Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), is an alternative therapy that is claimed to work well with the full range of anxieties, sadness, anger, grief, guilt, stress, phobias, post traumatic stress disorder, and a number of other conditions which have an underlying emotional component.
It can be helpful both with feelings that would be expected to ease naturally over time and it is - in my view - particularly helpful with long established and frequently unconscious feelings relating to deep seated and chronic issues.
EFT can provide immediate relief from stress.
I have used EFT and found it to be very powerful and effective
My view of so many of these alternative and under the radar approaches is very pragmatic: if it works and I have used it and experienced great benefit, then I will feature it here on this site in the hope that some readers will be benefit from it.
I have used EFT on a number of occasions and the results have been good, and in one case extraordinary.
So often, practitioners of all these alternative approaches - and I am specifically thinking of NLP as I say this - claim that their approach is the answer to everything and provides the meaning of life the universe and anything that may exist beyond that...
OK I overstate - but you know what I mean!
My view remains very simple and pragmatic - if it works for specific issues, is simple and quick to use and is effective then it should form part of our toolbox of resources.
In summary, how does EFT work?
EFT has been described as a form of psychological acupuncture, in that it involves tapping on a number of acupuncture points located on the face, upper body and the hands, whilst you focus on a stated issue with a simple affirmation that states the issue clearly and that you accept yourself.
The acupuncture points are said to be the end-points of the major meridians.
The process is simple, and takes about 5 minutes. When you know the procedure, it can be self administered. And its free!
If you want to dive in and try it now without any further explanations then checkout these PDF downloads:
EFT - How To Do It - on one sheet
For full information and resources see:
EFT is one of a number of therapies that fall within the category of energy psychology which is based on Chinese medicine and specifically on the acupuncture/acupressure system.
This system believes that chi, which is electricity or energy, travels through the meridians or rivers of acupuncture points in the body. This energy can become unbalanced by physical, emotional, or traumatic factors.
Energy psychology states that by balancing this system the problems stemming from these causes are quickly relieved.
These various energy techniques were developed in the mid-1980s to mid-1990s, but are still relatively unknown by the general public.
These energy psychologies have been dubbed “power therapies” because they work much faster than the traditional talking therapies.
This appears to be because they target the more primitive parts of the brain, including the limbic system, the medulla oblongata, and the enkephalin system, which is in every cell of the body.
EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, and hypnosis often are included as “power” therapies although they do not directly utilize the Meridian System.
Is This Mainstream ?
The answer is mixed. There are some medical practitioners who are sceptical of these approaches and the science is not yet 100% conclusive. Empirical anecdotal evidence does suggest that they can be very effective.
You can check out some of this research here and here.
My own personal experiences with EMDR, EFT and Acupuncture have been very effective and I will go into this in more detail below.
A member of my family was involved in a road traffic accident which led to a serious case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
2 treatments of EMDR completely removed all symptoms of the PTSD and a restoration to full mental health.
Each treatment took about 45 minutes.
For many years I have suffered from Seasonal Affective Disorder [SAD] which used to affect me quite badly every spring.
Eventually, following a recommendation, I went to see an acupuncturist and had a full course of treatment.
The effect was rapid and led to a considerable and significant improvement in my mood and emotional well being.
Emotional Freedom Technique
All of my adult life I have suffered with a phobia about injections and the sight of blood.
I have no idea why, I never got to the bottom of it, and I just lived with it. But whenever I had to have an injection or give a blood sample at the local surgery as soon as the needle was removed from my arm my blood pressure would plummet and I would feel extremely lightheaded or I would faint.
This reaction was totally involuntary.
I have innumerable memories of lying on the surgery floor with my legs on a chair, followed by the British tradition of a restorative cup of tea.
Given that I am someone who has maintained a deep and applied use of many beneficial and therapeutic psychological, emotional and spiritual practices over a long period of time, it bothered me that I had this embarrassing problem.
I recall that the local surgery saw the funny side of it and used to make light of it but to me, as a control freak, it was irritating and embarrassing.
When I discovered Emotional Freedom Technique I thought I would try it out on this phobia.
I did a couple of short sessions of EFT applied to this phobia and the results were dramatic. From a feeling of 9/10 on a discomfort scale it reduced to a very manageable 3/10.
The very next time I visited the surgery and there was a needle involved, I felt fine. I chose not to watch the needle going into my arm but the basic procedure caused me zero effect. There was no more sudden loss of blood pressure and having to lie on the floor or faint.
I realise that on the scale of human suffering my problem didn't amount to much, but I am sharing this because the result was so quick and dramatic, and this was the only thing that worked!
Nick Ortner chats with the late Wayne Dyer about EFT Tapping.
This was recorded only about a year or so before Wayne's death from leukemia, and his authenticity is all the more poignant with that knowledge.
Return from "Emotional Freedom Technique" to: Techniques For Managing Stress
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