What is EFT?

what is eft

Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) are a set of different techniques that have the ability to correct energy disturbances in the body. Every negative emotion disturbs the flow of ‘Chi’ energy and by tapping, we correct this disturbance

 ​EFT was developed by Gary Craig in the 90s who based his techniques on the work of Dr Roger Callahan the founder of Thought Field Energy.

 EFT is a combination of acupuncture (without needles) and psychotherapy. What we do is to gently tap on specific points on our bodies called Meridian, while we are focusing on our problem and at the same time expressing out aloud our negative emotions and thoughts.

The energy disturbances can be manifested in our body in the form of emotional or physical pain, a sense of heaviness and inflexibility.

It is very common that after you have started tapping suppressed and repressed memories to come up. This is happening because specific emotions are attached to specific events and when you tap these memories come to the surface.

The Meridian points are connected to specific parts of your brain. When we tap your brain sends soothing signals to your body.

 In a nutshell, tapping removes the intensity of negative emotions so in the end, you are able to remember the events that cause you to feel bad but without the negative emotions. When there are no intense negative emotions, we are able to process the information better and in this case obtain a different perspective of the past negative event.

 An example

I will use an example of the fear of public speaking and how we use EFT to eliminate negative emotions. Let’s say that when you were ten years old the teacher asked you to stand up and read a poem out loud. The moment you started reading many of your classmates started laughing so you stopped and left the class embarrassed. After that day and every time you need to speak in front of an audience, you get anxious.

You are now in the present day and you have to give a presentation at work. You are paralyzed from anxiety, unable to say a word, you become clumsy, nauseous and sweaty.

What happened here is that your brain (after the first event in the class) categorized all similar events as the same and labelled them as dangerous. So every time you find yourself in a situation where you have to speak in public, your fight and flight instinct kicks in.

When the body operates in these modes, other functions such as reasoning, attention, and concentration are shutting down.

What we do with EFT is to tap gently on the Meridian points while we are focusing on the anxious thoughts and body sensations, therefore the brain responds by sending soothing signals to the body. The more you tap, the calmer you will feel. In a way, you disarm your fight/flight response attached to this event. At the end, you are able to remember the event or even give a presentation but without the extreme response.

EFT is the subject of many research projects at the moment. Here you can find the latest scientific news on EFT research by Dr Peta Stapleton. Find more about research here.

Dawson Church here explains the process of weight loss.

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How does it work

The basic component of EFT is the tapping on the Meridian points. These are on the side of hand, eyebrow, side of the eye, under the eye, under the nose, under the mouth, collarbone, under the arm and top of the head. There are many more points where we can tap in the body but the points above are the basic recipe.

EFT basic procedure

 The description of the issue. Let’s use the example of fear of flying.

  1. Questions such as: When did you notice you have this problem, what was happening in your life when it started, where do you feel it in your body, how will you know that you release this problem?
  2. The next thing we ask is how intense this fear is on a scale of one to 10 with 10 being very intense.
  3. We start tapping on the first point which is on the side of the hand by stating and accepting we have this problem. It will sound like this: ”Even though I have  this flight phobia, I deeply and completely love and approve of myself.”
  4. We move on tapping on the next points and at the same time we repeat a phrase that describes the problem such, as ”this fear of flying”.
  5. At the end of the tapping round, I will ask you whether the fear has gone down on a scale one to ten. We continue the tapping rounds until the fear is down to one.

The above is a very simple description of an EFT process but the reality is that working on an issue is not a very straightforward process. These sorts of issues are a facade of an underlying fear.

In the example above the fear of flying it’s more likely to be connected to another situation in your life where you feel trapped and have no control. However, to arrive at the conclusion it takes sometimes time until the client is ready to see the full picture. Of course, the fear of flying could be connected to the actual fear of being in a plane especially if you have had a past traumatic flying experience.

It is very common that while you are tapping, you may get a memory or even the connection you are looking for between your fear and a past experience. People are experiencing what we call the ”a-ha” moments when they are able to make these connections. They can even feel it in their body as a sense of release and lightness.


Working on your own can sometimes be very hard for the simple reason that you have blind spots. It can be very hard to describe what the actual issue is because you may have what we call in psychology the ”secondary gains”. For example, letting go of the fear of flying will force you to fly and go somewhere you don’t want to go. So unconsciously, you may be blocking the release of your fear by not using the right words while you are tapping.

 The secret to using EFT successfully is to be very specific with your words to describe the problem. When you approach globally, you may not have any progress and you may think that EFT isn’t working for you. Working with a professional will help you understand the connection and release the fear faster.

Working with me

My approach is slightly different as I always want my client to have a good understanding of their problem as why they have it and what is it’s connected to. In my opinion, reducing the intensity of the problem is not enough. I sometimes use out of the box approaches especially when I judge that my client is ready to see the full picture.

Every session is tailored to my client’s needs and wants. I can be quite versatile with my approach. If my client is open to spirituality, I may adopt a more spiritual approach or if my client is more scientific, I will give more science-based explanations.

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Quick answers here

Is EFT tapping legitimate?

Yes it is. There are over 100 studies being contacted on Emotional Freedom Techniques. Find more here: https://eftuniverse.com/research-studies/eft-research/

How is EFT tapping done?

We use our fingers and tap on the Meridian points of our body while at the same time we repeat sentences that describe how we feel

How long do you tap for EFT?

You keep tapping until the intensity of the emotion or the physical pain is down to zero.

How do you EFT tap for anxiety?

You concentrate on the part of the body where you feel anxiety and you keep tapping on the Meridian points until the intensity of the anxious sensation is down to zero.

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