A Journey with Emotional Freedom Technique
Health Self Help

A Journey with Emotional Freedom Technique

With the rising physical and mental health conditions individuals are suffering from, there is also a high demand for holistic interventions like acupuncture, reiki, etc. However, these interventions often require the presence of a professional and are time-consuming. One effective intervention that does not consume a lot of time and can be independently practised on oneself is the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), otherwise called Emotional Freedom Therapy or Tapping.

What is the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)?

Emotional Freedom Technique is a practice of gently tapping with your fingertips on certain meridian points while simultaneously talking about traumatic memories and other emotions. According to Chinese medicine, these meridian points represent body areas through which energy flows. EFT focuses on these meridians to restore the delicate balance of energy in the body. It is said that by the restoration of this energy, symptoms of negative experiences or emotions, and physical conditions can be treated and healed.

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Steps in Emotional Freedom Tapping

Emotional Freedom Tapping involves following through five steps.

  1. Identify the issue: In this step, the individual is asked to consider one physical or psychological issue at a time. Nevertheless, the practice of tapping utilizes the same energy points for all the conditions.
  2. Test the initial intensity: In this step, the individual is asked to rate the intensity of the selected issue from 0 to 10 before the process – 0 being no occurrence of the issue, and 10 being occurrence of the issue at high intensity.
  3. The setup: In this step, the individual acknowledges the issue, and accepts themselves despite the problem. Affirming statements such as “Even though I have this (physical or psychological issue), I fully accept myself” are used.
  4. EFT Tapping sequence: In this step, the individual taps nine meridians on their body in a particular sequence. However, it should be noted that there are 12 meridian points, but nine meridian points are of primary focus in EFT. These points are believed to mirror each side of the body and represent an internal organ.
  5. Test the final intensity: In this step, the individual is asked to rate the intensity of the selected issue from 0 to 10 after the tapping process – with 0 being no occurrence of the issue, and 10 being the occurrence of the issue at high intensity.

Advantages of the Emotional Freedom Technique

Tapping gives you the power to heal yourself, thereby giving you a sense of control you’re your physical and mental health. In addition, EFT is a very effective way of clearing out feelings and releasing limiting beliefs. As a result, new positive beliefs emerge, almost automatically.

Other advantages of Emotional Freedom Technique include –

  • Less expensive
  • Simple and painless
  • Can be learned easily
  • Less time-consuming
  • Can be applied anytime and anywhere

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Specific Benefits of the Emotional Freedom Technique

There is growing evidence of the emotional freedom technique and its effectiveness in healing and treating physical and psychological conditions.

1. EFT for Physiological Health

Bach et al (2019) measured Heart Rate Variability (HRV), Heart Coherence (HC), Resting Heart Rate (RHR), Blood Pressure (BP), cortisol and salivary immunoglobulin A (SigA). They also measured psychological symptoms. The findings showed a significant decrease in anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, pain and cravings. An increase in happiness and salivary immunoglobulin A was detected. Significant improvements were observed in the Resting Heart Rate, cortisol, systolic and diastolic BP. Overall, these findings show that EFT results in positive mental well-being but also improves physical health.

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2. EFT and Psychological Health

It is believed that acupoint tapping sends signals directly to the stress centers in the mid-brain, without the mediating effect of the frontal lobes. Practising EFT helps access the amygdala, the part of the brain that initiates the fight or flight response. Typically, when the amygdala is triggered, the individual’s body is flooded with cortisol, commonly known as the stress hormone. Tapping helps reduce stress and the secretion of cortisol. It also relaxes physiological systems and brings them to a normal state of functioning. Further, EFT tapping also helps deal with depression and anxiety, enhances sleep hygiene and increases productivity.

Read More: How to Increase your Productivity when you are Depressed?

This shows that practising EFT provides the best results mentally and physically. A recent study by Blacher (2023) used EFT tapping as a holistic practice to relieve stress, anxiety and burnout in healthcare professionals and students. We all know that the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in psychological consequences and physical stress due to long working hours, shift work, short staffing, demanding workloads, dealing with death, and dying patients, conflicts with management and peers, and poor communication. These lead to burnout, anxiety, and depression among healthcare professionals. The findings of this study showed that EFT helped in the management of stress, anxiety and burnout symptoms within minutes.

3. EFT and PTSD

A 2013 study by Church and colleagues observed that EFT coaching sessions showed a significant reduction of psychological stress in war veterans. Initially, these veterans were diagnosed with psychological issues, particularly post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, at the end of the study, more than half of the EFT test group no longer fit the criteria for PTSD. A recent meta-analysis and systematic review also showed that clinical EFT tapping significantly shows a positive effect on those diagnosed with PTSD. This is because EFT utilizes techniques from Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Prolonged Exposure Therapy, thereby facilitating the clients to process their traumatic memories safely and gently.

Read More: A Complete Guide to CBT as a Counseling Approach

The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a growing practice among people, considering the rising awareness about holistic “biopsychosocial” interventions. EFT gives you the power to heal yourself using simple sequences of tapping. Nevertheless, it is advised that you contact your physician, a certified mental health professional, or a holistic health practitioner before trying EFT or any other related practice.

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References +
  • Anthony, K. (2023, April 6). EFT tapping. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/eft-tapping
  • Bach, D., Groesbeck, G., Stapleton, P., Sims, R., Blickheuser, K., & Church, D. (2019). Clinical EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) improves multiple physiological markers of health. Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine, 24, 2515690X1882369. https://doi.org/10.1177/2515690×18823691
  • Blacher, S. (2023). Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT): Tap to relieve stress and burnout. Journal of Interprofessional Education and Practice, 30, 100599. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.xjep.2023.100599
  • Church, D., Hawk, C., Brooks, A. J., Toukolehto, O., Wren, M., Dinter, I., & Stein, P. K. (2013). Psychological Trauma symptom improvement in veterans using emotional freedom techniques. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 201(2), 153–160. https://doi.org/10.1097/nmd.0b013e31827f6351
  • Emotional Freedom Therapy for PTSD – PTSD UK. (n.d.). https://www.ptsduk.org/emotional-freedom-therapy/
  • GoodTherapy Editor Team. (2018, October 10). Emotional freedom technique. https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/types/emotional-freedom-technique
  • Laurence, E. (2023, April 28). EFT tapping: What you need to know. Forbes Health. https://www.forbes.com/health/mind/eft-tapping/
  • Nelms, J., & Castel, L. D. (2016). A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized and Nonrandomized Trials of Clinical Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) for the Treatment of Depression. EXPLORE, 12(6), 416–426. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.explore.2016.08.001
  • Olivine, A. (2023, September 15). EFT tapping: points to press for an emotional release. Verywell Health. https://www.verywellhealth.com/eft-tapping-7564264
  • Stapleton, P., Kip, K. E., Church, D., Toussaint, L., Footman, J., Ballantyne, P., & O’Keefe, T. (2023). Emotional freedom techniques for treating post traumatic stress disorder: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis. Frontiers in Psychology, 14. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2023.1195286
  • Tapping 101 – Learn the basics of the tapping technique. (2020, December 2). https://www.thetappingsolution.com/tapping-101/
  • The Tapping Solution Foundation – What is tapping and how does it work? – Tapping Solution Foundation. (n.d.). https://www.tappingsolutionfoundation.org/howdoesitwork/

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