One of the easiest self-administered techniques for dealing with stress, anxiety and worry is called Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Many individuals have also reported positive results when using it for other issues such as weight loss, pain, and addictions.
EFT is part of a unique type of healing known as Energy Psychology. It derives from principals of energy medicine and acupuncture. Some people refer to EFT as emotional acupressure.
Energy medicine is thousands of years old. In fact, it is the oldest type of medicine known to man. Using his knowledge of energy medicine, Dr. Roger Callahan was the first to develop a tapping method known as Thought Field Therapy (TFT).
After studying Dr. Callahan’s techniques, Gary Craig developed the easily used approach now known as Emotional Freedom Technique or EFT.
EFT is based on the belief that we are energetic, electrical and vibrational beings. With that in mind, it uses the energy meridians in the body to correct imbalances in the energy system.
Sound complicated? It is not. First identify the problem you want to work on (example: anxiety) and rate it on a scale of 0-10 in terms of how distressing it is to you.
Then begin with a “karate chop” by using the side of one hand to tap on the side of the other hand.
While doing this, recite the words, “Even though I have this anxiety (or whatever the problem is that you are addressing), I unconditionally accept myself.”
Say this affirmation three times while doing the karate chop on each hand. Then proceed using the very tips of the index and middle fingers to tap about 10 or so times in the following sequence. You do not have to count the times. Just tap for a few moments on each area:
- Inner side of the eyebrow
- Side of the eye
- Under the eye
- Under the nose
- Under each arm
- Top of the head
While tapping on each of these areas, you do not have to repeat the whole set up phrase but simply say, “this anxiety” (etc.). Go through the entire sequence three times.
After the third time, stop, take a deep breath, and rate your level of distress again from 0-10. This can be done many times over while looking for shifts in perspective or energy.
Demonstrations of EFT are readily found on YouTube. I commonly teach the practice to my clients in therapy as a means of self-soothing. It is one of many tools to have in one’s emotional toolbox known as coping skills.
Mary Bieda, MS, LPC is a licensed professional counselor and pastoral counselor in private practice in Old Town Bluffton.