EFT is mentioned in the NICE PTSD Guideline

As an Integrated Wellness specialist and an advanced EFT practitioner I was very excited to receive notification from AAMET International, my regulatory body, that the UK government agency NICE has officially recommended EFT as worthy of government research funds for trauma/PTSD. 

EFT is now mentioned in the final NICE PTSD Guideline (NG116) issued on 5 December 2018, under “Other recommendations for research”.  

This is a major step forward for collaborative wellness.

A huge thanks to AAMET, ACEP, EFT-Universe and also EFT- researcher Dr David Feinstein for all the commitment and hard work that made this historic and exciting achievement possible.  


What would being pain free mean to you or someone you know?

Being pain free means freedom, freedom to do the things we want, being able to sleep well and making the most out of life. Whilst pain is normally not life threatening, it can be very frustrating, limiting and debilitating for the sufferer. Just recently, Dentist Dr Simin Soltani from Dentist Smile Clinic Surbiton, Chiropractor Dr Sanvir Maharaj of Healing Hands Richmond and Physiotherapist Kate Sheehy from Richmond Physiotherapy (all of whom who I recommend to my clients) told me that they are seeing many people with TMJ syndrome, which is more commonly known as jaw pain.

What TMJ syndrome is

TMJ syndrome (Temporomandibular joint) is a disorder of the jaw muscles and nerves caused by injury or inflammation to the temporomandibular joint which connects your jawbone to your skull. TMJ and Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) are more common in women aged 18-44 and can be caused by a number of issues from jaw misalignment, physical trauma or injury to the head, teeth or jaw, poor posture and arthritis. 

It can cause a variety of symptoms from headaches, to aching pain around the ear, joint locking or popping and difficulty chewing. 

The root cause is not always a physical issue

With this list of issues, you can see why people are seeing a variety of health professionals from dentists, to ear, nose and throat doctors, physios, chiropractors and joint specialists for jaw pain. However, the dentist, chiropractor and physiotherapist all acknowledged that from their experience, the root cause is not always an 'issue with the tissue', a physical issue.

They recognise that it can’t always be solved by physical adjustments because the pain is often linked to an emotional issue - hence our working together. The latest research and the NHS state that pain, including TMJ pain, can be caused by or made worse by an over sensitive nervous system triggered by anxiety, stress or emotional traumas including childhood traumas.

Why it’s emotional

The body stores emotional memories in the body. It’s not widely known that those unreleased emotions can create or increase pain. It’s the body's way of trying to get your attention to deal with whatever you are feeling.

So even if you are in tip top form physically, the pain can keep coming back until you release those emotions or memories. Emotional pain can show up in the same place (often an old injury point or a weak area), sometimes in a different place and can come and go.

This explains why people can often have good days and bad days with pain.

Why the jaw?

The jaw is a very common place to hold tension and emotional stress, especially emotions of anger, resentment and desire for revenge, all of which can create tense muscles, jaw clenching and pain. Pain causes stress (as well as more anger, resentment and frustration!), stress causes pain and also makes us more sensitive to toxins and other disruptive energies like wi-fi, mobile phones.

So it is not surprising that people get stuck in a loop. It’s one of the reasons why painkillers won’t help long term as they are not dealing with the emotional element that may be one of the root causes. 

Here are my 4 top tips for pain

1.     Don’t ignore the pain, even if it’s a niggle. It’s the body’s cry for help, like a warning light on your dashboard that won’t go away until you fix it. Pain in one area can often be linked to another area, for example the jaw is linked to the hip and lower back, so wherever the pain is showing up, take notice of it.

2.     Understand your pain and your pain triggers. Is it happening at a regular time or when you are doing a specific activity? If you were to connect to that pain, what emotion is sitting in it? Are you full of anger or resentment and unable to let go of past experiences? Is the pain worse after certain foods, when you don’t drink enough water or when you are tired? Do you feel more pain after being at your desk or being on the phone or computer?

3.     Small changes make a big difference. Look at ways to improve your sleep, your posture, do appropriate exercise for your body and build it up slowly – a 20 minute walk every day is awesome exercise a few times a week, eat anti-inflammatory and stress reducing foods like avocados, bananas, berries, sweet potato, oatmeal, spinach, swiss chard or dark chocolate (in moderation!), take time to rest, relax and recharge.

4.     Never give up hope. There are many ways you can instantly support your body by reducing physical and emotional stresses, you just need to find the right support for you.

Helping clients with TMJ

I recently helped a client with TMJ pain to release stuck emotions. She was advised to use the technique I use, Emotional Freedom Technique, by Dr Andrea Haas from the Royal London Integrated Hospital for Integrated Medicine in Great Ormond Street. Here’s what she had to say:-

“After having TMJ (jaw) pain for some time, my NHS dentist referred me to a dental hospital, where they offered a multidisciplinary approach to managing the condition. This included acupuncture at the NHS London Integrated Hospital. The doctor there also suggested EFT as a way of getting to the root of any underlying anxieties.

