What is EFT?
EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Technique. It works to free the user of both physical and emotional pain and relieve chronic conditions by healing the physical responses our bodies make after we've been hurt or experienced pain. While some people do not carry the effects of these experiences, others have bodies that hold onto these memories, which affect the way the body works.
Because it is a free and fast technique, even if you are not one hundred percent committed to whether it works or not, it is still worth giving it a shot and seeing if there is any improvement. It's about physical connections rather than trying to alter your subconscious or similar so even if it is applied with less enthusiasm than is optimal it still should show results.
EFT uses finger taps on certain parts of the body to reboot your body and get it working better. It's a combination of both the science of Acupuncture and of Mind Body Medicine. Whereas Acupuncturists need needles, this can be done with nothing more than your own hand.
It is easiest to deal with thought patterns first, but as they are sorted and catered to, and your ability to better zero in on the root causes evolve, it is a simple step to start combating physical problems as well.
While some people require several sessions, others find one session of EFT can permanently eliminate an issue they have struggled with for years.
How Does it Work?
If you think Edison was clever inventing a way to channel electricity then you'll think your body is incredibly brilliant when you begin to understand this technique.
Our bodies have currents and connections all over the place. We conduct and carry electricity all the time. If you've ever had an electric shock on a windy day, as you've touched something metal you'll know you can carry electricity.
If you touch something very hot, you feel the pain immediately because the sensors in your hands carry the information via circuits up to your brain. The sense of pain travels as fast as an electrical current up to your pain receptors and translates as a huge "ow" as you remove your hand instinctively away from the pain.
We need these energy flows to live and survive. If you look at a people suffering from leprosy, you'll know the damage is not done by the disease, but by one of the symptoms of the disease- the loss of pain receptors. The body is no longer able to carry information about hots and colds, and pain. This means the body can suffer injury without the body letting the brain know.
We need the electrical sensors in us to live and survive. Without them we would not be able to touch, taste, smell, see or hear. We can record these electrical patterns in several ways.
Sensors can measure the electrical pathways in our brains and hearts, with an EEG (electroencephalograph) for the brain, or an EKG (electrocardiograph) for the heart. These measure the currents running through these vital organs, allowing doctors to measure and analyze their performance and health.
We need strong electrical vitals to survive and live. When the energy stops flowing we do too - we can't live.
Before the advent of machines to measure this energy, Eastern philosophers and medicine practitioners discovered these pathways. Chinese practitioners developed a system of tracking the energy points of the body tracking how our energy moves through the body. These electrical circuits or meridians were then used to treat all sorts of ailments.
The science of acupuncture is about stimulating these meridian points to counter any issue that could be caused by a break down in our body's electrical circuits. Acupuncture isn't the only form treatment to come out of this. Wide range of treatments including acupressure, chiropractic, massages therapy and of course EFT uses these points to treat a vast array of problems.
You may not be able to physically see the energy traveling around your body, you that doesn't mean it's not there.
For a long time western medicine has tried to change the internal by focusing on the chemical side of health, giving sufferers drugs and substances to alter the body's chemistry. However more and more western medical professionals are moving back to investigating the benefits of eastern practices and many have implemented some of the practices as part of their treatment programme.
The science of EFT began not with a research grant and a pile of guileless volunteers in a research lab, but rather with a woman suffering from a crippling fear of water. Her therapist, a Doctor Roger Callahan had tried every method known to him to cure her over an eight month period. He had tried all conventional methods but nothing had shown any signs of even alleviating the problem.
Callahan had been reading about meridians and how they may affect our health. Almost carelessly and without a lot of though, he began to tap just under Maria's eye which is the end point of the stomach meridian. This was because she had mentioned an upset stomach and he felt it may help. She announced to her astonished therapist who had tried everything else that her phobia had gone. To prove the point she went down to a local pool and began to splash water over her face, laughing.
Her headaches, her panic attacks, her fear had all gone. She was completely free of the phobia that had crippled her, to the point she no longer had the bad dreams and nightmares she had been suffering from for such a long time. EFT since then has continued to have countless case studies attributing it to breaking through where everything else failed.
What is the Essence?
All our negative emotions that can cause pain both of a physical or emotional nature are caused by a disruption in our body's energy systems. To remove the pain we need to get all the circuits working properly again.
Pulses sent down the correct meridian unblock the pathways (a little like a plunger unblocks the gunk in a drain) and balances our energy again. When we have a balanced energy we don't have the emotional intensity building up anymore as there is no blockage for it to build up against.
