In Ayurveda we are said to have five bodies which we must all keep in balance in order to be happy. In addition to the physical body there is the mental body, the emotional body, the wise body and the divine body. Health is about more than just maintaining ourselves psychically. Often emotions get in the way of our judgement. It is important to keep ourselves balanced in order to avoid stress to our entire being.
Emotional Freedom technique is a modern adaption of acupuncture which seems to help me with my own emotional growth.
I. What is EFT?
Emotional Freedom Technique, also called “tapping” is a technique developed over the past fifty years which is based on the concepts of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture. The patient treats their own emotional blockages by tapping on pressure points corresponding to the meridians of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
There are hundreds of different EFT methods all based on the same basic principles. The theory is that a patient who is suffering from excessive emotions can (by tapping on these pressure points while reciting a phrase related to the emotion) experience relief and release of emotional suffering.
Acupuncture is reported to be over 5,000 years old and originates in China. Pictures have been found in ancient China suggesting acupuncture was used along with moxibustion as early as the stone age. Sometime during the Han Dynasty (113 BCE) stones were replaced with metal needles and depictions of modern acupuncture points date back as far as 200 BCE but they do not mention needles. The Yellow Emperors Inner Cannon or Huangdi Neijing is the first text depicting acupuncture alongside moxibustion.
Around ninety works on acupuncture were written in China between the Han Dynasty and the Song Dynasty. Emperor Renzong of Song in 1023, ordered the production of a bronze statuette depicting the meridians and acupuncture points then in use. After the end of the Song Dynasty acupuncture lost it’s status over time. In 1822, an edict from the Chinese Emperor banned the practice and teaching of acupuncture within the Imperial Academy of Medicine.
Acupuncture rose again to prominence under the rule of the Communist Party in China. Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong who had first used acupuncture as an example of old China under the Party’s rise to power later revived the lost art. China has since then used acupuncture as one of it’s premier methods of medical treatment.
Acupuncture attempts to correct the flow of “qi” energy through the body. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine the bodily organs and systems are connected through “meridians.” Illness is caused by the improper flow of energy through these meridians. Acupuncture attempts to correct this energy flow and thus the illness by inserting needles at specific “pressure points” along and outside these meridians.
In the United States which Western Medicine has found no proof that these meridians exist and acupuncture is often criticized by doctors and other medical professionals. However, the IRS accepts acupuncture expenses as medical expenses when declaring taxes and some medical plans even accept acupuncture as acceptable “alternative” treatment to illness, pain, and stress.
III. History of TFT and EFT
It is contended by many EFT practitioners that tapping of the meridians has gone on as long as acupuncture. In fact several modern styles of acupuncture don’t use needles at all. Moxibustion, lancing, hot stones and even lasers (www.ewamhealth.com) are used in place of needles. The idea that tapping could be used instead of needles especially for the treatment of phobias and emotional blockages was written about by Dr. George Goodheart, a well known chiropractor in the United States who founded a branch of chiropractic medicine based upon a precise method of testing the body for information about its own needs. Goodheart learned about acupuncture from a book he read in 1962 written by the president of the acupuncture society in Britain. He invented the field of Applied Kinesiology where Goodheart substituted using pressure or “percussing” on the pressure points. He found the non-invasive method effective.
After Goodheart, in the 1970’s an Australian psychiatrist John Diamond, M.D., took this discovery to create a variation of it which he called “Behavioral Kinesiology”. He used Goodheart’s method and added the use of affirmations to increase the effectiveness of the treatment and to aid in behavioral therapy. Tapping first became popularized in the 1980’s under the study of Dr. Roger Callahan. Callahan developed his system called Thought Field Therapy (or TFT) initially to treat a phobia in a patient who was not responding to his other treatments. He asked the patient to tap under her eyebrow during the therapy and she reportedly had amazing progress with her phobia from then on.
