Don't let worms give you the squirms!

John Scott explains how Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) can be used to reduce or banish phobias to needles, or worms, thereby allowing you to access treatments which could help your condition but which you might otherwise never be able to face.

Anyone with an allergy or autoimmune disease who searches diligently for the best solution to their illness will eventually discover helminthic therapy.

As this safe and natural approach provides significant relief for three quarters of those who try it, and as it is free from long-term side effects, it is arguably the ultimate treatment for these conditions. However, some people have a problem with helminthic therapy, due to the fact that it involves hosting live worms.

Eating microorganism-rich yogurt or other fermented foods, and swallowing probiotic capsules, each containing many millions of live organisms, is rarely a problem, but the adoption of helminths is a step too far for some unfortunate individuals who simply cannot cope with the idea of having worms living inside them.

As the problem for these people is phobic, it makes no difference to explain to them that, whichever type of helminth is chosen, this will never be seen or even felt by its host. The squirm response, which is usually due to past experience or cultural conditioning, is too deep-rooted.

I have friends, even family members, with allergies and autoimmune diseases who will not even consider using helminthic therapy because it involves worms. Even the most intelligent among these, who have reviewed the science and admit that the theory looks sound and that the results of the studies are compelling, still can't bring themselves to try it personally, in spite of their on-going suffering which, for some of them, is considerable.

"Haven't quite got my head round the worms yet…" wrote one friend recently in response to information I had sent her, thinking that she would be more open to the idea at that particular time, having just spent a rather long period in hospital for treatment of her Crohn's disease.

Fortunately, worm phobia need no longer prevent anyone from enjoying the benefits of helminthic therapy, because there is a remarkably effective solution to this and other phobias that is simple, natural, easy to access and available at zero cost! Often referred to simply as "Tapping", the technique is known formally as EFT – the Emotional Freedom Techniques. It is also sometimes referred to as Energy Psychology.

Developed to improve and accelerate the psychotherapy process, EFT is especially valuable in treating phobias of all kinds but, unlike traditional psychotherapeutic approaches to phobia, this one does not require the patient to confront the thing that frightens them in order to achieve a cure, so, when treating worm phobia using EFT, no actual worms are employed.

Unfortunately, once it is realised that EFT involves tapping on meridian points that are used in acupuncture and other meridian-based therapies, some sceptical individuals may immediately dismiss the whole idea as just a load of touchy-feely New Age nonsense. However, to do this would be to deny themselves the benefits of a form of therapy that is recognised by the American Psychological Association as efficacious for phobias, anxiety, depression, and PTSD, and has been examined in numerous studies, that have been reported in 15 different peer-reviewed journals.

In one particular study - the first ever controlled trial of a meridian-based intervention to be published in a leading peer reviewed journal (the Journal of Clinical Psychology) – a single session of EFT was used to treat specific phobias relating to small animals and insects, and this was found to produce valid behavioral and subjective effects that were observed to last for a significant period of time, even when no further treatment was carried out.

The basics of EFT are explained here.

And here is a free, downloadable "how to" manual that explains the procedure in detail.

For those who prefer a video guide, here is a video demonstration of the procedure showing the exact position of each of the tapping points.
For someone with a worm phobia, just tapping along with the demonstrator while watching this short video, and replacing the phrases about back pain with alternate ones relating to worm phobia, could be surprisingly effective and may even completely remove the phobia without any further work. If not, the worm-phobic person should follow the instructions below.
First, consider how bad your fear of worms is at the present moment, and give this a rating on a scale of 1 to 10.
Once you have assigned a severity rating to the phobia, begin the tapping sequence, as follows.

Set-up phrase (repeat this three times while tapping the Karate Chop point):

"Even though I have this fear of worms, I deeply and completely love and accept myself."

Reminder phrase (repeat this while tapping on each of the remaining points):

"My fear of worms."

After you have tapped on all the points, recheck the intensity of the phobia and give this a new score between 1 and 10. If this is any number other than 0, repeat the entire tapping sequence, using the following, slightly modified phrases.

New set-up phrase (repeat this three times while tapping the Karate Chop point):

"Even though I still have this fear of worms, I deeply and completely love and accept myself."

New reminder phrase (repeat this while tapping on each of the remaining points):

"My remaining fear of worms."

Recheck the intensity of the phobia after each round of tapping and continue to repeat this latter sequence until a score of 0 is achieved.

Sometimes the intensity reduces quickly; other times it can take a while.

If the phobia cannot be cleared completely in this way, it is likely that there is a deeper "core issue" that will need to be dealt with first (as is the case in this example) and this may require the help of a qualified practitioner. Fortunately it is now relatively easy to find EFT practitioners, many of whom are happy to treat clients by telephone, if necessary, and, due to the usually rapid success of the treatment, there should be no need for a long course of treatment.

EFT has many other applications that may be of interest to the user, who may wish to peruse these FAQs about the technique. I also strongly recommend a thorough exploration of the entire EFT Universe website because this technique can be used to enhance one's life in so many ways by addressing various psychological, physical and performance issues, many of which are discussed on this site.

I am still exploring the many possibilities offered by EFT myself, but am already very grateful that I discovered it, because I have been able to use this technique to neutralise the lingering effects of a number of incidents in my early life that had continued to adversely affect my functioning in adulthood. I have also been impressed by the benefits that various friends have derived from using EFT.

One friend, who was recently diagnosed with haemochromatosis, and put on a programme of therapeutic phlebotomy (blood donations!) to reduce his iron levels, confided that he was dreading this process because of a deep-seated fear of needles. So I ran through the EFT procedure a few times with him, using the set-up phrase "Even though I have this fear of needles…" and sent him on his way ready to repeat this, if the need arose, at the blood donation centre.

A few days later, my friend called to say that, much to his surprise, he had "sailed through" the blood donation experience without needing to repeat the tapping. For the first time that he could remember, the needle hadn't bothered him at all.

EFT has already acquired an impressive record and looks set to become one of the most important healing modalities of the future. Psychotherapists are switching to it in their droves because it produces solid results much more quickly than established methods, and doctors and nurses are also finding many uses for the technique in their own clinical practice.

EFT has so many applications, with potential benefits for everyone, that it should arguably be taught to children as soon as they are able to follow the tapping sequence, and there is a very cute and cuddly aid available to help parents teach their little ones to tap, called "Tappy Bear".

So no one – not even children – need be denied the benefits of helminthic therapy, or indeed any other form of biotherapy, because of a fear of tiny creatures. The solution is very simple, and it's at our finger tips.


First published March 2011


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