What is EFT tapping & how does it work?
Even though EFT tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique) was started back in the mid 90s by Gary Craig, it has only recently begun to gain traction in mainstream modern circles of psychology, medical, mainstream scientific studies. Especially with the Tapping Solution App by Nick and Jessica Ortner and the promotion of it during COVID-19 lockdown 2020-21, many people have learned how helpful it is in everyday use. This is especially true when it comes to addressing spots where we tend to get stuck. I started using it around 10 years ago to manage stress and anxiety, and finally decided that I wanted to get proper training to help other people in it. It's hard to explain exactly how EFT works, but it does, and I will try my best to explain it in simple terms but use scientific articles as well. PS. This is not a 'woo woo' article.
What is EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)?
Simply put, EFT is used to better manage emotions, belief, and imbalance. The Journal of Evidence-based integrated therapy states that: "Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a novel therapy that combines both cognitive and somatic elements and is an evidence-based self-help therapeutic method and over 100 studies demonstrate its efficacy."
I admit - it looks funny. I didn't get it either when I first saw it around 10 years ago in some videos I was watching about limiting beliefs. In modern practice, it is a mixture of tapping on Chinese acupressure energy points using your two fingers, which stimulates energy in the body along with acknowledging negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones using positive affirmations. The basic premise behind EFT Tapping is that our distress and imbalances are caused by disturbances in the body's energy system, and if we can get it to flow, we can restore balance in our emotions, and in life.
In EFT, the tapping is done on the specific energy points of the body that should lead to the flow of energy throughout the body thus releasing the blocked energy as well. Once the flow is maintained, this energy can help you maintain your physical and emotional health. This lessens the emotional charge of past situations, emotions, or beliefs. If you 'believe' in meditation without needing to understand what's really happening on a neurological level, then you can be open to the idea of EFT too :D
How does EFT help release of negative thoughts & feelings?
EFT can be very useful for a variety of situations when it comes to our mental and emotional health. Whether its choosing gratitude, clearing limiting beliefs, managing stress about uncertainty, improving feelings of 'being enough' or 'worthy', addressing fears about situations we face every day, and removing the emotional charge of old negative memories that no longer serve us.
While it has a wide use in many situations, from anxiety, depression, phobias, etc., it has gotten more recent attention even treating more severe mental conditions such as PTSD. Side note: I do not do EFT for trauma please contact your mental health consultant for this advice.
Aside from the more serious issues like trauma, it can be used effectively to manage and heal limiting beliefs that affect the way we think about ourselves on a day-to-day basis.
There are many situations in our life when we can’t think straight, our thoughts are all mixed up, we are on the verge of losing our sanity at the moment, can’t make decisions, and even can’t process the problem at the hand. Along with these mixed thoughts and frustration, we also start feeling uncomfortable, negative thoughts come pouring into your mind, and the stress can feel overwhelming. This is where the EFT (emotional freedom technique) works and that’s when you should go for it.
How does EFT work?
There are plenty of YouTube videos online you can check if you'd like to do it yourself. There are many practitioners with a variety of topics. The practitioner leads in what to say as they tap, and you simply follow along. There's not much concentration involved and it's hard to mess it up, although it takes some getting used to at first. The process is as follows: you think about the negative emotions and you rate them, and start out by accepting them and accepting yourself.
At this moment, you're giving a voice to the way you're feeling. It's important to be honest at this point to see if anything else comes up for you. Sometimes, you start with one thing, then something else pops up that you didn't expect. Once you've done several rounds of the negative, you replace the negative thoughts with positive things you would like to feel instead. Another thing, as Brad Yates says, if you choose to tap please take responsibility for your own well-being. However, having said that, please only try to do it with smaller issues if you're new to EFT and not sure
Disclaimer: I do NOT recommend trying to tap on past trauma without a trained professional, as it can bring up unprocessed feelings that you have not been able to manage effectively. If you have any form of PTSD, serious mental illness, addiction, or are feeling depressed or suicidal in any way. Please contact a mental health professional.
EFT TAPPING STEPS
1. Think about the negative thought, person, situation that's bothering you
Consider the situation that's bothering you. Rate the emotion, fear, or anything that is you on a scale of 0-10. 10 means it's extremely intense, and you're really upset about it.