Our unwanted emotions are simply caused by energy disruptions. Now it's important o recognize that it's not about a traumatic memory causing the problem. This belief is at the crux of a lot of modern therapy practices where we are expected to talk over problems and issues and work through the processes to be free from them. EFT circumvents this as just clears the circuits or meridians where that negative emotion started the blockage.
You do not need to psychoanalyze your feelings to be free of the effects of them. The memories you hold and the feelings form them ay hold some keys to helping yourself be freed from them but you don't need to investigate them in detail. For this reason, EFT is a great choice of treatment for those people who are suffering from a fair amount of emotional pain.
Imagine you have a nasty bruise on your leg and you go to the doctor to have it treated. If they said to treat it you needed to press down on it over and over again, letting the pain course through your body each time would you feel good about that solution? That is a physical illustration of why consistent talking over of past hurts and pain may not be the best solution.
If you have ever done circuit making as part of science at school, you'll remember if there was a loose connection your little light bulb might not properly light up. It wasn't that all the wires weren't touching, but one of the wires may not have been properly connected and this would cause the light bulb to flicker and not work with its full intensity.
This is a little like our insides. We sometimes need something to straighten out the wires and make sure they are all properly connected.
If you can accept the logic of this and then start to really make use of it the end result can be stunning. Basically it's stopping the need to conduct an endless cycle of talking as it's short-circuiting the process, cutting into that very moment the first circuit blockage occurred and dealing with that - without needing to tread out all the accompanying emotional garbage.
The focus on talking things out is why many people often get worse when going to conventional counseling. It's like the bruise analogy again - if you keep on prodding it all you fee is more pain and it's certainly not going to make it feel or get better. If we are forced to relive a distressing memory over and over again we just keep on blocking up the same disrupted circuit and fuzzing out our frequencies.
EFT, tapping the ends of meridian points helps better because the direct cause of all that negative energy and emotion is being treated. It's why it's a faster and simpler method (and far less painful!)
This treatment isn't just for one or two negative emotions - it works for all of them. Fears, phobias, stress, anger, grief, depression, PTSD, anxiety, worry and guilt which can induce long term physical effects can all be treated to allow you to overcome blockages in your employment, relationships and thought patterns.
All of these can be treated the same way as they are all caused by that fuzzy circuit connection in your meridians.
Negative Feelings - How they Form
The first step is a distressing memory pops up. It's something that may be caused by perception rather than fact but it doesn't stop the fact it feels incredibly real.
The second step is the memory causes a fuzzy circuit or a disruption to your body's energy which then leads to a negative emotion. It you deal with the second step the third no longer has any impact.
That is why some people are more affected than others but negative experiences. If it hasn't caused a negative memory, then you don't have the end result of negative emotion caused by a problem in your meridian balance.
Seeing the steps laid out so simply it is easy to see why people often try to treat the negative emotion- all they are doing is missing out the second step and treating that instead.
This simple step process shows exactly why all the negative feelings we have stem for a lack of the same treatment process. Our guilt or grief comes through exactly the same pathways.
Instead of needing to work through a huge range of causes for your horrible feelings it comes down to just one - a fuzzy connection.
Why Tap so Many?
When your car goes into to get a tune up a good mechanic knows he or she needs to check more than just the spark plugs. Though frequently they get filled with dirt and grime and affect the running of the car, left undone for a while and the rest of the car's engine starts to have problems too.
It's like that with our bodies. If we have a blockage in one meridian our clever bodies will try to cope with the problem by moving more energy through another meridian. Our body is constantly trying to keep us balanced and working and this can cause strain on the other electrical circuits.
So when EFT is used to tap the blockages away, it taps on all the meridian points to relive any other auxiliary issues. By doing this the likelihood of resolving the issue greatly increases. The vast majority of people can have their issues resolved in this manner.
Basically, even though to you and me the treatment process seems simple and painless, it is actually overkill. It targets more than you need to get better. Which, when you think about the simplicity of it, is really rather amazing.
EFT practitioners call this the Basic Recipe. It can be applied to fine-tune your whole body, treating a raft of problems in one session. It's a process that takes a few minutes of your time for some long reaching results.
Because we often don't know which meridians are fuzzy connections EFT asks you tap all of the ones that are known to cause problems. Overtapping is not a harmful practice. It's just being thorough.
