Emotional Freedom Technique- how does it work?
In recent years, there have been many new techniques developed to help reduce distress and improve the quality of life.
The focus of many of these techniques has been on self-healing and self repair, that is, these are approaches meant to help the person help themselves with some support from professionals.
Many of these techniques despite being new are rooted in ancient practices and are closely bound to specific ideas and theories on how people can heal themselves.
Let’s take a look at one of these techniques, which has gained a lot of popularity in recent years: EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique.
What’s it all about? Let’s find out.
EFT therapy can be seen as an approach to self-healing that involves applying “psychological acupressure”.
This alternative title indicates its origins.
It is grounded in the concept of acupuncture, which suggests that there are specific points in the body that can influence individual well-being.
By applying pressure to these points, it is possible to release blockages within the energy system of the body, which allows the person to release their emotional tensions.
Emotional freedom is achieved by acting on both the mind and the body, as the two are connected.
Through the use of the core technique of this approach, which is tapping, it is possible to relieve distress and improve well-being.
EFT tapping points are the points in the body that are associated with energy and also with energy blockages.
In this approach, the person applies their fingertips to these points and taps.
This approach is not painful, does not require professional intervention, and is relatively easy to learn and practice.
It draws from Eastern spiritual healing practices and beliefs more than from Western ideas but it also integrates some concepts from modern psychotherapy, like the use of self-expression and redirection of terminology as a tool for healing.
The main concept behind EFT is that there are disruptions in the energy system of the body, which causes distress and leads to specific negative emotions.
By tapping on the specific EFT tapping points while speaking, it is possible to reduce some of these psychological problems and restore harmony.
Learning EFT is relatively easy and there are plenty of materials available around the web.
But how does this technique look in practice?
The first step is usually to identify the problem that one wants to alleviate.
This can be an emotional issue, like an unresolved conflict, a negative emotion, or another pressing situation.
Some people also use EFT as a way of coping with physical pain as well.
Once the issue has been selected, the person needs to consider the tapping points.
These are known as the meridian points, which are the key spots on the body that are connected to the flow of energy and the existing imbalance.
The meridian points are those that allow the free flow of energy and help maintain harmony, as stated in traditional Chinese medicine texts.
These are the points that are addressed through acupuncture, but in EFT, there is no need for needles.
Once the issue has been identified, this becomes the main focal point.
It is recommended to focus at a single thing at a time to ensure that the results are more effective.
Then, the person needs to set a level of intensity.
This reflects the degree of distress and discomfort associated with the issue on a scale, for example, one to ten.
The scale provides a way to measure improvement before and after tapping.
Sometimes, tapping is done by internally focusing on the problem but usually the individual has to choose what they will speak about.
This means that they need to create a phrase that will reflect the issue and the solution.
The phrase is focused on one’s own emotional or physical distress and then affirm something positive, for example, one’s self-acceptance or self-love.
After selecting a phrase, the person needs to tap on the meridian points.
There are 12 points total but 9 that are used more commonly.
Each point requires the individual to tap on it while reciting the phrase.
EFT involves moving in sequence across these points, moving over the body.
While reciting the phrase and tapping, it is important to focus on the problem at hand.
After completing the sequence, the person may need to evaluate their level of distress.
Do they feel that the problem still causes them the same degree of pain?
EFT connects with other approaches and yet has its own distinction from other modalities.
It can be considered under the umbrella of various techniques.
One approach is bio energy.
Do they fit under the same umbrella?
These are distinct techniques that share some mutual concepts, like a focus on energy; however, EFT distinguishes itself by its own modality and focus.
Both may be combined to work more in-depth with the individual’s energy and achieve better results.
So would sound healing be somewhat connected to EFT?
Sound healing is usually focused on music but the use of word repetition in EFT can connect it to the sound healing modality treatment.
Using music to support the EFT process may be a way of enhancing it, for example, by helping oneself relax and keep a rhythm while tapping.
However, these two approaches are distinct.
EFT can be considered as an approach that falls within the category of self-healing.
This is true because EFT encourages the person to take charge of their own well-being, is easy to learn and apply, and may be practiced without professional support.
But does it also fit as a natural health or holistic healing approach?
EFT tries to take advantage of something that is seen as natural and intrinsic to the human body:
The energy and the way it flows.
This makes it fit well with other natural health approaches that try to minimize the external intervention and use the body’s own resources.
It could also be considered as an approach that fits well within the holistic healing practices, because it encourages the person to address their own emotional distress by mobilizing the different resources at their disposal.
Holistic healing encourages an integrative approach and a focus on both the mind and the body, which can be found in EFT.
Emotional freedom therapy may be seen as something that fits well within these three modalities.
Summarizing in short, EFT is a promising approach that has been around since the 90s.
It is rooted in Eastern spiritual and healing practices and promotes self-healing.
It can be learned and practiced easily and provides a way to potentially reduce one’s emotional and maybe even physical distress.
There is some evidence that supports EFT’s effectiveness for anxiety and pain but it is still being studied at the moment.
It does have significant advantages.
It can be practiced for free, it has no side effects, it does not involve needles or other implements, and it may be useful for achieving a greater well-being.