Emotional Freedom Technique - EFT
Here at Living Mavens, we're big fans of all kinds of practices to increase mindfulness. We love how both EFT and mindfulness meditations can help dramatically increase your sense of awareness in your daily life. How can EFT help you connect to your body, mind and spirit?
The Chinese carefully mapped out the specific routes that your life force, the subtle energy flow called "chi," takes as it flows through your body into little chi highways, like a vast network similar to your large web of blood vessels extending into every part of your body. They developed an elaborate science of where to put needles in the body on these "chi roadways" to treat certain illnesses, which we know today as acupuncture.
While acupuncture gives such dramatic effects that they've even used it to partially replace anesthesia for open-heart surgery in Chinese hospitals, "EFT tapping" is a needle-free, easier and gentler alternative to harness the power of these chi meridians when needles make you squeamish.
What is "EFT"?
"EFT" is short for the Emotional Freedom Technique, and it works by literally "tapping into" the power of your body's energy meridians. Yes, it is similar to acupressure massage. Since the meridians are like your body's subtle nervous system, changing the flow of energy on any of these pathways helps you correct imbalances, relieve pain, release tension and toxins in your vital organs and so much more.
During an EFT session, a therapist will stimulate your most important meridian points by tapping on them in a particular order to activate them. For those of you who want all the benefits of an acupuncture session without the needles, an EFT treatment could be the best idea you've ever heard. It's even easy enough for you to learn yourself in a weekend if you want. Then you can start treating yourself to super-easy energetic healing whenever you wish in the comfort of your home.
What are the benefits of EFT?
- Anybody can learn how to do an EFT treatment, even kids.
- You can calm yourself down with a simple EFT-tapping session anywhere. You don't have to lie down, and you don't need to be in a special place. You're totally flexible.
- EFT sessions can help relieve or reduce migraine headaches and other chronic body pains.
- If you're feeling a bit tired, but you don't want to let your friends down when you promised you could all go dancing tonight, then an EFT session can help boost your energy too just the same way that it helps athletes before they compete.
- Any kind of disease that involves some emotional stress improves with EFT treatments, including asthma, cancer, cystic fibrosis, multiple sclerosis, nervous-system ailments like Parkinson's disease and any other traumatic injuries. Of course, EFT is a natural, supplementary therapy, and anyone with a serious medical condition should always continue seeking advice from their doctor.
Who should use EFT?
It's a sad fact that a lot of chronic health conditions we have lack easy solutions. That's why alternative therapies like EFT are so important to help boost your body's natural ability to heal itself. If you're suffering from difficulties with addictions, chronic pain, fears you can't resolve, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or "PTSD" and other emotional problems, then EFT may help you find relief.
What are some of the studies and results behind EFT?
Dr. Dawson Church organized a team to research the effects of a one-hour-long EFT-tapping session on the stress levels of patients. The researchers measured the cortisol levels, a major stress hormone, of the subjects before and after the EFT sessions. Out of the 83 people in the study, all of those who received EFT treatments had a stress reduction of 24 to 50 percent while practically no stress reduction appeared in the control group who went through ordinary "talk therapy."
According to Dr. David Feinstein's report called "Acupoint Stimulation in Treating Psychological Disorders: Evidence of Efficacy," many exciting case studies have proved how affective EFT sessions can be. For example, they gave EFT sessions to a group of 59 war veterans suffering from PTSD. Each participant received six-hour-long EFT sessions. After the study was over, 86 percent of them no longer had symptoms strong enough to classify as PTSD.
Also in this paper was a reference to a study on 26 women with fibromyalgia on sick leave from their jobs for a minimum of three months due to their painful conditions. They all learned EFT and treated themselves in eight weeks. They all experienced less anxiety, reduced pain and relief from depression.
What is the process of EFT, and what can I expect from it?
To really understand EFT, you must open yourself up to the idea that the physical symptoms in your body have a direct connection to unresolved emotional problems in your life. We might not even be directly aware of a lot of our emotions. Maybe you suppressed them because during a time of trauma, you didn't know how to deal with such an emotion.
During your EFT session, the practitioner will help restore the balance of your body's energy field and release any pent-up negativities.
It starts normally by you choosing some negative emotion that you're dealing with right now. It could be a bad memory, some pain in your body or anything like that. While you focus on your issue, the EFT practitioner will tap you or will guide you through using your own fingertips to tap yourself between five to seven times on each of up to 12 major meridian points. During the tapping, you repeat a healing phrase to mentally reinforce what you're trying to heal. The tapping action corrects the disruption of energy in these locations in your body.
The healing phrase that you're going to repeat will state your issue and acceptance of yourself in spite of the issue. A common way to do it is to say something like, "Although I have this intense anxiety about my relationship right now, I totally accept myself as I am." You repeat this same phrase every time that you move on to the next tapping point.
Where did EFT come from?
Like many great discoveries in life, the technique of EFT came about almost by accident. Dr. Roger Callahan had been studying the healing sciences behind the meridian system in the body, and one day when a patient of his complained about how her fear gave her stomach pain, he felt inspired to tap the acupressure point around her eyes that he knew was related to the stomach meridian. Miraculously, she felt her phobia disappear, apparently never to return. While Dr. Callahan integrated this technique to some degree is his patented "Thought Field Therapy," or "TFT," one of his students took it to a whole new level.
Gary Craig began studying with Dr. Callahan in 1991 and condensed the new tapping method into an all-inclusive, easy-to-remember, acupoint-tapping sequence that was useful in treating a huge variety of problems at once. Gary Craig coined the phrase "EFT" for his method and began teaching it freely. One of the biggest differences between EFT and TFT is that EFT uses primarily one sequence of points and taps all those points in every session, making it easier for others to learn and providing more reliable results.
Gary Craig was so open about sharing the EFT method with others that he offered courses pretty much on a donation basis in the beginning just as a side project for fun. He got very excited as more and more success stories came back to him from people who were benefiting greatly from this healing method. Gary even encouraged people to add to the method as they saw fit to keep the innovation going. By 1995, he began selling his official EFT course videos to anyone who wanted them.
Since then, many other healers, therapists and people who just wanted to experiment with it have come forward to develop and patent their own spins on the classic EFT method, and you can see that EFT has evolved continuously over the years depending on who practices it and which teachers they follow.
About the Author: Suzanne Leopold started Living Mavens in 2016 to share some of the products and techniques that help her focus inward and transform her life. With over 15 years of exploring energy and manifesting modalities, she is passionate about creating a life she loves and sharing her discoveries with others. To learn more on how to consciously create a life you love, go to www.livingmavens.com