2. Start tapping on the karate chop point of the hand while you focus on those negative emotions
While going through the process of EFT, it should be clear that it is meant to let you recognize your issues, accept them, and accept yourself.
Start with saying, " EVEN THOUGH," .. I'm feeling nervous/upset/etc etc., I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
Or, 'EVEN THOUGH' this thing is wrong and I'm upset about it.. deeply and completely love and forgive myself.
3. Start tapping on the points
State the negative feelings and worry you have about the situation while tapping on the points. Start at the eyebrow, then the side of the eye, below the eye, below the chin, on the chest, under the armpit point.
"This anger at so-in-so."
This part clears the negativity, which you have to acknowledge first in order to clear it. It can be strange to articulate it, but it's important to be honest. This part sometimes can bring up other feelings, thoughts, etc., Pay attention to what comes up after each negative round.
4. Check in with yourself after the negative round
Take a big, deep breath in and let it out slowly. Check in with yourself after the first negative round. Are you at the same number still? Did it go up or down? Sometimes, when we are reminded of something, it can even go up, and we get more upset about it. Just keep doing the rounds again under you've gotten to a place where you breathe out and feel calmer.
If you're at a 3 or lower, move to the positive round.
5. Move on to the positive round
Where would you like to be with this situation? Tap on the points again, this time using positive affirmations.
"I choose to be calm about this situation."
"I choose to let this go."
If a part of you goes: "yeah, right!" - with the positive affirmations, go back and tap on the negative thought you had in your head again.
Benefits of EFT Tapping
EFT is said to be very effective in dealing with many daily issues. You can try it with Youtube videos by yourself to see if it's helpful and see how you do!
It is beneficial in the following ways:
It is simple and easy to learn
You can do it by yourself too
It doesn’t consume much of your time
It gives you the autonomy to deal with your stress at any time and a way to calm down.
It helps in reducing distress and negative thoughts, thus giving you a calm and positive feeling.
The limitations of free and non-personalized sessions
Tapping from home either by yourself or with a virtual ZOOM meeting will still allow you to get the benefits without having to leave the privacy of your own home. If you're dealing with belief patterns you'd like to change or are finding yourself in situations where you're faced with mixed emotions every day, and you don’t know what to do about your increasing stress, you should try EFT with a personal EFT practitioner. You will get much quicker results.
EFT practitioners know what to ask you, how to find your programs and what needs to be focused on in order to tap on it and release it. The most important thing is the language you use because if it doesn't resonate, it won't work as well. When you use your words and the way you would say things, it works. It has an impact.
If the practitioner says: 'I'm concerned' and in your head, you want to say: 'I’m scared shitless' -- guess which one is going to be able to clear more?
Some topics are quick and others take more than one session. It's important to note that you have to WANT to let go, to change your mind, to feel differently about someone or something, and to want to heal yourself. If you're mad at your partner and don't want to let it go, it's not going to help much. If you want to feel
For example, many clients come to me for limiting beliefs about themselves when it comes to confidence. Some of them have one particular situation that is bothering them that they want to be calmer about.
Personalized sessions are easy to book. Just request a 15 free consultation to see if it's an issue we can work together on.
Here's what one of my clients said:
"This is what I love about working with Andrea Hunt on EFT. She is an exceptional listener and she is able to keep our focus on the topic at hand. I am impressed at the way she is able to create succinct language around the issue we work on. She also has a wonderful sense of humor and you may find yourself feeling more light-hearted right away. Andrea has learned the technique well. After my sessions with her, I found that the work we did alleviated the barriers and blockages I had around the issues we addressed. I highly recommend her as an EFT practitioner and coach.
--Ariela E., United States
ANDREA HUNT - Online Transformational Life Coach & EFT Tapping Practitioner based in Munich, Germany
I'm an accredited transformational life coach from Animas Centre for Coaching UK and a member of the International Coaching Federation. I'm also a Level 2 practitioner in EFT Tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique) and a member of AEFTP (Association of Emotional Freedom Technique Professionals).
If you're not sure where to start transforming your life, you can download my free ebook on How to Start Your Personal Growth Journey.
Are you ready to change your life, let go of old beliefs, empower yourself for a mindset shift to move forward? Mark Batterson says: You're always one decision away from a totally different life.
If you're interested in booking a free 15 minute discovery call for transformational life coaching, EFT Tapping or checking out my services page click here.
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