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Stress Relief: Use the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)

Updated on April 17, 2012

Stress & Anxiety: Real Relief at Your Fingertips with EFT

Can't see how you're going to make that deadline? Go too much to do and not enough time? Do you feel a constant tension in your muscles? Not able to relax? Can't sleep? Do you feel unable to make decisions; you feel frozen and stuck? These can all be signs of stress.

Learn how to relieve your stress and anxiety with a simple technique that has gained attention from medical professionals and laypersons all over the world. The technique is called the Emotional Freedom Techinques (EFT).

About the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)

The most successful health innovation in the last 100 years!

The Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) have taken Einstein's discoveries (that everything is energy, including the human body) and married them with the ancient tradition of acupuncture.

The success of EFT lies in the balancing of the body's subtle energies that flow through the body, in much the same way as blood flows through veins. This balancing is done with an elegant sort of emotional acupuncture. Instead of using needles, specific points on the body are stimulated by tapping with the fingertips.

EFT is so simple that it can be easily learned by anyone and self-applied. Some cases are more complex, however, and may require assistance from an experienced EFT Practitioner.

How do you use EFT to relieve Stress & Anxiety?

EFT is done by using your fingertips to tap on easily found acupressure points on the body. These points are shown below and are described in detail here. The points are the same on both sides of the face and body.

Please note that the points used here are considered a 'shortcut' method to the original Basic Recipe described in the free EFT Manual.

The tapping is done with the same firmness as you might drum your fingers on the desk. Use the middle three fingers of either hand when tapping so that you don't need to be worried about the exact location of the points. Use both hands and tap on both sides at the same time is preferable.

The tapping is combined with a focusing phrase that keeps your mind on the problem, in this case, the stress/anxiety. When we focus on the problem and tap on the acupressure points, the energy system in our body is balanced giving emotional relief.

In this case we will use a focusing phrase for your stress/anxiety such as: "Too much to do at work" or "This job interview anxiety" or "This need to strangle so-and-so". The more specific you are about the reason for the stress/anxiety the better.

EFT Step-by-Step

Before starting the procedure, take a reading of how stressed/anxious you feel so that you can tell if there is any change. We do this by picking a number on a scale from 0 - 10, where 0 is relaxed and 10 is the worst the stress/anxiety has ever been. If you are unsure of the number then guess, as this will usually be the correct number. Write the number down so that you can compare it after applying the procedure.

  1. On a scale of 0-10, where 10 is the worst, how intense is the feeling? Write down this number.
  2. Start and continue tapping on the Karate Chop point while saying the following:

    "Even though I feel stressed and anxious, I accept how I feel right now."

    "Even though I feel stressed and anxious about this, I choose to take this moment to relax"

    "Even though I feel stressed and anxious, with too much to do and not enough hours in the day, I completely accept myself as human."

  3. Continue tapping on the remaining points, from the head down, tap a few times while saying the focusing phrase. So, for example, start tapping on the top of the head and say "Too much to do" Then move to the eyebrow point, start tapping, and say "Too much to do". Continue until you have tapped on each of the illustrated tapping points. Remember to use a phrase that describes your particular circumstances.
  4. Take another reading of the stress/anxiety on a scale of 0-10 and compare this to the questions (a), (b), and (c) below:

  5. Is the new number lower than the one you wrote down in Step 1 i.e. has the stress/anxiety reduced? Great! Repeat the steps 1-4 until the number is at zero or doesn't go any lower.
  6. Is the number the same but the feeling has now moved or changed in some way? Awesome! You're making progress. Make up a new focusing phrase to describe the new feeling and repeat steps 1-4.
  7. Is the new number the same or higher than the number you wrote down in Step 1 i.e. has the feeling intensified in some way? STAY CALM. While you might think you have done something wrong, you have not. You are actually getting closer to the resolving the real issue behind the feeling. Please read the Advanced Notes below before repeating the procedure.

Advanced Notes

Questions to explore the core issues

If, after a round of tapping, the feeling has not changed or has even intensified then its time to put on your Detective's hat and delve deeper into the problem. It is very likely there is a deeper emotional issue related to the feeling that you need to find. To identify the emotional issue behind the stress/anxiety, ask yourself the following questions:

  • When did the stress/anxiety first start?
  • What was happening in your life at that time?
  • What is the earliest time in your life that you remember having this feeling?
  • Who does the feeling remind you of?
  • Do you experience this stress/anxiety in a certain region of your body?

If you have trouble coming up with something, try guessing what this could be about as this will usually be the right memory.

Now that you have some answers, make up a new focusing phrase to describe this memory e.g. "this car accident anxiety", or "this divorce stress", or "this public speaking anxiety". The more specific to you and your situation the better. Let common sense guide you. Repeat the tapping steps 1-4 with this new focusing phrase.

