Massage Therapy, Yoga & Qigong
What Is EFT Tapping Therapy?
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a self-help technique that involves tapping near the end points of “energy meridians” located around the body in order to reduce tension and promote a deeper mind-body connection. This technique goes by a few different names, including Emotional Freedom Technique, EFT Tapping or simply Tapping. According to the EFT Universe website, “EFT has been researched in more than 10 countries, by more than 60 investigators, whose results have been published in more than 20 different peer-reviewed journals”, which include the Journal of Clinical Psychology, the APA journals Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training and Review of General Psychology. (1)
One of the best things about EFT is that it can be done anywhere, at any time, quickly and without the use of any equipment, medications or supplements. What types of symptoms can EFT help to manage or prevent? People use EFT tapping techniques for:
Reducing short-term or chronic stress
Reducing muscular tension and joint pain
Decreasing fatigue and boosting energy levels
Decreasing tension headaches
Coping with emotional problems such as low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety
Improving athletic performance, focus and coordination
Helping to improve sleep quality
EFT was introduced around 1995, following another mind-body method called Thought Field Therapy, or TFT. In the 1980s, TFT was developed by Dr. Roger Callahan, a clinical psychologist, who found that it helped people naturally manage symptoms of anxiety, phobias and physical problems related to stress. (2)
Gary Craig, one the lead creators of Emotional Freedom Technique, was one of Dr. Callahan’s students who further researched and refined TFT techniques in order to establish his own unique approach. Since 1995, a variety of EFT courses have been available to the public, focusing on teaching people how to easily use tapping techniques to overcome obstacles like fear, anger and feeling overwhelmed.
How and why does EFT work?
Emotional Freedom Technique has certain things in common with Traditional Chinese Medicine practices like acupressure or acupuncture because it focuses on energy circuits that run throughout the body. These energy circuits are referred to as meridians, and although they cannot be seen or measured, many believe that they exist and have powerful effects.
Mind-body healing techniques are believed to help direct the flow of energy in the body in a way that promotes well-being.
With EFT, you tap near the end points of specific energy meridians in your body to promote physical and emotional healing.
Something that makes EFT different from acupressure or other Eastern approaches is that it focuses on more than physical ailments and energy systems; it also brings attention to thought processes that contribute to stress and emotional problems.
The EFT process combines tapping of the energy meridians with voicing of positive affirmations. In this way, EFT tapping combines an Eastern medicine approach with more traditional Western psychotherapies.
How to Perform Basic EFT Tapping:
What are the actual EFT tapping techniques that you’ll need to learn in order to reap the associated benefits? Some EFT practitioners teach that there are seven basic EFT tapping steps, according to the EFT “recipe” created by Gary Craig (some people summarize the process in five steps). The basic EFT tapping steps are: (3)
Identifying the Issue — Naming the specific problem or emotion you want to target with EFT. The goal is to focus on only one issue at a time for the most effects.
Creating a Reminder Phrase — You create a short phrase which helps you to refer to the problem or memory in a specific way by giving it a title. This helps you to stay focused on the memory or current problem during the rest of the process.
Rating the Issue — Determine on an “intensity scale” ranging from 1–10 how significant the problem is to you (1 in the least significant and 10 the most).
Setting Up Your Affirmation — Come up with a self-affirming phrase that helps you feel powerful against the issue. The basic structure of positive affirmations is “Even though I feel X (fill in the problem or emotion you’re dealing with), I deeply and completely accept myself.” While you repeat your affirmation you start by tapping on your hand, specifically on the fleshy part on the outer side of your palm under your pinky finger.
Performing the Tapping Sequence — During a tapping sequence you will tap your finger over eight key meridian points. Use two fingers, usually the middle and index finger, and apply constant gentle yet firm taps. Keep speaking out loud while you’re tapping, repeating positive phrases to keep your attention focused. The meridian points to tap include (in this order): top of the eyebrows, side of the eyes, under the eyes, under the nose, under the chin, under the collarbone, under the arm and top of the head.
Tuning In for Re-Rating — Tune in to how you are feeling about the tapping session, rating the problem once again on a scale from 0–10.
Repeating the Process — If you still feel stuck, find a new positive affirmation and repeat the process.