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Emotional Freedom Technique, or more commonly known as EFT or tapping, is an alternative therapy for overcoming anxiety, depression and PTSD. It has also been found useful in treating phobias, excessive worry, addiction, physical tension, chronic pain and more. In medicine terminology, it is best thought of as psychological acupressure.
A recent survey from Korn Ferry, “Workplace Stress Continues to Mount,” examined the trend that stress is on the rise. On a more personal note they found:
76% of respondents said workplace stress “had a negative impact on their personal relationships”
66% have lost sleep due to work-related stress
16% have quit jobs because stress became too overwhelming
This is not news—by now most people understand the cost of stress—dealing with it effectively is the challenge. It’s no wonder then that people are looking for ways to better manage their stress levels and that EFT is quickly growing in popularity among high-powered CEOs and business professionals; celebrities such as the Duchess of Cornwall, Naomi Harris, Madonna, Lily Allen; and young professionals looking for new self-care therapies.
Who is EFT for?
Whether you’re a chronic worrier or have a relaxed outlook on life, are tightly wound up or tend to handle situations with ease, everyone has difficult days or times in their lives where they feel lost, excessively worried, burnt out or unhappy. It is part of the human experience.
This emerging technique can help people with anything from a fear of flying, to anxiety, to depression, to chronic pain, to stress, to weight loss issues, to gaining clarity, to making difficult decisions and more.
EFT is about “tapping” on specific energy meridians located in the body. It restores a good flow and balance of energy that reduces your physical and emotional troubles. Negative emotion is consistent with poor physical well-being, which can cause headaches, high blood-pressures and racing heart rate. By tapping on pressure points, kinetic energy impacts the meridian that releases unpleasant thoughts, feelings and memories. This in turn neutralises your well-being by removing its stressors.
Recently, an Australian study demonstrated how EFT can rewire neural pathways in the brain. One of the most important benefits of the technique is that it allows you to attain pure calmness and relaxation, which encourages you to have a more positive mindset.
Similarly to mindfulness, this method can be self-administered and therefore can be incorporated more easily into your day-to-day routine. While it requires no additional equipment or medication, you may want to choose the assistance of an EFT practitioner as a guide into tapping on subjective thoughts that cause your pain. Working with a practitioner is ideal to get the support that you need to learn how to do the technique and in turn recover from spiritual or emotional wounds or energy blocks that can lead you to a renewed life.
Developer of EFT, Gary Craig, believes that emotions and thoughts make up your energy and that in turn affects how your body functions. EFT was inspired by a combination of Eastern medicinal practices and Western psychotherapy methods – acupuncture in particular, involves the meridian for improving well-being and the Thought Field Therapy is a natural way of overcoming anxiety.
What exactly is the Meridian?
ToH: Top of the Head – directly in the centre top of the head
EB: Beginning of the Eyebrow – above and to the side of the nose
SE: Side of the Eye – on the bone and outside corner of the eye
UE: Under the Eye – on the bone under the eye
UN: Under the Nose – the point between nose and upper lip
CH: Chin – halfway between underside of lower lip and bottom of the chin
CB: Beginning of Collar Bone – the point where breastbone, collarbone and first rib intersect
UA: Under the Arm – at the side of the body
Energy flows between these tapping points and once the end point is reached, you would be able to feel healing and change.
Dr Candace Pert said, “Emotional Freedom Technique is at the forefront of the new healing movement.” She was a key neuroscientist who discovered the communications between the brain, glands, organs and the immune system, better explained through the Psycho-Neuro-Endocrine-NeuroSystem. You can find out more from her book, Molecules of Emotion. Her findings explicate that emotions are indeed stored in the body because of cells containing high-functioning emotional receptors. This is where science meets spirituality. According to Chinese medicine, certain chakras are supposed to be placed in these receptors, which is why EFT is considered essential in dissolving states of negativity.
The steps in EFT
1. Identify the issue
Do you know what to work on? It is important that you recognise what troubles you – it may be a buildup of negative emotions, a fear of something, anxiety, a memory that you want to get rid of, or doubts about what would happen next in life.
2. Be reminded of your feelings
Make a phrase that refers to your problem. Ask yourself, how does this problem make you feel? Does it bring you disappointment, anger, or hurt? As you come to terms with your emotions, consider where this takes effect. Perhaps anxiety causes your heart to race, making you feel uneasy.
3. Rate the issue
How important is this problem to you? You must realise the intensity by rating it from 0 = nothing to 10 = extremely intense.
4. Set up affirmation
Create a positive, self-affirming statement. This is very important. Repeat this frequently to allow the energy to flow. For example, “Even though I struggle with social anxiety, I will face my fears and cope better today” or “Even though I am feeling anxious about my business, I love and accept myself exactly as I am.”
5. The tapping
Having identified 8 meridian points, perform the tapping sequence in its order, which must be done gently.
6. Rate the issue once again
Feel the healing. After the tapping sequence, rate your problem on a scale of 0 to 10. Ideally, the intensity would have lessened.
7. Repeat the process
If you are struggling with the same problem, it is best to repeat the process, until the intensity reaches 0. You may change your statements of affirmation so that you could really focus on the issue.
More scientific evidence
With over 100 studies proving its efficacy, some of the evidence-based benefits of EFT are greatly associated with overcoming anxiety, depression and the reduction of stress.
A 2012 study identified the effect of EFT through examining the stress hormone using “psychotherapy” and “no treatment” groups. Those who practiced EFT showed a significant decrease in cortisol levels. This observed an improvement in psychological distress, with reduction in symptoms of anxiety and depression.
A 2016 review of 14 studies on EFT reported that people who used tapping experienced a significant decrease in anxiety. Moreover, in a 2019 study on adult women who participated in EFT training workshops found significant declines in anxiety, depression and pain. Interestingly, there were substantial increases in happiness levels, indicating positive effects on health and well-being.
Do you need guidance in your journey of healing? At Wonder Source, we have carefully selected accredited Emotional Freedom Technique Practitioners and other Wellness & Healing experts that could help your emotional and spiritual healing into a renewed life. Find out more and book a free discovery call: with Sharonne, Rebecca or Rose.