What is the Emotional Freedom Technique?

EFT

The Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT, is the psychological acupressure technique I routinely use in my practice and most highly recommend to optimize your emotional health. Although it is still often overlooked, emotional health is absolutely essential to your physical health and healing – no matter how devoted you are to the proper diet and lifestyle, you will not achieve your body’s ideal healing and preventative powers if emotional barriers stand in your way.

EFT is very easy to learn, and will help you:

The Tapping Solution DVD
Remove Negative Emotions
Reduce Food Cravings
Reduce or Eliminate Pain
Implement Positive Goals
EFT is a form of psychological acupressure, based on the same energy meridians used in traditional acupuncture to treat physical and emotional ailments for over five thousand years, but without the invasiveness of needles. Instead, simple tapping with the fingertips is used to input kinetic energy onto specific meridians on the head and chest while you think about your specific problem – whether it is a traumatic event, an addiction, pain, etc. — and voice positive affirmations.

This combination of tapping the energy meridians and voicing positive affirmation works to clear the “short-circuit” – the emotional block — from your body’s bioenergy system, thus restoring your mind and body’s balance, which is essential for optimal health and the healing of physical disease.

Some people are initially wary of these principles that EFT is based on – the electromagnetic energy that flows through the body and regulates our health is only recently becoming recognized in the West. Others are initially taken aback by (and sometimes amused by) the EFT tapping and affirmation methodology, whose basics you will learn here.

But keep in mind that, more than any traditional or alternative method I have used or researched, EFT works. I have witnessed the results in my patients since deciding to use EFT exclusively in June of 2001. Indeed, because of its very high rate of success, the use of EFT has spread rapidly, and medical practitioners employing EFT can now be found in every corner of the country and world.

This manual will provide an overview on how and where to tap, and the proper affirmation techniques, so that you can begin using EFT immediately to help yourself and others. It will also provide an introduction to some advanced EFT techniques and principles you can employ.

Tapping Locations & Technique
There are two basic areas to learn in order to use EFT: the tapping locations and technique, and the positive affirmations. These areas, as well as some advanced EFT principles and techniques, are covered in the following sections.

You should be able to successfully treat many problems by diligently applying the following instructions.

If you are not getting the results you would like, or you have a particularly traumatic issue, please do not give up! Instead, consider consulting with an EFT professional. You may check out this clinical EFT certified practitioner database for some guidelines on selecting an EFT therapist, and to find a list of EFT practitioners throughout the U.S. and the world. Many of these therapists even offer a free 15-minute phone session in which you can ask them questions to see if you connect.

Proper EFT Tapping

The basic EFT sequence is straightforward and generally takes my patients only a few minutes to learn. They have the slight advantage of me personally showing them the tapping points, but you should be able to pick up these points relatively quickly. With a little practice, you will be performing each round in under a minute.

NOTE: While it is important to tap the correct area, you need not worry about being absolutely precise, as tapping the general area is sufficient.

It’s All in the Fingertips

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. 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. For example, you can tap under your right eye and, later in the tapping, under your left arm.

I modified this approach slightly by having you use both hands and all your fingers, so that they are gently relaxed and form a slightly curved natural line. The use of more fingers allows you to access more of the acupuncture points. When you use all your fingers you will cover a larger area than just tapping with one or two fingertips, and this will allow you to cover the tapping points more easily.

However, many obtain quite successful results with the traditional one-handed two-finger approach. You can use either method, but I tend to use my modified version in an effort to be more complete.

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 also remove your watch and bracelets, as that will interfere with your use of the wrist meridian tapping.

Tap Solidly – But Don’t Hurt Yourself!

You should tap solidly, but never so hard as to hurt or bruise yourself.

If you decide to use both hands, I recommend slightly alternating the tapping so that each hand is slightly out of phase with the other and you are not tapping with both hands simultaneously. This provides a kinesthetic variant of the alternating eye movement work that is done in EMDR and may have some slight additional benefit.

When you tap on the points outlined below, you will tap about 5-7 times. The actual number is not critical, but ideally should be about the length of time it takes for one full breath. There is probably a distinct benefit for tapping through one complete respiration cycle.

Please notice that these tapping points proceed down the body. That is, each tapping point is below the one before it. That should make it a snap to memorize. A few trips through it and it should be yours forever. However, unlike TFT, the sequence is not critical. You can tap the points in any order and sequence, just so long as all the points are covered. It just is easier to go from top to bottom to make sure you remember to do them all.

Remove your Glasses and Watch Prior to Tapping

Glasses and watches can mechanically and electromagnetically interfere with EF, so I advise everyone to remove them prior to tapping. For quick sessions conducted upon yourself, this is not critical, as you can easily tap around them, but I think there is always a benefit to removing them when possible.

Using EFT in Public: Eliminating any Embarrassment

Many people are concerned about embarrassing themselves by using EFT in public, especially when implementing my revision of it, which really makes one stand out in a crowd.

After a while of using and perfecting the technique – in private quarters, if you prefer – you will be able to use only two fingers of one hand, and to say the affirmation softly under your breath or silently. This way you can do EFT in just about any social setting, and if people even notice what you are doing at all, it will appear to them that you are merely thinking.

The tapping points, and their abbreviations, are explained below, followed by a chart of the points. They are presented below in the exact order in which they should be tapped.

  1. Top of the Head (TH)
    With fingers back-to-back down the center of the skull.

1eft-top-of-the-head

  1. Eyebrow (EB)
    Just above and to one side of the nose, at the beginning of the eyebrow.

2eft-eyebrows

  1. Side of the Eye (SE)
    On the bone bordering the outside corner of the eye.

3eft-side-of-the-eye

  1. Under the Eye (UE)
    On the bone under an eye about 1 inch below your pupil.

4eft-under-the-eye

  1. Under the Nose (UN)
    On the small area between the bottom of your nose and the top of your upper lip.

5eft-under-the-nose

  1. Chin (Ch)
    Midway between the point of your chin and the bottom of your lower lip. Even though it is not directly on the point of the chin, we call it the chin point because it is descriptive enough for people to understand easily.

6eft-chin

  1. Collar Bone (CB)
    The junction where the sternum (breastbone), collarbone and the first rib meet. This is a very important point and in acupuncture is referred to as K (kidney) 27. To locate it, first place your forefinger on the U-shaped notch at the top of the breastbone (about where a man would knot his tie). From the bottom of the U, move your forefinger down toward the navel 1 inch and then go to the left (or right) 1 inch. This point is referred to as Collar Bone even though it is not on the collarbone (or clavicle) per se.

7eft-collar-bone

  1. Under the Arm (UA)
    On the side of the body, at a point even with the nipple (for men) or in the middle of the bra strap (for women). It is about 4 inches below the armpit.

8eft-under-the-arm

  1. Wrists (WR)
    The last point is the inside of both wrists.

9eft-wrists
The abbreviations for these points are summarized below in the same order as given above. It is, again, the order in which they should be tapped:

eftcourse3-cara

EFT Tapping Points
TH = Top of Head
EB = Eye Brow
SE = Side of the Eye
UE = Under the Eye
UN = Under the Nose
Ch = Chin
CB = Collar Bone
UA = Under the Arm
WR = Wrists
Source: Dr. Arrow.

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