Emotional Freedom Techniques, or EFT (often known as Tapping or EFT Tapping), is a universal healing tool that can provide impressive results for physical, emotional, and performance issues. EFT operates on the premise that no matter what part of your life needs improvement, there are unresolved emotional issues in the way. Even for physical issues, chronic pain, or diagnosed conditions, it is common knowledge that any kind of emotional stress can impede the natural healing potential of the human body.
In many cases, EFT can be applied directly to physical symptoms for relief without exploring any emotional contributors. However, for the most powerful, longest lasting results with EFT, we do expect to identify and target related emotional issues.
The EFT premise also includes the understanding that the more unresolved emotional issues you can clear, the more peace and emotional freedom you will have in your life. The Personal Peace Procedure (discussed later) is the tool you need to get there … limiting beliefs can vanish, personal performance can soar, relationships can thrive, and vibrant physical health can be yours. If we’re being realistic, everyone on this planet has at least a few emotional issues holding them back from pure, limitless happiness.
With that in mind, EFT can be an ongoing process that we use to clear out the old traumas, and welcome any new challenges with a healthy, productive attitude. The core EFT instruction in this Tutorial will start with the basic tapping process and take you all the way to the Personal Peace Procedure. We welcome anyone and everyone to use these tools for as much peace and freedom as they can imagine.
EFT Tapping Often Works Where Nothing Else Will
EFT breathes fresh air into the healing process by borrowing from the Chinese meridian system. While acupuncture, acupressure and the like have been primarily focused on physical ailments, EFT stands back from this ancient process and points it also at emotional issues. These, in turn, often provide benefits for performance and physical issues.
EFT combines the physical benefits of acupuncture with the cognitive benefits of conventional therapy for a much faster, more complete treatment of emotional issues, and the physical and performance issues that often result.
EFT is an emotional version of acupuncture, except we don’t use needles.
While related to acupuncture, EFT does not use needles. Instead, we use a simple two pronged process wherein we (1) mentally “tune in” to specific issues while (2) stimulating certain meridian points on the body by tapping on them with our fingertips. Properly done, EFT appears to balance disturbances in the meridian system and thus often reduces the conventional therapy procedures from months or years down to minutes or hours. The basic Tapping process is easy to learn, can be done anywhere, and can be used to provide impressive do-it-yourself results.
Further, the basic method is very portable and learnable by almost everyone. No special education is required. Even children have produced beginner’s benefits with it. The foundational process within EFT is known as The EFT Tapping Basic Recipe and is detailed for you in the next article: How to do the EFT Tapping Basics – The Basic Recipe. Also see What can I expect from EFT Tapping?
The Body’s Energy System – The Foundation of EFT Tapping
About 5,000 years ago, the Chinese discovered a complex system of energy circuits that run throughout the body. These energy circuits … or meridians as they are called … are the centerpiece of Eastern health practices and form the basis for modern day acupuncture, acupressure and a wide variety of other healing techniques.
This energy courses through the body and is invisible to the eye. By analogy, you do not see the energy flowing through a TV set either. You know it is there, however, by its effects. The sounds and pictures are your ever present evidence that the energy flow exists.
In the same way, EFT gives you striking evidence that unique energy flows within your meridians because it provides the effects that let you know it is there. By simply Tapping near the end points of your energy meridians you can experience some profound changes in your emotional and physical health. That’s what EFT is all about. It is the central concept in the What is EFT Tapping question.
Western medical science tends to focus on the chemical nature of the body and has not paid much attention to these subtle, but powerful, energy flows until recent years. However, they do exist and are attracting an expanding group of researchers.
Scientific Validation of EFT
EFT’s foundation comes from a common sense blend of Acupuncture and Mind-Body Medicine, both of which have decades of scientific studies supporting them. Their effectiveness has been so profound that prestigious institutions such as Stanford, Harvard and many other universities, clinics and hospitals have chosen to use and/or study them. Just do an internet search for terms such as “Mind Body Research” and “Acupuncture Research” and you will be exposed to the huge warehouse of scientific studies that validate the EFT Tapping underpinnings.
