Like acupuncture, EFT uses the meridians of energy flow described by the ancient Chinese. Unlike acupuncture, there are no needles (whew!). Instead, we use acupressure, or tapping.
It is admittedly “different”, but it works. How, you might wonder. It is thought perhaps to downregulate the amygdala, the emotional arousal centre in the brain, thus having a calming effect. If this is done while focusing on an upset, it takes away the upset from that memory/situation etc. This allows one to look at the situation differently eg no longer taking it personally. When you “tap in” the truth, the increased calmness allows the truth to feel truer.
Emotional Freedom Technique can be used to either install truths or positive feelings, or clear upset or trauma.
FOR CLEARING NEGATIVITY
For clearing negativity:
- Focus on the upset, whether it involves a memory or not, and rate the intensity of the upset in your body on a scale of 0 to 10, 0 being none and 10 being the most possible.
- Choose a word or phrase that characterizes your upset. It is useful but not necessary to come up with an underlying core belief eg. I am unloveable. Don’t worry about saying the wrong thing-you can’t.
- Find your “sore spot”. This is a somewhat tender spot located about halfway along your collarbone and about 2 inches down.
- Rub your sore spot while you say the affirmation:
“Even though __(negative)____________, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.” It’s okay if this does not feel true.
For example: “Even though I’m craving ice cream, I deeply and profoundly accept myself.”
- The EFT Tapping Sequence
Gently and rapidly tap each point roughly about 7 times:
- inside end of the eyebrow
- outside end of the eyebrow
- just under the eye (along the bone)
- under the nose in the midline
- the indent above the chin
- just under the inner end of the collarbone
- under the arm
Say the reminder phrase (short reminder of negative) while quickly tapping on each point. You will say the reminder phrase once per point. This is just the reminder phrase without the “even though” and “I deeply and profoundly accept myself.”
- Reassess the Intensity Level (0-10)
- Continue doing rounds of tapping til you are down to 2 or less.
- If you are at 1 or 2, you can clear the remainder with an eye roll(s) from the floor to the ceiling.
- Once you are at 0, tap in the truth/positive, repeating it at each point as you tap the sme sequence. You can tap in the positive as many times as you want, and can vary the words.
If your intensity of upset does not drop after a round of tapping, there is a block or more than one. All you have to do is wonder what could be preventing the negative energy from releasing, and waiting for the answer(s) to come to you. Examples of blocks are: not believing that it’s possible to clear this, not feeling deserving of feeling better, feeling unwilling to let go of anger because it’s justified or because one feels vulnerable without it, etc.
Once you discover the block(s) all you need to do is include it during your affirmation phrase eg Even though I feel that I am bad, and even though I don’t feel I deserve to feel better, I deeply and completely love and accept myself. Then go ahead and tap the sequence, and the negative energy will release as long as the block was named.
INSTALLING THE TRUTH/POSITIVE
If you are installing something true and positive, there is no need for the affirmation statement while rubbing the sore spot, which are used for clearing the negative.
You just begin tapping the sequence, repeating the truth at each point. Every round allows the truth to feel truer, even if it’s already feeling very true. It’s good to know that there is no limit to how true something can feel.
It’s OK to install the truth when starting out not having it feel very true at all, or to install it after clearing the negative. It is always a good idea to install truths after clearing the negative. If you’re installing a truth that does not feel very true,check how true it feels on a scale of 0-10, 0 being completely false and 10 being completely true. Check the number after each round, and continue tapping til it feels like a solid 10. Feel free to continue even after that to make it feel truer and truer. After all, there’s no such thing as feeling the truth too deeply!
The process can also be done in one’s imagination without any actual tapping or rubbing.
It is quick, effective, harmless, free, and available to you any time anywhere. It is also very forgiving, so will still work regardless of exactly what you say or if you forget a spot. So why stay upset if you can feel better?
It is perfectly fine to combine EFT with other tools such as imagery (see Creating a Powerful Inner Resource),other forms of meditation, etc.