Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is an emotional version of acupuncture, but without the needles. We stimulate meridian points on the surface of the skin by tapping on them with our finger tips. These points have a connection to the amygdala, which is the part of the brain responsible for emotions, survival instincts and memory. It very cleverly interrupts the signals and patterns that our past experiences have created within our brain and this then leads to a feeling of freedom.
EFT has been shown time and time again to reduce the conventional talk therapies, like counselling and psychology, from months and / or years to a few sessions, a few hours – and, in some cases, even just a few minutes.
How do you do it?
Firstly rate your pain / ailment / problem on a scale of 0 to10 (0 = no pain, 10 = I’m at my limit / I don’t think it could get any worse).
Karate chop point
You start with the ‘karate chop’ point, which is the soft fleshy part of your hand underneath your little finger. (Imagine you were doing a karate chop on a piece of wood.)
While tapping continuously on the karate chop point you’ll say three set-up statements:
e.g. “Even though I feel sad on a scale of X (put in the number that you’ve rated yourself), I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”
Repeat this three times or put some variations into that sentence, i.e., “Even though I feel sad because of what happened to me yesterday at work, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”
The end part of the sentence, ’I deeply and completely love and accept myself’, is an important part of this process – so don’t miss it out. If you’re struggling to say that, however, then try, “I’m open to the possibility of loving and accepting myself”. If that is still too hard for you then start with, “It’s okay and I’m okay”. Then work up from there as you become emotionally stronger.
Next you’ll tap on the other more central points and say a shortened version of the set-up statements. So following on from the above you’ll simply say “this sadness I feel”.
The points and sequence are:
- On top of the head (use a flat hand to cover a larger area)
- Edge or beginning of the eyebrow (where your third eye is situated)
- Edge or outside of the eye (tap on the bone)
- Underneath the eye, in the centre of the eye socket (tap on the bone)
- Underneath the nose (above the top lip)
- Crease of the chin (underneath the bottom lip)
- Chest point (underneath the collarbones)
- Underneath the armpit (along the bra strap line; use a flat hand)
Tap a minimum of five times on each point. It doesn’t matter if you tap on the left or right side of your body. You can even tap on both sides at the same time if you wish. Some practitioners believe that it helps with balance within the body.
After you’ve completed a round of tapping take a deep breath and tune into your feeling or emotion and rate it again on a scale of 0 to 10. Has it moved at all on the scale? Did any thoughts or feelings come up for you while you were tapping that are perhaps a doorway into the heart of the problem? If so, add that into your next round of tapping as a way to either dig a bit deeper or help release it. The aim with EFT is to break your emotional connection at its core which, in some cases, can mean disconnecting from the memories of your childhood.
- Make sure you are well hydrated. EFT doesn’t tend to work if you’re dehydrated.
- Have paper and a pen next to you so that you can take notes when things come up for you as well as track your level of emotion.
- Be aware that sometimes thoughts, feelings, memories or even something that has been said to you may come up. That is normal and shows that it’s either on the way out of your system or it is something that can be used to help access the true cause of your emotional block or problem.
- Your body is likely to release on a physical level, and everyone is different. You might find that you start to yawn uncontrollably, burp, hiccup or even have to constantly empty your bladder. All are perfectly normal and a great sign that you’re body is letting go.
- Keep it simple. If doing this on your own don’t try to over-complicate things with your wording. If you’re sad and you don’t know why then just say, “I’m sad”; and if you’re anxious and you’re aware of the trigger then say, “I’m anxious because of X”.
- If you don’t know what to say at all, then just think about the problem. EFT is incredibly forgiving and it’s hard to go wrong with it.
Be kind to yourself. Releasing can be life changing but it can also take a short time to adjust to this new feeling.
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