This intense, enormous project of working with energy techniques like EFT and kids with cancer in a hospital started when I was invited to participate in a Fundraiser for Kids with Cancer. I went to the fundraiser thinking: "Let's see what happens?" Being open to all possibilities led to a life-long project that continues to expand and fill my heart with love.
It started out with a conversation between the head oncologist and me about Energy Techniques like EFT and the needs of these children beyond the physical treatments they receive. He commented on me trying it in the hospital.
I first showed the nursing staff how to tap because they are in immediate contact with the children on a daily basis. I wanted them to know personally what I was going to do so as not to be surprised by the funny looking "tappings" and "TappyBear" I would be using. I led them through a few rounds of tapping about their work stresses and we ended up laughing and relaxing. This beautiful connection between me and these nurses who care so diligently for these children established a basis of trust. I believe that connecting with the nurses has been "key" to success because they freely allow me to work with the children.
The children's cancer ward environment consists of a waiting room where up to 25 parents and children wait for treatments and two hospital rooms with either 3 or 6 beds.
The first day I walked into the cancer ward, I felt overwhelmed. It was as if I had been hit by a wall of sadness, pain, misery and fear, the emotions that they kids and parents felt. One mother and her child huddled together in a corner. There were about 30 others in the room in a similar state. I felt that their perception was that they were alone, huddled in their own misery. It deeply saddened me, this lonely, isolated and depressing image.
The children and parents who tapped with me began to feel relief on many levels, emotional and physical. With time, and, as more and more of the children and parents tapped, the atmosphere of the cancer ward changed significantly.
Here are a few changes I witnessed:
– Four children and their parents laughing together over breakfast. It was so noteworthy that even the doctor commented on it.
– On another visit, the children played games, did puzzles, drew and colored, or played ball and constructed things out of Legos, together or on their own. There was laughter and much chatter among the kids.
– Parents had markedly reduced anxiety, stress and fear, which allowed them to be joyful with their children.
– Parents began to talk and share experiences and help each other out. One mother explained that before learning EFT she couldn't help anyone else. She was completely absorbed in her own problems with her son's cancer that she couldn't even think about what was going on with the other children and parents much less help them. After EFT she felt empowered, calm and much more relaxed in the face of her child's cancer. She now enthusiastically goes out of her way to help the children and other parents.
– The nurse's work is more relaxing and enjoyable because interacting with children who are calm and accepting of them and / or their treatments makes their job easier and less stressful.
– The doctor and nurses observed improved compliance in the children as they did miss their appointments at the hospital and took their medications more consistently.
Walking into the cancer ward now is a different experience. The ward feels light and comfortable. The ever present and seriousness of the disease still exists, but the intense fear of it or the inability to manage it is not. Laughter is now frequently heard in the cancer ward. These shifts alone have been worth bringing the gift of energy techniques and EFT to the hospital.
See "The Oaxaca Project" to read more about this labor of love.
Deborah Miller, Ph.D.