An Amazing Healing Technique…EFT
Emotional Freedom Technique
I have been teaching tai chi for almost two years now and have started delving into Chinese medicine and energy medicine modalities. I am becoming absolutely enthralled with it. The potential is amazing. I am still skeptical about it, but time and again I am completely floored by what I am observing and hearing. Just think — these systems were discovered thousands of years ago, before the so-called scientific revolution. The scientific process is just beginning to figure out how to study them and document the effects.
I recently came across the therapy known as emotional freedom technique (EFT). This is an adjunct therapy for alleviating physical and emotional pain. The founder, Gary Craig, likens it to a modern adaptation of acupuncture. Please note that, though some phenomenal healing can take place with this technique, it is not a substitute for appropriate medical or mental healthcare. Pain is a sign/symptom that should not be ignored, so for serious mental health or medical conditions, you must seek appropriate care. But in the meantime, and in addition, you can take your life and health in your own hands.
The basic premise of EFT is: “The cause of all negative emotions is a disturbance in our body’s energy system.” Basically, what you do is repeat a phrase that describes the problem or issue (the set-up phrase) while tapping a series of points on your body — these are end points in the Chinese medicine discipline. Since all of our experiences are encoded in our body’s electrical system, EFT is apparently communicating the message to both sides of our brain, allowing us to reset the pattern. It is very much easier to understand when you have seen it, so I have highlighted two Web links below so you can see what the technique looks like. (Start with Reference # 3.) Reference #4 is an easy visual guide to the tapping points, just add top of the head as #1 in the tapping sequence and 7-10 taps per point for a more complete pattern.
In my research into the topic, I have found that various practitioners use slight variations in technique, including a brief version of it. You can also use visualization of the tapping if you can’t actually tap or if it is uncomfortable or impossible to tap some of the areas (examples: sinus pressure, arthritis of the hands, broken hand or quadraplegia).
Below are some of my notes from several of the resources about how to fine-tune the phrase or issue that you are working on.
Picking effective tapping phrases
If EFT is not working for you, the reason may be your wording, or there may be more to the issue. If something else comes to mind as you are tapping, tap on that issue next. Sometimes you may not know the cause of your feelings, so state the feeling and choose how you want to feel: “Even though I am anxious, I choose to feel calm.”
If you have picked a problem to work on such as procrastination or nausea and simply tapping with those words isn’t working, work at tapping the belief or emotion behind the problem, such as: “I’m afraid to fail, so I don’t get started,” or “Chemotherapy always causes nausea.” Below are some additional examples.
While you’re tapping, the following may have happened. Tap on these issues as well:
Have any new thoughts, feelings or sensations come up?
Other parts of the memory may reappear (movement, light, noise, etc.).
Does another memory pop up during the tapping?
Have any insights into the problem arisen?
Following are a couple of examples of times that additional issues arose while tapping and changing the tapping phrase to relate to these issues worked:
Initial issue: My sleep problem
Birth of baby
Afraid of the dark
Initial issue: Trauma memory
Remaining trauma memory
Awake and alone
Additional options for repeating the set-up phrase
Repeat tapping and affirmation until the discomfort level is zero.
And/or change the affirmation on the basis of new thoughts/feelings/memories.
Examples: Even though I still have…I choose to feel…. (positive affirmation) .
Even though I still feel anxious, I choose to feel calm and relaxed.
Then repeat this affirmation until the discomfort is gone.
Another example: panic attacks
1. Heal the memory of the first panic attack.
2. Heal the memory of the most recent one.
3. Treat recurrent panic attacks.
4. Address fears of future panic attacks.
5. Halt any sign of panic before it escalates.
NOTE: You can’t lie to yourself, so if you can’t say, “I fully and completely accept myself,” try something else that you can say, such as “I am a good person” or “I am doing my best” or an affirmation “I choose to feel at peace.”
Some additional reasons that EFT may not be working
- The set-up was not performed thoroughly enough (state the issue louder or tap/karate chop the point harder).
- You are trying to apply EFT to more than one thing at a time.
- The problem is being approached too generally or globally.
- The problem is still not specific enough.
- You need to get more clearly in touch with the issue.
- Initial memories need to be addressed first.
- A second issue is interfering.
- A “secondary gain” (hidden benefit) is interfering.
- A “blocking belief” is interfering.
- Your feelings about the issue are interfering.
- A deeper issue is interfering.
- You are switching aspects of the memory during the tapping.
- Outside input is needed (therapist).
Try it on everything to see if it will work, but again, use common sense in seeking appropriate healthcare. And HAPPY TAPPING!
- Craig, Gary, Introduction to EFT, available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFKVVP8KXd4.
- Craig, Gary, The EFT Manual, Energy Psychology Press, Santa Rosa, Calif., 2010.
- Demonstrations of the basic EFT recipe: http://www.emofree.com/eft/recipe.html.
- Easy-to-use diagram: http://www.tapintoheaven.com/2eft/eftcharten.shtml
- EFT official website: http://www.emofree.com/.
- Feinstein, D., D. Eden and G. Craig, The Promise of Energy Psychology: Revolutionary Tools for Dramatic Personal Change, Penguin Books, London, 2005.
- Gonick, Stefan, How to Pick Effective EFT Tapping Phrases. Available at http://www.eft-alive.com/eft-article-when-eft-does-not-seem-to-work.html.
Gamut Point training: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYknPzTawBg