There are several healing energy modalities available to aid people in overcoming different health-related challenges, including issues related to mental well-being. One such special modality is the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Not only can it be considered an energy healing technique, but it’s also a form of therapy that revitalises both the mind and the body.
What is the Emotional Freedom Technique?
EFT was developed about 30 years ago by Gary Craig, created to focus on acupuncture and acupressure points to activate the energy flow of meridians and energy centres (chakras) in the human body. The process involves tapping specific points on the head, face, and body in a particular sequence. The tapping is accompanied by an opening phrase that is then followed by the words selected by the practitioner to address the issue at hand – be it emotional or physical trauma.
The opening statement is called a ‘reminder phrase’, and it is intended to concentrate the treatment on the actual issue. The most important aspect of this process, however, is finding the right words that resonate with the person and helping them release old negative energy blocks, which – if left untreated or unattended – can eventually turn into physical ailments. Today, a good number of Western doctors and therapists incorporate EFT into their own practice to speed up recovery and healing.
What can EFT do for you?
EFT is a great way to resolve issues stemming from one’s childhood – be it carelessly dropped words, angry rants, emotional or verbal abuse, negative phrases that were just a momentary expression of disappointment, or deliberately unkind words that created limiting beliefs that define a person’s life. At a subconscious level, these factors can create obstacles, lead to complications, and prompt people to take steps and decisions that often are not helpful.
With EFT, one can quite quickly resolve many of these old issues. In fact, even when people are unaware of the actual beliefs that keep plaguing them or do not remember what created them, EFT can tap into the root of the issue. The release is instantaneous if the correct word is found. For example, a common belief that is the root of most problems is, “I am not good enough.” A lot of fears – a fear of failure, for example – may have started from a simple moment, such as a parent carelessly accusing a child of being clumsy. The child in this case, owing to their age, might not have been able to process the incident properly and therefore recorded the phrase and associated it with the actual event.
They may then start to act out in every situation where a possibility of the same accusation arises and, before the child knows it, the association would kick in and trigger a fear of clumsiness – i.e. the fear of failure. As a result, children often grow to become anxious adults with various fears. These fears may not necessarily be as simple as being scared of the dark, though this is one other issue that can be successfully addressed and healed with the help of EFT. An ‘anxious adult’ in this case, means a person who is too nervous to take a step forward, to show their true character, to brave obstacles, and break through walls that were put their way. Such people usually prefer to melt into the crowd and show no initiative.
How do we know that EFT works?
EFT does more than just resolve these kinds of issues. It helps people to breathe with new resolve and removes the burdens that people didn’t know they had – a good therapist would simply play with words until the right ones are found. How do you identify such words? It all depends on the client’s reactions. The person who is treated with EFT may start to actively nod, cry, and take deep breaths or they may demonstrate their connection through other visual aids. And at the end of the session, they would usually have a smiling face, wet eyes, and a new sense of hope. This is the truly gratifying moment for the therapist – the moment of realisation that yet another soul now feels better about themselves and can look straight ahead without fear gripping at their core.
How is EFT performed?
Not only is EFT easy to learn and work with, but it can also bring effective release in many ways with just one or a few sessions. The best way to know if the outcome is as expected is to measure the intensity of the issue between 0 and 1 prior to the session, with 10 being the most acute condition. Once the number is identified, the tapping process can begin. The opening phrase is: “Even though I am… I have… (name the actual issue), I chose to love and accept myself.”
The same statement is used during every round of tapping and as a closing statement, too. Usually, three rounds of tapping is used, addressing the issue at hand and whatever it is the client wants to tackle. While tapping and playing with words, one would eventually arrive at the word that would tackle the root cause of the issue and remove it completely. Every time a minimum of three tapping rounds is completed, it is best to measure the intensity of the feelings towards the issue between 0 and 10 to see if the acuteness has reduced. The tapping continues till the number is reduced to 2 or 1, or completely reduced to 0.
Though EFT is a technique that can be easily used by anyone, it is best to address it with the guidance of an experienced EFT practitioner for a very serious issue, as they are well-equipped with the different ways to approach the issue at hand and might help achieve faster and deeper healing. Having said that, practising EFT at home is one of the most advisable ways to help oneself and loved ones.
The positive aspects of using EFT are:
- It is simple and painless.
- It is easy to learn.
- It can be done both with and without a therapist.
- It is affordable.
- It isn’t time-consuming.
- It can be used with a specific emotional intent towards your unique life challenges.
Research has shown that EFT can be equal to or better than standard treatments for mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. Undoubtedly, EFT tapping is a great way to reduce anxiety and depression symptoms such as excessive worry, irritability, sleeping difficulties, and difficulty concentrating. The pandemic that has plagued the world for the last one and a half year has been challenging in terms of stress management for most people. The drive to help people avoid contracting COVID-19 has unintentionally created the perfect setting for mental breakdowns, deep fears, and many other disorders.
In some cases, ETF can help one overcome these issues in as little as 60 minutes, with the help of a professional. Those 60 minutes can relieve not only one’s current condition, but also address deeply buried old negative emotions that most likely are responsible for one’s health and happiness. Anxiety and depression are not the only health challenges that can be effectively addressed through ETF – obesity, smoking, excessive drinking, post-surgical tenderness, confidence issues, phobias of any type and complexity, reduced libido, and almost every other emotional or physical challenge are also examples.
The time required to eliminate any given issue will vary from client to client, and also depend on the underlying issue to be resolved. This is naturally based on the individual situation and depth or age of the problem. It would usually take at least two or three sessions to achieve measurable results. My advice? Use EFT with an open mind, trust the process, and let the healing happen naturally.
Farah is a Certified Reiki Master and Spiritual Life Coach at Lee Wellness.