EFT or emotional freedom technique is a self-help technique that involves tapping on “energy meridians” located around the body in order to reduce tension and promote health and wellbeing. It is not unlike acupuncture in the way it works but without the needles. And you can do it anywhere, anytime, without a practitioner.
Distressing emotions disrupt the energy that flows through you body along these meridians or energy channels and can in turn create blockages and physical symptoms. By focusing on an issue that is causing you distress and tapping on these points at the same time, you help your body to restore its balanced state.
As well as treating everyday stress and problems, EFT has been used to effectively treat war veterans and active military with PTSD. In a 2013 study, researchers studied the impact of EFT tapping on veterans with PTSD against those receiving standard care.
Within a month, participants receiving EFT coaching sessions had significantly reduced their psychological stress. In addition, more than half of the EFT test group no longer fit the criteria for PTSD.
EFT tapping can be divided into five steps. If you have more than one issue or fear, you can repeat this sequence to address it and reduce or eliminate the intensity of your negative feeling.
1. Identify the issue
In order for this technique to be effective, you must first identify the issue or fear you have. This will be your focal point while you’re tapping. Focusing on only one problem at a time is purported to enhance your outcome.
2. Test the initial intensity
After you identify your problem area, you need to set a benchmark level of intensity. The intensity level is rated on a scale from 0 to 10, with 10 being the worst or most difficult. The scale assesses the emotional or physical pain and discomfort you feel from your focal issue.
Establishing a benchmark helps you monitor your progress after performing a complete EFT sequence. If your initial intensity was 10 prior to tapping and ended at 5, you’d have accomplished a 50 percent improvement level.
3. The setup
Prior to tapping, you need to establish a phrase that explains what you’re trying to address. It must focus on two main goals:
• acknowledging the issues
• accepting yourself despite the problem
The common setup phrase is: “Even though I have this [fear or problem], I deeply and completely accept myself.”
You can alter this phrase so that it fits your problem, but it must not address someone else’s. For example, you can’t say, “Even though my mother is sick, I deeply and completely accept myself.” You have to focus on how the problem makes you feel in order to relieve the distress it causes. It’s better to address this situation by saying, “Even though I’m sad my mother is sick, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
4. EFT tapping sequence
The EFT tapping sequence is the methodic tapping on the ends of nine meridian points.
There are 12 major meridians that mirror each side of the body and correspond to an internal organ. However, EFT mainly focuses on these nine:
karate chop (KC): small intestine meridian
top of head (TH): governing vessel
eyebrow (EB): bladder meridian
side of the eye (SE): gallbladder meridian
under the eye (UE): stomach meridian
under the nose (UN): governing vessel
chin (Ch): central vessel
beginning of the collarbone (CB): kidney meridian
under the arm (UA): spleen meridian
Begin by tapping the karate chop point while simultaneously reciting your setup phrase three times. Then, tap each following point seven times, moving down the body in this ascending order:
side of the eye
under the eye
under the nose
beginning of the collarbone
under the arm
After tapping the underarm point, finish the sequence at the top of the head point.
While tapping the ascending points, recite a reminder phrase to maintain focus on your problem area. If your setup phrase is, “Even though I’m sad my mother is sick, I deeply and completely accept myself,” your reminder phrase can be, “The sadness I feel that my mother is sick.” Recite this phrase at each tapping point. Repeat this sequence two or three times.
5. Test the final intensity
At the end of your sequence, rate your intensity level on a scale from 0 to 10. Compare your results with your initial intensity level. If you haven’t reached 0, repeat this process until you do.