Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)
A Free, Simple Technique for Emotional Freedom
By Mila McManus, MD
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is a safe, effective, and no cost method to support and optimize emotional health. It uses the same energy meridians used in acupuncture. It is also known as “tapping”. This technique can be used to help you tune into the body, overcome anxiety, and/or achieve a goal. It can also help overcome a bad habit or addiction, address unresolved pain or trauma, and deal with stuffed negative emotions. It is self-administered and easy to learn in just minutes. With a little practice, an EFT sequence can be done in about one minute. EFT also does not require any props, devices, or equipment.
How Does EFT Work?
EFT uses a simple tapping with the fingertips on meridian points on the body while thinking about a specific problem. When tapping while focusing on a specific problem, you will be identifying emotional energy blockages and opening and balancing the disruption. In fact, the two key learning points to self-administer EFT are where to tap on the body and how to properly state positive affirmations.
Where to Tap
First, tap using your index and middle finger tips together. The tips are ideal but if you have long finger nails, you can also tap with the pads. Tap firmly but gently.
The pattern is simple, and you can tap with either hand, being sure to stay in this order:
- Outer side of the hand, between the pinky finger knuckle and the wrist bone (it is often called the “karate chop point”.)
- Top of the head
- Eyebrow – on the eyebrow end closest to the bridge of the nose
- Side of the Eye – on the bone bordering the outside corner of the eye
- Under the Eye – on the bone under an eye about one inch below the pupil
- Under the nose – between lips and nose
- Chin- at the midway point below your lips (not on the chin bone proper but just above it and right below the lower lip)
- Collar Bone – this point is very important. To locate, first place your index finger on the u-shaped notch at the top center of the breastbone. From the bottom of the U, move your finger downward one inch and then go left or right one inch. While this point is called Collar Bone or Clavicle, it is actually one inch below it and only an inch away from the sternum.
- Under the arm – tap on the same side of the hand you are using or tap on both sides with both hands. For men, tap even with the nipple, for women the middle of the bra line. It is about four inches below the armpit.
- Wrists – tap the inner wrists of both hands together rather than using your fingers to tap.
Properly Stating Positive Affirmation
Before you begin tapping, next determine what problem you want to address. Here we will provide a simple, easy to remember script where you can fill in the blank. Below you will also find a link to a sample YouTube, for a demonstration and other examples. It is important to be very specific. The affirmation phrase will include an acknowledgement of the problem and create self-acceptance. It does not matter whether you believe the affirmation or not, just say it while thinking about and staying tuned into the problem.
“Even though I have ___________________, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“I love and accept myself even though I have ____________________.”
A good way to determine where to start is to think about the first problem that comes to your mind when you wake up in the morning. Define it carefully and identify on a scale of 1-10 the intensity of your feeling. It is also helpful to identify where in your body you feel it. For example, does it make your head hurt, back or neck muscles tight, or sit in the pit of your stomach creating butterflies or nausea? Then fill in the blank as specifically as you can. Here are examples:
Even though I have this fear of catching COVID, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Even though I have this anger toward my mother, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Even though I have this intense and very painful headache, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Even though I have this craving for wine (or cookies, etc), I deeply and completely accept myself.
Even though I feel belittled by my dad, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Even though I am tired of being sick, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Even though I am worried about making ends meet financially, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Even though I cannot control what my teenager does, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Even though I desperately want to lose weight, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Even though I feel very alone and unwanted, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Putting It All Together
Begin by breathing in and out. Start tapping on the karate chop point of your hand and state your affirmation three times before moving to the top of the head. Tap the head, and each ordered place about 5-7 times while stating your affirmation out loud with feeling and emphasis until you have completed the sequence. Be sure to stay focused on the problem, really tuning into the feelings or situation while tapping.
A Few Helpful Tips
- Use only affirmations that feel comfortable and right for you.
- It is very important to be well hydrated. Water conducts energy.
- While one sequence may actually correct an emotional blockage, practicing the sequence up to 10 times a day is recommended.
- The most important sequence is right before bed, as this will give your subconscious six to eight hours to work on the affirmation. Another powerful time is upon awakening in the morning. Some people do them every time they use the bathroom or are waiting in a car. Remember, the sequence should not take more than one minute.
- It is also very powerful to do the sequence in a mirror looking right into your own eyes.
- You will notice a cognitive shift when you realize a reframing of the problem, seeing it from a different angle or perspective, or when you get new insight into the problem. You may notice you make valuable connections or associations that will lead to new pathways for healing.
- Here is an example YouTube for EFT.
As Functional Medicine practitioners, we know that unaddressed emotions and trauma impair the ability of the body to heal because emotional stress is stored physically at the cellular level. That’s why it is so important to address emotional barriers as part of any physical healing process. Often times the cost of counseling therapies and energy therapies is not covered by insurance, or is cost prohibitive for some, and EFT offers an option anyone can use for FREE.
For additional resources, consider the book The Tapping Solution, by Nick Ortner or access EFT demonstrations on YouTube.
Be Whole, Be Well.