(Emotional Freedom Technique) is a healing method that addresses physical and emotional pain. It works directly on the body’s subtle energy to deal with trauma, pain, grief, anger, depression, anxiety, phobias, addictive behavior and other physical and emotional issues. It is used in therapy by professional practitioners or by EFT beginners as a self help method. It belongs to the group of healing methods commonly known as energy psychology and are cousins to modalities like TFT (Thought Field Therapy) and Applied Kinesiology. Pioneered and propagated by Gary Craig, who freely made the manual free for anyone who wanted to learn it, EFT today has flourished as a healing technique and evolved into many forms.
The basic premise of EFT is “The cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body’s energy system.” Disruptions in the body’s energy system are also believed to cause physical symptoms of discomfort, pain and disfunction in the physical body. Unresolved childhood emotions creates imprints lead to negative repeated patterns in adult life. As such EFT directly addresses the cause by dealing with the body’s energy system by way of the accupoints. It involves gently tapping on 14 or so different points on the surface of the body while tuning in to the issue we are trying to resolve. There are of course different variations to the basic technique to address different aspects of the emotion. While practitioners may use diagnostic methods to fine tune the technique, with a little persistence the EFT beginner can be as effective using the 100% overhaul idea, i.e., work on all the accupoints using the basic EFT recipe. The EFT manual with the basic EFT recipe can be freely downloaded from the main EFT website www.emofree.com. Practitioners of the technique also have their own preferences. The one I’m sharing here is one that I often assign as homework to my clients. It covers the different aspects of the issue to be addressed, and corrects some of the common problems in body’s energy circuits that inhibits healing.
The abbreviated EFT sequence
In my own practice I use an abbreviated sequence as illustrated below. Some points to note:
Choose to tap either the right or left side of the body, but use the sore spot on the left side.
Use 2 or 3 fingers to gently tap on each of the points around 7 to 10 times before moving on to the next point.
The point under the arm pit can best be accessed using the whole hand.
The point at the middle of the chest is can be tapped with all the fingers in a cupped position.
During the tapping you will be tuning in to the issue you want to work on, and sometimes you will be reading a series of statements to help you stay in touch or to affirm the new emotions or thought patterns you want to instill. The basic statement structure to use while tapping is as follows
Statement of the problem: “ though I have this ___________(problem/issue/pain)”
Acceptance & reconciliation: “I deeply and completely love and accept myself anyway. I forgive myself and anyone else who contributed to this situation.”
Affirmations & empowerment: “I now choose to be __________ (calm, confident, relaxed, comfortable etc)”
Places to Tap (See picture)
Top: Top of the head
EB: Beginning of the eyebrow
SE: Side of the eye
UE: Under the eye
UN: Under the nose (along the center line of the face)
UL: Under the lips (along the center line of the face)
CB: Under the collar bone (locate the “U” shape depression at the base of the neck, locate the knob of the collar bone an inch to either side of that depression, locate the spot that is directly under that knob)
CH: Middle of the chest (one palm width below the collar bone along the middle line of the body)
UA: Under the armpit (along the side of the body at the level of the bra strap; tap using the whole palm)
SP: Sore spot on your upper left chest, also called the “ouch” point as it hurts when you rub that spot.
Putting it together
The basic EFT technique works for physical pain, negative emotions (anxiety, phobia, trauma, PTSD etc.) addictive behaviors or performance issues. The process is essentially the same.
1. Drink Water
Because your body needs water in order for the energy circuit to work properly, the first thing to do before an EFT session is to drink a glass of water. If you are dehydrated, the tapping may not work as well. Also for a few days after a session of EFT keep your hydration levels high by drinking 2 litres of water a day. It also helps to avoid alcohol, caffeine and anything else that might dehydrate you. Otherwise you might have headaches for a couple of days.
The next thing you need to do is assess the level of intensity for your issue on a scale of 0 – 10, 10 being maximum. Be specific; e.g., the vice around my head with an intensity of 8, the emotion of anger may be a 7. The level of intensity is your own assessment and is arbitrary. Just use it as a gauge to determine whether the intensity has diminished, and by how much in between rounds of tapping.
Now focus on and tap for the sharp pinching pain. As you tap use the statements below:
Sore spot: “Even though I have this …… (vice around my head), I deeply and completely love and accept myself, I accept my pain, I accept my body exactly the way it is, I forgive myself and anybody else who contributed to this situation”
1 Top: “This pain”
2 EB: “I feel resistance towards this pain”
3 SE: “This vice-around-my-head pain”
4 UE: “This 8 vice-around-my-head pain”
5 UN: “This remaining pain”
6 UL: “I have anxiety around this pain”
7 CB: “I choose to accept this vice-around-my-head pain”
8 CH: “I choose to release this pain”
9 UA: “I choose freedom from this pain”
Assess the level of that pain, repeat the sequence (sore spot and points 1 – 9) until the “vice around my head” or “anger” or whatever your issue is at a low level (intensity 1 or 2) or has dissipated (intensity 0).