What Is EFT Tapping?

The philosophy of Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) tapping stems from the ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture, which proposes that certain points along specific pathways of our body can be stimulated to improve the flow of energy. From a functional perspective, the primary objective and focus of an acupuncture treatment is to restore balance within the system to attain homeostasis. The stimulation from acupuncture involves the insertion of hair-thin, disposable needles into the skin at certain points.

EFT tapping stimulates these acupoints by touch (taps) instead of the use of needles, making this method similar to acupressure, where an acupressure practitioner would use fingers to apply pressure to certain points. EFT tapping is a simple, painless technique that can be used right away as a self-help method. Tapping your fingertips on specific points can help reduce distress, help manage troubling thoughts, and can be used with emotional intent towards your own life experiences.

Science & Research Behind EFT

Studies have shown that tapping can balance the activity between the sympathetic and parasympathetic regions of your brain, which then creates a neural emotional state- similar to the states of well-being people desire to achieve through other practices such as meditation, prayer, yoga and other mindfulness techniques. One clinical psychologist, Dr. Feinstein, uses EFT in his own practice and states that EFT is unusually precise, rapid and direct for shifting the neurological underpinnings of a range of psychological problems. The number of therapists using EFT has been rapidly increasing over the past decade and more peer-reviewed research is showing its efficacy.

A majority of research on EFT relates to the treatment of anxiety- but researchers have reported that participants have experienced significant reductions in anxiety, depression, PTSD symptoms as well as pain levels and certain food cravings. Researchers also report improvements in overall happiness. Physical measures in study participants also showed improvements in heart rate, blood pressure and reduced levels of cortisol (stress hormone). In more research, social work students with anxiety have reported that after using the EFT technique, they felt more calm and relaxed.

How To Apply EFT Tapping Technique

EMF tapping can be applied anywhere at any time and can be divided into these simple steps. If you are addressing multiple issues/fears, you may repeat this sequence to address each one to reduce negative feelings.

In our practice, we have several tapping exercises with different points, but listed below is an example of a simple exercise that takes you through eight sequence points. Let’s begin!

Step 1: Identify the issue or fear that is bothering you. Try to focus on one issue at a time. This could be something that you’re feeling anxious or upset about, or a somatic symptom such as shoulder pain.

Step 2: After you identify the issue, rate the intensity of the issue and how it is making you feel. How strong is it from a scale from 1 to 10? From 1 being the least intense to 10 being the most intense. For emotional issues, think of what is upsetting you and access the discomfort. For physical pain/ailments, access the existing pain and discomfort where it may be.

Step 3: Tap in! While tapping a focus point with your fingertips, observe what you are feeling with your body in the present moment. Then, create a simple phrase to acknowledge the issue while letting your system know that you accept yourself regardless of everything that is happening. This comforting phrase could be something as simple as:

  • “Even though I’m feeling anxiety because of work related stress, I choose to relax and feel safe now.”
  • “Even though my back hurts, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
  • “Even though I feel panic when I think about ____, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
  • “Even though I am worrying about my financial situation, I deeply and completely accept myself.”

When creating your phrase, it is important not to use this technique on someone else’s issue. For example, instead of saying: “Even though my partner works too much…”, a better phrasing could be: “Even though I feel lonely when my partner works late…”

It is important to aim EFT on what is coming up for us because this technique helps clear the negative feelings to bring peace to our systems! Here is a link with 36 example setup statements to say while EFT tapping.

Step 4: Tap through these eight sequence points. Softly tap each point listed below on your body eight times consecutively, repeating your phrase three times as you are tapping. Continue tapping and repeating your phrase as you work through each of these focus points:

  • Start tapping at the eyebrow
  • Next, tap the side of the eye
  • Then, under the eye
  • Then, under the nose
  • Next, tap your chin
  • Then, the top of your collarbone
  • Next, under the arm or armpit
  • Finally, end your tapping sequence at the top of the head

Repeat the sequence and take notice of feelings of safety and calm in your body as you are tapping and saying your phrase. End after three times through the tapping sequence.

Step 5: Rate the intensity of your feelings/pain after tapping on a scale from 1 to 10 again. Have your negative feelings changed? Compare your rating after tapping versus before to see the progress made. Repeat this process as needed, any time!

If you are in need of any symptom relief, this simple technique is painless, nonintrusive, nonpharmaceutical, and clear of any negative side effects, and has shown positive changes for those struggling with both psychological and physiological conditions.

More On EFT Tapping

More Resources

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