EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique is a really simple tool for combating emotional and physical issues like stress or back pain. I don’t know about you, but it kind of seems like the world is falling apart. Everyday when I read the news, my left eye starts to twitch uncontrollably — a sure sign of chronic stress. And, as we all know, chronic stress is really bad for our health.
Adverse Affects of Stress
Any emotion that we hold in, such as anger, sadness, or anxiety, can have an adverse affect on our health. Since these emotions aren’t physically released with a laugh or a smile, they live in our cells. Triggering our body’s fight or flight response. When this happens, our muscles tense up, ready to take on that lion. But when there is no lion, only constant stress triggers, the muscles never get a chance to relax. This can lead to chronic pain. Particularly in an area that is already weak or has been injured such as the back, shoulder or knee.
And it’s not just our muscles that suffer. Chronic stress, even if it’s low grade, takes a toll on every system in the body from your heart to your stomach to your sex drive to your adrenals. The latter are two little bean like organs that are responsible for producing cortisol. When they get overrun, you feel utterly exhausted both emotionally and physically; are more prone to getting sick; and are much more likely to fall into depression.
What is EFT?
EFT is a really simple tool for healing. It is based on the Chinese meridian system. Just like acupuncture or acupressure, it works by activating certain meridian or energy points, in this case by tapping them with your finger. The goal of EFT is to release energy that is blocked or stuck in the body. But while acupuncture’s focus is on the physical, EFT focuses on the physical and the emotional. It’s like a combination of a really great acupuncture session AND cognitive behavioral therapy.
All of which only takes about 5 minutes.
And which you can perform yourself, just about anywhere.
How to do EFT?
If you go on YouTube and search EFT, you will find numerous videos. All with different techniques. Following is the technique that I use. It may seem overwhelming at first, but honestly, once you do it twice, it’s easy peasy. Besides the fact that you are literally releasing negative energy from the body with the tapping, the whole process is basically a meditation.
Here goes. Read through the whole thing once and then give it a try. If you miss a step, don’t worry about it. You will still get benefit.
- Sit comfortably, but don’t cross either your legs or your arms
- Think about what is bothering you. For our purposes, we are using “stressed”, but EFT can work on anything: shoulder pain, fear of flying, sadness over a pet’s death etc.. Try to be as specific as possible. For instance, “I am stressed about my job interview” versus “I am stressed”. But sometimes, we don’t always know the underlying issue so start broad and see what comes up.
Rub the spot underneath your left (or right) collar bone about 4″ down from your shoulder with two fingers (index & middle).
While rubbing the sore spot, repeat the following sentence 3 times: “Even though I am stressed, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
Although we are using “stressed” here, you will insert whatever is bothering you.
Now, take the same two fingers and tap quickly, about 7 times, on the following energy points while repeating the term “stressed” (or whatever is bothering you) in your mind:
- above the eyebrow (EB)
- on the side of the eye (SE)
- below the eye (UE)
- under the nose (UN)
- chin (Ch)
- collarbone (CB)
- under the arm (UA)
- on the side of the thumb (Th)
- index finger (IF)
- middle finger (MF)
- pinkie finger (BF)
- karate chop (KC) or fatty part on outer side of the hand
EFT Gamut Sequence
Now, tap continuously on the gamut point, located on top of the hand between the pinkie and ring finger while doing the following:
- close your eyes
- open your eyes
- look down to the right
- look down to the left
- circle your eyes right
- circle your eyes left
- hum 2 seconds of a song (I use “Happy Birthday”)
- count to 5
- hum 2 seconds of a song
Repeat the Sequence
At the end of the second round of tapping (you do not repeat the gamut sequence), let out a big exhale. Do a quick internal exam of how you feel. You will definitely notice some relief, but if there is still lingering stress (a high probability) or if another issue pops up (maybe now, you are noticing your shoulder pain or you are worried about your children’s safety) then do another round of tapping on that.
EFT tapping can be done as many times as you like. It’s really up to you. Personally, I have found this tool to be life altering. I go through periods of forgetting about it. But then something like a series of Hurricanes hit. And my eye twitch goes haywire. And I remember about my friend, EFT.