Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is a form of counseling intervention that draws on various theories of alternative medicine including acupuncture, neuro-linguistic programming, energy medicine, and Thought Field Therapy (TFT). It is best known through Gary Craig’s EFT Handbook, published in the late 1990s, and related books and workshops by a variety of teachers. EFT and similar techniques are often discussed under the umbrella term “energy psychology”.
EFT is a method, whereby you stimulate acupressure points whilst saying special phrases to release negative emotions.
It is a relatively new and a fast-evolving discovery and because of that, it is often overlooked, even though it has been used as an effective treatment to help thousands of people.
EFT is basically a tapping sequence which helps release blockages within your energy system and start living life more harmoniously. You will need to be using your fingers to tap on the skin where your energy meridians are located. It is a completely safe and pain-free treatment. It is also easy to practice at home, read on to discover how.
Where does EFT come from
About 5,000 years ago, the Chinese discovered a complex system of energy circuits that run throughout the body. These energy circuits, or meridians as they are called, are the centerpiece of Eastern health practices and form the basis for modern day acupuncture, acupressure and a wide variety of other healing techniques.
These ideas have been ignored by most Western practices for many years (tends to focus on the chemical nature of the body), but are now becoming more and more popular.
As Albert Einstein mentioned almost 100 years ago, everything is energy. Including our bodies. So EFT focuses on working with that energy to achieve physical and emotional wellbeing. It tries to eliminate the hidden, negative emotions in our bodies that cause disruptions in our physical systems.
In the short time since its introduction by Gary Craig back in the 1990’s, EFT has provided thousands of people with relief from all kinds of conditions, often in surprisingly quick time and after a long and painful time of searching for a more “traditional” solution.
How ETF works
Eft’s discovery statement is:
“The cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body’s energy system”
EFT works to clear such disruptions and eliminate the resulting emotional tension in order to restore emotional harmony and offer relief from physical discomfort. According to the Eft’s Basic Recipe, the 100% overhaul concept is, to run around the diagnosis.
Everyone who practices Eft (practitioners and individuals) use a memorized process called “The Basic Recipe” which is a combination of sending kinetic energy onto specific meridians, while you think about your specific problem, and voice positive affirmations.
Practicing this procedure, they apply enough tapping to overhaul the entire energy system. This way, the odds of fixing the specific energy imbalance, are greatly enhanced, even though there is no ability to diagnose. This concept requires that they tap near the endpoints of numerous energy meridians without knowing which of them may be disrupted. In this way, they “overtap” and will, in the process, tap on some energy meridians that are flowing normally. You might wonder if this does any harm. The answer is no.
Thus “overtapping”, as EFT requires, has the same effect as overhauling an electrical device. No harm was done, and you’ll probably fix what’s wrong.
Plus, all this procedure takes only a few minutes.
The Basic Recipe
The Basic Recipe is very simple and easy to do. Once memorized, each round of it can be performed in about 1 minute. It will take some practice, of course, but after a few tries, the whole process becomes very easy to use, and you will be well on your way to master EFT and all the benefits it provides.
It consists of four steps, two of which are identical. They are:
- The Setup
- The Sequence
- The 9 Gamut Procedure
- The Sequence
Step 1. “The Setup “
This step is aiming to “set up” your energy system. This routine is vital to the whole process and prepares the energy system so, that the rest of “The Basic Recipe” can do its job. Your energy system is a set of subtle electric circuits. Make sure your energy system is properly oriented before attempting to remove its disruptions. Your energy system is subject to a form of electrical interference which can block the balancing effect of these tapping procedures. When present, this interfering blockage must be removed otherwise “The Basic Recipe” will not work. Removing it is the job of this step.
Briefly, in this step, you will rub either the lymphatic drainage point known as the Sore Spot or tap the Karate Chop Point (these will be explained shortly), while saying your Set Up Phrase out loud three times. It only takes 8 or 10 seconds.
The “Set Up” Phrase is an affirmation that we use to neutralizing the negative thinking produced by your issue, and must be an accurate description of your issue (as accurate as possible), in the following format:
Even though I have this _____________, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Here are some examples.
