Update on Toe Surgery and EFT

One week from the date of the surgery on my toe, 12/19/2005.
I went to the surgeon for a dressing change and was told by the surgeon that my toe looks like it has been healing for a month rather than just one week. He asked me if I was a fast healer. I told him that even though I am fifty-one years old, no one has ever called me a fast healer before. This includes this same surgeon who repaired my broken ankle six years ago.

The only thing I can attribute this lack of pain and increased healing to is the consistent use of EFT tapping beginning the night of the injury and continuing through the surgery as mentioned in a previous post on this blog.

EFT is the Emotional Freedom Technique which is one of the many new forms of “meridian” therapy which uses knowledge of the energy meridians in the human body and the five element theory which is involved in accupuncture. www.emofree.com for more information and a free manual explaining how to use the tapping technique.

The night of the surgery, I took two prescription pain killers and left one out to take in the middle of the night if I needed it. I never took that third pill and on the day after surgery I took only three 200 mg ibuprophen tablets for the entire day. On each day since the surgery the most I have felt the need to take is three 200 mg ibuprophen tablets, and several days I needed nothing.

Today the surgeon was amazed at the lack of redness, lack of swelling, the overall stability of the toe, and my ability to flex it without intense pain.

I am amazed at the lack of pain and swelling considering the trauma to the toe in the original injury, and the subsequent removal of almost a half an inch of bone from the toe, and the lengthening of tendon.

I have continued to use the EFT basic recipe with a wide variety of affirmations related to the toe surgery and recovery, including the pain, the lack of mobility, my clumsiness, and others.

It makes very good sense to me that if I can decrease my intense negative emotions, I will have more energy for my body to focus on healing and recovery. However I never imagined such a dramatic difference in the experience of a serious trauma involving a broken bone, dislocated bone, and surgery involving bone removal.

I will post an update on the recovery and my use of EFT in about a week.

Using EFT for Nausea and Anxiety During Toe Surgery

Using EFT for Anxiety and Nausea During Toe Surgery. 12/13/2005

I am a clinical psychologist with over thirty-one years of experience doing therapy in various forms. I was introduced to EFT just three months ago, by one of my teenage patients who stated, “My grandfather told me I can get this stuff free off the internet, and I don’t need a dumb old psychologist.” He told me the website was www.emofree.com . I looked it up that very evening.

When the patient returned the next week, I told him to tell his grandfather that he was correct! Since then I have been sharing this technique with my patients who are interested and even giving them photocopies of The Basic Recipe section of the manual, to support what we have done in our sessions.

Two nights ago, I tripped and fell and dislocated and broke one of my toes. A trip to the emergency room in the middle of the night confirmed that it was badly injured and would need an orthopedic surgeon to treat it.

After a very uncomfortable night, with very little sleep, I contacted the orthopedic surgeon and arranged for an appointment yesterday afternoon. When I got there, the surgeon quickly assessed the situation and suggested surgery in his office, right then and there. I agreed and he shot the toe with medicine to numb it up and then proceeded to arrange the tools he would need for the surgery.

As I lay there trying to relax before the surgery, I found myself getting anxious and feeling queasy in my stomach. I just closed my eyes and began tapping out the Basic Recipe, with the affirmation of, “Even though I am in pain, and nervous, I deeply and completely accept myself.” Occasionally as I went through the tapping it felt appropriate to change the affirmation to “Even though I am in pain and nervous, I deeply and completely forgive and accept myself.”

I felt the queasy stomach fade away almost instantly, and I just kept tapping through several repetitions of the Basic Recipe, while the surgeon and his nurse prepared for the surgery.

Soon after the procedure started, the surgeon told the nurse that if she needed to, she could step out of the office and he would call her when he needed her. This caused me to open my eyes and turn my head around to find that the nurse was standing behind me, facing away from the surgery, and looking “white as a sheet”.

I just launched into my therapist mode and told her that she looked very uncomfortable and that she could feel much better if she repeated after me and started tapping. She tried to tell me that she was not uncomfortable but the surgeon corrected her and let me in on the fact that this was her first time assisting him in a surgery, because their regular nurse was out on maternity leave as of that day.

I continued to show the nurse how to tap, and as she tapped I simply repeated the affirmation for her; “Even though I am nervous, I deeply and completely accept myself.” After just one complete cycle of the Basic Recipe the nurse looked more relaxed, stated that she felt much better, although mystified as to why, and spent the rest of the time of the surgery, actually watching and helping the surgeon.

As he worked, the surgeon was so impressed with my composure and the change in his nurse’s ability to work with him in the surgery that he started talking about how he would give me a discount on his fees, since I had helped them so much during the surgery.

