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How This EFT and Inflammation Workshop Came About

(CW for discussion of medical trauma and oppressive patterns in care services)


My Own Experiences with Care Providers and Healing Inflammation


I have experienced inflammation and autoimmune issues from a number of sources - chronic illness, trauma, genetic and autistic predisposition, marginalization, environmental injury, housing instability, structural/postural challenges, and so on. 


As a client I have fallen through the cracks of care in many ways. I have experienced a lot of medical and care trauma, ranging from negligence, malpractice, invalidation, assault, discriminatory denial of services, decades of missed diagnoses, and skipped care because of expenses way beyond my reach. I have fallen outside of most people’s scope of practice, either just because they felt over their head with the complexity of my issues, or their training and unresolved systemic trauma led them to either punish me for my divergence or push me to depoliticize my pain. I have had well-intentioned practitioners help, not help, and make my symptoms worse.


I have experienced all of this while also having an enormous amount of privilege that has protected me, especially being a white, speaking, native English speaking U.S. citizen with a relatively environmentally safe and restful living situation (even though I can see - and sometimes hear - Los Alamos National Laboratories across the valley).


Whether advocating for myself relative to receiving care or learning as a practitioner, I am always sharply on the lookout for access disparities that I am aware of as well as what I might not be affected by or familiar with. I’m aware that everything that hits me probably hits someone else harder. 


I’m not an expert in any of this. I’ve recovered from a lot of things my neurologist and other doctors told me you’re not supposed to heal from. I’m in process with other things. I’m dealing with ongoing systemic pressures that all of us are facing to one degree or another in our disrupted ecologies and hierarchical harms. There is so much beyond the horizon of what we currently understand, and therein lies rich possibility.


Practitioner Experience


As a holistic practitioner, I have spent a lot of the last 20+ years feeling empathy and solidarity with folks with inflammatory issues, and feeling like I didn’t always have the skill set to offer effective support, especially when it came to systemic inflammation and autoimmunity.


In much of the trainings I’ve participated in, I’ve also been subtly or overtly punished or invalidated due to ableism and due to my questions and approaches to sociopolitical issues in clinical and educational work because of compliance culture and standards of unexamined whiteness. 


I have also been incredibly lucky with some of the supports I do have and what I learn in the trainings I have had access to. I have found liberatory principles in all of the modalities I practice, which I think can be continually expanded in their applications. 


A lot of what I am offering here is from trial and error of what has been helpful for my clients and myself. I am so indebted to all of the clients I have grown up with as a practitioner - I feel like for any practitioner, all of our clients in the first 10+ years are our benefactors. And the learning process is always continuing.


A lot of my role as a practitioner and facilitator is in witnessing the inherent wisdom and power of others, and holding space for people to tune into what feels true and meaningful for them. I feel like some of my strengths as a practitioner are a capacity to ask questions, and to describe spaces and patterns of harm that we don’t often have clear frameworks for. Harm frequently occurs in these spaces  that we end up turning against ourselves. I can also recognize the deep interconnections of wellness that are intrinsic to the web of life, and support others in reconnecting with their own wellsprings of healing and imagination.


There is so much I don’t know, and there is so much to love about being here together.


Support from the Wild


A lot of what I know about healing has sprung from diving into the wild, which gives us our bodies and breath and baseline of interconnection. These workshops won’t dive too deeply into spirit work for a number of reasons - not everyone experiences their sense of meaning and being in those terms. There is often a lot of spiritual injury that needs to be carefully unwound for folks who do experience themselves in spiritual terms. If we have wounds from authority, it can also be easy to project those wounds onto the spirit realms.


There are also aspects of spirit work which are intensely personal and unique, and some which ask us for more privacy or depth than can be held in a brief zoom workshop. But I also don’t want to disguise the fact that a lot of my own healing, and a lot of what I see as the roots of community healing, comes from connection with the earth and the great forces and great beings. I don’t know how to talk about my own healing outside of the ongoing ways that I partner with the beings toward ecological rebalancing and historical witness.


In my view it has primarily been colonial capitalism and the ravages of white supremacy culture that have cut us off from the sentience of all things, the presence of ancestors, the multiplicity of realms, and the potency of these relationships. Dominant culture constantly reinforces that our bodies, our intuition, and all that birthed us is other, is object, is enemy, and should be exploited or subdued. 


There’s a lot I could say (I tend not to shut up about it actually) about the goalposts of realness and how many people and other living beings, and how much of our life blood, we dispose of in dominant culture based on that.


The Direct Catalyst for This Workshop


What spurred the development of this material was cracking my dental appliance last winter, partly with a flare-up of TMJ I think triggered by exposure to environmental toxins.


My dental office has not ordered me a replacement, and the company won’t allow me to order it myself (if I had a narrower mouth I could find this over the counter for ten dollars, but I don’t). It can take a month to reach my dentist’s office on the phone to schedule a teeth cleaning, likely because they are one of the practices in town that serves people with Medicaid.


I feel very heartfully toward my dentist - once I asked him if the sonic tartar remover that he uses bothers him, and he replied that he would probably lose his hearing from it, but he knows he’s helping a lot of people so it’s good work.


Given that the orthodontic care I need is not available to me, I realized I needed to do what I could to alleviate the TMJ. I started tapping with that focus for ten or twenty minutes each day. Combined with other kinds of work I’m doing, I experienced rapid, deep shifts, and realized that I have a different foothold than I used to in working with these issues.


I have seen big shifts for clients, too, in their capacity for healing relative to their own lives and bodies. Many of them are experiencing a greater sense of power relative to pressures we don’t have a lot of immediate control over. It feels like the time to share as much as we can with each other about meaningful support.


My Journey with EFT


To me this is a good example of how our relationship to tapping can keep growing and expanding. I was first introduced to Emotional Freedom Technique in 2005 or 2006 in an Ortho-Bionomy®* class, as a way to reduce anxiety when giving presentations. I trained in EFT shortly after that, but still for the first few years my main reflex for tapping was when I noticed I was having the same thought for ten minutes, and that if I was in a loop, I could get out of it.


Over the years I’ve expanded my scope of tapping to include so many things for my clients and myself - sleep, venting, self-hatred, post-traumatic stress, the injuries to imagination from ongoing trauma, the internalized self-talk from trying to survive oppression.


It’s one of the tools that has been life-changing for me in terms of befriending anxiety and avoidance. If either of these tensions come up for me, I turn toward them, knowing that there is good information there that will help me, and that I have the capacity to meet whatever I find.


To quote Gary Craig, one of the founders of EFT, “Try it on everything.” In my experience, dedicating just a short time to tapping each day can take us places and open us to our own insight and healing in ways that we wouldn’t have imagined. That time can be at bedtime, at traffic lights, on hold with customer service - it doesn’t have to be time-consuming to return to our center.


Opening Doors Together


I so want to pass on the support I’ve been offered, and be part of changing the field so others can have it easier than I have. I would love to be part of your own journey of discovery and sharing.


You are not alone.


In love and learning,



*Ortho-Bionomy is a registered trademark of the Society of Ortho-Bionomy International and is used with permission.

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