Don’t let worms give you the squirms!

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    Worm phobia

    Since helminthic therapy is a safe, natural treatment that is free from long-term side effects and provides significant relief for three quarters of those who try it, it is arguably the ultimate treatment for immune-related disorders. However, some people have a problem with this therapy because it involves hosting living worms.

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

    As the problem for these people is phobic, it doesn’t help to explain to them that, whichever type of helminth is chosen, it 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. Even some highly intelligent individuals who have reviewed the science, agree that the theory looks sound and that the results of studies are compelling, still can’t bring themselves to try it, even when the suffering caused by their symptoms is considerable.

    “Haven’t quite got my head round the worms yet…” wrote one individual in response to information she had been sent by someone who thought that she might be more open to the idea at that particular time, due to her 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.

    About EFT

    Developed to improve and accelerate the psychotherapeutic 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.

    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 many different peer-reviewed journals. [1]

    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 behavioural and subjective effects that were observed to last for a significant period of time, even when no further treatment was carried out. (Abstract | Full text PDF)

    To illustrate the use of EFT, and demonstrate its effectiveness in treating worm phobia, a case of earthworm phobia is cleared in less than 10 minutes of EFT in this video

    The basics of EFT are explained in a video (scroll down the page), an EFT Mini Manual (PDF), and a range of printed tutorials.

    After mastering the basic EFT technique from the sources quoted immediately above, a worm-phobic person can follow the instructions below.

    Using EFT to treat worm phobia

    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 tapping 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 takes 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, 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 and, due to the usually rapid success of the treatment, there should be no need for a long course of treatment.

    EFT’s many other applications

    EFT has many applications, as can be seen here, and it can be helpful to thoroughly explore the entire contents of the 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 the site.

    One individual who had been diagnosed with haemochromatosis and put on a programme of therapeutic phlebotomy (blood donations) to reduce his iron levels, told a friend that he was dreading this process because of a deep-seated fear of needles. After being persuaded to try EFT using the set-up phrase, “Even though I have this fear of needles…”, he reported that, much to his surprise, he had “sailed through” the blood donation experience without needing to repeat the tapping again. 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 clinical practice.

    It can be argued that EFT should be taught to children as soon as they are able to follow the tapping sequence, and this can be done using a toy Teddy 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!

    By John Scott
    (An earlier version was published under the same title in March 2011 on the Foods Matter website.)