It's important to carry out the basic recipe in order just as if you were cooking a batch of muffins. You need to follow the order in a recipe as it's been constructed to give you the best chance of high, fluffy and sweet muffins to eat. An EFT basic recipe is no different. You need to follow the order to get the best results.
It can take a bit of explaining and time to learn the recipe but once mastered it can be applied as needed in under a minute. That's better than muffins!
Once you've mastered it there are some shortcuts you can take, but like cooking where it's best to master muffins before you attempt the seven layer pound cake with three types of frosting... starting with the basics is a good move.
There are four steps in the EFT recipe. Two of these are the same- repeated to complete the process.
- The Setup
- The Sequence
- The Nine Gamut Procedure
- The Sequence (again)
So let's get started ...
STEP ONE: The Setup
To make sure the recipe is going to work you need to get things ready. It's like making sure the oven is switched on, the mixing bowl is on the bench and all the muffin tins are ready for the batter. Without this the recipe is not going to work.
Remember how our body is a set of delicate energy systems. To set up our meridians to get them ready for EFT, we need to make sure we are ready for the process.
We can prevent it working by powering up our energy flow the wrong way. If you've ever gone to find a torch, and discovered the batteries are flat, put new ones in and discovered it's still not working then you may have discovered the problem of powering up electrical circuits wrong.
The torch is probably not working because you've slipped the new batteries in the wrong way, and the polarity of + or - is off. Sometimes our polarity is off too. It doesn't mean that we won't work completely but it does mean that we can't fully work to our best capacity.
It's one reason why sometimes conventional medicine doesn't work even when it is supposed to. Losing weight, struggling with addictions all come from this polarity switch. It's the basis for any self sabotage or ruining of plans and preparation. It wars against our will and makes change difficult if at all.
It's caused by a wide and diverse range of negative self talk that wears the body down and destructs our ability to function at full 's capacity. It tends to hinder EFT's effectiveness in about two in every five cases. It doesn't necessarily create feelings along with it so many people are not aware it is even present.
To get rid of it you need to unblock the issue and deal with it. If it's not there, no harm is done, but if it was then you've cleared the way for change, and it will have only taken around ten seconds of your time.
All you need to do is repeat an affirmation three times while rubbing a spot in your chest area or tapping the karate chop point.
What is the Affirmation?
It's really important our affirmations contain only positive statements. To counteract any blocks we need to release a positive affirmation:
Even though I have this (place issue here) I deeply and completely accept myself.
The issue can be anything from a terrible migraine, to chronic pain, to a fear of heights, to a struggle with weight loss. Use it for whatever the chief symptom being displayed is.
The order of wording doesn't need to be identical but the positivist of the affirmation needs to be strong and consistent. You need to both acknowledge the problem and then create self acceptance in spite of it.
If you say it with a fair amount of disbelief and lack of trust that it will work it still will. The best way to say it is with feeling, clearly and with emphasis, but even if you just repeat it in a normal voice (especially if you are in public and don't want to draw attention to yourself) then it normally still works. Saying it out loud works best, but people have found muttering it or saying it in your head still has some effect.
Rebecca was sitting in a group detox meeting when the leader suggested they try some EFT for another person's stress about workloads. The leader suggested they all did the tapping to keep the person company as it didn't do any harm.
Rebecca thought it looked pretty silly and mumbled it under her breath, and tapped rather haphazardly. She forgot all about until the next morning when she woke up with more energy than she had for a long time and a clear plan of action for her day. She powered through her own work completing a week's work in a day. She couldn't work out what the reason was.
It wasn't until the next day when she experienced the same level of productivity that she thought it might be the EFT. She's since used it with the same levels of effectiveness to treat a long term addiction. She discovered saying it quietly and without power still made it work.
The Sore Spot
As you say the affirmation you also need to rub the sore spot or tap the karate chop point (see next).
To find the sore spot move your finger tips to the base of your throat just below that soft unprotected part, resting your fingers on the bone there. Now move your fingers about ten centimeters down your chest bone and then ten centimeters to either the left or the right. You'll know when you get there because pressing down on it is...SORE. If you press vigorously there it will hurt.
Rub this vigorously while you repeat the affirmation. It's sore because this is a part of your body where lymphatic congestion can occur. As you rub it, it's like a massage, as the congestion becomes dispersed, the soreness goes away. (But it will hurt a bit first) If it really hurts you, lighten the pressure a little and relax it. It's not meant to be unbearable!
