EFT Tapping Therapy

from EFT Alive 

What is EFT?
EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Techniques is a form of counseling intervention that draws on various theories of alternative medicine including acupuncture, neuro-linguistic programming, energy medicine, and Thought Field Therapy. During an EFT session, the client will focus on a specific issue while tapping on "end points of the body's energy meridians". 

How EFT Tapping Therapy Works
EFT is based on one fundamental premise: "The cause of all negative emotions and beliefs is a disturbance in our body's energy system."

Disturbances in the Body's Energy System
The energy system referred to above is the same energy system that is used in acupuncture. Acupuncture talks about there being 14 energy pathways in our bodies called energy meridians. All of our negative emotions, like anxiety, hurt, anger, shame and so on, are due to a disturbance in one or more of these energy meridians. These energy disturbances are linked to memories of painful events. It is not the memory itself that is painful. Rather, when we think of the memory, the associated energy disturbance gets activated, which then causes the negative, painful emotions. 

EFT Works by Clearing the Energy Disturbances
EFT works by intentionally activating an energy disturbance by thinking about a painful memory or just feeling your feelings. While the energy disturbance is activated, you tap with your fingertips on a set of 10 easily learned acupuncture points in order to clear out the energy disturbance in the affected meridians. As the disturbance gets cleared through the tapping, you will experience your negative emotions actually drain away. When the energy disturbance has been completely cleared, your negative emotions will be gone. You can then think about the memory with no painful emotional reaction! Problems in your life that resulted from the original experience will clear up as well. 

It's Important to Stay Focused on the Problem While Tapping
It is essential that the energy disturbance remains activated the whole time you are tapping in order to completely clear it. Therefore, you have to keep your attention focused on the negative feelings while tapping until they are gone. Getting distracted or thinking about two things at once can interfere with EFT working. 

The EFT Tapping Procedure
Now that we have a basic understanding of how EFT works, we can learn how to do the actual tapping procedure.

EFT Tapping Points Diagram

(Copyright © 2008 All Rights Reserved - Do not copy.)

The Ten EFT Tapping Points 

This diagram shows you the 10 points that we will use to clear all energy disturbances with EFT. The ten points address all 14 meridians due to the fact that some of the points are located at the intersection of two meridians. Since we are tapping on all meridians when we do EFT, we don't have to worry about which meridians have the disturbance in them. We are tapping on all of the meridians anyway.

See the tapping points diagram. The names of the points starting at the top of the head and going down the body are:
• top of head • beginning of eyebrow • side of eye • under eye
• under nose • chin • collar bone • under arm • inside wrist
• karate chop

How to Tap on the Points

  1. Top of head:
    Use all your fingers to "pat" the top of your head so that you don't have to worry about the exact location of the point.

  2. All the facial points:
    Use two fingers on each point for the same reason.

  3. Collar bone point:
    The collar bone points are located just below the "knobs" at the end of each collar bone. Use a flat fist just below your neck, where a man would knot his tie, to get one or both of the collar bone points.

  4. Under arm point:
    This point in located on the side of your body a few inches below your armpit. On a man it is level with the nipple. On a woman it is located in the middle of her bra band. Use all four fingers running up and down on the side of your body to tap on this point.

  5. Inside Wrist point:
    Notice the crease between your wrist and your hand on the inside of your wrist. The wrist point is located three finger widths below the crease. Use your whole hand to pat this point.

  6. Karate chop point:
    The last point on the pinky side of your hand is called the "karate chop" point because it is the place on your hand you would hit if you did a karate chop. You can tap this point any way that you like.
Note: For the points that are located on both sides of your body, it does not matter which side you use. It's also okay to switch sides while tapping or use both sides simultaneously. It will work any way that you do it. EFT is very forgiving that way.
The tapping on each point should be rapid little "thunks." I say little thunks because you should tap hard enough to feel some percussion during each tap but not hard enough that you will begin to feel tender after a lot of tapping. You only need to tap each point around 4 to 6 times, though more is not a problem. You won't need to count taps because you will be saying a phrase at each point (see below). Just tap rapidly while saying the phrase, and that will be enough taps.

