Emotional Freedom Technique or EFT is a form of psychological acupressure which uses tapping of the fingertips on specific areas of the body to relieve the emotional trauma of past events, addictions, pain, etc – as well, EFT is used as a powerful addition to positive affirmations. Learning EFT takes less than a minute and its contribution to mental health and happiness is nothing less than astonishing. You need not take anyone’s word for it. In minutes you can learn and see for yourself if EFT really works. If you love yourself, or want to, EFT is for you!
Authors note: The main, companion article to “Emotional Freedom Technique – A core tool in Rapid Enlightenment,” is “Rapid Enlightenment – A rapid guide to lifelong happiness” which is the core article introducing the simple and powerful, three step process of Rapid Enlightenment (To Recognize, Remove, and Relearn) your way to lifelong happiness. EFT is just one of the three essential components to the practice of Rapid Enlightenment.
There are many online examples of techniques and uses for EFT and further exploration is highly recommended. Included below is a simple introduction and hypothetical example of EFT in action. From this example you can use your own mind and creativity to substitute any negative feeling, memory, belief or situation that has been interfering with your happiness. So here we go…
Janet is afraid of dogs and has been since the day she was badly bitten by a neighborhood dog when she was seven. Since that day this long standing memory has caused many panic attacks when she is around, or even thinks about dogs. She often goes blocks out of her way to avoid dogs and social situations where dogs might be present. She has behaved like this for the last twenty-five years.
Janet will use EFT on the long standing memory of being bitten by the neighbor’s dog. The idea is to attack the source of the suffering, in this case, the initial traumatizing event. By doing so, all of the emotions that sprang from this past event will also be affected – similar to destroying a tree by cutting out the root, rather than cutting off the tree’s branches.
Using all of the senses of her mind, Janet recalls the traumatizing event. In her mind she becomes that little girl – seeing and feeling everything that little girl felt. Instantly she becomes ill at ease. She takes an emotional severity rating of the memory, of how much the memory makes her suffer. She rates it a ten. The most severe it could be. Nevertheless, she is in a safe place and knows she is only recalling the memory and it is not actually happening.
With the memory in full bloom, she begins tapping with her fingertips on the specific nerve centers listed below. The following is an example order of tapping but it can be in any order that feels most comfortable.
TAP ON ALL OF THESE KEY NERVE CENTERS (FINGER TAP THREE OR FOUR TIMES ON EACH NERVE CENTER BEFORE MOVING TO THE NEXT NERVE CENTRE):
> Tap the forehead (the center of your forehead)
> Tap the right temple (right in front of your ear about half way down)
> Tap the right cheek (high on the cheek)
> Tap the chin
> Tap the chest (the chest bone, where your heart would be underneath)
> Tap the front of your left wrist (where you check your pulse, where the hand ends and arm begins)
> Tap the back of your left wrist (where the hand ends and arm begins)
> Tap the left temple (right in front of your ear about half way down)
> Tap the left cheek (high on the cheek)
> Tap the back of your right wrist (where you would check pulse, where the hand ends and arm begins)
> Tap the front of your right wrist (where the hand ends and arm begins)
> Repeat this sequence (for as long as you like)
Janet taps this sequence again and again for a little under a minute. Although very frightened she allows her mind to let go of its formidable resistance to recalling this painful memory. She stops and takes a few calming breaths and takes an emotional severity rating of the memory. She is shocked. The emotional impact has indeed been diminished. Minutes earlier she had rated the memories severity as a ten. She would have given it a twelve if she was able. It was so powerful and frightening she could barely stand it. But now as she gages the emotional severity level, she would rate it as an eight. The memory still made her anxious, very anxious, but it had lost a noticeable amount of bite (bad pun intended).
After a few calming breaths, Janet continues the sequence of tapping. This time for about a minute. She stops and takes another emotional severity rating. It’s a six. She almost feels like she is experiencing a miracle. So long has she suffered from this memory and everything it had put her through. As Janet begins tapping again she allows herself to recall the entire timeline, every second, of the event.
JANET RELIVES EVERY SECOND OF THE EVENT TIMELINE
It started when she noticed the neighbor’s large brown dog walking unattended across the street. She remembers thinking, “he’s going to get lost.” Then the dog stops, as if sensing her presence. Seconds later the dog is charging towards her. She looks around for an adult, for someone, and sees no one. Deeply frightened she hopes the dog is just being friendly. Time slows down. The dog snarling and leaping. The pain as sharp canine teeth bite deeply into upraised arm…
While tapping, Janet goes over the event timeline again and again. She continues for several minutes. When she stops and takes an emotional severity rating. It’s a three. It hardly feels like anything at all. The goal of EFT is to get the emotional severity rating to one. Where there is no emotional or physiological feeling at all.
