EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUE - THE FACTS
What if I could show you a way to alleviate or even cure your emotional and clinical issues that is completely free and doesn't need any special equipment?
No doubt if you are a sufferer of any of the conditions listed below (and this is by no means an exhaustive list) you will have spent lots of time and money trying to find some relief or even that elusive cure.
- Blood Pressure
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Childrens Problems
- Eating Disorders
- Fear of flying
- Fear in general
- Grinding of Teeth
- Hair pulling
- Panic attacks
- Pain management
- Sports injuries and performance issues
- Sexual Problems
Help is at hand with this technique which you may or may not have heard of. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). This technique often works when nothing else will.
What is EFT?
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is a psychotherapeutic tool based on a theory that negative emotions are caused by disturbances in the body's energy field and that tapping on the meridians while thinking of a negative emotion alters the body's energy field, restoring it to "balance." It is loosely related to Acupuncture but there are no needles, just tapping on the same meridians.
The principles behind it were discovered by a clinical psychologist - Dr Roger Callahan. This doctor had spent a large part of his 40 year experience trying to find ways to cure his patients of phobias fears and anxieties. Dr Callahan eventually discovered a way to help one of his patients - subject called Mary overcome her extreme fear of water. The way he did this was by asking her to tap herself just under her eye on a meridian point and her fear disappeared instantaneously and never returned. Dr Callahan called his discovery Thought Field Therapy or TFT.
A young student of Dr Callahan had the great idea of tapping all the 14 meridian points for all problems so that the correct point would aways be covered. This student was Gary Craig and he called his version of the technique Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
How does it work?
Psychotherapists used to believe that a negative emotion was caused by some traumatic or negative event or long held memory. Each time this memory came to the surface as a result of some thought or reminder the emotion was experienced in a kind of cause and effect relationship. Dr. Callahan though discovered that something was missing from this belief and that there was a disruption in the flow of energy through the meridian system in between the Memory/Negative emotion stages. So rather than the thought or memory being the direct cause of the negative emotion the process was more like this: A thought or memory triggers a disruption in the body's energy system which is then experienced as pysychological or physical pain.
For example, a woman presents with a snake phobia. If the client thinks about snakes and they feel panicked, anxious or uneasy, then they are in touch with the energy disruption. The EFT technique is then used whilst they are focusing on the problem and the disruption is balanced by tapping on the 14 energy points in the body. When there is no longer any discomfort whilst focusing on the problem then it is balanced.
Where are the Meridian Points?
The 14 Meridian Points
1. The Sore Spot (Large Star). Gently push with your fingertips to find an area that feels tender, rather than sore.
2. Start of the eyebrow (on the eye socket)
3. Corner of the eye (on the eye socket)
4. Under the eye (on the eye socket)
5. Under the nose
6. Under the lower lip
7. Where the collar bone meets the breast bone
8. Under the arm
9. On the thumb (just below the nail)
10. On the forefinger (just below the nail)
11. On the middle finger (just below the nail)
12. On the little finger (just below the nail)
13. Karate Chop point
14. Gamut point (Behind the knuckles between the little and ring fingers)
Just take a moment to find each point. Some may feel slightly different from the others When you start to work on the points you will notice that some the points feel different when you tap on them and you will feel a release or shift from one or more points depending on your reason for using the technique.
Try it out
Try out the tapping technique now. Tap the point under your eye with your middle and index fingers. Tap fairly quickly about 8 to 10 times. Do not tap so softly that you cannot feel it; it should be done so that you can feel the effect across a significant part of the side of your face. Try out all the other points to famliarise yourself with them.
So how do I actually do the EFT?
Just follow the steps below
Identifying and Contacting the Problem
Focus your mind on the problem by making a simple statement out loud such as "I can't stop eating chocolate". Try tapping and see if you feel anything. If you don't it might be that the statement you have made doesn't resonate with you. If you say "I can't stop eating chocolate" but inside you are thinking " I hate being so fat" then that is the statement you should be using. The more direct and truthful you can be; the more effective the EFT will be. You could also simply name your illness such as "my blinding headache". It really doesn't matter whether what you say is grammatically correct or not as long as you understand and identify with the statement. Try to make a note on a scale of 0 - 10 of how much the problem bothers you (10 being the worst you could feel)
The Set Up
Now you have identified your problem you can start with the next stage.
