Welcome to another post that I hope will enlighten you about some of the foundational techniques in the revolutionary field of energy medicine. I’m excited to see energy healing methods become more mainstream. It’s about time, honestly!
Last month I discussed the ancient Chinese method of acupuncture, which involves tiny needles inserted into acupoints to release the flow of energy (known as qi or chi and pronounced “chee”) throughout the body. It’s a great precursor to today’s topic: EFT, which is short for the Emotional Freedom Technique. EFT is a form of tapping which has close ties to acupuncture, as it uses the same Meridian points, but there are no needles. And like acupuncture, this alternative energy healing method helps restore balance and ensure you have an uninterrupted flow of energy for optimal health.
Hundreds of thousands of people use tapping to reduce stress, anxiety, depression and more. It’s no wonder tapping has been termed “emotional acupuncture” or “psychological acupuncture.” People have also used it to help relieve physical issues like fibromyalgia, headaches, ulcers and digestive disorders and sleeping issues..
During an EFT session there are a few key steps:
- Rate the intensity of your issue on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the most intense).
- Come up with your self-affirming phrase which makes you feel powerful against the issue you are dealing with. Example: “Even though I feel X (fill in with the problem you’re experiencing), I love and accept myself.” For example, you may feel stressed about an upcoming job interview. Your self-affirming phrase might be, “Even though I feel very stressed about my job interview today, I love and accept myself.”
- Perform the tapping sequence while you “vent” or “talk” about the issue you are addressing. Tapping involves nine meridian points: beginning with the “karate chop” portion of your hand (side of your hand in between your pinkie and thumb) and circling up to the beginning of our eyebrow line, side of your eye on the high part of your cheekbone, under the eye following that same bone, under the nose, on the chin in the indented spot between your lower lip and end of your chin, on the collarbone, on your side below your armpit and on the top of the head. This is repeated three times.
- Reassess your rating of stress from 1 to 10.
This all sounds great, you may be thinking, but does it really work? Yes it does! Studies have shown that EFT reduces cortisol levels in the body. One landmark randomized controlled trial compared an hour-long EFT session with an hour of talk therapy! The study found that anxiety and depression dropped twice as much with EFT and that cortisol declined by 24% in just one hour. If you’ve been following me for some time you know that I discuss cortisol levels (aka stress hormones) frequently such as in this previous blog, as they profoundly affect your physical and emotional well-being, causing us to go into permanent “fight or flight” mode. When we’re in that state, we are more susceptible to illness and disease.
A 2013 study showed that EFT effectively treats post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The study tested the effects of EFT training on veterans dealing with PTSD and found that after three treatment sessions 60 percent of the participants no longer met the PTSD clinical criteria, and after six sessions this number went up to 86 percent.
How was EFT developed? While acupuncture has been around for thousands of years. EFT really began taking shape about 50 years ago by Dr. George Goodheart. After discovering acupuncture, he introduced it into his own chiropractic work as one of the bases of a method he was developing called Applied Kinesiology (which uses muscle testing to determine the effectiveness of any form of treatment). He found that he could obtain the same beneficial results by “percussing” or “tapping” on the meridian points, which was a more accessible method that could help even more people, since it was non-threatening and non-invasive. No needles!
In the 1970s Australian psychiatrist John Diamond, M.D., took this discovery a step further by creating a variation he called “Behavioral Kinesiology.” Diamond used affirmations while focusing on acupuncture points to treat specific emotional problems.
In the 1980s American psychologist Dr. Roger Callahan, who specialized in anxiety disorders, learned Applied Kinesiology and studied the meridian system of acupuncture in order to find better answers to some of the anxiety and phobias plaguing his patients. Callahan discovered that if a person is focusing on a specific fear of their own at the time they tap; this fear can be removed, often permanently.
It was a somewhat accidental discovery made while working with a patient terrified of water. During one particular session, however, she told him for the first time that her fearful feeling was located in her stomach. Dr. Callahan asked her to tap on the point underneath the eye, which, according to traditional acupuncture, is linked to the stomach meridian point thinking it might balance a disturbance.
Mary began to tap under her eyes and not only did she experience relief from her stomach symptoms, she called out in surprise that her profound fear of water was suddenly gone! Callahan watched as she got up and ran toward his swimming pool located just outside his office. When she reached it, she began splashing water on her face, which was a complete 360-degree departure from her phobia.
Psychiatrist John Diamond, M.D., also found that each of the twelve acupuncture meridians relates to a specific emotional state. This was in the 1980s.
In the 1990s, Gary Craig, a Stanford trained engineer and personal performance coach who had studied Thought Field Therapy (or TFT) with Callahan as one of his star students, developed what we now know as the EFT method. EFT is often considered a more streamlined version of tapping than previous methods.
Today EFT is one of the most widespread energy healing methods in the world, used even by some educators to help students concentrate better in school and improve test performance!
I have incorporated some of the beneficial features of EFT in my new groundbreaking three-minute Trilogy method. Trilogy combines the top energy medicine and energy psychology tools in the world to address any and all issues – body, mind and spirit -- in just minutes.
I have spent six years testing and developing Trilogy, and the results have been more profound than anything I have seen in nearly two decades! There’s nothing else like it out there. Start taking proactive, holistic steps toward wellness, both physical and emotional. The beginning of the New Year is the perfect time to begin this journey!
Have a blessed, wonderful day!