JANET INTRODUCES POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS INTO HER EFT
As Janet resumes tapping and reliving the memory she confidently repeats out loud, “It’s okay to experience this memory. This memory is in the past and cannot hurt me. I am safe.” While tapping she repeats this affirmation again and again (you can use any kind of affirmation you like). When she stops and takes an emotional severity rating, it is a one. The worst memory of her life – the event that had controlled her for decades – feels as calming as a walk in the park (which she can now finally do).
End of exercise.
What has happened? What did this Emotional Freedom Technique application do for Janet?
Old Belief / Understanding / Behavior: (Before EFT): Janet knows she is deathly afraid of dogs. She often has gone blocks out of her way to avoid dogs and social situations where dogs might be present. She knows her behavior is irrational but also feels hopeless against the overwhelming panic that rages throughout her at the mere mention or thought of dogs.
New Belief / Understanding / Behavior: (After EFT): The change in Janet’s beliefs and behaviors around dogs is nothing less than extraordinary. She no longer avoids situations where dogs are present and as she continued to use EFT on all the memories, fears and panic attacks, things just kept getting better. Today she sums up her past traumatic event as the result of careless dog-owners and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Today she owns a Jack Terrier named “Moose” and they are both very happy.
PRACTICING EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUE ON PAINFUL EMOTIONS
While tapping it is important to re-experience the negative feeling, memory, belief or situation in as much vivid detail as possible. This means to include your entire mind’s senses (the sights, sounds, smells, touch and feelings) in the re-experiencing of the emotion. Imagine the absolute worst the negative feeling, memory, belief or situation makes you feel. Allow all the dark thoughts and fears that stem from the emotion to come forth.
Negative feelings, memories, beliefs or situations that are painful to re-experience or think about are often difficult to tap for the simple reason that the mind doesn’t want to “go there!” “Too much pain, no way!” But it is especially important, when we feel these objections that we must “go there.” Such memories and feelings are the gold mine of stressors and are meant to be mined deeply for our own mental health and happiness. Traditional therapy can take months, even years, as the therapist spends the lion’s share of time getting the client to feel secure and brave enough to “go there” (to go within, where the deep wounds reside). With EFT we can be confident when facing trauma knowing that catharsis is only minutes away.
In tapping on traumatic and negative feelings, memories, beliefs or situations, never forget that the event is not actually happening. You are re-creating it only in your mind. As such, it cannot hurt you, despite the convincing impression that it can. You are in a safe environment. If you do not feel safe right now, go someplace where you feel safe before proceeding.
Very traumatic feelings, memories, beliefs and situations influence our thinking and behavior significantly – and, very rarely, in a positive way. They control how we perceive situations and therefore how we act and react. Without suffering and fear influencing our decision-making we are more able to, objectively and consciously, deal with the negative feeling, memory, belief or situation. We will see with the clarity of an informed observer rather than as a frightened participant. If you take this leap of faith now, you will see, within seconds or minutes that you need not fear or suffer from the negative feeling, memory, belief or situation. It will no longer control you but you will feel in control of it.
How would you be without your fears? Without those emotions that feel so real but serve only to leave you in the many states of suffering? Eliminate suffering and fear and you eliminate the corrupted thinking that is blocking your happiness.
SOME IMPORTANT CLARIFICATIONS WHEN PRACTICING EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUE
There are two important clarifications regarding tapping. The first is to always remain attentive (self-aware) to tapping only negative feelings, memories, beliefs or situations. The mind has a habit of jumping from thought to thought quickly. Often our minds can jump from a negative state of suffering to a positive state of happiness without warning. When you observe this happening, stop tapping immediately! Take a few calming breaths and generally distract yourself before proceeding. For obvious reasons you do not want to tap towards the diminishing or removal of positive, emotional states.
Positive feelings, memories, beliefs or situations are those emotions that you know do not cause yourself or others to suffer. Every other kind of emotion can be considered, “ready to go!”
The second important clarification is to again remain attentive (self-aware) and to recognize the difference between a reasonable belief of danger and an unreasonable belief of danger. Tapping away our fear of any feeling, memory, belief or situation may leave your rational instincts more capable of judging the situation but it does not mean real danger no longer exists. To a large degree we are taking conscious control of your fight or flight instincts. Take this responsibility very seriously!
For example, tapping combined with misguided pride may keep you from handing your wallet or purse over to an armed thug, but by resisting you may increase the odds of the thug harming you. Your first priority is to protect your body at all costs. Having no fear combined with misguided pride or negligent thinking may jeopardize your body. But having sensible fear and sensible instincts means you exit the situation safely first, followed by the appropriate actions. In any situation, ALWAYS be aware of what you are doing! Do not get lazy, arrogant or overconfident!
Emotional Freedom Technique used in relation with Rapid Enlightenment is an idea that can be taken by anyone for any purpose. Feel free to share, change or build on the idea of Rapid Enlightenment without any obligation or consideration of the author. Rapid Enlightenment can be used in many, many areas pertaining to mental and physical health, happiness, love and purpose. Peace and Love.