What is EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques)?

EFT in a nutshell…
– EFT is an extremely powerful energy psychology technique which works quickly and efficiently to unblock and release negative feelings for enhanced emotional and physical well-being.
– EFT combines elements drawn from cognitive and EMDR therapy and also includes fingertip tapping on acupuncture points
– The EFT process is like peeling off the layers of negative shields, addressing and releasing causes at root levels, resulting in more positive emotions and physical well being.

Watch a video introduction to EFT here (by Gary Craig, founder of EFT):

The roots of this technique lie in Traditional Chinese Medicine which is based on the meridian system. A complex network of energy channels, the meridians link different areas of our body together and supply vital energy, or ‘chi’, to every part of the body. Release of blockages along these meridians results in emotional as well as physical health.

: EFT is often referred to as an emotional version of acupuncture, without needles :

It is safe, gentle, and non-invasive. The tapping along meridian points on the body stimulates a release of energetic blockages, resulting in balanced emotions and clearer energy.

: “The cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body’s energy system.” :

Negative experiences reside as disruptions in our energy system. The physical changes we feel from those disruptions (for example, tightening of chest, anxiety, etc), become attached to the memory of that experience and affect the way we see the world, until we clear that disruption. Properly applied, EFT realigns the energy meridians with respect to negative feelings and memories, disconnects the physical discomfort that we attach to it, and quite often removes the resulting symptoms.

: EFT helps to establish a good flow of energy, which is essential for optimum mental, physical & emotional health :

EFT has yielded remarkable results for relieving emotional and physical distress, and often works when nothing else will. Since it does not involve drugs or other medical interventions, it is different from conventional medical approaches, and is beginning to gain wider and wider recognition within the mainstream medical community.

Watch Professor Tony Stewart, a specialist in public health, talking about EFT on BBC News:

EFT has proven effective with a wide range of both physical and emotional issues, some of which are:

  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Trauma
  • Grief & Loss
  • Compulsions
  • Anger
  • Low self-esteem
  • Guilt
  • Fears (e.g., public speaking, flying, etc.)
  • Phobias
  • Food Cravings
  • Physical pain
  • Relationship blocks
  • Athletic performance
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia

EFT in the News…

  • PTSD Treated Successfully in 10 Sessions or Less: Kaiser Permanente is one of the largest hospital systems in the US, taking care of more than 10 million patients each year. Kaiser’s peer-reviewed publication, The Permanente Journal, recently published practice guidelines for using Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) with patients diagnosed with PTSD (Church, Stern et al., 2017).
  • Read about Jarrod Saltalamacchia, the catcher for the Boston Red Sox, who used tapping (as EFT is sometimes called) to up his game.
  • Beverley Turner, writing for The Telegraph, relates her experience of attending an EFT course. She calls it Tapping therapy: curing physical and mental problems
  • Larry Burk, M.D., writes about EFT going mainstream, like how the APA has finally granted continuing education credits for psychologists to study EFT tapping, also known as energy psychology.
  • Nick Ortner, writing for the Huffington Post, talks about the science behind EFT in his article, Breakthroughs in Energy Psychology, citing research which confirms that tapping on specific meridian points has a positive effect on cortisol levels.
  • David Feinstein in the Psychotherapy Networker about how EFT (Tapping) can cure PTSD and more.

Frequently asked Questions

Is EFT only an energy based technique?

No.
It is a combination of acupressure (energy based) and modern psycho-therapeutic tools like NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and EMDR (Eye movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). The affirmations used in EFT are derived from NLP, and the 9 gamut procedure is similar to the process used in EMDR.
EFT also includes statements on self-acceptance – in therapy, the way we talk to ourselves is one of the most important tools in changing thought and behaviour patterns.

Is EFT safe?

Yes.
It is completely safe and there are no known negative side effects.

Is EFT a distraction technique?

No.
Distraction is “a thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else”. EFT requires a complete focus on the problem or issue throughout the session. Affirmations and reminder phrases are also used to keep a focus on the specific issue.

Why do we affirm the negatives in EFT?

Sometimes people are resistant to focusing on the negative while tapping. Either for fear of feeling the feeling, or fearing this will attract more negativity, or some other similar reason.
But one is already feeling these feelings. By identifying then vocalising them, one is bringing up that energy in the body and clearing the negative feelings, instead of suppressing them and having them subconsciously run one’s life. Expressing the negative statements serves to clear them energetically from the body-mind system.

Once you let go and clear, then you have room to bring in what you choose to feel instead. EFT brings one’s energy back to balance so negative feelings don’t stay there.