The EFT Tapping Procedure — The "EFT Basic Recipe"

  1. Select the problem that you would like to address with EFT
    Most of our current emotional problems are due to painful experiences we had growing up. Therefore, the most effective way to really heal current problems in your life is to apply EFT to the painful memories that are the source of those problems. In addition, it is also possible to apply EFT to relieve in-the-moment difficult emotions (e.g., anxiety, anger, sadness), food and substance cravings, physical pain in the body and many other problems.

  2. The EFT "Reminder Phrase"
    Come up with a short phrase used to refer to the memory or problem, the more specific the better. We call this the "reminder" phrase because we will use it during the tapping process to stay focused on the memory or current problem. The way to create a reminder phrase for a memory is to give the memory a title, like the title of a movie. (For more information on creating effective reminder phrases, see the last sections, Picking Good Reminder Tapping Phrases and Using EFT to Heal Painful Memories, at the bottom of this page.)


    a. My best friend moved away and I was alone (title of memory).
    b. I'm afraid of flying.
    c. I have a buring pain in my left shoulder.
    d. I'm craving ice cream.
    e. I'm furious at Jan for going behind my back.

  3. Rate the Pain or Intensity Level
    Assess on a 0 to 10 scale how painful the memory is or how intense the emotion or pain is, where 0 is no intensity at all and 10 is the maximum intensity you can imagine. It is not important that this number be totally accurate. It will only be used to generally track our progress, so don't worry about being exact.

  4. Perform the Set-up Affirmation
    You do the set-up affirmation by saying a self-acceptance affirmation three times while tapping on the karate chop point. The self-acceptance affirmation has the following form:

    "Even though ______________, I deeply and profoundly accept myself."

    The blank is filled in with the reminder phrase that you came up with in step 2.

    For example: "Even though I'm craving ice cream, I deeply and profoundly accept myself."

  5. The EFT Tapping Sequence
    Perform two passes through all ten points:
    Say the reminder phrase while quickly tapping on each point. You will say the reminder phrase once per point. This is just the reminder phrase without the "even though" and "I deeply and profoundly accept myself."

    It is important to stay focused on the memory or feelings while tapping on all of the points. When you have done all ten points, you have completed one pass through the points. Repeat this for a second pass.

    The combination of the Set-up Affirmation and two passes through all of the points is considered the EFT Basic Recipe.

  6. Reassess the Pain/Intensity Level
    Reassess the pain level of the memory on a scale of 0 to 10. If the tapping is working, your pain level should come down around 1 - 3 points per basic recipe. It may come down even more.

  7. Perform Another EFT Basic Recipe Until Done
    Repeat steps 4 through 6 to apply another EFT basic recipe to the memory or painful emotions. However, if your pain level came down at all, then we change the wording of the set-up affirmation and reminder phrase a little bit to acknowledge the progress that has been made.

    The set-up affirmation becomes:

    "Even though I still have some _____________, I deeply and completely accept myself."

    The reminder phrase becomes:

    "Remaining _______________"
You keep applying the EFT Basic Recipe to your painful memory or emotions until the pain level, including all of the associated emotions, goes down to zero. At this point, that memory will be completely healed or your in the moment emotions relieved.
Using this minimal version of EFT, you will tend have a 40 - 50% success rate. There is more to learn about EFT in order to get much better success rates (mine is over 97% at this time). If the tapping process doesn't work for you after several tries, please read my article, What to Do When EFT Doesn't Seem To Work, which can help you get better results.

Where can you go from here?

If you would like tips on how to use EFT, sign up for my Tapping Tips For Your Success Newsletter below. These are short and sweet newsletters with practical, easy-to-digest ways to use EFT to enhance your life.

Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.