Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), also known as 'Tapping', is a form of acupressure psychology. This technique is based on traditional acupuncture and works with the meridians in the body. EFT involves gently tapping the fingertips on the skin where the energy meridians are located while thinking about an issue and an emotional block and saying positive affirmations out loud. It may sound complicated, but it really is quite simple. To see it in action, and for a great resource of simple tapping videos, check out tapping expert Brad Yates on Youtube. Brad was also a guest on one of the episodes of the Business Addicts podcast where we explored EFT with him.
"Rather than letting the fear of change stop us, we can tap away the stress and discomfort and give ourselves the freedom to examine what we might be afraid of… and discover that we actually can handle the positive changes" - Brad Yates.
EFT can help release limiting believes about yourself, traumatic memories, and self-destructing habits that cause emotional blockages and suffering. Scientific research by Dawson Church (2013) proves EFT is effective for a wide variety of conditions including reductions in physical pain, anxiety, emotional stress, depression, PTSD, food cravings/weight loss issues, phobias and more.
How did it start?
EFT has grown to be a popular healing technique and therapy around the world. It was developed in the 1990's by Gary Craig from an alternative psychotherapy discovery by Dr. Roger Callahan. Dr. Callahan was working with a patient that suffered from an intense water phobia and used a similar tapping technique to cure her and EFT was tested and tried from then on.
“The cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body’s energy system.” - Dr. Rodger Callahan
How does it work?
Tapping the energy meridians and vocally expressing positive affirmations works to clear these emotional blocks from the body, helping to de-stress the body and restore balance in the body and mind, which is essential to our general wellbeing. Dr. Linda Wilson, a stress management specialist who guides clients through EFT or 'Tapping' says she has had clients benefit from this therapy in all kinds of ways.
"I have had a couple of clients who saw me because they had surgery coming up. Not only was there fear associated with the surgery but there was also fear about how their bodies would heal afterward. For one of these clients, it was open brain surgery so possibly one of the most extreme experiences you could ever have whilst still conscious. What was reported back to me after our work was that there was no fear before during or after and the recovery rate was really impressive."
How EFT can help relieve stress
Dr. Linda Wilson uses EFT or 'Tapping' in her everyday life and has even guided her family members to use this technique.
"Tapping has been critically important in my life. It helped me through being a super tired mother and business owner and Practitioner. All of my family members use Tapping whenever things get rocky emotionally such as during exams, frustration with work or school, health issues, mindset issues and so much more."
EFT or Tapping assists us to let go of stress in a number of different ways:
1. Touch is an important aspect of stress relief and in the use of Tapping we are gently touching the face and hands in a cyclical action.
2. Tone and rhythm of voice can also be used to soothe a stressed or anxious mind or body.
3. We work to acknowledge the problem and the fact that there is a solution. These opposite positional statements help to neutralise stress.
4. Tapping also adds an element of distraction and confusion to the mind as we are attempting to focus on a problem but introduce stimulation in the form of tapping at the same time. The mind cannot focus on two things at once and that slight scramble can loosen stress up to the point where we can ‘Let it go’.
5. We are using the body as our access point to stress by focusing on how stress is present in our body. This awareness, the use of all of the above and the language we use is very different from a logical or purely psychological approach to stress. Our body needs assistance as well and Tapping includes a focus on the body as a way to understand our stress.
6. Tapping has been scientifically proven to lower the stress hormones of adrenaline and cortisol in a number of published research papers. The results are quite extraordinary.
7. Awareness is key! As we practice tapping and release stress we come back into the frontal cortex which is where we have greater clarity of thought, better problem-solving ability, and a greater perspective. All of these things also help us to rethink our situation and manage it better.
8. As our awareness increases we can begin to take a more holistic look at the things that create stress for us and not only manage those symptoms but also deal with many of the experiences we have from the past that act as triggers for our stress. As we unveil these experiences and tap on them we are less triggered and manage our stress better and better over time.
Rather than work-life balance, our philosophy is about Life Integration, which is the process of seamlessly integrating wellbeing into every element of your life. Your work is not separate to your life: your work is part of the living whole of your life.
The Happiness Hunter is based in Melbourne, with a team of coaches and consultants available across Australia.