Callahan’s tapping treatments are often complex and each phobia or disorder has a different tapping pattern and different points. By 1987 Callahan had developed his system called “Acutap.” A student of Callahan, Gary Craig began as a star pupil and later developed a simplified single algorithm he called “Emotional Freedom Technique.” This method is now the most widely used and popularized energy psychology treatment in the world. Craig patients have found his method to be as effective as Callahan’s more complex treatment and easier to learn. At current there are hundred of systems and practitioners using Emotional Freedom Technique in various ways all stemming from Gary Craig’s system.
IV. Skepticism (another ism!)
Wikipedia states “A 2009 review found “methodological flaws” in some research studies that had reported “small successes” for EFT and the related Tapas Acupressure Technique. The review concluded that positive results may be “attributable to well-known cognitive and behavioral techniques that are included with the energy manipulation. Psychologists and researchers should be wary of using such techniques, and make efforts to inform the public about the ill effects of therapies that advertise miraculous claims.”
Additionally, an article in the Skeptical Inquirer argued that there is no plausible mechanism to explain how the specifics of EFT could add to its effectiveness, and they have been described as unfalsifiable and therefore pseudoscientific. Evidence has not been found for the existence of meridians or other concepts involved in traditional Chinese medicine.”
It is important that you are aware that this is not considered a replacement for medical treatment and there are skeptics who believe that EFT is a scam. One thing I did note is that this statement seems to discredit EFT because of it’s association with Traditional Chinese Medicine.
B. Is EFT a scam?
In my research online I have found that the information on EFT is free and plentiful. There are no attempts by the developers of the system to keep their practices secret, to make extraordinary claims to cure any terminal conditions, or even to profiteer. Many of the sites on EFT advertise treatments and classes as reasonable prices. Most sites do not charge to learn how to do EFT. In fact most sites let you download the materials for free.
It is possible the treatment isn’t effective and we are only getting a “placebo” effect. I have had effective use of this treatment on myself in many very emotional situations. I believe that if you use EFT skeptically you probably won’t have a very good effect. You must put yourself and your emotions sincerely into the treatment for it to work. You must put your emotional energy into the phrases as you say them for it to be effective. If you don’t I wouldn’t expect you to get a good result.
V. EFT Methods
There are hundreds of EFT Methods I will link to some popular sites and videos here. Below the videos I explain my method of doing EFT. I recommend that you watch and read about several methods and create your own based on the ideas that most resonate with your understanding of the therapy and your own needs.
The basic elements of an EFT treatment are three:
1. Phrases. You must create a phrase or a few phrases based on the emotion you want to treat.
2. Eye Movements. To prepare the brain for tapping you are instructed to do specific eye movements (9 Gamut) while tapping on a hand point. These eye movements are intended to activate both hemispheres of the brain and encourage them to start working together.
3. Tapping Points. The patient taps on specific tapping points while reciting the phrases. This is done in order. This process of eye movements and tapping points is repeated 2-3 times or until there is no longer any reduction in the level of emotional suffering.
How to do Emotional Freedom Technique
1. Creating a Phrase
The first step in Emotional Freedom Technique is to think about the emotion that is bothering you. I find tapping very effective to do in the morning. I have exercises and other things I want to get done but often I am drawn by feeling about my life that distract me. These are usually related to a certain emotional chatter going on in my mind. I identify this anger, fear, sadness, pain etc and what I “believe” is causing it. Remember emotions are real even though they are often attached to beliefs which we later decide are not true.
So think of this feeling that bothers you and rate it. How much does is bother you “1” being not at all, “5” being pretty bothered, and “10” being intolerable. Upon each round of tapping take three deep breaths and re-evaluate the rating and write down the new rating. You should keep doing rounds of tapping until the rating stops going down.
Many use one phrase. or one set of phrases. I opt to have two phrases. The first I call the negative of destructive phrase. This is that phrase which describes how I am feeling. It is followed up by affirmation of the truth. For example: “Even though I am angry because I believe that I do not want to go to work I still deeply and completely love and accept myself unconditionally.” It is important to be sincere and honest with yourself about how you are feeling.
The second phrase is for the second round of taps and is totally positive or “constructive.” For example: “I am a loving and a loved person and my anger is so small compared to my Love.”
Example EFT Phrase Sets
Even though I feel ____ because I believe that _______ I still deeply and completely love and accept myself, unconditionally.
