While most insomnia books and programs connect current stress to sleep difficulties, most do not acknowledge how stressful or traumatic events from the past can continue to wreak havoc on the nervous system years or even decades later – even if these events seemingly have no relationship to present day life. My job as an EFT practitioner is to find and neutralize these events so the nervous system can return to a relaxed and balanced state. Here is a success story from the month of May.
“Emily” had suffered from chronic insomnia since the summer of 2007. When I asked her what had been going on at that time, she said her work schedule had been crazy. She had been working 3 different nursing jobs, with night shifts and daytime shifts during the same week. For three months, she had managed this schedule without sleep difficulties, yet one particular Wednesday she was exhausted yet could not fall asleep. She felt like she was going crazy, out of her mind. She called her mother to borrow a Xanax pill. On her way to her mother’s house, she remembers thinking, “I’m going to go crazy and become a nervous wreck like my mom.” When she thought about this Wednesday in 2007, she got a nervous feeling with palpitations in her neck. We tapped on this for a couple of rounds and took the edge off her nervous feeling.
I asked her to tell me more about what she had meant when she thought she would become “a nervous wreck like my mom.” She said her mother always said things like, “You’re just acting that way because you are a nervous person.” I asked her if she could think of a specific event where her mother told her she was a nervous person. She said on her wedding day her mother and brother conspired to put valium in her punch without her permission or knowledge. This was a pivotal event in her life and she titled it “The Red Punch.” We tapped through all that came up about this story – the fear when she discovered she had just taken a hypnotic drug she had never used before on this important day, the anger at her mother and brother for tricking her and lying to her, and ultimately the disappointment that her mother and brother couldn’t trust her to be herself.
After tapping on all of these aspects Emily had a shift. She realized they couldn’t control how they were feeling – nervous mother of the bride, older brother not ready for his younger sister to get married – so they tried to control her. She realized she had felt FINE before the valium, a little nervous, but well within the range of normal for a bride on her wedding day – but that THEY felt the need to control her to work on their own feelings. She realized her mother placed her own “nervousness” onto her.
By the end of the session Emily felt calm and was no longer having palpitations. When asked how she felt about the story of “The Red Punch,” she laughed and said it reminded her of “The Red Wedding” on “Game of Thrones” – thankfully without nearly as severe of consequences! She realized the wedding worked out fine and was a lovely day and no longer feels angry about it.
Her sleep improved immediately, but got off track later in the week when a new stressor arose. We had another appointment to work on the current stress, and the following week Emily reported she was at long last “sleeping like a normal person.” Several weeks later she was still sleeping solidly. In her words…The meds helped at first but eventually stopped working as my body developed a tolerance to them… and the real issues concerning my insomnia were not being addressed. And then Jennifer came into my life! With her unique insights and techniques I was able to start sleeping like a baby. Not only am I sleeping deeply, I no longer wake up in the middle of the night and I no longer worry about “bedtime” for fear of not being able to sleep!! What a Blessing! Thank You Jennifer!