In the 1970s, three doctors discovered that their patients were seeing dramatic results when they verbally focused on their problems (be it emotional or physical) while at the same time tapping on the Chinese medicine meridian points.  

One of these doctors, Dr. Roger Callahan, branched off and created his own tapping technique called TFT, or Thought Field Therapy.  His technique completely transformed his psychology practice, and it’s still practiced today.  Dr. Callahan began to teach his technique to other therapists, but it was complex and difficult for many to implement.  

In the 1990s, a student of the doctor’s, Gary Craig, made some minor tweaks and simplified the original program, changed the name to EFT, or Emotional Freedom Techniques, and launched his own program which remains wildly popular in the holistic healing world to this day.

Similar to acupuncture, EFT works with the lines of energy in the body, aka the meridians.  People use their fingertips to tap on different parts of the body while simultaneously repeating positive words to help reduce stress and release negative emotions that are held within.

To begin your own EFT session, you’ll first need to identify what’s going on inside you.  Whether it’s stress from your job, anxiety from the pandemic, or childhood issues, identifying what’s making you feel the way you do in the moment is step number one.

After you’ve uncovered the reason for your feelings, next take a sec and do a check-in.  It might be helpful to rate your intensity on a scale of 0-10 so that, after you’ve finished with the tapping, you can revisit how you feel and see if there’s a change.

Next up is formulating the phrase you’ll be repeating as you tap.  A common template is, “Even though I have this (fear or problem), I deeply and completely accept myself.”  Phrase it in a way that you’re focusing on how the problem is making you feel.  “Even though I’m angry that my boss is putting too much pressure on me, I deeply and completely accept myself,” or, “Even though I’m anxious because my daughter has covid, I deeply and completely accept myself.”  You get the idea.

EFT focuses on 9 major meridians in the body.  These energy points are mirrored on both sides of the body, and they correspond with certain body organs or organ systems.  The side of the hand (where you’d do a “karate chop”), the top of your head, your eyebrows, the sides of your eyes, under your eyes, under your nose, your chin, the beginning of the collar bones, and under your arm (in line with where your bra would be – not the side boob part, but just a little bit beyond that towards the back) are the ones we’ll be focusing on here.

Starting with the side of the hand (“karate chop” area), take your fingers from the opposite hand and use them to tap the side of the opposite hand.  An example would be to take the fingers of your right hand and tap the side of the left hand.  Do that a few times while repeating your phrase.

Next move up to the insides of your eyebrows, where the hairs end going in towards your nose.  Take two fingers of each hand and tap that inside eyebrow area a few times while repeating your phrase.

From there, go to the sides of the eyes.  Not the temple area but a little further in, tapping on the bones of that area.  Use your fingers of both hands to tap there, repeating your phrase a few times.

After that, move to underneath your eyes on the bones.  With two fingers, tap those areas a few times while repeating your healing phrase.

Once you’ve finished under the eyes, take two fingers from one hand and tap underneath your nose a few times, repeating your phrase as you tap.

Next move down to just under the mouth, but above the chin, at the crease.  Tap there a few times while repeating your phrase, using two fingers from one hand.

When you’ve finished tapping the chin area, move to the collar bones.  Feel for the two points of the collar bones towards the midline of the body (kind of up near your throat), and then move your hands to about an inch underneath those points.  Using all ten fingers (so both hands), tap that area on both sides at the same time while repeating your phrase.

From there, move to the bra line on one side of the body, kind of underneath the armpit area.  Tap with the fingers of one hand in that place while repeating your phrase.

Finally, take one hand and tap the crown of your head with the fingers of one hand while repeating your phrase a few times.

And then do the whole sequence, in order, a couple more times.

Once you feel like you’re finished, take another moment to sit quietly and check back in with how you feel.  Rate your emotional state once again, and notice if there’s a difference from how you felt prior to tapping.

This sequence is super common in the EFT world and works really well for so many emotional issues.  Give it a try a few times when you’re feeling the feels.  And click here to check out our Expert Interview with Dawn Pensack for even more info.