Again, evaluate your results at the end of the round of tapping and proceed from there. Using this procedure will often achieve lasting results when nothing else has worked!

There's much more to EFT

EFT is the most successful health innovation in the last 100 years and works for every emotional and physical issue you can name including:

trauma or abuse, stress or anxiety, PTSD, fears or phobias, depression, addiction, allergies, ADD/ADHD, anger management, headaches, back pains, or breathing difficulties

Even though EFT appears simple, correctly and artfully applied EFT often gets results when nothing else has worked.

Find out more about EFT and Tap4Health.

As you experience the benefits of this lens, please express your appreciation by clicking 5-Stars at the top of the page. You might also leave a brief note below about your experience.

Reader Feedback

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    • celluliteandexe profile image

      celluliteandexe 3 years ago

      I've used EFT for cravings, since food cravings are a form of stress or emotional attachment. I'm so impressed how well it worked. I barely even want chocolate, twix bars, or cookies. And I haven't had diet soda in months. It's like I could have them if I wanted to but I just don't have that much interest in them anymore. So exciting!

      Thanks for your tips on using EFT for stress.

    • FreedomLiesWithin profile image

      FreedomLiesWithin 4 years ago

      EFT is incredible!

    • profile image

      Recessionweapon 5 years ago

      I love EFT. People are cynical about it but I have used it for loads of problems.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Nice lens! Eft works even when you don't believe in it.

    • J-Shephard profile image

      J-Shephard 5 years ago

      EFT may sound like magic, and well it sort of is! I have used it for different purposes, it is not a magic pill, but if you have patience and work on EFT for your problems you'll see fast and amazing results.

    • JodiFromFlorida profile image

      JodiFromFlorida 5 years ago

      I'm a believer. I love EFT and find it to be very effective.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      is this meditation?

    • Gardenerman profile image

      Gardenerman 5 years ago

      Thanks for the reminder. I haven't used this technique in awhile and I know when I have in the past I've been able to use it to calm myself down. Great way to relieve stress.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 5 years ago from Ljubljana

      I love stress relief without chemicals! thanks for some pretty cool ideas:)

    • CreativeXpressi profile image

      CreativeXpressi 5 years ago

      Thank you for writing this lens. Tips are very interesting and I plan to try EFT.

    • satto76 profile image

      satto76 5 years ago

      Thank you for a very good lens on EFT. Though not a serious practitioner of EFT, I many times use it for emotional relief. It works. If it does not work for somebody, s/he has to perfect the tapping points and suggestions.

    • FunNaturePhotog profile image

      FunNaturePhotog 5 years ago

      A chiropractor who was temporarily replacing my usual chiro did a little of this technique on me and I was intrigued. I'll have to give it a try myself. Interesting topic!

    • CherylsArt profile image

      Cheryl Paton 5 years ago from West Virginia

      It does help. I like that I can adlib too.

    • thetappingman lm profile image

      thetappingman lm 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks for sharing your success. Please continue to tap and notice what comes up and you will unlayer the source of your anxiety and hopefully gain freedom from it competely.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I tried this for the first time yesterday and I can honestly say it truly helped my anxiety a lot. I would say I went from a high anxiety level of 8 down to a 2 WITH NO PHARMACEUTICALS. Wow, very impressive. I am a firm believer that a person should know their body and be able to respond to it. Thanks for helping me lessen my pain and strengthen my mind.

    • CanHealthInsure profile image

      CanHealthInsure 6 years ago

      Never heard of this before, very interesting.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      EFT works well to stimulate a healing response except when you live or work in a geopathic stress zone because the stress is unrelenting - I know this from personal experience.

    • GreenfireWiseWo profile image

      GreenfireWiseWo 6 years ago

      Very interesting lens. Thank you.

    • thetappingman lm profile image

      thetappingman lm 6 years ago

      @pandawolf lm: I'm a big fan of David Feinstein and Donna Eden's work and use a lot of their stuff for myself and my clients. Highly recommend it too!

    • pandawolf lm profile image

      pandawolf lm 6 years ago

      hey, nice lens. Do you know the work of Davind Feinstein on Energy Psychology? It is excellent for eft practitioners who want to go further. Very recommendable. You can find his work on

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      My therapist gave me a derivative technique a few years ago- cross your arms and use each index finger to tap the opposite arm (just above or below the elbow, as is comfortable), and breathe deeply. It really helps with panic attacks. He didn't talk about using a phrase, but it sounds like it's part of the same set of techniques. It's amazing how effective something so simple can be, eh?

