EFT for pain and illness makes it necessary to put on your detective’s cap and try different ways to solve the case. Gary Craig often gives the analogy of going down a hall and trying different doors until one works! Try one door (or approach), and if the SUDS level doesn’t decrease, try another. Keep asking questions until you find an underlying issue that resonates as the cause.

If you or the client starts to feel better, or  if the intensity of the SUDs level decreases,  you are on the right track,. You will also know, of course that you got it right,  if the pain or symptom diminishes or disappears.

Meridian Tapping

    1. First suggestion is simply tapping on the pain itself. 
    2. Ask the client to describe the pain as specifically as possible. 
    3. Ask them the nature, location, what it feels like, e.g. a stabbing pain, achy pain, throbbing pain, etc. 
    4. Then tap using these descriptors in both the Set Up Statement, and your Reminder Statements.

For example, “Even though I have this achy, throbbing pain on the left side of my temple, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.” If the problem’s SUDs level decreases, then keep tapping this way until it no longer decreases. Then switch to another question or technique listed below.

Here are some questions you can ask the client to help reveal an underlying emotional issue that may be tied to their physical problem:

A List of Questions To Ask For Pain or Illness:

1) If this illness/pain or body part had a voice, what would it say?
2) What was going on in your life when this problem first started?
3) When did it start? Many times a client needs to talk about their life at the time before they remember anything pertinent.
4) If there was an emotional component or contributor to this problem, what would it be?
5) What would you lose or give up in your life if you no longer had this illness/pain?
6) What is this pain preventing you from doing or accomplishing?
7) Do you have fears about becoming successful?
8) How do you feel about this symptom or pain?
9) Try getting very literal about the symptom or the pain. For example,”Who in your life is a pain in your neck?”
10) What benefits are you getting from this illness?
11) Who or what are you most angry at?
12) Why might you deserve this illness?
13) Which emotions are current for you now? What situations in your life hold those same emotions? What are the stressors causing those emotions?
14) What is a metaphor for this pain/symptom?
15) Is there a relationship between stress and your problem?

Another technique you can try is combining the symptom with a pertinent emotion in the Set Up Phrase and Reminder Phrase. For example “This anger in my stomach”, “The sadness is a constriction in my chest”, or “This anger in my arms”.

EFT for pain and illness: Chasing The Pain Technique

Often when you are tapping on a pain, the pain will change! It will change its location and/or quality, as well the level of pain. Let’s say we are working on a headache. The pain may start out as a throbbing pain on the top of our head. As we tap we find the pain has left that area of our head, moved to our left temple, and is now an achy pain. So we then start the EFT protocol all over again, tapping for the “achy pain in my left temple”. The left temple pain might resolve, but then move to our neck! So you continue to tap but now, for the pain in the neck. It is our experience that eventually, the pain is released and eliminated altogether.


A tailender  in EFT  terminology is a subliminal, automatic and often unrecognized inner reservation, which often accompanies an affirmation. It’s functions as a   Yes, but  in the back of your mind that can block the effectiveness of the affirmation. It is the Doubting Thomas  voice in your mind. Imagine perfect health and listen closely to your mind’s voices for any tail enders and then apply EFT to any tail enders that may arise.

Re Owning

Sometimes when a person’s body has been giving them chronic grief or pain, the person will metaphorically disown that part of their body. Try reowning that part of your body by addressing the situation with EFT and see if that brings about a shift.

Whatever problem you have, make it a practice to tap on the pain or symptom for 10-20 rounds per day. This is especially helpful if you have a chronic or serious illness.

Secondary Benefits of Pain

Many times I see people who genuinely want to eliminate a pain or symptom but there is a part of them that receives a “secondary benefit”  from having the symptom. I knew a teacher  who had a pain on the sole of her foot near the heel. She wasn’t able to take long walks or go on hikes. I asked her what the secondary benefit could be for having this symptom and she knew what it was right away. She revealed that having this symptom gave her a good excuse to not take obligatory walks with the mothers of her children’s friends. It is very effective to EFT all the secondary benefits that the person can think of for their problem.

Blindsiding the Pain

If you have identified the underlying emotional issue of a physical problem, and if  it is unusually intense, sneak up on the problem. You can easily do this by introducing global statements, such as “ Even though I have all these problems” and gradually get more specific as the SUDs level decreases.

Make sure to be very persistent and eliminate all aspects of the pain or problem. Try to persevere until the SUDs level is a zero. You will achieve much better long-term results.

Study EFT for pain and illness further here.