Further, many peer reviewed EFT Tapping studies have been completed. Some of these studies are based on a longer form Tapping protocol that was popular prior to this Tutorial. This Tutorial has divided that protocol into easy to use parts but, overall, there is no substantive change in it. One need only put the parts back together to arrive at the original protocol used in previous research. Thus all research using the previous protocol is still valid even though that protocol reflects “Old EFT.” Future research, however, should be based on the protocols advanced in this Tutorial. You may wish to read this excellent article summarizing the research on EFT and similar methods written by David Feinstein, PhD.
To me, however, the real proof of EFT’s power is not to be found in the laboratory. Rather, the true evidence lies in how well it works for you. Accordingly, this Tutorial is designed so you can put this Tapping process through its paces yourself and come to your own conclusions. Obviously, the more skillful you become at EFT the better will be your results and the more thorough will be your understanding of “What is EFT Tapping.”
The Discovery Statement
One of the beautiful features of EFT is that its mechanism can be elegantly stated in one sentence. We call it The Discovery Statement and here it is.
Now, let’s examine The Discovery Statement in more detail. First, notice what it does not say. It does not say that a negative emotion is caused by the memory of a past traumatic experience. This is important to recognize because that presumed connection of traumatic memories to negative emotions is a mainstay in conventional psychotherapy.
In some circles, it is the accepted practice to “treat the memory” and, in the process, ask the client to repeatedly relive some emotionally painful event. EFT, by contrast, respects the memory but addresses what I believe is the true cause … a disruption in the body’s energy system.
People have called me from all over the world for help over the telephone. Without my asking, they usually start telling me in detail about their past traumas. That’s because they mistakenly believe I need all these details to help them. To them, these memories are the cause of their problems.
I care deeply about helping people who needlessly carry around all these emotionally charged memories. That’s why I created this easy to use Tapping process. But it always seems strange to people when I tell them they don’t need to painfully relive all those horrid details for EFT Tapping to help them. These memories may contribute to an unwanted emotion (you’ll see how later), but they are not the direct cause. Accordingly, we don’t need to spend time painfully dwelling on them. It is superfluous, if not damaging, to do so.
Thus there is relatively little emotional suffering involved with EFT Tapping. It is comparatively painless (see What can I expect from EFT Tapping? for possible exceptions). You will be asked to briefly recall your problem (there may be some discomfort in that), but that is all. There is no need to relive the pain. In fact, with properly done Tapping, generating prolonged emotional discomfort is frowned upon. This is but one example of where EFT Tapping is a radical departure from conventional methods.
As a further aid to your learning, it might help if you compare the energy flow in your body to that of a TV set. As long as the electricity flows through your TV normally, the sound and picture are both clear. But what would happen if you took off the back of the TV set and carelessly probed through its complicated electronics with a metal screwdriver?” You would, quite obviously, disrupt or reroute the flow of electricity and an electric short circuit, or “zzzzzt”, would occur inside. The picture and sound would become erratic and the TV would exhibit its version of a “negative emotion.”
In the same manner, when our energy systems become imbalanced, we have an electrical “zzzzzt” effect going on inside. Straighten out this “zzzzzt” by properly performed Tapping and the negative emotion goes away. It’s that simple. I’m well aware of how strange this may sound and how difficult it can be to believe … at least at first. I wouldn’t believe it myself if I hadn’t seen so many marvelous changes in people after applying these techniques.
The Intermediate Step … The Missing Piece
Once you accept it, though …. once you “let it in”…. its logic becomes undeniable and you begin to see all the weaknesses in other methods.
