What is EFT
EFT is a form of Energy Therapy or Energy Medicine. Energy therapy techniques produce change by accessing the energy system of the body through the complex network of meridians or channels that move our life force or Qi through our bodies. Energy therapy works on the premise or the belief that the cause of all negative emotion is a disruption in the body’s energy system.
The theory is that once there is a buildup of emotional or physiological distress, one of these pathways or meridians becomes blocked and must be cleared, cleaned out, strengthened, or aligned in order for healing to occur. The energy system can be cleared or healed by stimulating these points along the meridians, unblocking the congestion and evening out the energy flow. Unlike acupuncturist that use needles or an accupressure practitioner that use pressure, in EFT we stimulate the points with tapping. Gary Craig referred to EFT as psychological acupuncture.
The advantage of using EFT is that it’s safe and easy to learn. EFT can help on cravings, managing daily stress, neutralizing feelings of anxiety, eliminating underlying limiting beliefs, body image issues, physical pain, the uses are endless. EFT works well in conjunction with cognitive therapy and mindfulness because they all focus on being aware of our emotional state..
EFT Tapping Points
Tapping is such a simple process that anyone can do it. Often people will hesitate on trying it because they don’t know what to say, but you can just go to You Tube and follow along with any of the hundreds of videos. Find someone that has a video on an issue that fits with whatever you want to start with and who has a style you like and just try it.
I have inserted the Tapping Points diagram here for your reference and I will give you pointers on how to so you can do it now on your own as well. The words you say aren’t as important as tuning into the feelings or the pain. Rest assured you can’t do it wrong.
How To Tap
The first thing you want to do is identify the issue that is bothering you.
It can be and emotional response to something that is currently happening or a recurring feeling or image that comes up regarding a past event or a future fear, like an upcoming test or fear of flying. It can even be a physical symptom like a headache or backache. The school of thought on EFT is to try it on everything.
1. Check in with your distress level or SUDs Level (subjective units of distress) On a scale from 1 – 10, with 10 being the worst you could feel around the issue, where are you now.
2.Using the chart on the right, start tapping. Starting with the Karate Chop Point, tap gently while focusing on the issue, on this point we start with the set up statement which consists of a problem statement and an affirmation.
For example; Even though I am so embarrassed by my reaction, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
Or Even though I have this nagging headache, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
Tap on the side of your hand while repeating the setup statement 3 times.
3. Next, start tapping on the points. Starting with the Eyebrow Point, then move to the Side of Eye, Under Eye, Under Nose, Chin Point, Collarbone Point, Under Arm, Top of Head. Go through the points tapping gently using 2 or 3 fingers. Stay on each point for several taps and as you are tapping say a reminder phrase or statement such as this embarrassed feeling, or this headache.
4. After you have gone through the points a few times and focused on the feelings while repeating the reminder phrase, check back in on your distress level. If it was at a 7, is it the same, did it get lower or higher? In most cases it will lower, but you are focusing on the problem so there is the possibility that it will get higher (if it does, keep tapping). If it stays the same you might just need to tap more or it could be that you aren’t focused on the specific problem. Keep at it, check to see if there is a stronger emotion, or can you get even more specific, like I am so embarrassed by my reaction because I looked like an idiot, or I know they were judging me, get to the core and the emotions will definitely start to shift.
If you were tapping on a physical symptom and it isn’t shifting maybe focus more on where specifically it is located in the body or what the pain feels like, or the size of it. Often things will shift really quickly, sometimes you have to experiment a bit.
EFT is simple and easy to use and quite effective most of the time, however there might be times when it is helpful to work with someone to help you identify the core issue, get more specific, or even hold space for you to heal.
Final Thoughts and Fine Tuning
A few things to remember as you tap. The more specific/tuned into the problem you are quicker the tapping will work. Let’s say that at 8:00 pm every night you have a craving for something salty or sweet. Imagining yourself at 8:00 pm, becoming aware of that feeling, that need to snack, the satisfaction of filling the craving or the anxiety of not having your snack, will be more helpful than a general tapping on even though I have this weight problem for example. One of the biggest issues with getting results when working on an issue is being too global, to general. Remember, the more specific the better.
Some of the things you might notice as energy moves through your body are tingling sensations, you start to yawn, or sigh, you may notice a shift on how you look at a problem. Also know that there are sometimes many layers or aspects to a problem. For example someone with a fear of flying may have a fear of small places, may have a fear of landing, may have a fear of turbulence, and you may have to tap on each of those things, so if it feels like there is no movement it might be too general and you may need to come back to a specific aspect.
I have never had anyone suffer negative side effects as a result of tapping but please take responsibility for your own well-being. Sometimes memories come up with this technique that were lost, if something uncomfortable comes up take care of yourself, take a deep breath. (Ideally you continue to tap and neutralize the feeling but again please take responsibility for yourself). It might be better to work with someone on a serious trauma or memory rather than trying to clear it up yourself. Tapping can be very helpful with pain but is not a replacement for medical care.
EFT is an alternative approach to healing that can be beneficial for anyone.
Here is a great Ted Talk on the efficacy of EFT.