Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) or Tapping is an energy psychology technique that can be used to address emotional issues as well as physical issues that have an emotional or behavioral component. It consists of tapping on points of meridian in the body while tuning into a certain problem area. The tapping sends signals to the amygdala in the brain to shut off the fight or flight response that arises when you think about the problem area.
It is amazing to see the results that happen with EFT even in a single session. It can be used for a multitude of issues such as clearing out phobias and fears, reducing the emotional intensity associated with memories, releasing negative emotions associated with trauma, releasing subconscious beliefs, releasing emotions, and alleviating physical pain to name a few. As crazy as this may sound, there have been many empirical research studies showing the effectiveness of this approach. In fact, studies have shown that the tapping process lowers cortisol, blood pressure, and heart rate, all things that are associated with a negative emotional reaction.
How can one technique do all of this? Research is showing that when we are exposed to trauma or hold on to negative emotions we store them in our body. These stored emotions affect our thoughts, conscious and subconscious beliefs, actions, and even what chemicals are released from our brain. All of this changes the chemistry of our body affecting our emotional and physical health because the environment of our cells communicates with our genes to determine how they are expressed. Stored emotions can also cause tension in the body which restricts blood flow and can cause physical pain. By identifying and getting to the source of the problem we can use EFT to clear out the cause and not just treat the symptoms.
I know, that sounds like a bunch of mumbo jumbo right? I tell my clients that it can be hard to understand why this works, especially for those people who have not been exposed to alternative treatment methods previously. I use it in my practice, however, because I see the results each time I use it with clients. People often get frustrated with traditional methods, finding that it can take a long time to get results and it takes a lot of effort and conscious thought and repetition to really learn to utilize the techniques. On the other hand, many times with EFT we can clear out a problem in only one session. It is also easy to learn and use on your own. I teach clients the basics as we go through the process of using it in session so they can continue their progress at home. There may be times clients get stuck and need to come in to figure out how to get to the bottom of the issue to effectively alleviate it and I can help with that as well.
The following are some of the issues that I have successfully helped clients with (and the list continues to grow)
Eliminating a sugar craving
Eliminating anger at a loved one
Increasing self-esteem and confidence
Eliminating feelings of inadequacy
Clearing out a fear of flying
Removing triggers for defensiveness
Reducing anxiety to specific situations
Clearing out physical pain
Removing the emotional intensity resulting from sexual abuse
If you would like to learn more about this technique and how it may be able to help you, please give us a call. Jessica Stebbins, LMFT is certified in Emotional Freedom Technique through the Hypnosis Motivation Institute.