can also be a result of separation anxiety. This too can be treated with EFT.

According to Gerard Sunnen, M.D., patients do better when undergoing procedures, recovering from operations, or surmounting the side effects of treatments if they are relaxed, rested, and feeling hopeful. Reducing the fear through EFT can certainly help to produce that optimal state for effective treatment.

Approximately 50% of Americans do not seek regular dental care. An estimated 9-15% avoid much needed care due to anxiety and fear. It is estimated that 30-40 million people are so afraid of dental treatment that they avoid it all together. Serious ramifications include chronically infected gums and teeth which can affect their medical status, and compromise their ability to chew and digest food. Self-confidence can be compromised when someone is insecure about their breath and smile as well. This can lead to limitations in social and business environments.

Some common fears associated with the dentist include: fear of needles, anxiety of the loss of control, and fear of pain. At our center we have already had tremendous success eliminating the fear of needles. Why not apply that to fear of dental needles? Fear of pain – same thing. We can tap it away.

Why don’t women get mammograms? Perception of pain, embarrassment, fear of radiation exposure, fear of finding cancer, inconveniences such as transportation, cost, and time are some of the reasons. How about prostate exams? Men know that they can aid in early detection but most don’t willingly seek out that procedure. Why? Consider this one – female pelvic exams. This is not something most women rush right out to do. Yet cervical cancers can be easily detected and treated when they are found. Embarrassment, discomfort, painful memories, and hang-ups about sexual organs interfere with our ability to participate in health care programs that can insure our health and well-being. EFT can work to eliminate embarrassment. Are you noticing a theme?

EFT can definitely help. I have seen remarkable results working on the fear of needles. Persons who were previously anxious with just the thought of needles – no needles actually were present – were then able to be stuck with needles and laugh about it within minutes of doing EFT for the first time. If it can work that well on fear of needles, it can certainly be used to overcome other barriers to health care and adherence.

Here are just a few other possibilities where EFT may help us to be healthier:

1. Eliminating claustrophobia prior to MRI’s or CT scans.
2. Reducing fear of needles before blood is drawn or so people can adhere to blood glucose monitoring
3. As part of childbirth preparation to assist in the labor and delivery process
4. Prior to physical therapy appointments to reduce the fear/anticipation of pain that prevents full participation.

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