What is EFT or Emotional Freedom Techniques?
EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) is an evidence-based therapeutic technique that uses acupressure points to modify the stress response in the body. The EFT approach is based on the premise that all negative emotions are caused by a disruption in our subconscious mind. In EFT, we acknowledge all emotions and see them as guides, directing us towards what needs to be resolved.
EFT is a mind-body modality that is safe, gentle, and non-invasive. It combines the physical benefits of acupressure with the cognitive and linguistic benefits of conventional talk therapy, promoting somatic awareness while enabling positive cognitive shifts.
EFT is also known as tapping because we tap on acupressure points on the face, body and hands as we verbalise our thoughts, feelings and beliefs. We use EFT to reduce stress, anxiety, low moods and pain, and to increase clarity, calm and harmony in the mind and body.
EFT operates on the premise that no matter what part of your life needs to change for the better, there are unresolved emotional issues in the way. Tapping as we verbalise the problem allows an acknowledgement, flow and release of uncomfortable feelings like anger, hurt, guilt, fear or grief which may be negatively affecting our daily lives. Using this technique helps us to become aware of the negative thoughts and beliefs behind our emotional experiences; we use EFT to clear any specific distressing or negative aspects before opening up to more positive possibilities in that area.
EFT Emotional Freedom Techniques is a form of Energy Psychology, the name for a broad range of psychological treatments that utilise the human energy system.
: Energy Psychology in the Age of Covid-19: What does the research say? Research demonstrates, time and again, that energy psychology methods can very effectively address anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress. Even more strikingly, recent research suggests that energy psychology can boost our immunity, and thus may help keep us from getting sick. [Read more…]
: The Science and Research Behind EFT Tapping [Watch videos + Read more…]
: Press Release from EFT International: Tapping “Can Reduce Coronavirus Anxiety” – New research suggests EFT tapping can reduce stress hormone levels [PDF of press release… ]
Features that distinguish EFT as a 4th-wave therapy:
– A somatic intervention: It includes direct interventions at the level of the body, making it a true mind-body approach
– Enhanced information processing: It changes brain activity very rapidly (as evidenced by recent research), using the brain’s capacity to reprogram itself through a process called “memory reconsolidation”
– Rapid results: It quickly and permanently shifts outdated and unhelpful core beliefs
EFT helps with Physical Pain
Our negative experiences and subsequent emotions don’t only affect our mind- they have a profound impact on the brain and body too. Unresolved negative experiences reside as triggers and disruptions in our mind and body. The physical symptoms we feel from those disruptions (for example, tight chest, clenched stomach, racing heart, etc), become attached to the memory of that experience and affect the way we see the world until we clear that disruption.
Pain is as much psychological as it is physical, and EFT works with the psychology of the body. Even when pain is actively felt in the body, emotional factors can be involved. For example, the experience of anger releases a hormone in the brain which acts as a numbing agent. Unprocessed emotions from the time of the injury can significantly impede healing. Stress can fuel persistent pain.
When pain is chronic, the brain is flooded with pain signals on a regular basis; it changes your level of focus, concentration and ability to make decisions. The brain stays on high alert, often with the imprint of the memory.
The mental and emotional aspects of pain can often be neglected as we stay focused solely on the physical. Addressing these helps to recognise root causes and identify current triggers. Chronic pain is usually an indicator of an unprocessed emotional component. This is where the psychology of pain helps.
Properly applied, EFT balances our autonomic nervous system and realigns our neural pathways; this disconnects the physical discomfort that we attach to negative feelings and memories, which often helps to ease physical symptoms.
As Dr. Gabor Maté says, “The physiology of one individual cannot be separated from the psychological and social environment.”
EFT has yielded remarkable results for relieving emotional as well as 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. EFT continues to gain a wider recognition within the mainstream psychotherapy and medical community.
Professor Tony Stewart, a specialist in public health, talks about EFT on BBC News:
EFT proven effective with a wide range of issues
EFT has proven effective with a wide range of both physical and emotional issues. EFT Can Help to:
Diminish anxiety and anxious fears and feelings
Release and transform painful, uncomfortable feelings like anger, guilt, grief, fear, etc.
Heal the effects of emotional trauma, including PTSD symptoms
Diminish cravings for foods and addictive substances
Resolve emotional eating and weight issues
Address relationship problems
Gain clarity to make decisions
Relieve symptoms of insomnia
Increase self-esteem, self-empowerment and confidence
Improve or even eliminate chronic physical discomfort or pain
Enhance performance in any area; sports, musical, artistic, professional, sexual, etc.
Resolve financial blocks
Increase energy and productivity
Empower children, parents and families
Benefit the lives of animals
Move us beyond negative, self-limiting thoughts and beliefs toward positive change
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Viktor Frankl
EFT: News, Science and Research
A small sample:
- Clinical EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Improves Multiple Physiological Markers of Health: Research by Bond University Australia
- 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.
- Increased use by athletes of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) – The Sport Journal, USA
- 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; how the APA has finally granted continuing education credits for psychologists to study EFT tapping, also known as energy psychology.
- Acupoint stimulation in treating psychological disorders: Evidence of efficacy – David Feinstein
Read the EFT FAQ here.
If your question is “How do I become a certified EFT practitioner?”, how do I get certified in EFT, how do I become an EFT Practitioner, or anything to do with EFT Certificate, EFT Training or EFT Certification, click here for details of the EFT Practitioner Certification Training in Hong Kong. Falguni is an Accredited Certified EFT Trainer and Mentor with EFT International and teaches the three-day EFT Training in Hong Kong. There is a structured path to certification, complete details of which can be found here:
Demo of the EFT tapping points