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What Is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) & What Does 'Tapping' Therapy Do?

Photo: Unsplash: Ayo Ogunseinde
What Is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) Tapping Therapy?

Don't knock until you've 'tapped' it ...

While Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a fairly new form of therapy in relation to most therapeutic approaches used to promote change and elicit positive outcomes, many find it to be useful in managing anxiety, stress, migraines, and a variety of other physical and mental health issues.

What is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) 'tapping' therapy?

EFT was first developed in 1995 by Gary Craig. Unlike, many other therapeutic techniques, the primary principle behind EFT suggests that all emotions and thoughts are forms of energy, all of which can be used either positively or negatively.

According to the Gary Craig Official EFT™ Training Centers website, EFT "integrates the Chinese meridian system into the therapy process by tapping on meridian points with your fingertips. Properly done, it reduces the conventional therapy process from weeks, months or years to a fraction of that time (often to minutes or hours)."

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According to this theory, the human body consists of multiple layers of energy:

  • Physical
  • Mental
  • Spiritual
  • Emotional

Collectively, these energies make up what's known as a person’s aura.

Energy, like almost everything in life, requires a balance, if things aren’t balance then something will be thrown off, it will not work as it should. Positive energy can have positive, pleasant experiences on the body while as you would expect negative energy can have negative and unpleasant outcomes on the body.

One of the primary goals of EFT is to create a healthy balance between the body and the mind by alleviating stress and tension.

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As human beings, we all drift in the direction of stress every now again. However, when stress becomes intense or debilitating, it can create a ripple effect throughout all other layers of our energy, e.g., spiritually, emotionally, mentally, as well as physically.

Increased stress can lead to negative energy production, thereby taking on physical manifestations in the sufferer, such as migraines, nausea and other somatic pain.

What how does tapping work?

EFT is intended to place you in control of your personal outcomes using a self-help technique which involves tapping near the end points of your energy meridians — the pathway through which, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), your Qi/energy/life force circulates within your body.

This approach involves the use of your own fingertips (rather than the needles used during acupuncture) to tap on the end points of energy meridians situated just beneath the surface of your skin. In fact, EFT is often referred to as psychological acupuncture or acupressure because of it is believed to deliver similar emotional and physical health benefits.;

Acupuncture is based on the premise balanced patterns of energy flow throughout the body are essential for health. Disruptions of this flow are believed to be responsible for disease. Many believe that acupuncture, if applied accurately, can correct imbalances of flow at identifiable points close to the skin.

Unlike acupuncture treatment, however, EFT is non-invasive and works on the ethos of making change as simple and as pain-free as possible.

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Another benefit of EFT is that it allows you the opportunity to perform the techniques anywhere, unlike acupuncture, which should only be done in a professional medical environment. There is also no need to keep needles available or sterilize equipment.

Additionally, EFT provides and encourages opportunities for those who learn it to be self-directive in their own treatment.

What are the potential health benefits of EFT?

We now have a solid body of research on the way energy imbalances can take on negative physical undertones which may impact our overall physical health. EFT restores awareness and trust in the natural healing potential and abilities of our mind and body, providing opportunities to achieve physical and emotional balance in a faster time frame.

EFT techniques can be used to treat the following mental and physical health-related conditions:

  • Reducing stress
  • Managing joint pain and muscle tension/strain
  • Managing migraines
  • Boosting energy levels
  • Improving self-esteem
  • Elevating mood
  • Improving sleep quality
  • Managing anxiety
  • Managing low mood/depression
  • Improving memory/cognition

EFT is an effective way of both identifying and clearing out negative feelings.

Once negative feelings have been identified and removed, limiting beliefs the client has been holding onto will be released.

Learning EFT also empowers people to be in control of handling their own emotional state as they can tap on a feeling any time they want to move themselves forward through painful feelings or emotions on an ongoing basis.

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Dr. Tarra Bates-Duford is a psychologist who focuses on relationships, dating, and personality issues, as well as a Certified Relationship Specialist with Diplomate Status, and an expert with the American Psychotherapy Association.