EFT For Women With Breast Cancer
From the moment of diagnosis thru the entire treatment process women with breast cancer experience a dysregulating emotional rollercoaster, with high anxiety, fear, and deep grief.
EFT helps with the external stressors affecting patients include receiving the diagnosis, the medical interventions received, and the physical discomfort of various treatments and their side effects. Internally, for the patient, just thinking about a cancer diagnosis can trigger negative emotional stress and thus lower the immune response.
A woman’s stress response can be triggered by both the external and internal factors involved form the moment of finding out she has cancer.
When a woman is stressed, there is an increase the production of cortisol, the primary stress hormone. Chronic overstimulation of cortisol triggers the fight or flight sympathetic nervous system. Our adrenal glands increase production of cortisol and adrenaline and our endocrine system decreases the production of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). In addition, the stress hormones glucocorticoids can cause epigenetic changes in how genes function.
Stress raises catecholamine and suppressor T cell levels, which further suppresses the immune system. This suppression in turn raises the risk of viral infection. Stress affects both the mind and the body and can cause up to 70% of the blood to drains from the frontal lobes into the peripheral muscles, taking vital energy for healing away from the whole body and making clear thinking very difficult.
Drugs can be used to lower a woman’s physical discomfort, stress and anxiety, however not all drugs work for all women, and at times choose not to take drugs due to side effects, drugs can be expensive, as well as difficult to gain access to depending on a woman’s insurance plan.
In contrast, EFT is an easy to use and learn body-based tool that sends calming signals to the mind and body while releasing negative emotions. Once the negative emotions are released, patients and staff feel more peaceful, calm, and empowered to move ahead. During an EFT session the patient naturally experiences cognitive shifts which in turn support clear thinking allow for a positive reframing of the situation, it becomes easier for patients to make medical decisions, and to receive treatments with increased acceptance and peace.
EFT can also be used to help patients heal old traumas and feelings triggered by their current illness, reduce fear related to receiving a diagnosis, reduce chemo brain, reduce the fear of needles and medical treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation, as well as reduce the fear of death.
In a research article called Reexamining the effect of emotional freedom techniques on stress biochemistry: A randomized controlled trial published November 2020 by the National Library of Medicine, by Peta Stapleton, Gabrielle Crighton, Debbie Sabot, and Harley Marie O’Neilit stated that after one hour of group EFT Tapping cortisol (the stress hormone) decreased by 43.24%, whereas in the psychoeducation group cortisol levels decreased by 19.67%.
In numerous studies EFT has been proven to be effective at reducing physical pain. In 20219 Bach et al created a study that showed that EFT reduced of physical pain by 57%. EFT reduces stress, thus boosting the immune system’s ability to heal wounds.
In 2010 Church and Brooks created a study that reported that wounds heal up to 40% faster in the absence of stress. The Health Care Workers study documented that after an EFT session, there was an average of 68% pain reduction after one 30-minute EFT session. What remained was about 1/3 the pain.
So how does EFT work?
EFT is a Stress-Reduction Technique which works very simply and scientifically. It has us face and remember a negative emotional experience; a method referred to in psychology as “exposure.” We then pair that remembered trauma with a new cognitive input, reframing the memory with a statement of self-acceptance: “I deeply and completely accept myself.” While we hold these two items in mind, the traumatic exposure and the cognitive reframe, EFT then has us tap on our bodies. The tapping points used in EFT correspond to points used in acupuncture, and they release stress.
Tapping soothes the body, introducing a non-traumatic physical stimulus, and interrupting the emotional triggering that’s present. This pairing of a troublesome memory with a soothing physical stimulus often breaks the power of that memory, reducing its emotional intensity. In the language of behavioral psychology, we had a conditioned response of upset (a red tag) encoded to correspond to that memory. By thinking of the memory and often and getting upset, we’ve established a strongly conditioned feedback loop.
EFT Tapping signals the body that it is safe, and so the conditioned loop is broken. Afterward, the nervous system no longer associates the memory with stress. The speed with which EFT can drain the emotional intensity of even long-held memories is quite startling to people who have not witnessed it before. EFT also raises serotonin and dopamine levels, leaving a person happier and calmer.
EFT can be used anywhere and at any time. Once learned a person can even use it on themselves as a self-help tool. EFT can also be given by a clinical EFT Certified practitioner one on one for addressing individual issues deeply or can be used in in a group setting with a more general focus.