- Mental Health
A do-it-yourself energy therapy that really works
Emotional Freedom Techniques
Since an event itself is, and really cannot be changed, I came to understand that it must be our response to the event, which effectively makes a difference. So, I started a couple of decades ago paying attention to how I react to different situations. I quickly realized that many of my responses were automatic and following a program that I probably learned at some point, during my formative years. Unfortunately, I found these set reactions were often no longer necessary and at times even counter-productive to my well-being. I tried to change these in a rational conscious way but found that my efforts had a limited impact and I would easily slip back into the unwanted pattern, without even realizing it.
Subsequently, I decided to explore techniques that could help me to update my brain's software and immersed myself in a sea of literature on the subject, from Carl Jung's theories on the subconscious to Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and every book I could find on positive thinking in general.
In 2006, while looking for information on the subject of self-hypnosis, I stumbled upon a video of Gary Craig that explained the rather strange technique, EFT, short for Emotional Freedom Techniques. A case of a man in his fifties who suffered from an acute fear of water since he was a teenager was filmed. Seated in a chair by a swimming pool, the subject explained how he had been pushed under water at a summer camp by other boys and that he stayed with the trauma ever since. You could see him feeling uncomfortable and stressed by the mere thought of being in the water as his hands twitched and his breathing became constricted. The practitioner, Gary Craig, got him to simply tap with his fingers on different spots of his hands and face while repeating a statement about his condition. You could see the man's tension easing up bit by bit and finally he felt confident enough to step into the pool. There, some of the stressed surfaced again and they had to do a few more rounds of this tapping before the man could put his head under water and feel relaxed. The whole process took about 45 minutes and was so effective that in the end this guy was enjoying himself so much, you couldn't get him out of the water. The video was amateurish and I could clearly tell that this was not a prank, but a genuine situation.
Puzzled, I watched the other videos in which people with all sorts of traumas found release in a matter of minutes. These included Vietnam veterans who previously had nightmares for decades, a woman who had been abused as a child by her father, another with a fear of rats (she was caressing the rat at the end) and many more. By then I was amazed and I learned the technique, which is so simple than a 3-year old child could do it. Like Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning, M. Craig claimed that you could use it on everything. Of course, I did, on everything and on everyone… and it worked most of the time, in fact, the great majority of the times!
I was enchanted, yet being of a curious and skeptical nature, I wanted to understand how this technique actually worked and why. So, after many years of trials, observation and thoughts, here is what I understand.
Originally discovered by psychologist Roger Callahan who called it Thought Field Therapy (TFT), the technique, going through the hands of pragmatic American Engineer Gary Craig became EFT, a very simple process that anyone can do.
First, we must understand that, as science recognizes, everything is made up of energy, including us. Although this is a statement we have all heard, it is not a truth we tend to incorporate in our daily lives. EFT does and takes into account that as we have structures for our bones and muscles, a blood system or a nervous system, we must also have an energy system, a flow that reacts to our emotions. in fact, the Eastern World has known that for millenniums and EFT uses some of the very same points in the body as acupuncture does.
When a negative event takes place in our life, the energy signal is disrupted and this disruption can form a pattern that will repeat to some extent each time we think about the event or experience a similar situation. By simply naming the issues and the various aspects they can have while tapping on these energy points, EFT enables us to release the blocks or negative patterns, which make us overly react. So, if you had a fear of spiders to start with, you won't probably like them after your EFT session, but screaming and trying to jump out the window will be a thing of the past.
It's an amazing tool for emotional maintenance, free and accessible to all. There are numerous books on the subject, including mine, "Eliminate phobias and fears the efficient easy way" available at Amazon and you can visit Gary Craig's site Emofree for more info
Check back with me as I will be publishing other articles on EFT soon.