- Even though I have this fear of snakes, I deeply and completely accept myself.
- Even though I have this fear of public speaking, I deeply and completely accept myself.
- Even though I have this headache, I deeply and completely accept myself.
These are only a few examples because the possible issues that are addressable by EFT, are endless.
Step 2. “The Sequence “
This step, is very simple in concept. It involves tapping on the endpoints of the major energy meridians in the body while repeating at each point a shortened version of your Set Up affirmation called the “Reminder Phrase”.
Reminder Phrases of the above examples might be:
- this fear of snakes
- this fear of public speaking
- this headache
Tap about 7 times on each of the tapping points. Because it is not easy to repeat a “reminder phrase” while tapping and counting at the same time. Don’t worry too much about the counting, if you are a little over or a little under 7 (5 to 9, for example) will be sufficient.
The location of these points and useful tips on how to carry out tapping covered later.
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Step 3. “The 9 Gamut Procedure”
This is, perhaps, the most bizarre looking process within EFT. Its purpose is to “fine tune” the brain and it does so via some eye movements and some humming and counting. Through connecting nerves, certain parts of the brain are stimulated when the eyes are moved. Likewise, the right side of the brain (the creative side) is engaged when you hum a song and the left side (the logical side) is engaged when you count.
The 9 Gamut Procedure is a 10-second process wherein 9 of these “brain stimulating” actions are performed while continuously tapping on one of the body’s energy points, the Gamut point. The Gamut Point is located on the back of the hand, just behind and in between the knuckles of the ring and little finger.
You must perform 9 different actions while tapping the Gamut point continuously.
The 9 Gamut actions are:
- Eyes closed.
- Eyes open.
- Eyes hard down right while holding the head steady.
- Eyes hard down left while holding the head steady.
- Roll eyes in a circle as though your nose was at the center of a clock and you were trying to see all the numbers in order.
- Same as #5 only reverse the direction in which you roll your eyes.
- Hum 2 seconds of a song (suggest Happy Birthday).
- Count rapidly from 1 to 5.
- Hum 2 seconds of a song again.
These 9 actions are presented in a certain order and it is suggested that you memorize them in the given order.
Step 4. “The Sequence “(again)
The fourth, and last, step in “The Basic Recipe”, was mentioned above. It is an identical trip through The Sequence.
Subsequent Round Adjustments
Sometimes the problem will simply vanish after just one round while, at other times, one round provides only partial relief. When only partial relief is obtained, you will need to do one or more additional rounds with adjustments.
Since the subconscious mind tends to be very literal, the subsequent rounds of The Basic Recipe need to address the fact that you are working on the remaining problem. Accordingly, the affirmation contained within “The Setup” needs to be adjusted as does the Reminder Phrase.
Here’s the adjusted format for “The Setup” affirmation:
Even though I still have some of this__________, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Note the emphasized words (still & some) and how they change the thrust of the affirmation toward the remainder of the problem.
The original affirmations, shown earlier in this section could be substitute with these ones:
- Even though I still have some of this fear of snakes, I deeply and completely accept myself.
- Even though I still have some of this fear of public speaking, I deeply and completely accept myself.
- Even though I still have some of the headache, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Each energy meridian has two endpoints. You need only tap on one end to balance out any disruptions that may exist in it. These endpoints are near the surface of the body and are thus more readily accessed than other points along the meridians that may be more deeply buried. Here are instructions on how to locate the endpoints of those meridians that are important to this procedure.
- Eyebrow (EB) – Located just above the nose where the eyebrow starts, slightly to the side.
- Side of the Eye (SE)– Located on the bone alongside the corner of the eye.
- Under the Eye (UE)– Located an inch under the pupil.
- Under the Nose (UN)– Located in the area between your nose and upper lip.
- Under the Mouth (Ch)– Located below your bottom lip and above your chin.
- Collar Bone(CB) – Located where your collarbone and first rib meet. To find it, locate the U shaped indentation at the top at the bottom of your throat (where a man knots his tie), then move down 1 inch and to the side 1 inch.
