What is EFT?
Emotional Freedom Technique (or EFT) is a non-invasive, easy to learn tapping therapy which can be self-applied. When being used in a therapeutic manner, it should be administered by a competently trained EFT Practitioner in regular supervision, ideally with a background in mental health, counselling etc. You may hear EFT being referred to as ‘meridian therapy’, ‘tapping therapy’ or ‘energy psychology’. It is often described as being similar to acupuncture but instead of using needles, the meridian points are gently tapped with the fingertips. EFT is a relatively new branch of complementary therapy that also utilises the mind/body energy system to bring about positive changes in emotions, thoughts and behaviours.
What is the history?
EFT in its present form has only been around for about 20 years but its origins go back 1000’s of years to acupuncture, acupressure and shiatsu. The earliest signs of acupuncture being used on humans can be traced back to 3,200 years BC.
What can EFT help with?
EFT has been known to help with a range of psychological, emotional problems including physical symptoms. Below are some examples:
Fears & Phobias
Low self esteem
Sleeping disorders (insomnia/sleep apnea)
Side effects of cancer treatment
In terms of parenting support the most important person is you! If you are able to resolve issues you have, which may have been brought up by having a child, then you are able to make sure you that it is your best self showing up and your parenting journey will be all the more joyful for it
How can EFT help with physical issues?
It is well known that psychological and emotional stress in itself is linked to a variety of health problems, such as increased heart disease, compromised immune system functioning, and premature cellular and cognitive aging. Numerous studies published since 1960 demonstrate the efficacy of mind-body medicine techniques in lowering blood pressure and stress hormone levels, relieving pain and improving immune functioning, as well as improvements in clinical conditions such as HIV, cancer, insomnia, anxiety, depression and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
How does EFT work?
No-one can actually prove how EFT works as many scientists differ in their theories. What has been demonstrated is that by gently tapping on certain meridian points whilst focusing on negative emotions such as fear, anxiety, cravings, anger is that they either disappear or significantly lessen. Unhealthy negative beliefs such as low self- esteem, negative body image or irrational thoughts are replaced with logical understanding.
EFT is particularly helpful for traumatic memories as there are gentle techniques that ensure the process is relatively pain free. EFT allows the memory to exist but removes the previous automatic emotion.
If the memory or event is particularly uncomfortable to recall, there are gentle techniques within EFT to ensure the process is as pain free as possible. This would be undertaken with a suitably trained EFT Practitioner
What is the science behind EFT?
Although clinical trials and studies have shown EFT to be effective for trauma, cravings, phobias, stress, and to alleviate pain and the side effects of cancer treatment, it has not yet passed the gold standard threshold to be regarded as an evidence based therapy. That does not stop medical professionals using it in their clinical practices. Research has been carried out by professionals including Robert Scaer, M.D. Lawrence LeShan, Ph.D., Richard E. Worthington, Ph.D. Claus Bahne Bahnson, Ph.D, to name but a few; where we see more and more evidence that emotional trauma contributes greatly to disease.
Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprogramming (EMDR) is a similar technique to EFT. EMDR has reached the minimum threshold for being designated as an evidence-based treatment. The latest NHS-based clinical trial (published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease ) compared EMDR to EFT for post- traumatic stress and EFT was shown to be as effective. It must be borne in mind that because there is still limited scientific evidence and differing theories as to how EFT works, there will still be some scepticism and resistance from those who need gold standard evidence. However, this doesn’t deter some medical/mental health professionals and complementary therapists from using EFT in their practice.
What experts say about EFT
“EFT is the single most effective tool I’ve learned in 40 years of being a therapist.”Dr. Curtis A. Steele (psychiatrist).
“At our clinic we are presently using EFT to help patients overcome negative emotions that undermine health, and to eliminate many forms of pain. We also use it to reduce food cravings that can sabotage healthy eating programs, and to implement positive life goals to support optimal health and well being…Of the thousands we have studied and used in 20 years of practicing medicine, EFT is the greatest healing technique that exists. EFT is now a major component of our treatment program.” - Dr. Joseph Mercola, Director, Natural Health Center, Chicago, Illinois;
“In my 50 years as a practicing psychiatrist, EFT has proven to be one of the most rapid and effective techniques I’ve ever used”Henry Altenberg, MD
“Some day the medical profession will wake up and realize that unresolved emotional issues are the main cause of 85% of all illnesses. When they do, EFT will be one of their primary healing tools…as it is for me.” Eric Robins, MD
"I’ve used Tapping for years and highly recommend it!”Joe Vitale, Bestselling author and one of the stars of the hit movie “The Secret””
"EFT is destined to be the top healing tool for the 21st century.” Cheryl Richardson, Author of “Stand Up for Your Life,” “Take Time for Your Life” and “Life Makeovers” – Expert personal coach and lecturer
"EFT offers great healing benefits“ Deepak Chopra, Bestselling author of more than fifty books and co-creator of the Chopra Center
“What’s interesting about EFT is that it is a process that really, in some sense engages… like super learning and super learning is like pushing the record button on the subconscious mind.” Bruce Lipton, Author of “The Biology of Belief” – Internationally recognized speaker in bridging science and spirit.