Tapping and EFT, the Emotional Freedom Technique
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) are a form of energy psychology. It is developed from acupuncture, neuro-linquisitc programming and thought field therapy. EFT is commonly referred to as tapping, as it requires the participant to tap on specific acupuncture points on the body while repeating phrases or statements about a specific issue. In The Hidden Psychology of Pain, Dr. James Alexander writes, "EFT can be thought of as giving the brain a range of alternative pathways through which the electro-chemical activity can travel, dispersing the energy and diluting the negative power of the experience."
Emotional Freedom Technique was developed by Gary Craig and is an offshoot of Thought Field Therapy. It seeks to change the negative neural pathways by offering an influx of sensory stimuli. Little is known about the actual mechanism of the technique, but it has been argued that by stimulating pressure points while focusing on an emotional trauma may send deactivating signals to the amygdala. According to Dr. James Alexander, "it is possible that the benefits seen with EFT may derive from its ability to create [neurological] alterations in the brain. A range of sensory stimuli, via taping, are being presented while the person is engaging in essentially a psychological process of repeating phrases about the problem they are wanting to change." The following video is a description of EFT by the Gary Craig, the developer of the technique.
The set-up phrase is simply an affirmation about the specific area you want to address. It can focus on a symptom, on your feelings toward the symptom or about an emotion that might be causing the symptom. The basic format of this affirmation is Even though I have [issue you want to address] I deeply and completely accept myself. This statement will be used in all of the tapping exercises. Dr. Alexander provides the following examples.
- Even though I have this dull pain in my back I deeply and completely accept myself
- Even though I am frightened by this neck pain, I deeply and completely accept myself.
- Even though I have this shame in my neck, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Repeat this statement three times, while tapping on the bottom left side of your hand, known as the karate chop point.
The reminder phrase is the target area that was addressed in the first phrase. During this portion of the exercise, repeat this phrase while tapping various parts of your body.
- EB (at the beginning of the eyebrow, at the middle of your forehead end)
- SE (side of eye, also on the rim of the bony socket)
- UE (undereye, also on the rim of the bony socket)
- Ch (chin, just below your bottom lip)
- CB (collarbone-where bulb of bone is, at the beginning of your collarbone, closest to your center)
- UA (under arm, in line with your nipples)
- BN (below nipple-an inch beneath it)
- Th (on your thumbnail at the place where our two thumbnails are closest if you put your hands together in a traditional prayer position)
- IF (index finger, at the same place of the nail)
- MF (middle finger-same place on your middle finger nail)
- BF (baby finger-same place on your little finger)
- KC (Karate Chop-back to the karate chop point again)
The Gamut Point is an acupuncture point located on your knuckles. It can be found by following the tendons from your little finger and the next finger to the knuckle with a closed hand. The Gamut Point is the small indentation on the surface of the hand. Tap on this point approximately seven times while repeating the Reminder Phrase. As you tap, Dr. Alexander suggests going the following activities.
- Eyes Closed
- Eyes open
- Eyes hard down to the right
- Eyes hard down to the left
- Roll eyes in one direction
- Roll eyes in the opposite direction
- Hum two seconds of a song
- Count rapidly from one to five
- Hum again
- EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
- Dreams and TMS
- The Hidden Psychology of Pain
- Other Resources
- Alexander, James. The Hidden Psychology of Pain.2012. Balboa Press.
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