- Under the Arm (UA) – Located about 4 inches below the armpit.
- Under the Nipple (BN)– Located about 1 inch below the nipple.
- Thumb (Th)- On the outside edge of your thumb at a point even with the base of the thumbnail.
- Index Finger (IF) – On the side of your index finger (the side facing your thumb) at a point even with the base of the fingernail.
- Middle Finger (MF) – On the side of your middle finger (the side closest to your thumb) at a point even with the base of the fingernail.
- Baby Finger (BF) – On the inside of your baby finger (the side closest to your thumb) at a point even with the base of the fingernail.
- Karate Chop – Located on the fleshy, outside part of the hand between the top of the wrist and the bottom of the pinkie finger.
Please notice that each tapping point is below the one before it. That should make it easy to memorize. With a little practice, you will always remember it.
The first thing to understand is that you will be tapping with your fingers. There are a number of acupuncture meridians on your fingertips, and when you tap with your fingertips you are also likely using not only the meridians you are tapping on, but also the ones on your fingers.
Traditional EFT has you tapping with the fingertips of your index finger and middle finger and with only one hand (use 4 fingers on the top of the head and under the arm to cover a larger area). Either hand works just as well. Most of the tapping points exist on either side of the body, so it doesn’t matter which side you use, nor does it matter if you switch sides during the tapping. Ideally, you will want to use your fingertips, not your finger pads as they have more meridian points. However, if you have long fingernails you should use your finger pads.
You should tap solidly, but never so hard as to hurt or bruise yourself. Glasses and watches can mechanically and electromagnetically interfere with EFT, so it is better to remove them prior to tapping. For quick sessions conducted by yourself, this is not critical, as you can easily tap around them, but there is always a benefit to removing them when possible.
Evaluate the problem
At the beginning of an EFT session, evaluate the intensity of the distress you feel about the problem, on a subjective scale of 1 to 10. (where 10 represents the maximum intensity and 0 represents no intensity whatsoever). This provides a benchmark against which to measure your progress. You might start at a 6, for instance, and then go to a 3, and then a 1, and finally to 0 as various rounds of “The Basic Recipe” are applied.
Your goal is to have it down to a 1 or a 0 which would indicate complete freedom from the distress you started out with. Remember, you should always measure the intensity as it exists NOW, as you think about it, and not as you think it would be in the actual situation.
One problem but many aspects.
The notion of aspects is an important one in EFT.
While it is best, of course, to be as specific as possible with the set-up affirmation, different aspects are possible with just about any problem you want to address with EFT. In such cases, it is important to persist in rooting out all these aspects and tap on them until the issue is completely resolved.
Please understand that where several aspects of an emotional problem are present, you may not notice any relief until all aspects are reduced to 0 by “The Basic Recipe”. The majority of the problems “The Basic Recipe” addresses are not laden with numerous aspects. Most problems are easy to identify and just as easily relieved.
But just in case you happen to have one of those more involved problems and you are unable to identify specific aspects of it, then suggest you do 3 rounds of The Basic Recipe for “this feeling” or “this problem” once per day (that’s about 3 minutes per day) for 30 days. The subconscious mind has a way of bringing up what is necessary and you should have relief long before the 30 days have elapsed.
Try It On Everything!
There is no limit to the emotional and physical problems which can be addressed by EFT. It is a tool that can help you in many, many areas of your life. However, this “Try it on everything” idea must be interpreted with common sense. It’s purpose is to expand your awareness of EFT’s possibilities. It is not a license to act irresponsibly. Accordingly, you should not try EFT on serious mental illnesses or anything else UNLESS you are properly trained or qualified in that area.
The Emotional Freedom Techniques are not intended to diagnose, prescribe or treat any disease, physical or mental. They are also not intended as a substitute for regular medical or psychiatric care. This manual does not advocate the discontinuance of any prescribed medication or medical or psychological care.
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Sources and References
Do you want to learn more about EFT? Check out our recommendations at “EFT Bookshelf”