What is EFT tapping and how does it help?
What is EFT tapping and how does it help?
EFT stands for “Emotional Freedom Technique” and some people know it as “Tapping”. It works like emotional acupuncture, but without the needles!
EFT is a safe and gentle, yet extremely powerful, energy psychology technique that is easy for anybody to learn and use. It effectively releases negative feelings, helps to let go of stressful emotions, resulting in enhanced emotional and physical well-being.
EFT has been scientifically validated, used by the NHS in the UK for treating anxiety and depression, and is applicable to just about every issue you can think of – from self-esteem issues, grief, trauma, abuse, relationships, through to physical conditions as well including weight gain and chronic pain.
How did it come about?
EFT began in 1980, with a psychologist by the name of Roger Callahan, and a patient with an extreme phobia of water. Mary’s fear of water controlled her life and kept her from daily activities. She was unable to take her children to the beach and was unable to drive near the ocean; she grew fearful when it rained, and could not even withstand the sight of water on TV.
Dr. Callahan and Mary had been working on this problem together for over a year. Finally, Mary worked up the courage to sit within sight of a pool. Even doing this caused Mary extreme distress, and she did not overcome her phobia.
Her fear of being near the water caused Mary stomach pains. Dr. Callahan had recently been studying traditional Chinese medicines, and learning about meridians.Remembering that there was an acupuncture point for the stomach meridian on the cheekbone, he asked her to tap there, thinking it might help her stomach pains.
Mary tapped her cheekbone, and this little action changed medicinal history! The response seemed miraculous. Her stomach pains disappeared. But even more amazingly, her phobia of water disappeared, too!
Based on this discovery, Dr. Callahan began a series of investigations to develop and refine this technique, which he termed Thought Field Therapy. Gary Craig trained under Dr. Callahan’s tutelage in the 1990’s, learning the procedures for TFT. Over time Gary developed EFT as a simplified, improved version of the concepts behind Callahan’s TFT.
Why use tapping (EFT)?
At the end of 2011 I started suffering from high levels of pain, mainly in my neck, shoulders, and back. Over time this turned into chronic pain, which I felt every day, and got worse at night affecting my sleep. I later discovered that it was caused by Lyme's Disease and Fibromyalgia.
During the years that I was in a lot of pain, I trialed every holistic treatment under the sun. I even went down the route of pain meditation, which fortunately my body (and my soul) rejected. Nothing worked properly or produced long-term results.
Towards the end of 2012 I attended a wellness event that changed my life. I was introduced to tapping, and from the "get-go" I was hooked. Not only did tapping diminish my pain levels quickly, it helped me release unresolved emotions that were keeping my body in a stressed-out state. By tapping to remove the negative emotional charge from specific events and past trauma, my brain got the message that it was safe to relax tense muscles and lessen nerve sensitivity.
I believe tapping has been a crucial part of my healing - not just for the chronic pain but for many other emotional and physical symptoms as well.
In fact, I was so impressed by the results that I studied to become an EFT practitioner. I've found that combing tapping with health & life coaching helps my clients solve their issues faster, and produces longer, more sustainable results.
What are the key benefits of EFT?
Reduces anxiety and stress and brings your body back to a relaxed state
Reduces and eliminates acute and chronic pain
Minimises food cravings
Works on food-body issues
Increases the flow of blood throughout the body
Stimulates the chakras, enhancing energy
Helps you to better control your feelings
Releases negative feelings like anger and frustration
Clears traumatic memories: accidents, abuse, violence, etc
Diminishes limiting beliefs that you have about yourself, e.g. "I'm not worthy." "I'm never going to be skinny."
EFT stands for “Emotional Freedom Technique”
Some people know it as “Tapping”. It works like emotional acupuncture, but without the needles!
How does it work?
The technique is fairly simply. There are 14 meridian points on the head, face, upper chest, underarm, and lower ribs, where you will tap.
1. You can address a physical or emotional issue. For the purposes of this simple introduction, let's address stress, which many of us mums suffer from. Firstly, identify a negative emotion that’s causing you to feel stress. Determine its intensity (physically and emotionally) by assigning a level of 0-10; Zero being non-existent and 10 being really severe.
2. Determine and clarify your set up phrase and lightly tap the Karate chop point (see diagram - side of the hand) with your fingers and say, “even though I have this issue (whatever the issue is, for example, though my daughter isn't sleeping well at night and this affects my sleep, I deeply and completely love, honour and respect myself“). Repeat the phrase three times (with different wording to address the same issue) while tapping the karate chop point (no less than 7 times for each set up phrase).
3. Then, create a reminder phrase (reminder of the set up phrase) to say out loud while tapping on the remaining meridian points. Start the tapping sequence at the top of the head, on the crown chakra (all the while saying the reminder phrase - e.g. "this stress in my body"). While you tap think about the reminder phrase and feel into where it is in your body.
4. Tap in-between the eyebrows (keep breathing).
5. Tap on the outside of the eye.
6. Tap under the eye (don’t forget to keep saying your reminder phrase).
7. Tap under the nose (feel free to change the statement, e.g. "this stress is affecting me in a negative way.")
8. Tap under the chin.
9. Tap the collar bone (I like to use both hands for this area as it has more meridian points).
10. Tap under the arm (by the bra strap or approximately 3 inches down from the pits).
11. Tap just under the rib cage (which is the grief spot and great for releasing negative emotions, like sadness).
12. Take a deep breath in and check if the intensity (emotionally and/or physically) has dropped or shifted. If it has, then this is a great sign that the energy in the body is unblocking and you are creating space for health and healing.
13. Continue tapping around the points until your number is three or less. I also like to end on a round or two of positive phrases, to give the body and mind new, supporting beliefs.
The above is a basic overview on tapping. If you're interested to see it in action, check out my video on tapping to reduce stress and worry. You will see my daughter and I tapping our way back to sanity and serenity. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OX0LJNKhtso