If this is an area of concern to you, such as an operation site, or a long term chronic heart condition then you can use the karate chop tapping instead. However otherwise this area is a good area to stimulate and is probably more effective than the karate chop as it is dispersing congestion.
The Karate Chop Point
That edge of your hand you'd use to break four or five bricks in one swoop is the karate chop point. It's on the outside of your write on either hand. Vigorously tap it with your dominate free fingers as you say the affirmation three times.
So that's Setup ... Now you have all the tools it's easy to complete the setup part of the process. Choose an affirmation and repeat it three times as you either rub the sore spot or tap the karate chop point. Simple!
STEP TWO: The Sequence
This is very simple to complete. All you need to do is tap your fingers on all the important meridian points.
You can tap with either hand, using the tips of your index and middle fingers. Each point should be tapped around seven times as you repeat the reminder phrase at each point. Most of the points are in existence on both parts of the body and you can tap on either side, depending on what you most feel comfortable doing.
The meridians that have been selected have their end points close to the skin so are the most easily accessible.
The tapping points are as follows:
EB: at the beginning of the eyebrow
SE: at the outer side of the eyebrow on the bone outside the eye socket.
UE: under the eyebrow on the cheek bone, right under the middle of the eye.
UN: Under the nose and before your top lip
CH: Just below the lip and just before your chin begins.
CB: The place between where the breastbone, collarbone and first rib meet.
UA: Under the arm level with where your nipple is (for men) or the top of your bra strap is (for women).
BN: Just under the breast, or one inch below the nipple if you are male.
TH: On the outside of your thumb, at the tip
IF: On the top segment of the index finger level with the base of the fingernail, on the same side as the thumb.
MF: On the side of your middle finger, closest to the thumb and level with the base of your fingernail.
BF: On the side of your baby finger, closest to your thumb, at a point level with the base of your fingernail.
KC: This is the karate chop point which we have mentioned before.
When carrying out the sequence we start at the top and work our way down in order. Once you have done it several times it becomes easier to remember the order automatically.
As you do this you repeat an affirmation similar to the one you used in the set up. For example:
Even though I am terrified of public speaking, I love and accept myself.
STEP THREE: The 9 Gamut Procedure
If you've ever working in a high intensity workout you'll know that the surprising thing is you don't work to the same intensity throughout the workout.
The Nine Gamut Procedure uses the same technique which works but doesn't involve so much puffing! It does involve giving your brain time to compute this new breakthrough information and adjust itself.
But it is also potentially the most obvious part, as you need to sing or count (or sing and count at the same time) to make your brain divert away from the affirmation and allow your body to reboot itself.
You use both counting and singing as these engage both sides of the brain. You also need to do several different movements.
The process is as follows:
1. Close eyes
2. Open eyes
3. Move eyes hard down to your right
4. Move eyes hard down to your left
5. Roll eyes clockwise
6. Roll eyes counterclockwise
7. Sing a first line of a song
8. Count to ten fast
9. Sing another line of a song.
This process improves the effectiveness and only takes ten seconds. While it may be prudent to temper the volume of your singing in a public place, and your movements may make a few eyebrows rise, it is well worth giving it a shot!
It's best t do this in strict order, but as long as you do the last three steps in that order the others can be mixed round a little.
So now you have the process it's easy.
You do the sequence; take a break with the nine gamut; then repeat the sequence again to complete the recipe.
STEP 4: Repeat the Sequence
Why do we repeat the sequence? By repeating the phrase and the sequence we consolidate the learning.
We can apply this recipe for any need we may have. It's your quick fix that we all long for and hope works, and in this case generally does! However you do need to focus on a specific problem for it to be effective. If you make it too general, then it's not going to work.
We use a reminder phrase during the sequence to remind us why we are tapping. What this does is brings the bad memory or feeling to the forefront and then deal with it. It allows us to take the power of that emotion away.
While the reminder phrase is not always necessary, it's a good idea to put it in there just in case. It's like a painless preventative measure to ensure you have the best shot of this taking and working.
There are a range of issues that can be remedied with a reminder phrase. Some examples are headaches, pain, sugar cravings, depression, and anger towards a family member, rejection and fear.
After you have done this a few times you can slowly adjust by finding any other blocks affecting your progress. After you've made the sweeping statement, repeat it by adding the words some or still. For example...
Even though I still crave sugar I love and accept myself.
What if it Doesn't Work?
EFT works in nearly all cases when it is applied correctly. The benefit of it is that it just doesn't hurt to try it - it's not invasive it has no harmful chemicals and it's something you can do anywhere.
