Why does Pain come back?

Working on Pain that keeps Reappearing or fluctuating in Intensity

When we tap on chronic pain, it may re-appear after a few days. Let me explain with the help of an example.

Rashmi had continuous back pain at a level of 8-9. She had lumber disc bulge and the doctor had suggested surgery. She wanted to give EFT a try. She had heard a lot about it and one of the things she had heard was that it was a quick fix; once the pain was gone, it did not come back.
The first time we spoke, I explained that the underlying emotions have to be resolved and once they are released, the pain will be gone for good.
When we started working on her emotional issues, there were many layers to it and interestingly her pain gradually went down with each issue that we cleared. I asked her to make a daily diary of all the emotions that she felt were blocking her recovery and taught her how to do EFT on these blocks each time the pain came up.

After 9 sessions, her pain went down to a 2 and stayed at that level for a week. She was very happy. However, she called me after a week and said that her pain was back to a 7. I asked her what could be the possible trigger. She said that she didn’t feel anything extraordinary had happened.
Then I asked her to describe her routine on the day the pain increased. She said that she went to her college after a long time. She had taken a medical leave from her college due to her pain. I asked how she felt about this. (We had tapped on this before) She said she was really scared. I asked her how her back felt in the college. She said -“that’s the reason for my pain!”

We dug deeper and the new aspect (trigger) was her fear of “not being good enough” in college.
Now her back pain only reappears when she goes to college and she is gradually addressing all her fears related to this.

Now the important question is – If we had begun the session and addressed only this aspect, would it have worked? In my opinion, it wouldn’t have. It was indeed important to clear the many layers of emotions to reach this point. The trigger left was only the college. All the emotional trauma that she was carrying in her body (back) had already been cleared to a great extent by earlier tapping.
There are numerous emotional issues associated with any kind of pain and once they are released, the pain usually does not come back. One thing to remember is that the pain intensity can vary in every session. When a big emotional issue is released, the pain often takes longer to come back. And gradually the frequency and the intensity of the pain reduces.
Any kind of chronic pain is very debilitating. A person can easily feel frustrated with the EFT process and think that it is not working. The trick is to persist. I know it’s easier said that done! I would suggest that take a deep breath on each point. Tap for 30 seconds on each point and breathe in and out. You will feel better. Do it a few times, everyday.

Suggestions for working with pain that keeps fluctuating/re-appearing

1. Daily affirmations– Make a list of generic daily affirmations to address the pain and tap during advertisements, lunch breaks, while lying down …anytime.

“Even though I have this back pain, I love and respect myself.”
“Even though I have this back pain, I choose to heal my spine and relieve my pain.”

2. Daily Cleansing Process– Emotions that have not been processed properly tend to stick and continue to cause stress. Clearing them helps. Daily stress can also build up and start affecting you. Daily stress can delay recovery. Do a daily cleansing process by doing at least 3-4 rounds of EFT on any feeling, thought or event that bothers you. I call this daily cleansing.

3. Make a list of beliefs that you feel interfere with the recovery process
“It’s been there for too long. It cannot possibly go away”

Some Geo-specific beliefs (beliefs related to culture and religion, read more here) that may hinder healing are:
Only god can heal me, so EFT cannot do anything.
God is punishing me
Black magic was done on me and I cannot get well.
I’m paying for my past life sins.
Many a times instead of changing these beliefs all you need is an effective reframe to tackle these cultural beliefs. Get more tips here.

4. Tap on the all the things that back pain has stopped you from accomplishing/achieving or day-to-day things that you can no longer enjoy doing.
“I had to leave my job”
“I cannot go out”

5. Knowing the triggers– Make a list of incidents from the past (not past life but from your past in this life) that have triggered the pain. Find the common theme and tap.
For example: Asha had back pain anytime she had an argument with someone where she felt helpless and scared.
Lalita’s toe pain increased when she worried a lot about her son.
Radha’s pain increased when she felt inadequate.

6. Trust the wisdom of your body, listen to what it says.

7. Develop compassion for yourself. Read an article here.

8. Release the need to be perfect. The quest for perfectionism is never-ending.
Read more here.

9. It will help if you do not put conditions on yourself.
Eg – “I will do this … ONLY if my pain goes away completely.

10. Release “Shame” for the pain that you have. Release the feelings of “I’m not good enough”.


About Puja

I am a Counseling Psychologist, Certified EFT Practitioner & Accredited EFT master Trainer of Trainers with EFTi. In my 15+ years of experience, I have effectively used EFT and Counseling to help clients heal their emotional and physical problems.
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