Applying Emotional Freedom Technique

By Lynn Buske

The applications for Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), which was introduced in the previous issue, are extremely vast, but the “basic recipe” is very simple. This article will help you learn to do EFT and understand how to apply it to the various issues in your own life.

To get a general feel for it, spend a little time tapping on your body. Drum on your lap, tap on your head or face, tap your fingers together—and notice how it feels. Tapping typically feels good, satisfying, and calming. Tapping brings mental awareness to your body, sends sensory awareness to localized nerves, and sends blood/oxygen to that area of the body.

The specific acupressure points that are tapped on in EFT (and their corresponding meridian), in order you’ll be tapping, and where they are (see graphic: you’ll know you are in the right spot when you find it by how it feels), are:

  1. “Sore spot”: Neuro-lymphatic point (soft indent down from clavicle next to sternum) OR Side of hand: Small Intestine (fleshy part, pinkie-side of hand–not shown)
  2. Inside eyebrow: Bladder
  3. Outside eye: Gall Bladder
  4. Under eye: Stomach
  5. Under nose: Governing Meridian
  6. Chin: Central Meridian and Large Intestine
  7. Collarbone: Kidney
  8. Under arm: Spleen (tender spot below armpit)
  9. Rib: Liver (tender space between ribs under breast–not shown)

Before you begin tapping on a specific issue, there are a couple of things you need to do:

  1. Drink some water, especially if you have eaten sugar. This helps energy flow easier and thus increases the success of the process.
  2. Center yourself. Sit comfortably, become aware of the present moment, take a couple of cleansing breaths, and choose to have an open mind. Do not become attached to “getting rid” of your symptom or controlling where the exercise leads you. This is extremely important.
  3. Choose what you will be tapping on. Whatever symptom is most prominent in the present moment—pain or discomfort, worries, or current frustration/emotion—is the best place to start. You can also simply tap while you meditate or tap in a positive mantra (e.g., “I allow healing into my body,” “I will have an awesome day,” “I receive abundance willingly”). Wait to do more specific painful issues or memories with a practitioner (more on that below).
  4. Rate the current intensity of that symptom on a scale of 1 to 10 so that you can keep track of its progress. You will rate your symptom after every round.

(Note that it does not matter which hand or which side of the body you use, or if you switch sides in the middle of a round.)

The set-up statement: The set-up phrase focuses the mind, validates the negative issue, and connects a sense of self-acceptance to that issue. You will feel how potent this is immediately. If you are using a positive mantra, you do not need the set-up statement.

  1. Tap the karate chop point or rub your sore spot and say “Even though I have this feeling (insert issue here), I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”
  2. Then tap, about seven times, on each acupressure point while saying “this feeling.
  3. Take a deep breath and check your intensity on your symptom.
  4. Repeat with “Even though I have this remaining feeling, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”
  5. Repeat this cycle until the intensity is a 1 or 0 or you are ready to stop. When the brain wanders away from the set-up phrase (after a round or two), follow it. At this point forget about what to say and just say whatever comes out—even if it seems illogical.

You can do EFT anywhere: waiting in line, at the airport, on a crowded elevator. You can think the words instead of saying them. You can rub the points or you can think of tapping the points instead of actually tapping them, and people won’t know you are doing it, but you will still get the benefits. I find these incognito versions most helpful when I am feeling anxious.

Again, EFT is safe and gentle, but, as sometimes just thinking about a particular issue can dredge up difficult feelings that no one should have to deal with alone, a practitioner can help you navigate through them, neutralize strong feelings (there are more EFT tactics not covered here), and offer support.

How to Find a Practitioner

As you are looking for support for more complicated issues, you will want someone who can best support that particular issue. Look for licensed counselors or family doctors who use EFT in their practice (you can ask reception or look at the doctor’s bio page). For general help with all sorts of issues, check an accredited EFT directory site for certified EFT practitioners. If you find someone you connect to, and they are not local to you, EFT is easy to do over the phone! You can also do a web search for “emotional freedom technique Eau Claire,” ask around, or even post an ad. You want someone you are comfy with who respects what you are looking for and won’t push you but is supportive.

Trust and honor yourself. I hope that you find freedom, healing, peace, and positivity by utilizing EFT.

Emotional Freedom Technique

By Lynn Buske: dedicated mother, sustainability enthusiast, avid writer, and body/mind/spirit wellness educator through BaredFeet – a longterm project, now turning non-profit, through which she offers yoga classes, dance and movement education, arts as wellness, and information on pure eating, mental health, and spiritual wholeness.

You slip and fall on the ice . . . and break your arm. Walking on the ice is never the same again. Each winter you approach the outdoors with apprehension and a sincere dislike for icy weather.  You previously never noticed how much there was and how slippery it was. Perhaps even seasonal depression touches you each winter. And your arm? Well you are cautious with it, it never seemed to return to the way it was, even though x-rays showed that it healed, and that leaves you frustrated and in pain. This is an example of how one traumatic negative experience impacts your emotions and belief system, which impacts your future everyday life in unpleasant ways.

Enter Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).  Combining tapping on acupressure points, meditation, and cognitive awareness, EFT is an approach to healing that gently considers the physical, emotional, mental,  and spiritual impacts of negative experiences. The basis of it:

  • Positive healthy energy in the body flows freely. Every cell of our body functions optimally when blood, oxygen, and neurons move fluidly.
  • Negative emotions are emotions we try to protect ourselves from: pain, anger, grief, resentment, etc. “The cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body’s energy system,” explains founder Gary Craig. When traumatic things happen, from an argument to a loss of a child, the flow of our body’s energy is disrupted. Those disruptions remain—the imbalance and lack of flow causing the symptoms we have.  At this point new, negative beliefs have been formed that impact our view of the world.
  • EFT gently brings your conscious awareness to the blockage—tapping proper flow into the negative memories and symptoms. When all positivity has been restored, the issue dissolves.

This is similar to meditation. The practice of meditation tells us that being present, aware, and unreactive to a negative experience or memory can release it. However, EFT has been found to be more potent and successful than meditation, and the reason for this lies in how it connects the energy pathways of our body to our brain’s conscious thought.  All energy flow is information: “I lift my arm,” “I see ice,” “I am falling,” and “Ouch.” In a traumatic event our information system is overloaded with all of our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual responses—past and present. We cannot process the entire event, nor do we want to. EFT brings awareness to those channels where we have the time, security, and distance to process them. That distance and gentleness makes it more accessible and easier for the non-Buddhist monk to open up to.

EFT was developed by Gary Craig in response to more complicated meridian tapping research.  He first started working with clients on it in 1995. The majority of his first successes came from working with war veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. In 2000, he released a manual for anyone to access, learn, and use. This release has generated endless success in many different applications.

People have used it on: broken limbs, cancer, Alzheimer’s, depression, autoimmune disease, anxiety, headaches, anger, grief, belief patterns, as well as “surrogate” tapping on children, animals, loved ones, and even cars that won’t start.

It is 100 percent safe. Applying EFT to extremely painful, complicated diseases and memories should be done with an experienced practitioner (to prevent “re-living” the experience, to provide support, and to assist in unraveling all the layers), but when done on simple daily negative experiences, it can be preventative and bring about a general state of positivity and flow.

Stay tuned for an upcoming article teaching you how to use EFT for yourself and your family, and where you can find local practitioners.

For more information, email baredfeet@gmail.com, call 715-514-4648, or visit www.baredfeet.wordpress.com.