    • profile image

      SchoolDoc 6 years ago

      Hello TappingMan,

      Great job explaining EFT. I have been using EFT for the past few years on myself and with children I work with at Ãco-lita Trilingue. I use it mostly when kids get stress induced tummy aches, when they are sad, or when they are just having a bad day. I also have TappyBear and a few posters. Since I am not a certified practitioner, I would not feel comfortable using EFT with the intent of trying to heal a serious health problem. I must say though that it wonders to calm most people down. I bought the DVD series a couple of years ago, I guess I should dust it off and watch itin 2011. Thanks for sharing this with others. Who knows, I may create my own lens describing how I have used EFT with kids ;-)

    • PeterStillman profile image

      PeterStillman 7 years ago

      Hi TappingMan - I think this is a terrific lens. I have just created one myself on the topic Effective Stress Management . It might be of interest to you and your readers.

      Have a great day


    • EFTTapping LM profile image

      EFTTapping LM 7 years ago

      "EFT is the most successful health innovation in the last 100 years" Maybe the most successful health innovation ever!

      I especially love your questions in the Advanced Notes.


    • JenaleeMortensen profile image

      JenaleeMortensen 7 years ago

      When I came across EFT I tried it and I am impressed with how it can help with worries, emotional problems, physical pain, and sleeping problems. I am very grateful for EFT. Thank you for making this lens.

    • profile image

      the-struggled-man 7 years ago


    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Very useful lens you have. Keep it up. 6 weeks ago I spent the day on a ladder painting the back room of our home. It was very painful. I sat up and rubbed it. The pain got worse so I stood up and tried to walk on it. The muscle seemed as hard as rock while the pain was terrible.

      I tapped on my chin point (this terrible pain in my legs, repeated 3 times as I tapped). Similarly under my nose, under my eye, side of my eye , my eyebrow point, my collar bone point and back to my karate chop point for a complete statement.

      It was at this moment that the startling realization hit me. There was no pain. Simple as that, there was no pain. Both leg muscles were soft and pain free. At first I could not believe it. The leg muscles felt warm but soft. No pain. It has never returned.

      Now I really believe in EFT training for myself.

    • profile image

      Be_Unpanic 8 years ago

      Great article! I have some EFT info related to panic attacks at

    • JoDeeVale profile image

      JoDeeVale 8 years ago

      Back again! I added you here, as well! Luvin Books

    • JoDeeVale profile image

      JoDeeVale 8 years ago

      Thank you for this lens! I use EFT in my practice here:

      I added you to my lensroll!

    • profile image

      KristinaParker 8 years ago

      Thanks, your lens was just what I was looking for.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I went to stress relief and emotional freedom dot com for EFT tutorials. It has changed my life!

    • profile image

      Zackfaire 9 years ago

      i love reading about stress relief articles. and most especially i love reading about this one. i gotta try it out. kudos to you for this informative lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago


      what a great stuff, I really enjoyed and I have tried with your eft stress relief methods.

      I have created a lens that focuses on divorce lawyers,


    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      I watched Paul McKenna last weekend teach this method to the crowd. I figured I look it up and see if it could help with work stress. I tried it and I think is could help refocus if you had time to do it.

    • surfsusan profile image

      surfsusan 9 years ago

      Wonderful lens, I recently discovered EFT and it cured my Dentist Phobia you may want to check out my EFT and Phobia lens . Yes it really works evenghough it looks weird to do ;-) . Lensrolled you and 5 star performance.

    • HypnoTrance profile image

      HypnoTrance 9 years ago


      Great photos help to explain more than words. I use EFT as part of my hypnotherapy practice. Please have a look at my lens and if you like it give it a rating Hypnosis Mp3 Downloads

    • profile image

      stillstressed 9 years ago

      Some good aft knowledge there i'm also creating a few lenses on the stress subject hope to see you on mine some time.

      Andrew Holmes

      Stress and Anxiety Guides

    • profile image

      vip0186 10 years ago

      Man, this is a lot of useful information. Thanks..

    • profile image

      anonymous 10 years ago

      Great lens! I voted 5 stars - I invite you to check out mine too, and rate it for me! Live Streaming Video

    • profile image

      flaminglacer 10 years ago

      Glad to have you as a member of the Health and Wellbeing Group - drop by the Group HQ sometime and see what is there for you

    • profile image

      Lozzie 10 years ago

      Simple easy to use instructions, great photos to explain points. I have used EFT for severral months now post seeing the Tapping man and I can honestly say it has had a significant impact on my life.

    • profile image

      drhanish 10 years ago

      Fine Lens.5 Stars!Also added you to my lensroll:)

      Pls visit my lens and rate it if you like it:

      The Most Powerful Stress Reducing Technique!


    • profile image

      anonymous 10 years ago

      Well done. Fantastic explanations!!!