Perhaps you have heard of Emotional Freedom Technique, EFT or Tapping but you have no idea what it is and how it can be used.
This article will give you an overview of Emotional Freedom Technique and how it might be applicable in your life.
What is Tapping?
EFT or tapping, involves tapping on certain acupuncture/acupressure points on the head, face, torso and hands. Most of these points correspond to the end of acupuncture meridians (internal energy lines in the body), although some are points where more than one meridian crosses.
Acupuncture is a system of medicine that has been in existence for thousands of years. It is highly complex and takes many years to study. The good news is that you don’t need to understand acupuncture to make good use of EFT.
Emotional Freedom Technique was developed around 30 years by Gary Craig, who combined a system of tapping on certain points for specific problems (devised by Roger Callahan), with some elements of Neuro Linguistic Programming, which involves understanding how we communicate with ourselves. So far, so technical, but EFT is really easy and it takes just a few minutes to learn the tapping points. You can do that now by watching this video I recorded some years ago
During a tapping session, there are just two things to do. Firstly, you acknowledge that something is not totally agreeable to you, and specify what it is, and then you tap whilst thinking or speaking about ‘the problem’. I have put ‘the problem’ in inverted commas, because you might choose to tap on something that is really very good, but you have a feeling it could just be a bit better.
How does it work?
One thing that most commonly confuses people about tapping, is that we focus on the negative. In this way, it is unusual in a world in which we are frequently being told things like; “Think positive thoughts”; “Say your affirmations 50 times a day”; “Focus on what you really want and imagine it has already happened.”
So what’s the problem with positive thinking, affirmations and mindset shifts? The problem is that 95% of our daily habits, actions and behaviours are governed by our subconscious mind, and all of the actions above, involve the 5% that is our conscious mind.
If you can drive a car, can you remember learning to drive? Do you remember your first few lessons and thinking “How will I ever be able to turn a corner, indicate, and change gear at the same time?” Chances are, you do all those things plus chatting to your passenger and applying your make-up (just kidding) without a second thought nowadays. That is because your subconscious mind is driving the car; it has become, what we call, second nature.
And that is how you live 95% of your life. Which is fine for driving, and everyday tasks. But now have a think about the patterns in your life that keep repeating themselves. Perhaps friends abandon you. Maybe all your bosses treat you badly. It could be that you always fall out with your neighbours. You never have enough money. All your partners are unkind. Every diet you try fails.
How would you feel if I told you that it’s not THEM, it’s your subconscious programming that is creating these repeating patterns in your life. But, very importantly, IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT. This subconscious programming was downloaded before you were born; in fact probably from the moment of your conception (research shows that babies in-utero react according to the emotions of their mother, and by extension, their father). And the programming continues until we are about 7 years old.
So, we have clarified that it’s not your fault, but you can change the programming and hence break out of these repeated patterns in your life. And EFT is one method to apply to do this.
At its most simple, EFT works by tuning into the problem, however uncomfortable that feels, and tapping until the unwanted emotions diminish, whilst remaining focused on the unwanted feeling. The magic happens when the unwanted emotion gives way to a realisation about the programming that is running your life (the problem with the programming, is that, to us, it is just the truth, so we can’t easily see it).
Let me give you an example.
Katie is a self-employed massage therapist, and she is extremely good. She has lots of repeat clients and a busy diary. However, she charges very little for her treatments, and has big concerns with increasing her rates.
Katie decides to invest in some EFT to see if she can overcome her money-blocks. She is currently charging £35 per massage. I ask her how it would feel if she charged £70. Her first reaction is delight – she can see her income double with no change in outgoings and for a split-second she can imagine what she will do with all that lovely extra money. But very quickly her face darkens and she is upset. Her clients will think she’s ripping them off. They won’t come back. She won’t feel good about charging that much …. and so it goes on.
We do some tapping on the feeling of being upset.
Katies says “I’m not sure I want to be rich.” I ask her what she thinks of rich people. It transpires that she grew up in a Communist country, and the people who were rich, with big cars and houses, were corrupt and to be feared.
Immediately Katie understands her reluctance to double her prices, and that her deeply entrenched subconscious programming from her childhood is preventing her from making a comfortable living. If she is charging £70 per hour, her subconscious mind tells her that she is corrupt and to be feared, even though her logical, conscious mind knows that this is rubbish.
It is a lightbulb moment (I love these), when she joins the dots and can suddenly see numerous life events where she has lived in accordance with this early-life programming. She had turned down a promotion because the other candidate had a family and needed the pay-rise more than she did. She had walked away from a happy relationship when her partner began making significant money from his business. There were numerous examples, and just bringing them into her conscious awareness is the first step to making change.
When I followed up with Katie a few weeks later, she had increased her rates to £55 and was happy and comfortable with this, and moreover, all but one of her clients were very happy to accept the increase, most of them commenting that she had been too inexpensive for ages. (The one who didn’t stay with her was her wealthiest and most troublesome client … a pattern I have observed on several occasions!)
Why use EFT?
I hope that the above example illustrates that EFT can help with ANY pattern in life which is causing you to feel frustrated, stuck, and not living your life with freedom and joy, which I believe is our natural state of being (just watch a child or a puppy playing – I truly believe that their carefree abandon is not something that we should lose as we get older).
Here are just some of the areas where I have had great success using EFT:
- Relationships issues
- Money issues
- On-going health issues, including ME, CFS, fibromyalgia and autoimmune conditions
- Phobias and fears
- Addictions, cravings, issues around weight management
- Panic and anxiety
- Back pain
- Sports performance
- Exam nerves
- Lack of confidence with public speaking and in meetings
If none of these apply to you, just reflect for a moment on the past 24 hours. What irked you? What would change? It might be something as simple as an inconsiderate driver who made your blood boil, or the fact that your partner wasn’t as enthusiastic as you might have liked when you called them. Or perhaps a friend cancelled a social engagement at short notice. Maybe the service in your favourite restaurant was a bit slow. You may have felt ‘off’ for just a few seconds, or the feeling may have lingered.
Your reaction to any of these situations (or whatever your irksome memories are), are a symptom of a deeply held pattern of behaviour that you have been carrying since childhood. And by tapping on the event that happened in the past day, you could begin to unravel some of the beliefs that might be holding you back in other ways.
Which brings me on to one of the amazing side-effects of using EFT. When you work on a particular area of your life, and bring the patterns and beliefs to the surface, it is easy to begin behaving differently, because you recognise when you are slipping back into that old pattern.
And when that happens, you begin noticing changes in all areas of your life.
Allow me to share a fairly minor personal experience that occurred a few years ago. I was in Spain, and pulled up at a motorway toll to pay what was due to the machine. I inserted my ticket, but it wasn’t recognised for some reason. I pressed the button for help, and the faceless voice told me how much money to insert and where (my Spanish was just about sufficient back then to understand that). As I drove away, I realised that I felt calm and relaxed throughout the whole process and I knew that prior to regular EFT, even in an English speaking country, a situation like this would have got me flustered and embarrassed. And in a country where I didn’t speak the language, these feelings would have been magnified.
Obviously this isn’t a situation on which I had ever tapped, but clearly there was some underlying belief or behaviour that I had cleared with EFT, and which carried through into this area of my life.
It’s fair to say that when I discovered EFT, I thought it was a bit bonkers, that tapping on your head, hands and body could change your life, but I know now, that it really does, by clearing the top layers of emotion, and enabling us to realise the programming that lies beneath.
Want to discover more? I run introductory days and more in-depth training courses, as well as offering one to one sessions and bespoke trainings. Visit www.eft-practitioner.com for full details.