EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)
...also known as "Tapping".
I’ve had several people ask for more information on the EFT technique that I’ve been using so I thought rather than write something in a post about it, which would be lost in the archives in a few weeks, I’d put it on a separate page where the links would continue to be available for reference.
Before I began using EFT, I had heard of it… but only vaguely. I knew it involved tapping on the body but didn’t know where or why. I’m quite familiar with the idea of energy medicine so that wasn’t a stretch for me. Many years ago I was certified for both 1st and 2nd degree Reiki and later studied Therapeutic Touch at a local Community College in a course of study that was designed for nursing professionals.
The Benefits of "Self Treatment"
As any of you who have been visiting here for awhile know, I’ve done a lot of healing work (both physical and emotional) and have used a variety of different modalities, from the traditional to the wholistic and alternative. Most things have helped to a degree but the one thing that was frustrating for me was that all treatments involved me going to someone else for the “work”. It was good but felt limited and would have cost a small (or large) fortune to get what I needed, done. As it was, our taxman found it hard to believe that I’d really spent as much as I did in one year, just for physiotherapy and therapeutic massage for back and leg injuries!
I wanted something I could do for myself/by myself and EFT is something that anyone can do. Many traditional therapists and psychologists are now finding that it’s the most effective tool they have and are teaching it to their clients. Dr. Carol Look, an EFT coach who has a Doctoral Degree in Clinical Hypnotherapy has closed her practice and now exclusively teaches EFT as she’s found it to be so empowering. She teaches the tool to a client and they can go home with it and work on healing themselves. Dr. David Lake and Psychologist Steve Wells in Australia (EFT Down Under) have similar stories. Steve Wells has closed down his traditional practice to teach EFT and consult worldwide with elite athletes and corporate personnel to improve individual and team performance. I began listening to interviews with these people and was impressed with their passion for the results of this seemingly simple technique.
EFT is also currently being used in Rwanda to treat PTSD in young genocide survivors. This short video about that project is so inspiring and shows that healing is available, even if the money isn't. Another documentary film has been made showing the amazing results of a four day immersion into EFT by a group of 10 people suffering from a variety of issues such as addiction, diabetes, pain from degenerative disc disease, PTSD and phobia's, to name a few. I've only seen the trailer to this film which was produced by Jessica Ortner, but it looks very interesting.
What Do Our Beliefs Have to Do with Anything?
Our beliefs shape who we are and ultimately create the life we’re living. Studies done by stem cell biologist Dr. Bruce Lipton, defined the molecular pathways showing the connection between mind and body and his concepts and ideas have since been validated by other researchers…our thoughts do influence the behaviour of our cells. It is also said that our conscious mind represents only 10 percent of our overall mind power and the remaining 90 percent, is under the control of our subconscious. When we understand this, we can see that our subconscious mind holds most of our power and controls almost all of our actions and behaviour.
It starts to make a lot of sense to begin examining the subconscious beliefs that are running the show! We’re the only ones who can discover what our own personal subconcious saboteurs are but once we know, we can change them. EFT is brilliant for this work.
This technique really works for me. It often works very quickly…within minutes…but there are also times when a deeply entrenched belief is resistant and takes a little longer. Several times I found myself very reluctant to do the tapping and I believe that was about a resistance to change, which can feel overwhelming at times. It's not surprising that we may need to take a few steps back now and then. When resistance came up for me, I tapped on my (subconscious) fear of change and was able to move past it.
So What Exactly is EFT?
Our body has a complex system of energy meridians which are fuelled by electrical impulses that run through the body. This energy system holds the key to many of the disturbances we experience in our daily lives. There are points on these meridians that are used for acupuncture, acupressure and reflexology and in EFT these points are tapped on.
It’s a psychological acupressure that uses a gentle tapping technique instead of needles to stimulate those traditional Chinese acupuncture points. Along with tapping, statements are made acknowleging current feelings or beliefs, the willingness to let it go and then replacing it with statements of new beliefs…all while tapping on the meridian points.
When we're out of balance emotionally or under a great deal of stress, it can result in anger, depression, grief, guilt, anxiety and fear to name just a few. There may also be physical symptoms such as pain, headaches, asthma, insomnia and tension that are related to the emotions. It is claimed that EFT can provide relief from the majority of these problems although I’ve personally not yet used it for any physical issues except for headaches. Interestingly, I’ve been using pressure on certain points on my head for years whenever I’ve had a headache. It was just a natural reaction to the pain to press lightly on spots that I found gave relief. At the time I had no idea it had anything to do with meridians or accupresure!
Nick Ortner of The Tapping Solution, states in a Huffington Post article on EFT that...
"studies recently conducted by Dr. Church in partnership with Dr. David Feinstein, have confirmed that tapping on specific meridian points has a positive effect on cortisol levels. Cortisol, known as the "stress hormone," is integral to our body's "fight or flight" response but when triggered in response to the ongoing or "chronic" stress of modern life, it has a serious impact on our physical, mental and emotional health. In fact, living in this kind of biological "survival mode" may be making us more vulnerable to everything from cancer to heart disease, and more.
Dr. Church compared the treatment of 83 participants who were divided into three groups; one group was guided through an hour-long EFT session, the second group received an hour of talk therapy, while the third, the control group, received no treatment. The group that did an hour of EFT demonstrated a 24 percent decrease in cortisol levels, while the other two groups showed no real change. The EFT group also exhibited lower levels of psychological symptoms, including anxiety, depression, and others, as measured by the Symptom Assessment-45 (SA-45), a standard psychological assessment tool".