I was floored by the entire process. I was amazed at how calm and focused I was after tapping about the pain and nausea. I was also amazed at the transformation I observed in the nurse. She went from not being able to look at the surgery, to being able to actively assist in the surgery.

The rest of the story is that I used tapping several times during the afternoon, evening and night, last night, to decrease my pain and anxiety. As I sit here typing this summary, it is only 23 hours since the surgery in which the surgeon had to remove a half an inch of bone from my toe and lengthen two tendons and I have not had any pain medication other than one dose of over the counter ibuprofen today.

Thanks for reading. Happy, Healthy Tapping!


Timothy J. Hayes, Psy.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Depth Oriented Brief Therapy (DOBT)

Depth Oriented Brief Therapy (DOBT) is one of many revolutionary models for working with people in therapy. The basis of DOBT is the assumption that once you know all of the factors operating in a person’s life, it will make perfect sense of whatever it is they are doing.

I summarize this by telling my clients that they are not, Sick, Crazy, Stupid, Lazy, or Masochistic! As such, everything they do is meant to make their lives better in one way or another, even if they themselves cannot seem to understand why or how.

DOBT was created by Bruce Ecker and Laurel Hulley and introduced in the book: Depth Oriented Brief Therapy; How to work brief when you were trained to work deep and vice versa.

The theory and practice outlined in the book and the trainings emphasize that many different techniques from a variety of other therapies can and should be used within the DOBT model. The purpose of the therapy is to help the individual understand the various factors that are motivating them to act, react, and feel the way they do. Since learning the DOBT model and taking the training, my ability to help people has exploded.

One of the most powerful systems I have learned, and integrated with DOBT is the Neuro Emotional Technique (NET).

The Neuro Emotional Technique (NET) was created by a chiropractor, Dr. Scott Walker, and uses the mind/body connection to help determine and correct a variety of problems that may prevent a person from healing. The NET approach is based on the five element theory used in accupuncture and accupressure. It also combines knowledge of homeopathic remedies and chiropractic science to provide a holistic approach to healing within the person, using the body’s own immune system to create health.

NET allows the clinician to use the muscle response of the client as a form of biofeedback to locate where the body’s energy has been disrupted, or disconnected. Then, with simple, non-intrusive techniques, reconnect the body’s energy and help the person understand the logical connection to the current events in the person’s life.

The NET system also includes ways to evaluate the person’s toxicity, and nutritional levels as they may relate to the body’s energy meridians and energy flow.

This is a very powerful and efficient system for helping a person heal, both physically and emotionally. The NET training is available to licensed health professionals and is very well documented and organized, with international research that is building to demonstrate its effectiveness.

The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is one of several newer “tapping” therapies that apply some knowledge of the five element theory and the body’s energy meridians used in accupuncture and accupressure. The main premise with most of these therapies is that the body’s immune and energy systems are connected with the person’s emotional energy and belief systems. As such, whenever there is a disruption or disconnect in any of these systems, is has a powerful effect on the other systems. The most common result of disruption in any one of these systems is decreased ability to heal, either physically or emotionally.

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a powerful tool for therapists to use with their clients to help dispell intense, negative emotions during a session. This may allow a client to look at important factors they have been afraid to remember or address, which affect issues they are trying to resolve. In the hands of an experienced therapist EFT can be used in a variety of ways to help identify and resolve problems for the client which can be both emotionally and physically based.

EFT does not require a person to diagnose which energy meridian may be blocked and therefore provides a valuable tool for clients to use between therapy sessions or visits to the chiropractor.

It also functions as a wonderful brief form of meditation or “an emotional strengthening exercise” which can take as little as two minutes to complete when used regularly for this purpose.

There are a varitey of newer techniques and systems in therapy and holistic healing which use the same basic mechanisms for helping a person change, heal and grow. Some of them focus more on the energy. Some of them focus more on the emotional content. Still others focus more on the thoughts and words we use to express our experience. This is an exciting time to be alive and learning!

Thanks for reading!


Dear Readers,

This blog is being created to help spread the word about the human mind/body connection and how it can be recognized and used to help make life better on this planet, one person at a time.

I will be writing about things I have read, heard or discovered which may be helpful to others who are eager to learn more about themselves and the newer “therapies” and discoveries that affect us all.

I have been doing therapy in one form or another for over 31 years. I love to teach and write about whatever I learn.

I hope you find the things posted here as useful as I have found them.

I will only post those things that I find very helpful, or very stimulating in terms of the questions they raise.

I learned long ago that one good question is worth a thousand solid answers.

Also somewhere on this site, I will post a listing of my favorite sayings collected over the years. These are mostly reminders of my priorities and key values, but occasionally they are humorous as well.

Thaks for reading!
TJH, Psy.D.