Introduction to EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)
posted by Suzanne Zacharia
Introduction to EFT by Suzanne Zacharia
EFT for fear of flying... and backache?
One simple formula fits all. It looks silly, it feels stupid, but hey, if it works...
OK, so can you really be free from cigarettes, overeating, undereating, shyness, backache, asthma, eczema, etc etc etc with this one simple formula? And does it really take 1.1 minutes per 'round'? And what is a 'round' of EFT?
Looking at my competitors' ads, I used to think: 'Rubbish'. Now, I try to have every client that walks in use it. And everyone I meet. And every health and fitness professional. Every teacher, youth worker, you name it!
Basically, EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) releases the negative emotions stored in your system that stop you from doing what you really want to do.
OK, so that's the emotional bit, but what about the physical? Basically, the body is capable of doing much healing itself and emotions can help or hinder. EFT belongs to the genre of therapies called Energy Psychology. It's kind of like massaging special acupressure points whilst applying some clever psychology. If you have had a Reiki session, you may already relate to the idea of energy release that leaves you feeling better. Imagine a Reiki healing with the hands concentrated on special acupressure points, with some clever psychology added. Or you can imagine it as turbo-charged psychotherapy where you can literally tap your problems away.
I learned EFT in the end after much skepticism because I was giving clients Reiki before their hypnotherapy session and noticed huge differences between the clients who had Reiki first, and who got better faster, and the clients who only had hypnotherapy. So EFT was just the next step up from what I was already doing.
So where did this newfangled method come from?
Well, it all started with Chinese acupuncture, then we had acupressure from Japan and China. This was a few thousand years ago. In the twentieth century, a couple of chiropractors discovered kinesiology, which amongst other things, makes a connection between muscles and emotions.
Then a psychiatrist called Roger Callahan combined psychology with kinesiology and came up with what he called TFT, or Thought Field Therapy. He became famous with the case of Mary, whose water phobia was cured with this technique.
News of his success reached Gary Craig, a Stanford engineer by training, an NLP Master, a part-time church minister, and then a performance coach, who paid a great deal of money to learn everything Roger Callahan could teach him. Gary then used his engineer's mind to simplify TFT so that anyone could use it. After refining it and simplifying it into a robust simple formula, he called it EFT, or Emotional Freedom Techniques. His website is at www.emofree.com, and it is well recommended that you download the free manual and subscribe to the free informative newsletter.Each 'round' of EFT involves tapping with the fingers on special points in the body's energy meridians whilst tuning into the problem.
During an EFT session, you keep your clothes on, sit down kind of facing the practitioner, and follow the practitioner in a monkey-see monkey-do fashion.
Like any other therapy, the practitioner takes a history first and advises you what to expect. Then s/he may ask you to connect to a particular event and give an intensity on a scale from 0 to 10 how adversely this event would affect you if you were to relive it. Then the practitioner leads you through tapping and repeating certain phrases before asking for an intensity again.
So let's say your work is suffering because you were bullied at your first job; and the intensity of emotion from one such incident is 7. After one round of the tapping you may feel more like a 5, then after another round, maybe a 3, and then maybe a zero. Then the practitioner would check to see if any bits of that experience still bother you, let's say there's still an intensity of 2 that comes up after testing. The same tapping procedure is repeated until you feel a complete zero in intensity about the event. Then the whole of that bullying seems less important and you can move on in your current job. The same applies to relationships, childhood issues, war trauma, phobias and any emotional issue.With physical issues, we tend to hold our negative emotions in the weakest part of our body, which can weaken it further. So let's say you had chronic backache (3 months or longer), and it scored a 6 on the 0-10 intensity scale. The practitioner would tap with you for the backache and any emotional issues your body is storing as negative energy in your back. The backache would typically go down to 4, 3, 1, and possibly even zero. And you would walk away with a simple technique to use should the cause be mechanical, in case it bothers you again. Whilst very fast results can be achieved, EFT is not a quick fix, rather a gentle and long-lasting energy release. In a session, people often release this energy to the accompaniment of yawns, giggling, crying, or laughing, often all in one session. This is just a sign that the energy is being released that you are being gently freed from whatever was holding you back. Many one-minute wonders have been achieved with EFT, and some more serious cases can take up to two years. Another really nice thing about this relatively simple technique is that clients can use it for themselves as well as with a therapist, empowering themselves with a toolkit for their own therapy. As well as pure EFT, massage therapists, Reiki practitioners, osteopaths, counsellors, hypnotherapists, doctors, teachers, nurses, personal trainers and many others incorporate it into their routine too. Let's say you went to see a physiotherapist because of recurring back pain and negative emotions were holding back your progress, the physiotherapist can give you EFT as well as the physiotherapy. A whole mind-body-spirit package. So next time you meet someone enthusing about this silly tapping thing, you'll have an idea why!