Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)
Emotional Freedom Techniques, or EFT (often known as Tapping or EFT Tapping), is a therapeutic tool that can provide impressive results for a variety of issues. EFT operates on the premise that no matter what part of your life needs improvement, there are unresolved emotional issues either causing or contributing to the issue. It is commonly accepted in the world of energy psychology that unresolved emotional stress can impede both healing and performance. The reason we say they are unresolved is that any negative experience can be stored in the body and continue affecting the way we handle new experiences.
Each organ in the body and the body as a whole produces its own electromagnetic field. This field is visible via imaging technology. The field can be seen to change with the physical and emotional states of the individual. We often talk about energy without giving much thought to what we are experiencing: “She has such great energy, I love to be around her” or “He has such negative energy, I feel depleted when I’m around him.” The theory goes, that by accessing the energy system while addressing a negative event, EFT helps to smooth out disruptions in the energy system that arise from various traumas, experienced throughout life.
The Chinese mapped a system of meridians or energy channels that run through the body like a network of hoses. According to the theory behind EFT, when we experience a physical or emotional trauma, the flow of energy through one or more of these meridians becomes slowed or blocked, as when a hose becomes kinked or twisted. Acupuncturists have, for centuries, used needles, placed along meridian lines, to restore the smooth flow of energy through the meridians to help people with both physical and emotional discomfort. Tapping works to achieve the same results, without the needles. When smooth energy flow is restored through the meridians, we feel more peaceful and our bodies are better able to heal.
Energy disruptions are easy to recognize. They often manifest physically. Consider that you produce tears when you are sad, adrenaline when you are scared, nausea when you are nervous or blushing when you’re embarrassed. When those disruptions accumulate, and the energy system becomes less efficient, we start to see physical and emotional issues develop.
Compared to traditional therapy, we definitely talk about past events and seek resolution. However, by addressing the energy system and releasing the disruptions related to each memory, we often find that the resolution is faster and more permanent by adding the extra step.
In contrast to traditional western approaches, EFT looks at emotional stress as the primary contributor to physical pain and disease. By identifying and releasing the effects of the emotional stress in our lives, our bodies are better able to heal the symptoms.
Many energy techniques often focus on the overall issue or disruptions that might be present at the beginning of treatment. Those of us professionally trained in EFT hunt for the specific events and disruptions that are most likely to be causing or contributing to your issue. We bring them forward to be addressed.
Gary Craig, Founder of EFT
Gary Craig, a Stanford University-educated engineer, founded EFT in the mid-1990s. As he realized the benefits to the people with whom he “tapped,” he magnanimously released EFT to the world without securing any copyrights or trademarks. Because EFT appears to be very simple, many people have sought to popularize it. This has resulted in many diluted versions of EFT being marketed on the Internet, via webinars, videos, and many books. While Emotional Freedom Techniques appear to be simple, there are many subtle nuances in working with the techniques that are best navigated with the help of a professional who is fully trained in EFT to achieve maximum benefit. EFT is most effective when it is individualized for each client rather than relying on general scripts, as are used in many videos.
There are many videos available online that offer to relieve people of any number of conditions from anxiety, depression, over-eating, poor self-esteem, performance issues and others. These tap-along videos will focus on the symptoms of the various conditions and may produce some relief. We call this palliative EFT. The problem with this surface approach is that the source of the undesired condition remains unaddressed and symptoms are likely to recur. Often, the net result is someone who says they “tried EFT” and it didn’t work. Most people do not have the skill to go deep and address the source of their negative conditions on their own. This is where a skilled EFT practitioner can make the difference.
EFT operates on the premise that there are unresolved emotional issues either causing or contributing to any problem. The reason we say they are unresolved is that any negative experience can be stored in the body and continue affecting the way we handle new experiences. Here’s an example:
If you can imagine that someone has a fear of public speaking, you might also be able to imagine that there were events in his life that have contributed to his fear. Maybe he was embarrassed in grade school, speaking in front of the class; maybe his ideas at work have been rejected in front of colleagues, or maybe his father used to criticize him when he spoke up. Can you see how all of these events, together, could lead to a fear of speaking in front of people?
If you were to find a tap-along video for Fear of Public Speaking, you would, most likely, be instructed to tap the acupoints while saying, “Even though I have this fear of public speaking, I deeply and completely accept myself.” This would be considered a palliative treatment. Using a clinical form of EFT, the patient would be guided through the process of identifying the contributing factors of the presenting problem and collapse them individually, thereby increasing the likelihood of resolution of the problem altogether. Using versions of EFT that use canned scripts and work more generally is like cutting the tops off of the weeds in your garden. It may look like they’re gone but, after a while, they come springing back to life. Clinical EFT can help to collapse them for good.