It's a gentle solution, and around ninety seven percent of users say they find some if not all their relief from a pain (be it emotional, physical or spiritual) through using EFT.
If you have serious emotional of physical issues, it is best to consult both your medical practitioners and seek out someone specializing in EFT to help you work through the issues surrounding your disability.
The reason some people find far more success in using EFT is they use it in the correct way, keeping the statements specific and focused.
For some of us, we tend to see our problem as a vast and huge thing with far reaching global consequences. The label may feel specific but is actually very broad.
Examples of this can be:
"Nobody has ever cared about me"
"I'm not good at relationships"
"I'm always the one rejected"
"I've never had self control about my eating"
All these types of comments are actually made up of a huge range of smaller problems that compound together to create this central belief. If you try to use EFT on this huge snowballed problem, then you may not notice any huge changes.
While some aspects will be changed, it's a little like sneaking a few jellybeans from a huge jar - they are gone, but it's hard to notice their absence.
The way round this is to use EFT on specifics, on smaller topics within the framework of the global issue. So take a look at the big issue, and find an episode in your life that refers to it, and deal with that one in particular. If you keep on sneaking small handfuls of those jellybeans at a time, eventually the pile is going to get noticeable smaller and smaller.
So if for example we take the global belief "Nobody has ever cared about me" and we break it down to specific events we can deal with the hurt from each one and impact the large overriding event.
Instead of "Nobody has ever cared about me," try something like...
"Even though my mum told me in front of my friend that I was stupid..."
Or, "Even though my husband called me names on our fifth wedding anniversary.."
Or, "Even though I was told off for crying when my dog died"
These are all true contributors to the bigger issue of Nobody has ever cared about me as they are all events that have added to your sense of not being loved.
There is a very real sense perhaps of not being loved, but really it's a symptom of the impact all these singular events had on you and how you see yourself. If those things had never happened (or whatever are the key negative events in your life) would you have the issues you do? No, because it's from these that we learn about the way things "are" whether it's correct or not.
To make the effects of the global problem disappear we need to do away of each little handful of jellybeans. When we do this by looking at specific events instead several benefits are found.
The first is you can find it easier to recognize the effects from one event have been removed. Often that event is linked to another after it that may have triggered a similar reaction so removing the power from it also removes the power from later experiences. Realizing that it works on specific events increases your confidence to use it in other areas.
As you remove the power of one event, you reduce the power overall from the symptoms you are feeling. So the removal of this one event's effects makes it easier to spot other events and sort them out too.
We often have common symptoms from other events in our life so the more specific you are, the faster you can see large results happen.
The key to success is to be as specific as possible. If you are not seeing results then perhaps a change in tack in what you are using it for needs to be applied. Instead of trying to correct a large global issue, start off small. You're far more likely to see the effects you want that way.
Sometimes a symptom can be caused by a core issue that you may not be ready to sort or admit to. These core issues need to be addressed for you to see success.
Anna was struggling with getting up in the morning. She had always been a night person but with a home full of children she knew the only way to get some time for herself and find time to work out was to get up before the household started.
Anna went to an EFT specialist who took her through the EFT process, and questioned her to discover her core belief. The late nights had started when her mother was struggling to both look after her and work full time. As she worked late, the only time
Anna had to spend with her mother had been late at night. She identified late nights with feeling comforted and intimate. She also was struggling with the feelings of being left with sitters at a young age even though her adult self could explain that away.
The EFT practitioner helped her work through the relationship Anna had with her mother, rather than the late night/ early morning issue and after a few sessions Anna naturally started waking in the morning feeling energized and ready for her day. It was a core issue problem.
There are some questions you can ask yourself to see if your issue may have a deeper core issue affecting it:
1. When was the first time you remember feeling the same sort of feeling?
2. What does this issue make you think about?
3. If there was a deeper issue behind this one, what do you think it might be?
4. If you could live your life over again, is there any person or even you'd like to not meet or experience?
If you don't automatically know, take a guess. Our guesses sometimes circumvents our desire to protect ourselves or justify bad events as part of life, without dealing with the long term trauma some of them can cause.
The author of this online short book is the talented writer and presenter Rachel Goodchild. Rachel is a well-respected writer in the Self Improvement and Relationships genres. She also presents an early morning TV show, Rachel Goodchild's Good Advice on the Sunrise channel, with an ever-growing fan-base.
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