Our emotions and our physical body seem to be paradoxical partners. Though we know they live alongside each other, we are not always aware of their intrinsic connection. But, while watching our emotions we will notice bodily behaviours, such as change in breath, tensing of muscles, rushing of blood, etc, that prove the interconnectedness of the body and emotional world. So what would happen if they worked together? What if we could heal one by healing the other? The body and emotions are sometimes connected to their own detriment; when a person holds anger, guilt, or sadness inside for too long it causes many health problems. So what if, instead of going to a doctor or taking pills, we worked from the inside out and healed our emotions? The Chinese discovered long ago that the body contains complex circuits of energy that move through the body. These energy circuits, called the meridians, are the founding blocks of acupuncture, acupressure, and many other healing techniques used today. What the EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) tapping technique does is focuses and stimulates certain meridian points on the body by tapping on them with our fingertips. The result is a miraculous shift in emotions, and consequently in body and spirit. EFT works on both the emotional and physical plane, being a highly constructive technique for both physical ailments such as soreness, chronic pains, high blood pressure, etc; or emotional state such as depression, guilt, or anxiety.
A study examining the effects of EFT therapy in veterans with PTSD symptoms as compared to a group receiving standard mental health care, showed improvement in veterans receiving the EFT treatment after 6 sessions, resulting in 90% of the group no longer meeting PTSD clinical criteria; compared to the 4% in the standardized group. These results are consistent with other studies that tested the effectiveness (along with the long-term effectiveness) of EFT treatment. Other studies demonstrate how EFT can improve the health of people with a history of trauma in a very short amount of time –
How to do EFT?
This technique can be done by anyone, anywhere, and has therapeutic results for many. The technique is specific but can be done at any time, and for however long you want or need. While traditional therapy can cost a lot, and works over a longer amount of time, EFT tapping can lead to peace of mind and improved health, in a shorter span of time. And as opposed to traditional therapy, what EFT does is empowers the patient to heal themselves. A patient once lamented to her EFT coach that she regrets not being able to be there for herself at an earlier time, as she was learning to do at that present time. She wished she had these healing tools back when she was in a fragile or anxious state. The coach responded that there is no time and space; as you heal in the present, you are healing your past, present, and future.
Step one: Focus on the emotion or issue that you wish to work with; this can also be a goal you wish to achieve. Set one goal at a time as not to combine issues. Set your aim such as: the shame my mother made me feel, reaching my full potential in a (specific) activity, the fear I have of snakes, the anger I feel toward…etc. You can also specify a physical ache or pain you wish to diminish, such as a sore body part or a chronic pain.
Step two: Test the emotion. Set a number from 1-10 on how intense the issue stands before working on it. This allows you to compare the before and after effects. If a problem is marked with an 8 before hand and goes down to a 4 later on, then you know you have improved by 50%, and still have 50% left to work on. -For emotional work, bring up the emotion or memory in order to assess its intensity and discomfort. -For physical pains, merely focus on the discomfort in the body. -For goals in performance, set a specific goal which you’d like to achieve. For example: Hitting a difficult note.
Step three: Acknowledge and accept. This step consists of a phrase that both acknowledges your issue, and accepts yourself in spite of it. This phrase is to be said as you are tapping, to keep the aim in continuous motion and attention. The phrase is as such:
“Even though I have this _______, I deeply and completely (love and) accept myself.” For example: “Even though I have this fear of spiders, I deeply and completely accept myself.” “Even though I have this shame, I deeply and completely accept myself.” Etc. Feel free to change the structure to fit your experience, such as instead of saying, “Even though I have this humiliation from my mother…” you can just as well say, “Even though I was/felt humiliated by my mother…” etc.
Step four: Tapping is generally done with tips of your fingers (index and middle finger). For wider areas, like the top of the head, the collarbone and under the arm, four fingers are used. On sensitive areas, like around the eyes, you can use just two. Tapping starts at the top of the body and works its way down, balancing and stimulating the body’s energy pathways. Below see the diagram of the energy points. Now tap away, using a firm but gentle pressure.
Order of tapping points, from top to bottom:
Karate Chop (KC)
Top of the Head (TOH)
Beginning of the Eyebrow (EB)
Side of the Eye (SE)
Under the Eye (UE)
Under the Nose (UN)
Chin Point (CH)
Beginning of the Collarbone (CB)
Under the Arm (UA)
When through with the tapping cycle, sit within yourself and assess your symptom again. The tapping does not have to completely eradicate the problem, but lessen it bit by bit until resolved within yourself. EFT tapping has an amazing effect on many people, both emotionally and physically, and works to move the stuck energy throughout us. A few minutes can diminish the effects of emotional trauma and add replenished movement to a person’s journey.
Ester Eckhaus is a freethinking, philosophizing, spiritual being; focused on self-awareness, and helping people reach their highest selves.