Find the sore spot on your chest and begin to rub it gently round and round
Continue rubbing and say with feeling using your problem statement: eg. "Even though I hate being so fat I am ready and willing to heal now." You do not have to stick rigidly to this format. Just say whatever feels right with you. You might substitute the last part for something like "I fully accept myself" or "I love myself" *Note - the second part of the statement must be positive
Repeat this 3 times whilst continuing to rub.
The Actual Tapping
Next you begin tapping all the points - starting from the eyebrow and finishing on the Karate Chop point. Tap each spot 8 -10 times. Say your opening statement or a shortened version of it each time you begin tapping on a new spot to remind you of your purpose. Eg. "I hate being so fat".
- After you have tapped all the points up to the Karate Chop point, begin to tap continuously on the Gamut Point whilst doing the following (keep reminding yourself of the purpose by using the shortened statement as and when you can remember to do so:
- Move your eyes up and down from floor to ceiling and back again. Keep your head still and move only your eyes.
- Move your eyes from left to right and back again. Once more keeping the head still
- Hum a tune for about four seconds. Yes really!
- Count from one to five
- Hum again
- Take a deep breath in and out.
- Now repeat the tapping on all the points again right up to the Karate Chop Point.
- Take a deep breath and allow yourself to reflect on how you feel and whether anything has changed
This part of the exercise may seem a little strange but it is designed to awaken your neurological senses so that the tapping can do its work on your problem. You may find that once you become more experienced you will not need to do this. If you do leave this out; remember to tap the Gamut point after the Karate Chop point because it is a very important part of the meridian system.
Watch the Video
Q & A
How often can I do EFT?
As many times as you like but probably best to limit to no more than two sessions a day unless you are experiencing cravings or recurrent pain. In this case you could use it up to five times a day.
What if I tap the wrong place?
As you tap the vibrations travel quite a distance so as long as you are somewhere in the vicinity it will work
It's not working. What am I doing wrong?
If you find you are not getting the results you like try changing your set up statement. You could ask a close family member or friend what they think you should say because sometimes it is clearer to someone else what the real problem is. I'm not saying that EFT is perfect. We don't get 100%. But it usually works well and the results are sometimes spectacular.
I don't have a sore spot; what can I do?
In this case just place the flat of your hand over where the spot should be and rub with the whole hand.
What if I miss a point?
As long as you noticed a difference it won't matter. Just try and remember next time.
Does it matter whether I tap on the left or the right side?
Not at all because the meridians are bilateral
Are there any side effects?
You may find that you burp or your tummy rumbles or that you feel extremely relaxed and sleepy or even be in a dreamlike state for a short while. Sometimes there can be excessive yawning and your eyes may water (this is a sign that things are working well).
You will find that EFT is usually quite gentle and you can often achieve substantial relief with little or no pain. This is not true for everyone, however.Some people's issues are so intense that the mere mention of them causes emotional or physical pain. But, given time, even these are often resolved efficiently with EFT.
Although no serious side effects have been reported; EFT is a powerul tool which can alter your thinking so if you have a diagnosed psychiatric disorder or are using any medication for psychosis or undergoing any medical treatment for any kind of mental disorder you should consult your health professional before using any of these techniques.
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN
EFT has been labeled as pseudoscience in The Skeptical Inquirer magazine, based on what the journal describes as its lack of falsifiability, reliance on anecdotal evidence, and aggressive promotion via the Internet. Gary Craig, the developer of EFT, has argued that tapping anywhere on the body will manipulate "energy meridians". Skeptics have asserted that such an argument renders EFT untestable via the scientific method, and therefore a pseudoscience. This argument is also addressed by the Waite and Holder paper, in which the participants tapped on a doll, rather than themselves. Waite and Holder have suggested that EFT's successes are likely to stem from "characteristics it shares with more traditional therapies", rather than manipulation of energy meridians via tapping. A recent article in the Guardian suggested that the act of tapping parts of the body in a complicated sequence acts as a distraction from, and therefore can appear to alleviate the root distress. Wikipedia
© Susan Bailey 2008 All Rights Reserved
More by this Author
Cinnamon and Honey - who would think this combination could have so many uses and health benefits? Read here to find out what they are.
Fed up of coffee? Well why not try herbal tea for a refreshing change? Tisanes are full of health giving benefits so your system may get a boost too. They are naturally caffeine free and most are suitable for children.
Self Sabotage is quite common; most people do it from time to time. However, some people almost make a career out of it. Self saboteurs will mess up by doing alcohol, drugs, participating in risky behaviour, disastrous...