Emotional Freedom Technique – referred to as EFT or “tapping” – is a powerful transformational tool that utilizes acupuncture points and self-affirming statements to catalyze profound healing. EFT can address everything from anxiety and depression; to physical pain or illness; to trauma/PTSD; to limiting core beliefs and personal patterns that keep us standing in our own way.
EFT comprises four essential ingredients and mechanisms of action
- Acupuncture points/meridians: stimulating the points and meridians by tapping activates the same “qi” (life force energy) that we access with needles during acupuncture.
- Rhythmic, percussive tapping: the rhythmic, percussive nature of the tapping deeply soothes the nervous system, down-regulating our sympathetic nervous system (fight-flight-freeze) and upregulating our parasympathetic nervous system (rest-digest-heal). With the deepening relaxation that the percussive tapping facilitates, our bodies begin to feel safe, allowing us to access deep memories and energetic patterning. In this deep state, we can address the root causes of our emotional triggers and the emotions that influence physical ailments.
- Speaking aloud: we speak aloud during a tapping session, speaking what is present, speaking what we want to call in or let go, and speaking our unconditional acceptance of ourselves no matter what. The power of speaking aloud reinforces our healing intentions.
- Unconditional loving acceptance for ourselves and whatever arises during the session: A typical statement one might utilize in an EFT session is, “Even though I _____________, I still love and accept myself.” We can fill in that blank with whatever the problem is: “Even though I have back pain,” “even though I feel anxious,” “even though I keep losing my temper,” etc. The key piece is that even though you are experiencing this thing that might be uncomfortable (even excruciating), you continually bring love and acceptance to yourself. And if you can’t quite say the words “I love and accept myself,” you might say, “I’m open to loving and accepting myself,” or even, “I accept that this is what is happening right now.” Acceptance is the first step toward healing; SELF-love and self-acceptance accelerate it exponentially.
In a typical private EFT session, the practitioner will guide you to gently tap on your own body at the site of specific acupuncture points. (The practitioner taps their body, and you tap yours. For this reason, EFT is perfectly suited to virtual sessions.) The tapping of the points activates the qi, and the gentle percussive nature soothes your nervous system into a state of relaxation, safety, and healing.
From this state, the practitioner guides you to investigate and verbalize the concern at hand: whatever is standing in the way of you and your optimal health or personal expansion. The practitioner will ask you questions and offer you statements to repeat aloud. Emotions, images, memories, and sensations may arise. During this, the practitioner will guide you to offer self-love, forgiveness, and acceptance of whatever is coming up without shame or blame. This combination of activating the energy, creating safety in the nervous system, deep investigation, and continually offering compassion to self enables truly remarkable levels of healing.
EFT has many applications and benefits. A few minutes of self-tapping can take the edge off a situation when you feel anxious or triggered. But a focused session with a practitioner can help you reprogram entrenched mental, emotional, and physical patterns, treating the root of the problem. Rather than putting a temporary band-aid on a situation that will recur the very next time a trigger arises, deep EFT can rewrite the trigger entirely.
EFT can be used as a standalone practice or as an adjunct to traditional therapy methods. It can be particularly useful, for example, when you have “talked out” an issue but are still falling into the same patterns of behavior and emotions. It is a deeply soothing and self-affirming practice for individuals going through physical and emotional challenges and can help transform those challenges. And EFT is beneficial for anyone who wants to make lasting changes to habits and beliefs that are no longer serving them.
*Special note for our fertility patients or any individual encountering difficulty conceiving: EFT can be an extremely valuable complement to acupuncture, herbal medicine, and assisted reproductive technology (or as a standalone tool) to help you navigate the very challenging emotions that arise along your journey of trying to conceive. It can be used to help manage the grief, confusion, anger, and overwhelm that you might be experiencing, and in some cases, can even assist in uncovering any subconscious or energetic blocks that might be hindering your ability to conceive. EFT can also be used to help you reprogram unhealthy lifestyles and dietary habits in order to optimize your fertility.