Lou is a local practitioner and pain was an area she specialises in. She was very friendly on the phone and I booked in for a session, which was great. I think using EFT helps me to accept my anxieties rather than to resist them. It also helps to put them into context and not be consumed by them. Lou is a supportive practitioner. “ Katie, Surbiton

Everyone's body is unique as are the factors causing pain

Freedom from pain comes from working on your specific physical and emotional triggers of the pain. That’s why I collaborate with other health practitioners and why the NHS encourages patients in pain to work with professionals to understand any physical issues and also to reduce the emotional stresses and release stuck emotions that are disrupting the body.  

If you would like me to support you to find pain relief and freedom, please call for a no- obligation 20 minute chat. If I am not the right person to support you at this time, I will give you details from my trusted network of practitioners including those below who share my belief that physical and emotional wellness can give you freedom from pain.

All good wishes.


Photo by Grace Madeline on Unsplash


How to cope with back to school stress

The new school year is full of stress for the family.  Some school things you’ll know about, some things you won’t know about.  What makes this a challenging time for parents is that stress is contagious. Children pick up on your feelings and you pick up on theirs!  You know what to put in their lunchbox and what uniform to buy, but how can you cope with stress and help your child deal with their anxieties about going back to school for a new year? 

The answer is to have some emotional freedom techniques on hand and say to the kids “You have Superpowers in your fingers!” -

  • Explain to your children that it is normal to feel anxious or nervous, you sometimes feel like this too but you can show them how to feel better

  • Ask your children to tell you the biggest emotion they are feeling about going back to school e.g. fear or worry and get them to describe where they feel this most in their body

  • Talk to your children how they want to feel about going back to school e.g. calm or confident

  • Start doing breathing exercises together - breathe in deeply and have one hand with the palm upwards. With the other hand use three fingers to tap gently on the middle area of your wrist about two fingertips width down from the bottom of your hand.

  • Breathe in positive feelings like calmness and breathe out negative emotions like stress.

  • Stress headache too? A quick way to help a headache (and stress) is to rub the pad of the thumb with your other hand.

Using Emotional Freedom Techniques, also called Tapping Therapy can help shift and reduce unhelpful emotions until you or your child feel calmer. If you’re watching sport on the television, you’ll often notice many athletes ‘tapping’ to control emotions, now you can too wherever you are.

To help support your family’s wellness, contact Lou Tassell at Optimal Vitality.  Appointments available in Richmond, New Malden and Surbiton.

What to do when our emotions just get the better of us

Let’s face it, there are times when our emotions can get the better of us - we all get stressed, overwhelmed or frustrated with ourselves or someone else. Unhelpful and negative emotions affect how we behave, how we communicate with others - they limit our capabilities and always (as proven by science) have a physical effect on the body.

Well, you can finally relax as you don't have to carry on putting up with these feelings, I will explain how you can change them and move forward. 

I often say we are made like onions - with many layers of emotions and beliefs! 

The ability to feel emotions differentiates us from most other animals and is hugely important to our lives. However, our brain is naturally wired to be negative so our default program is to feel the negative emotion, rather than the positive one. That often triggers the fight or flight emotion and at this point your logic, clarity and focus switch off - which is not helpful when we need a solution. It's an automatic reaction that you can't stop!

This pre-wired automatic negative response to situations means that unless we learn new ways to effectively manage that emotional reaction we will always plunge into the debilitating stress response which does not help us achieve the outcome we are looking for (unless you are in a truly life threatening or dangerous situation, then you definitely need it!).  

Tapping is a form of acupuncture for emotions without the needles.  Instead of using needles we tap on the meridian points of the body to access the unhelpful emotions and beliefs that we have collected over our lifetime which are held in our subconscious mind. Negative or unhelpful feelings such as anxiety, unable to cope, and not good enough disrupt the flow of energy (chi) in our body.  The process of talking about that emotion at the same time as tapping releases the energy disruption in our body and sends calming messages to the brain. This clears and rebalances our nervous system and also reduces our cortisol levels which is a stress hormone. Once you clear the negative emotions, the mind is ready to fully experience the benefits of positive emotions and regains logic, clarity and focus allowing you to move forward. It is very powerful and often used by sports men and women.  You see Olympian athletes release pre-event nerves and promote maximum performance – see 400m runner Bralon Taplin tapping before a race here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfnsV3URoRU

The great news is that your whole family can use this volume control button for emotions to turn down emotions any time - at home, work or school. Adults who might be feeling overwhelm of responsibility or work stress and children/teenagers who may be feeling the pressures of school, exams, friendships or lack of confidence. 

Once you learn the technique, you have a tool for life which you can always turn to for emotional support and share with family and friends.  Emotions are an important part of our daily life and cannot be avoided!

If you would like to learn this empowering, always available and highly effective tool that allows you to turn those unhelpful emotions into positive ones, take back emotional control and allow you to get the most out of life, then please give me a call today for a free 20 minute wellness chat on 07966 502611 or email me at lou@optimalvitality.co.uk.