It’s hard not to compare your life to others. And it’s hard not to imagine the different paths and futures your life could have taken. This is especially true if you feel as if you may be settling in certain aspects of your life. Perhaps you suffer from emotional trauma, physical pain, addictions, or feelings of numbness. Maybe your physical health isn’t as sharp as it could be. Maybe you’re holding onto feelings of sadness, anxiety, and discontent. But through EFT or emotional freedom technique tapping, you may be able to live a better life. EFT tapping is rather simple and puts your physical and emotional well-being back into your own hands!
What Is Tapping? Like Tap Dancing?
Don’t worry, you won’t need to learn how to shuffle off to Buffalo. EFT tapping is similar to acupuncture. It focuses on the meridian points (energy hot spots) in order to restore balance to your own energy. Based on Chinese medicine, these meridian points are thought of like energy transfer spots. Energy flows through these meridians and helps balance energy flow to help you maintain your health.
Though instead of using needles (phew), EFT utilizes our fingertips to do the pressure application through tapping. It is believed that tapping helps you to access your natural energy and send signals to the part of the brain that controls stress. Stimulating the meridian points through EFT tapping can reduce the stress or negative emotions you may be feeling.
It Might Get Emotional
EFT can be utilized for physical relief alone. However, the best results with EFT often coincides with targeted, related emotional issues. One principal of EFT is the belief that the more unresolved emotional issues you can clear, the more peace and emotional freedom you will have in your life. It is important to note that EFT can be an ongoing process. It can be used to clear out the old traumas, as well as take on any new challenges that may come your way.
But Show Me the Science
We understand tapping your face to cure anxiety may sound a bit strange. EFT tapping has been met with its fair share of skepticism. However, in recent years, more and more people have been turning to EFT. Research has proven that EFT produces real, lasting breakthroughs and significant improvements.
Studies done by Harvard Medical School and Dr. Dawson Church verify these claims. The Harvard studies showed that the brain’s stress and fear response could be lessened by stimulating the meridian points used in acupuncture, acupressure, and tapping. And Dr, Church’s Stress Project teaches EFT tapping to war veterans suffering from PTSD. The results showed an average 63% decrease in PTSD symptoms after six rounds of tapping. It’s mind-blowing and exciting research, which has converted many non-believers in the scientific community as more studies are being conducted!
EFT Tapping in 5 Steps
One: Identify the Issue
In order for this technique to be effective, you must first identify the issue or fear you have. This will be your focal point while you’re tapping. Focusing on only one problem at a time is the best way to enhance your outcome.
Two: Test the Initial Intensity
After you identify your problem area, you need to set a benchmark level of intensity. The intensity level is rated on a scale from 0 to 10, with 10 being the worst or most difficult. The scale assesses the emotional or physical pain and discomfort you feel from your focal issue.
Establishing a benchmark helps you monitor your progress after performing a complete EFT sequence. If your initial intensity was 10 prior to tapping and ended at 5, you’d have accomplished a 50 percent improvement level.
Three: Setting Up
Prior to tapping, you need to establish a phrase that explains what you’re trying to address. Think of it as a meditation mantra. It must focus on two main goals:
- acknowledging the issues
- accepting yourself despite the problem
The common setup phrase is: “Even though I have this [fear or problem], I deeply and completely accept myself.” You can change this phrase to fit your needs. But it must not address someone else’s. For example, you can’t say, “Even though my mother is sick, I deeply and completely accept myself.” You have to focus on how the problem makes you feel in order to relieve the distress it causes. It’s better to address this situation by saying, “Even though I’m sad my mother is sick, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
Four: The EFT Tapping Sequence
The EFT tapping sequence is the methodic tapping on the ends of nine meridian points:
- karate chop (KC): small intestine meridian
- top of head (TH): governing vessel
- eyebrow (EB): bladder meridian
- side of the eye (SE): gallbladder meridian
- under the eye (UE): stomach meridian
- under the nose (UN): governing vessel
- chin (Ch): central vessel
- beginning of the collarbone (CB): kidney meridian
- under the arm (UA): spleen meridian
Begin by tapping the karate chop point while simultaneously reciting your setup phrase three times. Then, tap each following point seven times, moving down the body in this ascending order:
- side of the eye
- under the eye
- under the nose
- beginning of the collarbone
- under the arm
- Finish the sequence at the top of the head point
While tapping the ascending points, recite a reminder phrase to maintain focus on your problem area. If your setup phrase is, “Even though I’m sad my mother is sick, I deeply and completely accept myself,” your reminder phrase can be, “The sadness I feel that my mother is sick.” Recite this phrase at each tapping point. Repeat this sequence two or three times.
Five: Retest the Intensity
At the end of your sequence, rate your intensity level on a scale from 0 to 10. Compare your results with your initial intensity level. The goal is to reach a 0. Repeat as many times as needed to get there. But if you are short on time, repeat as many times as you feel you need.
Let Us Help You!
EFT is simple to master and totally FREE. You can utilize this tool whenever you want, wherever you are. But most importantly, it gives you the power to heal yourself, putting control over your destiny back into your own hands. If you are interested in EFT, Cristina Panaccione and Associates has two locations in the South Hills and one office in Robinson Township. We are currently accepting a limited number of new patients, so check out our videos to learn more about how we can help you learn DBT skills to fight depression and anxiety!
Darlene Friend – MSW, LCSW, EMDR
Darlene graduated from California University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Social Work. As well as an Aging Specialist Certificate in Gerontology. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Pennsylvania. And a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in West Virginia. She provides individual therapy, family therapy, and couples counseling, as well as group services. She is experienced in a wide variety of mental health conditions ranging from chronic and persistent mental illness to adjustment disorders and grief. Darlene specializes in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), therapy utilized for big and little traumas that affect the whole person. She received training in many areas of behavioral health such as trauma and sexual assault. She incorporates multiple modalities and evidenced-based practices in therapy. This includes transactional analysis, cognitive behavioral therapy, and motivational interviewing.