I was introduced to this amazing healing modality a few years back during a hypnotherapy session that absolutely changed my life, and now I teach this “secret weapon” to all of my health coaching clients. That secret is EFT, which stands for Emotional Freedom Technique, commonly referred to as “tapping”. It is a simple somatic technique that has the power to instantly calm your body and mind in a matter of minutes. It works by tapping with your fingers on specific meridian points on the face, hands, and body used in Eastern medicine, similar to acupuncture.
EFT has been nicknamed “acupuncture for emotions” because you can address any specific problem in your life that is causing you stress— such as anxiety, panic attacks, body image, phobias, depression, physical pain, anger, and even weight loss resistance. While performing EFT, you are tapping on various parts of the face and body and simultaneously focusing on the emotion you are experiencing that needs resolving. By stimulating these pressure points, you send messages to your amygdala (your fear center in the brain) that it is safe to relax and get you out of the fight-or-flight response. Stress is arguably one of the biggest contributors to ill health, and over time can cause a myriad of diseases in the body. EFT has been proven to lower the stress hormone cortisol in your body by up to 43% after one hour of tapping (1).
EFT is not just a quick fix, but a powerful long-term solution. When you focus on your problem while tapping on it, you are actually capable of rewiring your brain around the way you perceive the issue. Repetition of this process will eventually program your brain and body to relax while being confronted with the issue that once made you upset. When you are less triggered by the problem, you no longer have the physiological cortisol response to it, creating an environment more conducive to healing.
One study was done on PTSD veterans, who found significant relief using EFT (2). Over the course of 6 weeks, each participant received one 60 minute session of EFT per week. After the 6 weeks were over, 90% of the participants no longer met the criteria for diagnosable PTSD. Even more amazing was that 3 months later, 86% of participants were still in remission, and 6 months later 80% were still in remission. These results came from ONE 6 week period. Imagine what could happen if you tapped every day!
The best part about EFT is that once you learn the method’s simple steps, you can use it anytime, anywhere! You no longer have to rely on anyone else (like a therapist) or anything outside of yourself to bring you back to a state of peace and contentment– and it’s free! I personally have used EFT for years to combat anxiety and panic attack (which I no longer have!) and more recently have been using it to work on my body image issues. There are many other theories out there around how EFT actually works, and there is still more research to be done. But if you speak to anyone who has tried EFT, they all say the same thing– they don’t know how it works, but it works! It may feel silly at first, but there’s no harm in giving it an honest try. What do you have to lose (except the stress that is preventing your body from healing)?
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Stapleton, P., Crighton, G., Sabot, D., & O’Neill, H. M. “Reexamining the Effect of Emotional Freedom Techniques on Stress Biochemistry: A Randomized
Controlled Trial” Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy. 2020 Mar 12. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/tra0000563
Church, Dawson, Yount, Garret, & Brooks, Audrey. “The effect of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) on stress biochemistry: A randomized controlled trial.”
Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 200 (2012): 891-896. doi:10.1097/NMD.0b013e31826b9fc1.
Reference: Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease