What’s EFT? – Part 1

A bit of history

In this post I’ve decided to write about EFT because I happen to speak with people who don’t know anything about it, and being an EFT Practitioner myself and believing in it as I have experienced first-hand how beneficial it is and has been both for me and the clients I work with, I thought it was a good idea to let more people more about it so that more of us can benefit from it.

For people who have never heard about it, EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Techniques, also known as tapping, and it’s like acupuncture or acupressure for emotional issues, like anxiety, panic, stress, depression, etc., and it can also help with physical issues. It’s a procedure where you tap on 12 meridian points in your body in order to restore the energy balance and overcome these uncomfortable emotions. Some of you might be thinking that it’s hippy wacky stuff and probably will stop reading now. What I’d like to suggest, maybe, for a few moments, is to be open. What do you have to lose anyway? Also, at the end of my second part I will add some links to scientific evidence as there have been many clinical trials that have proven the efficacy of this process.

So, I thought I’d start with a bit of history, to explain how EFT came about.

How did EFT start?

Like a lot of ingenious discoveries, like penicillin, Coca Cola and the humble Post-it note, tapping was found by accident. Dr Roger Callahan, Ph.D., was a clinical psychologist and in the 1980s, he started to work with a client, Mary, who had a severe phobia of water. Her phobia was SO intense that the poor lady could not even take baths in a bathtub full of it! She was in her 40s and this fear had terribly affected her since she was a small child and she could not remember a time when she was not scared of water. She had nightmares about it and she was even scared of rain. She had been seeing different therapists when she started working with Dr Callahan. He started having sessions with her, but after spending 18 months using conventional therapy, the best he could do for her was having her sit by the swimming pool, looking away, and that was difficult enough for her. Around the same time, he had started learning these new exciting kinds of treatments and procedures, like acupuncture, acupressure and Chinese medicine, and that’s where he learnt about the energy flowing in our body and the discomfort that we feel when this energy is out of balance and got familiar with the energy meridian points on the body. Mary had said that one of the symptoms she experienced when she had this fear was a knot in her stomach and Dr Callahan had learnt that the meridian point in our body which is connected to the stomach is below the eye, so he started tapping on that. After some tapping she exclaimed that it was gone, and not just the knot in her stomach, but her fear as well had completely disappeared!

So, he started to experiment this technique on other clients and he discovered that by tapping on different points in different sequences he could address different issues, and that’s how TFT, Thought Field Therapy was born. Just like that.

He was almost too successful! Soon ran out of clients, as their issues were resolved, so he began teaching this technique.  One of his students was Gary Craig, an engineer graduated from Stanford University and an NLP Master Practitioner. What Mr Craig did was simplify the TFT protocol by eliminating the diagnostics aspect of it as by tapping on all points instead of the ones specific to the issue addressed would have made it easier for everyone to use this technique; moreover, he saw that he still managed to achieve the same excellent results from his clients. That’s how EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique was created, with the name coming from the concept that we can free ourselves from the emotions that are trapped in our body and that surface again every time we experience certain situations which cause us all kinds of problems, like anxiety, stress, depression, post-traumatic syndrome and phobias (like water was for Mary).

More to come in my EFT part II where I will spend some time to explain what the science behind EFT is and how tapping works.




Artwork by Joe Hole

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