- Mental Health
Emotional Freedom Technique for Insomnia
The Emotional freedom technique is a type of alternative psychotherapy using tapping on acupressure points while focusing on a specific memory. The principle is that negative emotions cause disturbances in the body's energy field, and by focusing on these negative emotions while tapping on acupressure points we are able to release them. The workings behind emotional freedom technique are much the same as those of acupuncture. The technique was originated by Gary Craig and there are many information sources and free manuals available online for instruction in the method.
Why Use EFT?
There are many people who have difficulty falling asleep. When this occurs night after night, it becomes something known as insomnia. The emotional freedom technique is applied in a slightly different way for sleeping issues. Part of this process is physically tapping certain points on your body, but since this is an activity that can make you more alert rather than sleepy it is easier to use a touch and breathe method or a simple visualization of each emotional freedom technique spot in your mind as you go through a series of reminder phrases.
Many people find they can do this very easily and that it is just as effective for them as tapping. An important thing to note is that you do not want to create any resistance in your mind about falling asleep, so it is best to not tell yourself directly to go to sleep. A useful statement to repeat while mentally tapping would be: "Even though I'm having trouble getting to sleep, I choose to feel pleasantly drowsy." Sometimes thoughts can get in the way of falling asleep so a good phrase to use in this case would be “Even though I have several thoughts on my mind, I allow my subconscious to work them out while I am sleeping peacefully."
Right before we fall asleep, we enter a stage known as the "hypnogogic" state. That short time occurs before we fall into proper sleep, and is documented as being a very different type of brainwave from the fully awake state. The main characteristic of this state is a sense of drifting, as if we were on a raft being carried gently down a stream.
How to Get Back to Sleep with EFT
One very effective way to get back to sleep if you wake during the night is to use the emotional freedom technique to induce this drifting state. It's important to not repeat the phrases aloud, because this might bring you back to a waking state. Simply think the phrases in your mind, and imagine tapping each point in turn. You may find that you only get halfway through a round of imaginary tapping before you drift back into a comfortable sleep. Try repeating the statement "That drifting feeling... that drifting feeling... that drifting feeling... " while visualizing each spot. You may want to also try "Drifting thoughts... drifting thoughts... drifting thoughts" at each spot. The point is to remember that the concept of drifting is key to reminding yourself to stay relaxed and letting yourself fall back into a sleep state.
The emotional freedom technique costs nothing, does not involve any drugs, and is easy to learn. Using it for insomnia or stressful thoughts leading to insomnia is a relaxing, holistic way to get your good nights of sleep back.