As NLP and psychology teaches us, our thoughts, feelings and behaviours are strictly interconnected. First comes the thought, so we start thinking about something, that creates a feeling, and the quality of our feelings and emotions determine the behaviours and the actions that we take. For example: you wake up and think that today is just another day, and that you have a long and hard day ahead of you; that thought creates the feeling of sadness/frustration/stress/anxiety which starts kicking in, and when we are feeling that way, we carry our body in a certain way, we behave and act according to this feeling. This means that we feel all our negative emotions in our body as well as in our heads (thoughts create feelings). If we are panicked, stressed, depressed, angry, and we tune into these emotions by paying attention to our body, we will actually feel them in our bodies, stomach, gut, arms, solar plexus, chest, and so on. Think for example about a situation that makes you feel so stressed to the point that you actually feel sick, or you get so angry that your face becomes red and hot.
When we feel these emotions in our body, it means that our energy is out of balance, that is not flowing as it is supposed to. When we start tapping and at the same time we focus on the emotion that we are feeling, or the memory of an event that brings up that emotion in us, an issue that we have or anything that is creating discomfort in our life, we unblock the energy and we set our body free from that unresourceful emotion. Once the energy balance is restored then healing accelerates.
Where do those feelings come from? Why different events or situations produce different feelings in each of us? The reason is that we all are meaning-making machines. Throughout our lives, we go through different experiences and we assign meanings to these experiences that happen to us. The meaning we assign to them, create feelings in our body; our body records these feelings and links them to these situations so that when we encounter similar experiences we assign the same meaning to them; when we do that a few times that meaning turns into a belief which becomes ingrained in ourselves and it becomes such a part of us that we don’t even realise we unconsciously created it ourselves, and this ends up tainting all the similar life situations that we experience in our future.
Where do we tap?
The tapping points are the ones on the drawing and each of them correspond to the end of the energy meridians under our skin, the same ones which are used in acupuncture. Each point is related to a certain organ of the body but in EFT we don’t need
to know which organs these are because they are only a few so we tap them by going around the same cycle a few times (please see my EFT Part I article).
How does tapping work?
First of all, we start by identifying an issue or a situation that is bothering us and the emotion that this triggers in our body. When we start tapping on our feeling, what we do is identify that feeling in our body until it dissipates. This process becomes more powerful and we can achieve more permanent results when we manage to recall earlier life memories where we have felt the same discomfort and the event that we associated with it. By tapping on this event, we will find the meaning that we drew from it, which is the way we interpreted it, and the belief that we created, so that we can process it and look at it in a new light. We are then able to reframe it and give it a new and more resourceful meaning, for instance by recognising the positive intention behind it or the lesson we learned from it, which will then affect what we will experience in the future, by freeing us from that emotion that was not serving us anymore and by replacing it with a new one – hence the name Emotional Freedom Techniques.
Our adults’ lives are dictated by what happened to us in our childhood and how we reacted to that. When we are children, we don’t have the tools that we have as adults, and when we grow into adults, we can learn tools that would help us to revisit those memories in a new light and learn from them. EFT is one of them and a very effective one.
What about the science on EFT?
As far as science is concerned, there has been an extensive research carried out and many papers on the efficacy of EFT have been published in peer review psychology and medical journals which show how this technique has been effective for mental health issues like anxiety, depression, phobias traumatic stress, as well as physical problems like pain, skin rashes, fibromyalgia and many more. I have added below some links where you can find this body of research for your perusal.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post and I hope this has spurred some interest in some of you.
Sources & Research Articles Links:
EFT Tapping: Dawson Church PhD Introduces Emotional Freedom Techniques https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77BY5LzW36A
Artwork by Joe Hole