EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or Tapping, as it is frequently called, is both a therapy modality and a self-help technique which uses light pressure in the form of gentle tapping on the acupressure meridians while focusing attention to neutralize negatives. It was started by Gary Craig in 1992, based on research from Dr. Ronald Callahan and his TFT and other work in the field of Energy Psychology. Gary Craig thought that all of the physical and emotional problems or illness people experience were created by blockages in the energy flow through our bodies. This is similar to ideas behind Traditional Chinese Medicine. He related this as very similar to the way electricity flows through a circuit. If there is a blockage or disruption the electrical circuitry does not work and will short out. EFT is a system and methodology for dealing with this and is used to neutralize negatives.
EFT can be approached from the emotional side, physical side or doing something called, "Tap and Talk", where the client simply taps while talking and relating a story or experience. By emotional side, I mean that you could, for example, work on feeling anxious. By physical side, it means you could work on physical pain or discomfort that you are feeling, such as tension or pain in your shoulders (resulting from anxiety). I like to work from the physical side when possible, because it is usually specific and easy to pinpoint. This is called "Chasing the Pain". How it works is -- you tap on the pain and it will eventually lessen and subside. There is a distraction element to this. It has been found that it will usually move to a different location and you then continue to tap on each location, usually moving downward. The theory is that eventually the pain will move down to the feet and flow out of the body. They have found, amazingly, - that when the pain flows out of the body, the emotional issue associated with it is also gone. And, in reverse, when you work from the emotional side, the physical pain or discomfort will also be gone. The "Talk and Tap" works similarly but tends to be less specific and therefore can take longer but can be very cathartic for the client.
So, what exactly is the process? You start by setting up the tapping session. You tap 4-7 times gently on what they call the "Karate Chop Point" located on the soft fleshy outer edge of the hand. At the same time, you repeat, "Even though I have pain in my shoulders and upper back (if you are doing Chasing the Pain), I deeply and completely accept myself!". After 4-7 taps, repeating those same words, you go to the second tapping point, which is the meridian on the top of the head, then inner edge of eye brow, outer edge of eye brow, under the eye, under the nose, under the chin, under the collar bone, under the armpit (all at meridian point) (see diagram below). You keep doing this tapping and repetition until the pain or the issue subsides - checking in with where you are on an intermittent basis.
I love EFT (Tapping) used in conjunction with other therapies, as it gives the client relief and also, a tool they can use while you are getting to the triggers and resolving issues. It can be used without the client ever talking about their story or initial traumas and can be used with very private issues without the therapist ever even knowing the details. Re-traumatization, which can be a factor in PTSD, can also be avoided.
There are other and more advanced techniques in EFT, such as, 9-gamut, and matrix re-imprinting, but here I just wanted to give you a basic overview and understanding of how and why EFT works and has become a standard modality for working with clients on a variety of issues. It can seem a little weird at first but has a high success rate and since it can also be done at home by the client, as a self-help tool, it has gained great popularity.
There are many online resources and videos on EFT (tapping) that you can watch and get a good idea of how it is done. Anyone can do tapping and you might want to give it a try by linking to one of those resources,
A trained EFT practitioner can be helpful in guiding clients through issues and resolving specific problems quickly and permanently. I find it has become a regular part of my work with clients and an addition to coaching, hypnotherapy, NLP and sometimes, Reiki. Have a bright and beautiful day and tap into the positive side of life!
About the Author
Kate Olson, CPC, CHt, is a Life Coach, Clinical Hypnotherapist, NLP Master Practitioner & Certification Trainer, EFT Practitioner and Reiki Master practicing in Seattle at Embrace Change Hypnosis & NLP and Northern Lights Life Coaching .
She offers workshops & classes, as well as, individual and group coaching. Her emphasis is on assisting clients in finding path, purpose and peace. Kate focuses on integration of mind, body, spirit wellness with all of her businesses. It is her mission to help clients find joy through connection, creative expression and change facilitation. Kate is a speaker, writer and radio show host of "Embrace Change with Kate" on Contact Talk Radio, in additional to her private practice. She is passionate about creativity, travel, personal growth and living with joyful purpose. Kate's businesses operate as Dba's under Total Well Resources, LLC.