How Do I do EFT?
There are a lot of places online that teach the “how to’s of EFT…both practitioner websites and YouTube videos…and I’ve included some links below so I won’t go into it in detail here. There are different variations on the original technique that was developed by Gary Craig over 20 years ago, but they all do basically the same thing.
Some people feel more comfortable with more defined “scripts”, others use “Faster EFT” which skips over some of the steps and Steve Wells from EFT Down Under, uses a modification called SET (Simple Energy Technique) in which he says we just have to think about our issue or belief and tap, rather than vocalizing any statements. Even kids can do EFT and Steve Wells taught his children to do it when they were quite young.
EFT can also be done discretely by tapping or gently squeezing the meridian points on the fingers (under the table in a meeting perhaps?) which quickly brings about a feeling of calm. I do EFT everyday for at least 10 or 15 minutes, just as "maintenance", and sometimes twice a day if I feel there are things coming up for me to deal with.
When I first started, I wrote down all the (subconcious) self-sabotaging beliefs and issues that were bothering me or that I felt were holding me back in certain areas. (this requires a bit of work so if you're not sure what yours are, just look at...a)what's not working for you and...b) what areas you'd like to improve or change). I just keep adding to the list as things come up and tap on them. There seems to be a never ending well of topics as it’s effective on so much…depression/anxiety, resistance to exercise, cravings for sweets, nail biting…you name it, you can tap on it!
I think the one single thing that’s made this technique so successful for me is that I’ve stuck with it. I can't emphasize enough, how important this is. I was very determined to see this through and not give up on it. When asked how long someone should tap on an issue, Robert Smith of Faster EFT jokingly replied "until it feels better or you pass out". It’s not the type of thing that you can do once or twice or even a half dozen times and then say, “well, my life hasn’t changed so this doesn’t work”.
It's effects also seems to me to be cumulative.
The more I tap, the better it works.
As of this writing, I’ve been using EFT for almost three months, with the first month being a bit sporadic until I finally felt I had a handle on what EFT is and how to do it. I’m calmer, happier, less stressed and no longer feel anxious...anxiety was a huge issue for me.
If you find yourself not sure of how to begin or if you think you might be doing it wrong, the best way to jump into it, is to follow some of the EFT video’s on YouTube. I tapped along with Brad Yates video’s for a week or two until I felt comfortable with it and then began saying the words that felt right for me, and letting that lead me. I watched different practitioners and melded their styles, finding what worked best for me. It's also most effective when I can bring up a strong feeling or emotion about my statements. If you feel like you need some help to get started, there are lots of EFT coaches out there, so google for one near you.
If something doesn’t seem to respond to tapping, try coming at it from a different angle, with different words and statements. There are often several layers involved in a deeply held belief, from disempowerment to unworthiness as well as lineage beliefs that we absorbed in our childhood.
I’ve found that I intuitively know when I’m “finished”... I involuntarily take a deep breath and at the same time, feel very relaxed and calm. (The level of distress on a scale from 1 to 10 is called SUDS and is usually measured before starting and then again with each round of tapping until it's either gone or almost gone.)
Now, whenever I find myself feeling even slightly stressed or anxious or if I start up an old internal dialogue (you know the ones, they just keep going around and around, with no resolution and all the while pumping damaging adrenalin through your body), I start tapping right away and If I'm around others, I find a washroom so other people don't have to watch the crazy lady tapping her head!
After doing EFT for just a few months, I’m extremely pleased with my results. I don’t wake up in the morning with that sense of “impending doom” that’s haunted me for so many years and that alone feels like a miracle!
EFT may not be a good fit for everyone. Different things work for different people but many thousands have had similar successful results. I’m not an EFT expert, nor am I a practitioner…these are just my personal thoughts and observations as someone who’s found it to be effective. I’ve included several links here to various teachers and practitioners with information that I found helpful, although I'm not personally endoring any of them. If you’ve made it this far, you may want to check some of them out to see if any resonate with you. (Some of the links below are also in the links above)
Update...one year later!
I've been "tapping" for a year now and continue to find it incredibley effective. Within the first 3 months of using this technique I had amazing positive changes, predominantly in decreasing worry and anxiety. I've since begun tapping on my health and increasing energy levels and have seen a definite improvement in wellness, in each of these areas.
I know I'll continue using EFT for the rest of my life, as it's such a wonderful tool for quickly relaxing the mental, emotional and physical tension that comes up with everyday living.
I've been using EFT now for 2 years and have gradually settled in to using Robert Smith's Faster EFT almost exclusively. It's straightforward, simple, effective and works well for me.
Nick Ortner on How To Rewire the Brain with EFT...a good introduction
A guide to tapping points Andy Mason
Jessica Ortner - how to tap/more on the tapping points
Rwanda Project Light working with young genocide survivors
Trailer to EFT Documentary...Try It On Everything
Margaret Lynch - Margaret has lots of great videos to access from her webpage
Nick Ortner, Article on EFT in Huffington Post
Brad Yates has LOTS of video's!
Robert Smith, Faster EFT - Robert has over 500 videos taken directly from the worshops he does around the world
Abundance Tapestry - 101 Negative Money Beliefs (tapping on any of these beliefs is a good place to start with abundance issues.)
I hope you find this information interesting and helpful. If you have any questions that I might be able to asnwer, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org