I’ve been holding off on this post until I found just the right way to explain Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). You see, it’s a little "out there" and I want you to have an open mind about it, because it has literally changed my life, and I know it can change yours, too.
What is Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT?
EFT, otherwise known as “tapping" is best described as a form of acupuncture therapy without needles. Using your first two fingers to tap on each of your meridian points 5-7 times while working through a negative emotion around a belief or traumatic memory can help release the stored emotion from your body. It’s probably easier to understand seeing it visually, so I created a quick video below.
How EFT helped me change my life
I have been battling limiting thoughts about myself my entire life. I don’t know if the struggle I have is common because rarely do we compare notes on how abusive we are to ourselves. But here’s a taste of my inner voice. You can let me know in the comments if it’s like that for you, too. I’d love to know that I’m in good company.
Generally I wonder & worry that I’m...
- Not interesting enough/too boring
- Not successful enough
- Not young enough
- Not confident or educated enough (even though I have an MA, mind you)
- Not pretty or smart enough
- Not a good enough friend, spouse, sibling or coworker
- Not a good enough writer or creative
- Not a good enough person
Now, I have no idea what “good enough” looks like, or who holds the yard stick that we measure enough-ness with, but my first reaction is always to assume that most people are doing better than me on all of these accounts. If that sounds familiar to you, I’d love to hear from you in the comments. If it sounds like I could use some therapy, rest assured, it’s something I’m working on. I’ve tried therapy, but never found it very helpful. I did however, find a lot of success with EFT.
EFT Helped Me Heal My Limiting Beliefs
Limiting beliefs are ideas that get implanted in our subconscious. Sometimes we know they’re there, but often, they go on, unnoticed for a long time and a lot of hard life lessons have to be repeated before we’re willing to face that we have some destructive ideas holding us back from getting the most out of our lives.
The beauty of this practice is that it can be applied to any area of our lives that needs healing. Just think about your own life and where you have recurring patterns of destructive behavior. If you keep repeating the same mistakes, chances are, it stems from a limiting belief.
So whether you struggle with relationships, money, health or weight problems or just past hurts that you can't seem to get past, this practice can help.
EFT & Healing Trauma
The funny thing about limiting beliefs is that they typically stem from a negative emotional event where a hurtful comment or abusive situation made us believe something terrible about ourselves. Because it often happens when we’re very young, we don’t have the awareness or maturity to understand that the negativity had little to do with us, so we assume we are to blame. What we now know in the field of energy psychology is that unprocessed feelings that occur from a traumatic event (big or small), get stored in the body and it just sits there until we deal with it.
There is now evidence that people with a lot of unprocessed emotions who have gone through a lot of trauma in their childhood are at greater risk of chronic disease in their adult years. In fact, the research says that they die twenty years earlier on average. That statistic blew me away when I heard it.
How do you know if your past was traumatic?
Researchers have developed the ACE test, which stands for Adverse Childhood Experience. There are ten questions that determine your “trauma score” and anything over a score of 4 can lead to health risks. Personally, I scored 5, so this immediately became an important topic for me to focus on, especially since both of my parents died very young from cancer.
How do you heal your childhood trauma
EFT has been such a powerful healer for me. Not just in helping me get past limiting beliefs about not being enough, but also releasing the stored energy I had from my own past traumas. Through tapping, I have been able to cry the tears that should have been expressed many years ago. I was able to forgive my parents and myself for all the traumas I experienced as a child and find peace with where I am today.
In fact, EFT is such a powerful tool for releasing trauma, therapists are using it as a tool to help veterans recover from PTSD. I was a sceptic when I first heard about tapping, but when I learned it was helping people get through the violent experience of war, I figured it was worth a try.
How to get started with EFT
There are plenty of therapist that have been trained in this modality, but personally, I think you can get a lot out of it, just trying it on your own. The good news is - there’s no wrong way to do it and it’s completely risk-free. You can’t hurt yourself, but you can potentially heal yourself, so there’s no reason not to try.
How to do EFT on yourself
The best way to get started is with the Tapping Solution guided app (it’s free, but there is also an upgraded version which I use daily). Simply download this app to your phone, select an emotional issue you would like to work on and follow the instructions. It’s that simple. Once you get the hang of it, you can do it on your own and create your own script. You’ll soon notice the framework for the scripts are pretty simple and you can play with the words you use and the issues you work with.
I have also found Nick Ortner's book, Tapping Solution for Manifesting Your Greatest Self to be extremely helpful. I recommend buying the audiobook so you can listen to the daily sessions and tap through each one. This book really did help me release a lot of pain from my own childhood and I think it can be helpful to anyone who tries it with an open mind and heart.
The reason why EFT is so powerful is that you’re reassuring your self-conscious that even though you have issues, problems, stressors and doubts in your life, you’re still okay as you are. You are acceptable and enough. By tapping on your meridian points as you go through that process, you can stimulate and release stored negative energy. I know it sounds different, but if you’re willing to try it, you might be surprised by your results.
Want to see EFT in Action? Watch the video below, but please do grab the app I mentioned and also, get the book. It might be the best $10 you’ve ever spent!
Caren is a certified yoga teacher, fitness instructor and author of The Fit Habit. Here she shares simple, low carb recipes, quick home workout ideas and practical ways to foster mind + body wellness.