What is Emotional Freedom Technique and How It Can Help Your Mental Health

The Emotional Freedom Technique, also known as EFT, is a form of psychological acupressure that does not involve the use of needles. It is easy to use, and the entire process involves gentle tapping on specific meridian points while saying out aloud different statements related to the emotional issues at hand. By tapping on these energy spots, we are unblocking the energetic pathways in our body, which is a concept derived from ancient Chinese medicine. Additionally, we are sending a signal to the part of the brain responsible for the fight or flight response, thereby calming the nervous system. For example, if you are feeling stressed, you may form an initial setup statement like: “Even though I feel stressed right before work, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.” The setup statement can be repeated up to three times and forms the first part of our EFT tapping script. After the setup statement, you move on onto something called reminder phrases, which are essentially phrases that remind us of our negative experience or situation. Following our setup statement example, a reminder phrase could be: “I feel very tense right now,” “I feel very stressed,” “The thought of going to work stresses me out,” “I feel anxious,” “my body feels tense,” and so on.


Tapping Points

While saying out aloud the setup statement and reminder phrases, we also need to gently tap on specific meridian points. These include the karate chop point, also known as the side of the hand (for the setup statement), the top of the head, eyebrow point, side of an eye, under the eye, under the nose, chin point, on the collarbone, and on the underarm ( for the reminder phrases). You can tap these points with one hand or both, but it’s good to remember that tapping with both hands will has an equal impact as tapping with one.

Keeping Records

Before you start tapping, you also want to assess the intensity of the feeling on a scale from 0-10 and check again right after your tapping round to see if the intensity has decreased. Keeping a tapping journal can greatly impact your EFT tapping practice. Writing down your setup statements and reminder phrases can help you with your entire tapping sequence and take away the worry of not knowing what to say during your tapping round. Writing down your feelings, thoughts, or other bodily sensations in your tapping worksheet will enhance your entire experience with EFT and allow you to keep a record of how the body and mind respond to tapping.

To successfully apply tapping in your daily life, it’s important to be specific about your feelings and work on that feeling until you notice a decrease in the intensity of that feeling to zero or close to zero. Being vague about your own feelings can lead to not much of a result so it’s important to really focus on the feeling at hand.

Science Behind EFT Tapping

More than 100 peer-reviewed studies have confirmed the efficacy of the Emotional Freedom Technique in decreasing levels of stress, anxiety, depression, and improving multiple psychological markers. No side effects of EFT tapping have been reported; however, some people have felt higher energy levels and a more positive outlook on life.