EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUES

Emotional Freedom Techniques, or EFT (often known as Tapping or EFT Tapping), is a therapeutic tool that can provide significant results for a variety of issues. It is often referred to as “psychological acupuncture without the needles.” EFT operates on the premise that negative experiences and trauma can be stored in the body and continue affecting the way we handle new experiences. It is a gentle method of reducing or eliminating emotional and physical distress by stimulating relaxation of the body’s energy and autonomic response system. EFT is often used as a therapeutic technique in trauma recovery. 

Introduction to EFT Tapping Video >>

Energy Meridians 

While acupuncture uses needles to apply pressure to the body’s 12 meridian points, EFT uses fingertip tapping to apply pressure on nine specific points. These nine meridian points ("The Basic Recipe"), along with the five Finger/Hand Points are the areas of your body through which energy flows to maintain balance and good health. Tapping is done fully clothed and the client gently presses or taps on end points of the body’s meridian system to activate one’s own “energy” channels throughout the human body.

Tapping Points >>

According to the theory behind EFT, when we experience a physical or emotional trauma, the flow of energy through one or more of these meridians becomes slowed, blocked or reversed. By accessing the energy system while addressing a negative event, EFT helps to smooth out disruptions in the energy system that arise from various traumas experienced throughout life. In comparison to traditional talk therapy methods, there are findings that suggest the resolution of past trauma is faster and more permanent.

Common Effects

When your body’s energy channels and nervous system are activated, you may experience or notice shifts in your body. The shifts are processes known as a clearing or neutralizing sensations that may occur during or after tapping.


You may notice some or none of the following:

  • Dizziness

  • Yawning

  • Spontaneous Deep Breath

  • Nausea

  • Flatulence (pass gas) / Burping

  • Temporary numbness in body parts

  • Tingling Sensations

  • Tiredness/Sleepiness

  • Thirst

  • Renewed Energy

  • An “Aha” Moment

You may also: 

  • Feel better

  • Feel more relaxed

  • Notice no change

  • Notice an intensity rise before it falls

  • Notice sensations move to different parts of the body

  • Release lactic acid from muscles/body parts

  • Notice when you clear one aspect, another may surface

  • Notice and attend to the new thoughts or feelings after first is neutralized

  • Have disbelief (and that too can be addressed)

  • Gain a new perspective or lens through which you see yourself, others and the world

Origins

EFT is a treatment modality based on the following well understood mechanisms in the fields of psychology, mental health, and trauma resolution:

  • Acupressure

  • Imaginal Exposure

  • Somatic, Emotional & Cognitive Activation

  • Nervous System Activation and Downward Regulation

  • Information Processing (new) & Reprocessing (old)

  • Cognitive Restructuring

  • Memory Reconsolidation  

  • Eye Movements, Trance and Sensory Integration

  • Grounding in the Present

Effectiveness

Research has validated its effectiveness on relieving a large number of distressing symptoms:

  • To help overcome anxiety, fear, guilt, shame, jealousy or anger

  • To change unwanted habits and behaviors

  • To replace negative thoughts with life enhancing ones

  • To relieve the emotional contributors to physical pain, thus reducing pain itself

  • To enhance the ability to love, succeed and enjoy life

More Information

For research studies on the effectiveness of Energy Psychology and Emotional Freedom Techniques, visit

Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology (ACEP)

or Peta Stapleton's Research

 

DISCLAIMER

I am required by my profession’s ethical standards to advise you that EFT is considered an “adjunct technique” and the nature of its effectiveness, risks, and benefits are becoming increasingly better known and understood. Evidenced based research is providing support for its efficacy and it is becoming more widely used. 

If you would like to incorporate EFT into your therapy with me, or use it outside of sessions without me, you agree to assume and accept full responsibility for any and all risks associated with this practice. Consent must be given freely, without any obligation and with understanding of how it works and known implications.

In using EFT, it is possible that unexpected emotional or physical sensations or unresolved memories may surface. In addition, emotional material may continue to surface after using EFT, indicating that other issues may also need to be addressed. You may also experience physical sensations like tingling or numbness that may be noticed in different parts of the body before they are resolved. You may also have physiological responses such as yawning, burping, flatulence, nausea, becoming thirsty or tired and in very rare cases vomiting may occur. 

Tapping on the body may also produce the release of lactic acid build up in muscles or body parts. It is necessary to be well hydrated when you tap and following a tapping session to ensure your system is properly flushed out. A usual sign of proper hydration is evident when your urine runs clear. An exception is if you take Vitamin B12 as this or other medications that may impact the color of your urine (consult your doctor for any concerns about your hydration.)

While I always use EFT in my practice in good faith and with good intentions, there may be times when EFT presents us with challenging, unforeseen situations such as the surfacing of significant memories, thoughts or emotions, or when EFT does not result in the desired positive outcome. 

It is strongly recommended you use EFT tapping for trauma related issues or those that cause significant distress strictly in the presence of a trained professional. If you are self-tapping, do not do more than 30 minutes per day.