For example, the “treat the memory” method mentioned above becomes glaringly erroneous in the light of these discoveries. It is assumed, in that method, that the past traumatic memory is the direct cause of the emotional upset in someone. It is not. There is an intermediate step … a missing piece … between the memory and the emotional upset. And that intermediate step, of course, is the disruption in the body’s energy system. It is that disruption, the “zzzzzt”, that is the direct cause of the emotional upset. This is portrayed graphically below.
Please note that if step 2 (the intermediate step) does not occur then step 3 is impossible. In other words, if the memory does not cause a disruption in the body’s energy system then the negative emotion cannot occur. That is why some people are bothered by certain memories and others are not. The difference is that some people have a tendency for their energy systems to become imbalanced under such memories, while others do not.
With this in mind, it is easy to see how the “treat the memory” method misses the mark. It addresses step 1 and ignores step 2.
This is why some people tend to get worse when conventional psychotherapy aims for the memory and not its cause (the energy disruption). Addressing step 1 by requiring someone to vividly relive a distressing memory serves to induce more disruption in the energy system (more zzzzzts). And that means more pain, not less. It can, and often does, aggravate the problem. If step 2 was addressed instead of step 1, then there would be relatively little pain. The energy system would be balanced (by appropriate Tapping) and internal calm would replace the negative emotion. The result would be rapid relief because the true cause was being addressed. This happens repeatedly with EFT Tapping.
In the following video I combine The Discovery Statement with a discussion of the Intermediate Step. It adds an extra dimension to these important topics.
One Cause … Thus You Only Need One Method
Now back again to the “Discovery Statement.” Please notice that it is all inclusive. It says, “The cause of ALL negative emotions is a disruption in the body’s energy system.” This includes fears, phobias, anger, grief, anxiety, depression, traumatic memories, PTSD, worry, guilt and all limiting emotions in sports, business and the performing arts. That’s a comprehensive list and covers just about every restrictive emotion we can experience.
Differently stated, this means that all these negative emotions have the same cause….an electrical “zzzzzt” in the body. It also means…
…that they can all be relieved in a similar manner.
Thus, grief has the same basic cause as trauma, guilt, fear and a baseball player’s hitting slump. So the same general method can be used for all these problems. This “one cause” idea is also a blessing for mental health professionals. They are accustomed to an endless, ever changing number of explanations for the seemingly countless emotional concerns of their clients. To learn that there is only one cause greatly simplifies their efforts.
EFT Often Provides Impressive Physical Relief
The medical profession has long known that emotional issues can dramatically affect our body chemistry and that, in turn, can lead to everything from rashes and headaches to addictions, impaired immune systems and cancer. We see consistent evidence of this when we apply the Tapping process. As guilt, anger, fear, trauma and the like become resolved, physical ailments often subside simultaneously. From time to time we also see physical symptoms fade by simply Tapping on the meridian system without directly aiming EFT at emotional contributors. In this case, it appears that one of the contributors to the physical ailment may be strictly energetic and thus merely balancing the meridians can bring about symptom relief. This brings us to another version of the Discovery Statement that says,
“EFT can assist physical healing by resolving
underlying energetic or emotional contributors.”
This deepens our probe into What is EFT Tapping and to illustrate this, here is a video wherein I discuss the emotional facet of this concept and then follow it up with an actual case with LaVonne and her serious foot pain (neuropathy). As you will see, aiming the Tapping directly at the pain went nowhere and thus there did not appear to be a strictly energetic contributor. It was only after I addressed a handful of emotional issues (including guilt over the death of her husband via a motorcycle accident) that she achieved major improvement. Also note that, although I am using advanced language approaches here (to be explored in future articles), we are clearly illustrating the fundamental principle of achieving physical relief by moving through emotional doors.
It’s often a jaw dropping experience to witness these “impossible” recoveries and I invite progressive physicians to explore EFT Tapping as a major healing tool. Many physicians are integrating Tapping into their medical practices and one of those is Eric Robins, MD. His views are given in the following video.