EFT: What Is It, And Why Should You Care?
“…It is our relationship to fear that determines the choices we make. By changing our relationship to fear, we reduce its credibility, robbing it of its power…” - Thom Rutledge
Your boss has asked you to make a speech for him at the next board meeting. You graciously accept. But inside you are freaking out. You are terrified of speaking in public. Every time you think about it your heart pounds and you get a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach. The stress is causing you sleepless nights. Is there any way to handle this panicky feeling so you can make the speech?
Emotional Freedom Technique
Here is where EFT comes in. Founded by Gary Craig in the mid 90’s, EFT is an acronym for Emotional Freedom Technique. It is a self-help procedure for quickly releasing emotional distress and traumatic memories by neutralizing the fears and phobias that trigger them. The end product is to defuse the emotional charge so the distress or trauma no longer has power over us.
EFT has been used to alleviate performance anxiety, fear of heights, panic attacks, sports performance, cravings and compulsions, animal phobias and more. Its ability to enhance the outcome on health issues, psychological problems and performance issues has been scientifically studied and presented in peer review journals, research and outcome studies. EFT success stories have been reported on TV, magazine and newspaper articles.
So Easy You Can Do It
EFT is easy to learn and apply. You use your finger to gently tap on points of the body. The impact is similar to acupuncture but without the needles. The best part is you can do it yourself in minutes and get results even with no understanding of the process:
1. Measure the intensity of the feelings associated with a bad memory. Using a scale of 1 to 10. 10 being the highest.
2. Setup phrase – Tapping the Karate Chop (side of hand), state the problem and include an affirmation about you. Example, “Even though I have this fear about speaking in public, I love and completely accept myself.” Pairing exposure to the traumatic ordeal with self-acceptance is a well-researched psychological technique.
3. The sequence of tapping points - (1) Top of head (2) Inner eyebrow (3) Side of eye (4) Under eye (5) Under nose (6) Chin (7) Collarbone (8) Under arm.
Repeat stating the emotional event while doing several rounds of the tapping sequence. Check in after two or three rounds to measure the intensity of your feelings. Notice what is different. Continue if there is remaining anxiety. You are aiming for 0, but getting down to 1 or 2 may be sufficient.
This is the short version of the tapping points sequence. There are many variations based on the presenting problem. YouTube has great footage of EFT demonstrations.
EFT for PTSD
An area where EFT has been working wonders is with our returning war veterans suffering post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Many vets suffer from hyper vigilance, anger, insomnia, emotional distancing, nightmares and flashbacks. One organization, EFT Universe, filmed a documentary showing how they work with veterans and their families. Their film, “Operation Emotional Freedom the Answer” is graphically candid and demonstrates healing the physical symptoms of emotional trauma by tapping down the high levels of anger and frustration intensity.
The EFT Universe website has a wealth of information, sample cases, educational material and practitioner resources for anyone wishing to learn more about EFT.