Emotional Freedom Techniques, or EFT, is a form of psychological acupressure. It involves tapping on critical points in the body while simultaneously using a verbal affirmation to reduce any negative emotions that have been identified as being present. This technique was developed by Gary Craig, who used it for his stress and anxiety issues before teaching it to others and incorporating other methods such as yoga breathing exercises into the process. In addition to this, there are many different variations of EFT which can be tailored specifically for specific needs, including those with PTSD symptoms or an anxiety disorder diagnosis from a doctor like Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).
Read more to learn how you can use EFT!
What Are Emotional Freedom Techniques?
EFT works by identifying the negative emotions experienced, then tapping on various points of the body while saying an affirmation. It incorporates chakras and meridians of the body that are associated with specific feelings. Chakras and meridians were first identified by Buddhist monks thousands of years ago. Since then, many have recognized the correlation between body areas and key emotions. For emotional freedom tapping to have a positive effect, tap on your chosen location at least five times while reciting your phrase, mantra, or affirmation. EFT Tapping is usually done for three minutes with a break after every round.
Who Can Benefit from Emotional Freedom Techniques?
When you feel distressed, anxious, or sad, consider using emotional freedom tapping techniques to improve your mood and symptoms. EFT tapping is an effective way of dealing with stress and an excellent form of self-care. While it is often used by those with disorders such as PTSD or General Anxiety Disorder, it can benefit everyone experiencing distress. EFT can improve more common symptoms such as work stress or negative thoughts. Consider trying EFT to reduce uncomfortable feelings and move forward in your healing process.
Does it Work?
The emotional freedom tapping techniques have been studied and analyzed in many trials. A study using EFT on war veterans experiencing PTSD has eased their traumatic symptoms. Additionally, studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of EFT on those with generalized anxiety disorder, showing the decreased intensity of thoughts and feelings over time. While this treatment is still relatively new, there is a great deal of evidence supporting the success of emotional freedom tapping techniques. Consider giving it a try and analyzing the severity of your symptoms to see if it is an effective treatment for you.
There are nine main tapping points in EFT. Each tapping point corresponds with a different feeling or problem you may need to address. Here are the nine tapping points and their meanings:
- Top of the head: This tapping point addresses the crown chakra and promotes spiritual connection.
- Under the arm: Tapping on this location releases guilt and worry while promoting clarity.
- Collarbone: Tapping on this area releases feelings of being stuck and promotes forward motion and clarity.
- Chin: Tapping under the mouth or chin releases confusion, promoting clarity and confidence.
- Under the nose: Tap on this area if you are experiencing shame or powerlessness. Tapping under the nose will promote empowerment and self-confidence.
- Under the eye: Tap on this area if you are experiencing anxiety or unease. Tapping on this area will allow you to become calmer.
- Side of the eye: Use this tapping location if you are experiencing feelings of anger or resentment.
- Eyebrow: Use this tapping point if you are experiencing trauma and hurt. Tapping on this area will promote emotional healing.
- Karate Chop (upper abdomen): This is a great area to tap on if you feel stuck or heal from grief. Tapping on this location allows you to live in the present moment.
How to Begin with EFT
Beginning with EFT is luckily not a complicated process! Spend a few minutes doing it at home or whenever you start to feel distressed. Here are the steps to start using EFT as a treatment.
- Identify the issues you hope to work on using tapping. This may be feelings of anxiety or even self-deprecating thoughts. Consider working in conjunction with a therapist or trained professional to identify core beliefs, thoughts, and patterns.
- Rate the intensity of your problem area that you are hoping to work on. Rate your discomfort on a scale from 1-10. Doing this each time will help you measure the progress you achieve through EFT.
- Pick a mantra, affirmation, or phrase that addresses the core issue. Typically, this focuses on acknowledging the issue while accepting yourself despite the problem. For example, you may say, “Even though I am feeling sad, I accept that this is okay, and I accept myself regardless.
- Repeatedly tap the area of your choosing while reciting your phrase.
Consider Pairing EFT with Other Modalities
It’s important to note that while EFT can help you manage your symptoms, it does not replace other forms of therapy. It is best used in conjunction with them for the most effective treatment plan possible. Individual therapists will work one-on-one with their clients and provide a safe space where they can explore what may be causing these feelings and find ways to cope on their own without relying too heavily on something like EFT alone. In addition, some people have found success by joining an online forum or blog explicitly dedicated to managing stress relief through EFT. Consider visiting our blog for a deeper approach to your healing. You may also use self-care techniques such as mindfulness meditation or yoga classes offered at local centers. Consider taking a varied approach to your care and being open to the options at your disposal.
Many people benefit from the use of emotional freedom techniques. When approaching potential solutions to your symptoms, consider trying EFT to reduce unhelpful feelings over time. Analyze your feelings, choose the corresponding areas and spend a few minutes tapping and reciting your phrase. It is recommended to use tapping in conjunction with psychotherapy to meet your treatment needs best for more intense emotional discomfort. Join the many people worldwide using the emotional freedom technique to soothe their discomfort and invite growth into their emotional wellness.