EFT stands for ‘Emotional Freedom Technique’ and is a form of psychological acupressure. When practicing EFT, we literally tap on specific points on our face and upper body while vocalizing an issue that we are experiencing and the emotional antidote for the issue (positive affirmations, essentially).
EFT is more commonly referred to as ‘tapping’ and is a very effective form of anxiety relief, PTSD symptom relief and can even help with physical pain. Tapping is quite similar to acupressure in that we tap on the same energy meridians targeted in an acupuncture session:
- The side of your hand
- The ‘third eye’, right between the eyebrows
- The temples
- The cupid’s bow, above the top lip
- The chin
- The chest
- The underarm
To get a better understanding of what this practice looks like, click HERE to check out an EFT video by Brad Yates on ‘Releasing Emotional Pain’.
By focusing on these meridian points (listed above), balance is restored to the body and energetic tension is relieved. We know that emotional pain often manifests as physical pain or disease. EFT targets emotional and physical pain by talking through any discomfort while physically breaking up blockages that may reside in any given meridian, or energy point.
Stress is one of the leading causes of disease if it is prolonged and/or experienced often. It is natural, and even necessary, to experience quick bursts of stress when we need to cope with potentially dangerous situations. It is part of the human experience. However, when we find ourselves getting stressed about really small things or we start to ‘disaster prophesize’, otherwise known as ‘catastrophizing’ or thinking in worst case scenarios, then we have to change because our stress has gotten to unhealthy levels. When we allow stress to run the show, it can result in insomnia, weight issues, headaches, depression, irritability and other debilitating issues.
Thankfully, EFT directly targets stress – and it’s free! It is also something we can provide for ourselves. We don’t have to make an appointment with a practitioner or outside person. Tapping sends signals to the part of the brain that controls our stress response (the hypothalamus) to let us know that everything is under control and that we are safe. So, if you find yourself in a stressful situation where your heart is racing, your breathing is rapid, and your muscles are tense… start tapping to let your body know that there is no imminent danger.
There are additional tapping points and additional tapping formats but it is helpful to start with a basic formula such as the one described below. When you are ready give it a try!
Use the soft finger pads of 2, or 3, fingers on one, or both, hands to begin tapping gently (this should feel soothing, not painful) as you think or speak the ideas listed below. Move from one tapping point to another once you have tapped 7-10 times or you have completed a complete phrase or thought.
- Begin by identifying a current feeling or emotion and speaking it. For example: ‘feeling insecure or fearful’
- Then stating how you’d prefer to feel as a choice. For example: ‘I choose to be confident’
- State positive affirmations that relate to confidence and forgive anyone (including yourself) who may have perpetuated your lack of confidence.
- Observe what made you feel insecure in the past.
- Circle back to the positive affirmations around confidence.
*References: Rowe J. The effects of EFT on long term psychological symptoms. Counseling Clin Psychol J. 2006 and Swingle P, Pulos L, Swingle M. Neurophysiological indicators of EFT treatment of post traumatic stress. Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine 1591) 75-86