Updated: Jan 16
Unblock your energy with this technique for releasing stress or trauma.
When you’re feeling like your mind is stuck in a negative loop, that’s not your imagination – stress, anxiety, and traumatic events can imprint themselves upon your brain like a glitch in a computer program, keeping you in a rut. Since the 1970s, researchers have studied the results of Emotional Freedom Technique, also known as EFT, and have found it has measurable benefits for those suffering from anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other negative influences and experiences. (EFT is a safe practice, and is easy to learn; however, as with any treatment, be sure to consult your doctor beforehand to rule out any physical conditions that may be contributing to how you feel.)
What is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)?
Practitioners of EFT use a tapping motion, similar to acupressure, upon the body’s energy meridians – points that are important to the flow of energy through the body, according to Chinese medicine. By tapping on these “hot spots” in cycles during times of stress and anxiety, you may allow the stuck energy to flow more freely through them. Emotional Freedom Technique is also a grounding exercise, which directs your spiraling thoughts from your brain to your physical and external environment. Think of it like a surge protector or circuit breaker; when there is an energy overload, a switch flips, protecting your electronics and/or appliances. EFT is the switch you can flip to help protect yourself by protecting your circuits!
EFT 101: How do you begin?
Emotional Freedom Technique can be performed on your own, or with the help of a practitioner. Be sure you are in a quiet place that is free from distractions.
First, if you know what is bothering you, say it aloud, and rate how much it is affecting you in that moment using a scale of 0 (least) to 10 (most). It can be as broad as general anxiety, or as specific as one issue or event. In your statement, also speak words of self-acceptance. An example would be, “Even though I’m feeling overwhelmed at work, I completely accept myself.”
Next, while staying focused upon your issue, begin tapping the energy points in sequence. With your fingertips, gently but firmly start tapping the outer edge of your other hand (known as the “karate chop” point) as if you’re drumming on a table. While doing this, repeat your statement aloud three times.
Take a deep breath. As you go through the cycle, keep repeating your statement or a short reminder phrase. For example: “Overwhelmed at work.”
Start with the very top of your head, tapping this spot 5-7 times.
Repeat at the inside edge of your right eyebrow, closest to your nose.
Move your tapping to the outside of your right eye, near the temple. Be careful if you have long fingernails!
Next, begin tapping below your right eye, at the top of your cheekbone. Remember to tap each spot 5-7 times, and repeat your statement as you move to a new one.
Continue tapping between your nose and your upper lip.
Now, move on to your chin.
Next, tap just below your right collarbone.
Tap underneath your right arm, on the side of your rib cage.
Switch to the side of the rib cage underneath your left arm.
Complete the circle by tapping in reverse order on your left side – collarbone, chin, beneath the nose, under your left eye, beside your left eye, and inside your left eyebrow. Remember to keep repeating your statement.
Finally, tap the top of your head again.
Now, breathe deeply, and rate the current level of your distress about the problem from 0 to 10. The goal is to get to a rating of 2 or below. If you’re above a 2, repeat the EFT tapping sequence. Feel free to modify your statement as your negative emotions decrease (e.g., “My work-related stress is decreasing, and I accept myself”).
Once your distress is below a 2, repeat the sequence using a positive statement like “I am capable and making helpful changes.”
What can I add to my EFT practice?
While EFT can help relieve stress, it’s even better combined with other self-care resources. Certified professional Life Coach Rachel Stokes, CPC offers empowering services in the Galveston area, including meditation, retreats, and more. Call 713-515-7484 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get started!