Even though I feel angry because I believe that _______ has taken advantage of me, I still deeply and completely love and accept myself, unconditionally.
Even though I feel sad because I believe that I have lost _______ I still deeply and completely love and accept myself, unconditionally.
Even though I believe I have this pain in my _____ I still deeply and completely love and accept myself, unconditionally.
Even though I feel hurt and alone because I believe I have lost _____ I still deeply and completely love and accept myself, unconditionally.
Even though I feel anxious because I believe it is hard to stay positive I still deeply and completely love and accept myself, unconditionally.
I am living light! I am acting on my highest joys! I am a complete limitless being of Love!
I am alive! I am loved unconditionally! I am experiencing great joys!
2. Eye Movements (9 Gamut)
This exercise is done to get the mind active and receptive to the therapy. You are activating and balancing the meridians of your mind. Below is a video showing the 9-Gamut. You do the whole process while tapping on a pressure point which is at the dip in the back of your hand between the pinky finger and the ring finger. Follow the ridge between the fingers down from the top of the hand to the dip and tap there continually while doing the eye movements.
First close your eyes while tapping and then open your eyes while tapping. Then, without moving your head look 1. hard down to left 2. hard down to right 3. hard up to left 4. hard up to right 5. spin eyes clockwise in circle three times 6. counter clockwise three times 7. hum, sing or scat a quick tune 8. count 1 to 5 9. hum, sing, or scat a quick tune again 10, count 6 to 10. Close eyes and take three deep breaths.
3. Tapping Points
The Main Tapping Points in Emotional Freedom Technique
Tapping various different parts of your body is central to practicing the energy therapy, Emotional Freedom Technique. While repeating the phrase from step one tape the “karate chop” point on your hand. Say the phrase three times while tapping this point and then starting at the top of the head tap each point at least six times while saying the phrase before moving on to the next point. Do all the points on the body and then on the wrist and the hand. After completing all the points close your eyes and take three deep breaths. Re-evaluate your “rating” of your feeling and then either repeat steps one and two or decide to stop.
This figure illustrates the main parts of the body to tap.
1. Karate Chop Point – Small Intestine Meridian
2. Top of Head – Governing Meridian, All Yang Meridians, do not use with high blood pressure
3. Beginning of Eyebrow Point – start point of the Bladder Meridian, Stomach Meridian
4. Side of Eye Point – end point of the Triple Warmer Meridian, beginning point of the the Gall Bladder Meridian, Small Intestine Meridian
5. Under the Eye Point – Stomach Meridian
6. Under Nose Point – end point of the Governing Meridian, Large Intestine Meridian
7. Chin Point – end point of the Central or Conception Meridian, Stomach Meridian
8. Collarbone Point – Kidney Meridian
The Hand Tapping Points in Emotional Freedom Technique
This figure illustrates the tapping points on the finger and gamut – the crease on the back of your hand between your little finger and ring finger. Note that all the finger points are on the outside edge of the finger where the nail meets the skin.
9. Under Arm Point – ending point of the Spleen Meridian
10. Inside the Wrist – Upper Yin Meridians
11. Thumb – Lung Meridian
12. Index Finger – Large Intestine Meridian
13. Middle Finger – Circulation/Sex
14. Little Finger - Heart Meridian
a. Back of the Wrist – Upper Yang Meridians – This and Inner wrist together covers entire hand.
b. Gamut – Triple Warmer
c. Above Outside Ankle Bone – Lower yang meridians, do not use during pregnancy
d. Above Inside Ankle Bone – Lower yin meridians, do not use during pregnancy
VI. Sources, Videos, Additional Reading
For more information on tapping please visit the following sources of information.
http://www.emofree.com/ – The site of Gary Craig, the originator of Emotional Freedom Technique.
http://www.healing-with-eft.com/ – Eloisa Ramos, EFT Master
http://www.eftfree.net/ – is a community-minded, educational website dedicated to sharing the art and practice of EFT.
http://www.tapping.com/ – is your portal to find out how others are using Tapping and share your experiences.
Emotional Freedom Technique Videos
Magnus Tapping Videos
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) Demo with Aila