Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) which is also known as tapping is a form of psychological acupressure, based on the same energy meridians used in traditional acupuncture to treat physical and emotional ailments but without needles. EFT is often seen as a healing tool which can significantly improve mental and emotional states and physical conditions – tensions, aches, ailments and even chronic illnesses.
EFT is a reprogramming of the whole mind-body system. It releases negative emotions and feelings – fear, anger, frustration, irritation, jealousy, hatred, guilt, etc – and replaces them with love, acceptance and forgiveness. By releasing these negative states we eliminate stress that has built up in our bodies in a form of tension or illness.
If you feel frustrated, angry or full of anxieties and don’t quite know how to let go, EFT can be a tool for you. By tapping on certain points of your body, acknowledging an issue and releasing it you are claiming back your power over your mind and emotions. We all have an amazing ability to choose consciously how we feel, how we react to things and how we interact with others; tapping is a simple tool that makes this ability easily accessible.
In case of physical issues, EFT can be applied directly to your symptoms for relief. You don’t have to explore any emotional factors and it can certainly help you improve your health and wellbeing. However, for the most powerful, longest lasting results, it is best to try to identify and target underlying emotional issues. This is because you are likely to experience the same physical symptoms again, if the emotional issue has not been released. If your emotions that caused stress in the first place and resulted in physical symptoms remain unresolved, at some point they can cause more stress and new symptoms.
But not to worry, you don’t have to be a psychologist to identify your emotional issues! In my personal experience, emotional issues sometimes come to the surface while addressing physical symptoms. Let’s say, you have a headache and you want to relieve symptoms with EFT. So you do a few ‘rounds’ of EFT tapping on meridian points with a couple of fingers while stating the problem. With every round you can go a little deeper and add to your statement any emotions that you feel in relation to your headache. It can help you see a little more clearly what is actually causing your symptoms. Just remember to be as specific as you possibly can.
I used EFT on a number of things – from using it on my upset tummy to releasing self-judgement and fears. I used it in moments of anger and frustration and found an instant relief. A couple of times I cried as I tapped – releasing deeper emotional knots can be quite emotional! But, at the end of the sessions I always felt peaceful.
So how does it work? You tap with the fingertips on the head and chest to input kinetic energy onto specific meridians while you think about your specific problem – whether it is a traumatic event, an addiction, pain, etc. – and voice positive affirmations. This combination of tapping the energy meridians and voicing your issues and positive affirmation works to clear the emotional blocks from your body’s bioenergy system, thus restoring your mind and body’s balance, which is essential for optimal health and the healing of physical disease.
Traditional EFT has you tapping with the fingertips of your index finger and middle finger and with only one hand. However, a lot of practitioners prefer to use both hands – most of the tapping points exist on either side of the body, so it doesn’t matter which side you use, nor does it matter if you switch sides during the tapping. If you decide to use both hands, alternate the tapping slightly so that each hand is slightly out of phase with the other and you are not tapping with both hands simultaneously. You can also use three or four fingers instead of just two. Tap solidly, but not too hard so that you don’t hurt yourself.
The basic EFT sequence is straightforward and generally takes only a few minutes to learn. I will describe it in detail and here is also a link to a YouTube video that helped me get started:
If you want to know more about EFT, just search online and I am sure you will find a lot of information and other videos.
1. Identify and tune into your issue. Make a mental note of a problem that you want to address. It can be a headache, an illness, an annoying colleague, a fear of flights, jealousy – anything that bothers you.
2. Setup. The traditional EFT phrase uses the following setup:
“Even though I have this _____________, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
I always use “I deeply and completely love and accept myself” as the second part of the phrase. Sometimes I add something like “I deeply and completely love and accept myself and I trust the universe” or “I forgive myself and I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”
So for example, “Even though I am annoyed with my boss for giving me extra work, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.” As you do a couple rounds of tapping, you may notice that you actually feel annoyed with the fact that you were told what to do rather than with having extra work to do. You can adjust the first part of your statement slightly to reflect this: “Even though I am annoyed with my boss for giving me extra work and telling me what to do, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”
3. Now that you are ready, start tapping. State your problem using the above formula while tapping the acupressure points – each time you move to a new point repeat your statement. It is better if you say your sentence out loud – it is easier to keep your focus on it. Start by tapping on the karate chop point. Then move to the top of your head and work your way down.
Top of head
Side of eye
Beneath nipple (under breast for ladies)
While it is important to tap the correct area, you need not worry about being absolutely precise, as tapping the general area is sufficient.
4. How many rounds? The first round of tapping may not eliminate a problem. Repeat as many times as you need to feel better. I find that I feel better after around 3 – 4 rounds. If you are working on an emotional trauma or a chronic condition, you may need a few sessions with a few rounds of tapping in each session. Listen to yourself and how you feel, you will know when you feel better and when to stop. Just be persistent and don’t give up! Some of the deeper issues just need more attention and a little more effort to release.
- Be as specific as you possibly can. For example, don’t tap on “even though I am sad”, be more specific, tap on “even though my father ignores me”.
- Don’t give up! Keep tapping, you are helping yourself heal. You are acknowledging your issues and accepting yourself and this is big!
- Tapping might be quite tiring so make sure you get enough rest afterwards and drink plenty of water.