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How Emotional Freedom Technique Can Help You Strip Away Stress

emotional freedom

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a simple tapping procedure that transforms and processes emotional and physical pain. It is an easy to learn self-help tool that is now utilised by people worldwide with great success.


EFT began as TFT (thought field therapy) which developed in 1981 by Dr Roger Callahan. He worked with a client called Mary, who had an extremely severe water phobia. He tried for 18 months using many different therapeutic approaches, including hypnosis, systematic desensitisation and rational –emotive therapy etc. However, nothing changed her condition. In one session he intuitively got her to tap on a meridian point under the eye. But, to their surprise she got instant relief from the phobia.

This lead Dr Callahan to develop TFT, which comprised of many specific pressure point tapping sequences for specific ailments.

TFT and EFT use acupuncture points that have a corresponding organ, element, meridian and emotion

For example, to help with panic, you would tap on the eyebrow, under eye, under arm and collar bone points. Furthermore, for addictive urges the sequence would be under eye, under arm and collar bone. As you can imagine, it was quite a lot to remember.

Gary Craig, studied TFT in 1991, and found a way to simplify the method into what we now know as EFT or Emotional Freedom Techniques. After decades of ‘anecdotal’ evidence, EFT is now acknowledged as an ‘evidence based’ therapy. Furthermore, the latest statistics from Dawson Church shows that, on average, you can reduce pain by 68% in just 20 minutes of tapping. The British National Health Service uses EFT. In fact, more and more schools overseas use it to help children and teachers deal effectively with life and its stresses.

How EFT works

The basic premise in EFT is that some thoughts create a disturbance in the energy system of the body, which then result in an uncomfortable emotional experience. By tapping on specific acupressure points the ‘energy glitch’ and emotion is removed and processed. You will still be able to think about the issue, but the disturbing emotional component will be dissipated to the point where you can think more clearly and productively.

EFT takes us out of the limbic brains fight, fight or freeze reaction to stress. When we are calm, we function better, we all know this from experience. Another way to understand it is that when one is over emotional, the right side of the brain has become dominant and the rational left side needs a little assistance to balance this out. Tapping does this nicely.

Talk therapies can be useful to understand why one has various thought and emotions. It is great to know where our issues come from. EFT takes it to the next level by actually resolving and processing the emotional pain so that you can let it go and move on. It is also good to be aware that if an issue is too personal to discuss, an EFT practitioner can still help you. All we need to know is your emotion and its intensity on a scale from 1 to 10. It’s a brilliant practice to clear emotions and find your way back to peace and calm.

By Janine Hayward, Teacher at Life Retreat Studio

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