EFT tapping therapy has been described as needle free acupuncture. Closely related to EMDR therapy, EFT (emotional freedom technique) is usually self administered and always easy to learn. It can be used to treat any emotional problem ranging from mild to severe, and from short term to chronic. It also helps alleviate chronic physical pain.
Whether you are severely depressed or experiencing a lesser case of the blues, whether you want to quit smoking or reduce a chocolate craving, whether you suffer from a panic disorder or mild situational anxiety, EFT tapping therapy is a tool you should have in your arsenal. Any Internet search for EFT turns up many good quality instructional videos. A five minute video can give solid instruction in the basic technique, enough to try it on your own after just one watch. More comprehensive videos last up to half an hour.
Like acupuncture, EFT stimulates certain pressure points in the body. This has the effect of redirecting the body’s basic energies. Pain, whether emotional or physical, resides at the energetic level. Redirecting energies through EFT, if repeated often enough, releases the pain. All you need is some quiet, private space, with no distractions, and your fingertips.
To use EFT tapping therapy, begin by thinking of the feeling you want to treat. Perhaps you feel generally stressed, upset, anxious, or depressed. Perhaps you are craving something you shouldn’t have or want to give up, like sugar, alcohol, or a cigarette. Perhaps there is something at the back of your mind that you feel negatively about. Perhaps a particular situation is bothering you. If it is physical pain you want to treat, simply focus on the pain.
Whatever it is, feel it as well as thinking of it. Notice where in your body you feel it. Notice how it feels. Does it feel like pain? Sharp or dull? Do you associate any colors, tastes, smells, or sounds with this feeling? And on a scale of one to ten, with ten being the worst it could possibly be and one being barely noticeable, how would you rate this feeling?
When you have all of that in your mind, you are ready to begin tapping. Each point should be tapped about seven times; a little more is fine. The force you use in tapping should be about as much as it takes to type on a keyboard or drum lightly on a table, no more. It does not matter which order you tap the points in, but most instructors give them in this order for ease of remembering:
First point is on the side of your hand, between your wrist and the base of your little finger. This is called the karate chop point. You can tap it with all four fingers of your other hand, or you can lightly hit the karate chop points of both your hands together. If you tap one hand with the fingers of the other, it does not matter which hand you use or which one you tap
Next is the crown of your head. You can do this with one hand, but using both hands is usually more effective, as it stimulates the points even more. If you put the palms of your hands on your ears and then move your hands straight up, your fingertips will end up in the right place. For best results, alternate sides: left, right, left, right.
Next, move to your eyes. There are three different points around the eye sockets, all of which should be tapped. Like with the crown, it’s best to use both hands and tap on both sides, alternating left and right. However, doing only one side with one hand also works.
The eyebrow points, one on each side, are where your eyebrows meet the bridge of your nose. The place you want to tap is on the side of the nose bridge, next to the corner of the eye, but not so close to the eye that you would poke yourself.
The side of the eye points are by the outside corners of your eyes, opposite the eyebrow points. Again, you shouldn’t be tapping close enough to your eyes to poke yourself. If you find yourself tapping your temples, you’ve moved too far.
The under the eye points are at the bottoms of your eye sockets, on top of your cheek bones, right below the middle of the eye. Use three or four fingers to tap these, and you will definitely hit the right spot.
The under the nose point should only be tapped with one hand, two or three fingers. It is the space between your nose and upper lip, where your mustache is if you have a mustache. The exact point you want to reach is in the small depression between nose and mouth.
The chin point, found in the indentation between your mouth and chin, should also be tapped with one hand.
To find the collarbone points, first find the hollow at the base of your throat. Put one finger there. Move four fingers out to the side. From the fourth finger, move about two fingers down. These points can both be tapped at once, alternating sides.
The underarm points may not be possible for everyone to reach, but if you can, do tap them. These points are on your sides, about four inches below the armpit. For women, this is typically where the bra strap is. Depending on how flexible you are, you may find it easier to tap your right side with your left hand and vice versa, or to tap each side with the same side hand, rather like a child pretending to be a monkey.
The liver point is another that not everyone can reach, but should be tapped if you can. It is right below the nipples. Women can find this point by, again, locating their bra straps. For men, it is about three fingers below the nipples.
Some versions of EFT include tapping your fingers. If you do this, the first point to tap is on the side of your thumb nearest to your other hand, between the tip of the thumb and the first joint. Again, it does not matter which hand you tap, unless you strongly feel that you should use one rather than the other. From the thumb, move to the same place on your index finger, then your middle finger. Skip your ring finger and tap the same place on your little finger.
Most EFT instructors recommend that, with each point you tap, you name the negative feeling, then say, “Even though I have this feeling, I love and accept myself.” This exact phrase may not be meaningful to everyone. If you find that it doesn’t quite work for you, coming up with a substitute is fine. The point is to both acknowledge your feeling and acknowledge that even if the feeling itself isn’t all right, you are all right, and you yourself are accepted.
When you have been through a round of tapping, check that feeling again. Do you still feel it in the same place? Has its quality changed? On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate it now?
Sometimes, the negative feeling goes away after one round of tapping. Usually, it will not be gone, but it will have diminished. It may have, say, started as an eight and now be a five.
Some EFT instructors recommend that you go into another round of tapping, as many as it takes for the feeling to go away. Others recommend another exercise before starting another round.
With four fingers of one hand, tap the back of your other hand, in between the bones of your ring and little fingers. While tapping, close your eyes, then open them. Move your eyes down and all the way to the left, then down and all the way to the right. Roll your eyes all the way around, clockwise, then counterclockwise. Check the feeling again. Sometimes, this exercise makes it intensify rather than diminish. If this happens, that is a sign that the original bad feeling had more negativity at the root of it, which also needs to be dealt with.
Do not worry if you can’t get rid of your negative feelings in one round of EFT, or even in several. Sometimes it is an ongoing process. The important thing is to continue with the process, even if all you can do is a couple rounds a day.
Visual resources for EFT: A diagram found here shows the points to tap, with some instruction.This diagram does not include the finger points.
Instructional videos can be found at these sites: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4EDgTc0AyQ
And there are many more instructional videos on the Internet.