What is Emotional Freedom Technique?
“More connected to my body.”
“Less identified with my thoughts.”
“Comfortable in my own skin.”
“More at ease.”
“A bit more accepting of myself.”
"I can do this."
These are the responses I often hear from individuals and groups after guiding them through the EFT process. The states of being listed above connect us with our inner resources and support our capacity to tolerate uncomfortable feelings. They are particularly helpful to access when we are struggling. When we are feeling emotional or physical pain. When we are scared or spinning out in our thoughts. When we are overwhelmed by the physical manifestations of anxiety—tight chest, nervous stomach, body tension. When we are having a hard time disengaging from a critical inner voice, obsessing about the past, or worrying about the future.
(Take a nice breath with me here if you like.)
Emotional Freedom Technique is a self-soothing tool that engages the body, mind, and heart. The Basic Recipe is the foundational structure of EFT. It has three parts: tapping on acupuncture points, giving voice to a specific challenge, and holding ourselves with acceptance. Through these three actions we are offering our brain and body a new input. One that affirms it is safe to face our challenges and that we can do so by soothing our nervous system at the same time.
EFT is an evidence-based tool used for anxiety, panic attacks, physical pain, negative thought patterns, phobias, depression, PTSD, and trauma resolution.
I use it often with my clients to navigate overwhelming emotions, daily stress and overwhelm, inner criticism, and alcohol/drug cravings. It can be helpful for those who get caught in spinning thoughts or for folks with ADD/ADHD who have a hard time focusing or being still.
It is a self-soothing tool that helps us slow down, simplify our thoughts, and feel safe within ourselves.
EFT can both produce a calm, meditative state and allows us to explore the layers of our experience. For example, we might start by tapping on anxiety and then drop into the feelings of sadness that lie beneath the anxiety.
EFT helps to regulate the release of cortisol (a stress hormone) and intervene on the flight or fight response. Studies have shown EFT to neutralize and resolve PTSD symptoms in trauma survivors. EFT has also been linked to reduced anxiety, depression, physical pain, and all types of cravings. You can explore the scientific research of clinical EFT here.