If you’re reading this, perhaps you’ve heard of EFT, or Emotional Freedom Technique? EFT tapping (also referred to as tapping therapy or simply “tapping”) is a simple to do yet powerful technique that connects with your inner healing capacity.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a simple way to quiet the mind, soothe the body and change any negative state into a more positive experience by physically tapping it out with your fingertips.
Keep reading to learn what tapping therapy is and five steps to tapping, so you can start tapping into the power of EFT today!
What Exactly Is EFT?
EFT is a form of holistic energy healing that can help you overcome physical pain and emotional blocks – from stress and anxiety to phobias and trauma. It’s based on the combined principles of ancient Chinese acupressure and modern psychology.
While the science behind EFT may seem complex, the practice is easy: you use your fingers to tap on specific acupressure points or energy hot spots on your body (hence the nickname, “tapping”) while reciting affirmations or scripts.
If you’re willing to energetically tap into what’s going on inside of you, then you can transmute any negative state into a more positive experience by physically tapping it out.
This Is How Tapping Therapy Works
The human body is full of energy, and when we get sick or distressed, our emotional state will disrupt that flow.
Tapping uses fingertips (whereas acupuncture uses needles) to stimulate meridian points in the body (part of an energy system that moves “chi” which means the energy of life) around. This helps our bodies go back to their original homeostasis.
But, how and why?
The combination of EFT and acknowledgment of our fears (through affirmations or scripts) helps us to communicate with our brains- specifically, our amygdala, which is part of the Limbic System – the place where our emotions, survival instinct and memory live.
Tapping puts the body back into the parasympathetic (relaxation) nervous system response.
We are letting our brain know we are safe to take a look at what is bothering us and when we feel safe, it’s easier to let go of what is holding us back. When we feel safe, we feel free to release what no longer serves us.
We have a feeling that’s where the “emotional freedom” comes from in the name Emotional Freedom Technique!
Additionally, when faced with nerve-wracking and anxiety-inducing situations, no matter how big or small, our sympathetic nervous system is activated and our brains release chemicals such as cortisol and adrenaline. This is so it can prioritize what’s most important for us to do right now, like run away or fight!
Tapping therapy helps us come out of our minds and back into our bodies.
Tapping therapy puts the body back into the parasympathetic (relaxation) nervous system response – like conserving energy and slowing down our heart rate – allowing our immune system, digestive system, reproductive system, and endocrine system to function as they should.
According to WebMD, after tapping, participants in one study had lower levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress. In another study, 90% of people who did EFT tapping – in a group of 5,000 people – saw an improvement in their symptoms of anxiety.
So yes, we are intentionally stressing the point that tapping helps with stress relief!
More simply put, tapping meditation helps us come out of our minds and back into our bodies.
Follow These 5 Steps to Practice Emotional Freedom Technique:
Ready to step into your most aligned self by tapping your way into emotional freedom? Here are the five steps to EFT tapping.
1. Tap Into Your Current Mindset
Think of an issue that is bothering you, or identify a problem you want to focus on. This could be as simple as feeling stressed about what’s for dinner or as drastic as your fear of flying.
2. Tap Into the Level of Intensity Before Tapping
Consider how you’re feeling about that issue and measure it. Use a scale from one to ten (one meaning you’re not bothered at all and ten meaning your stress level is through the roof).
3. Tap Into an Empowering Affirmation
For example, you could say, “Even though I feel stressed about my flight tomorrow morning, I deeply and completely accept myself,” or, “Even though I’m anxious about what to cook for dinner, I honor my feelings and I accept how I feel.”
If you need help, you can reference these 5 Mantras for Anxiety to Rewrite Your Anxious Thoughts
4. EFT Tap and Repeat
The outer edge of your hand – on the opposite side of your thumb – is known as The Karate Chop point. You’ll want to start there by tapping it and repeating your sentence from #3 (out loud or in your head) several times.
Then, you’ll begin to tap on eight other sequence points, with gentle, mild pressure, as you repeat the same, comforting phrase several times on each point.
You can use four fingers or your first two (the index and middle fingers) and you can tap on one side of your body or both at the same time. It will work either way!
In this order, you’ll tap your way down your body:
- Your eyebrow
- The side of your eye
- Under your eye
- Under your nose
- Your chin
- The top of your collarbone
- Under your armpit
- The top of your head
5. Tap Into the Level of Intensity AFTER Tapping
Now you’ve completed this sequence, take time to think about your issue again. How intense is the anxiety now in comparison to before you started? Did anything change for the better after doing this exercise?
Rate yourself on that same scale of one to ten (one meaning no stressful feelings whatsoever and ten meaning unbearable stress).
If you arrive at the same rating you started at, and are still feeling anxious after using the suggested technique, then try again. You may also want to consider changing what is said during each round of tapping until there’s progress being made!
For example, “Even though I am still anxious, I accept it and I choose to relax.”
Now, take the same hands you just used to tap, and give yourself a round of applause for completing your first round of EFT!
You have tapped into a new, healthy way to acknowledge, process and release your emotions!
Practice Guided EFT Tapping Here
Follow along with EFT guide Morgan Garza as she guides you through a calming, invigorating EFT tapping session in her full Modern Mystic program on YA Classes.
Start with the introduction video, where you’ll learn the ins and outs of practicing tapping therapy on yourself. Morgan also begins each class in the program with a brief tapping session.
Main Benefits and Side Effects of Tapping Therapy
The point for putting pressure on acupressure points is that it’s powerful!
Beyond tapping meditation being a self-soothing technique to alleviate physical and emotional pain, there are so many other benefits of tapping!
- It’s simple and easy to learn
- You can do it from virtually anywhere at anytime
- It’s free- no therapist, practitioner, or prescription is needed
- It’s customizable and self-guided
- You’re in control-it puts the power of healing in your own hands, literally
- Relief/results happen quickly-even after 1 sequence
- Success rates are high
- You don’t need to close your eyes like in some meditations (which is helpful if you’re working through specific traumas that are triggered by that)
With all that said, there can be “negative” side effects of tapping too, though they’re minimal.
For example, people may yawn, sigh or burp as they tap. Although that may be annoying and perceived as a negative side effect, it’s actually a sign it’s working and energy is being released!
Additionally, Yelena Senia, a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) who specializes in trauma and uses EFT in her practice states in an article about EFT tapping: “Sometimes people can experience a negative reaction after (or during) an EFT session. These reactions are usually emotional, such as anger, anxiety, uneasiness, sadness, or even a temporary worsening of the issue.”
We’ve all heard the saying, “It gets worse, before it gets better.” That’s basically what Yelena Senia means.
While we may initially be using tapping to address anxiety, once we get that emotion to release, under it might be a new emotional layer of grief or anger. So, we’ll need to continue tapping on what emerges and keep repeating it until we feel better again.
While this can also be perceived as a “negative side effect,” it is positively helping us get to the root of our emotional turmoil and heal on the deepest level.
In our humble opinion, the worst case side effect of tapping is you may look “weird” doing it (which also in our humble opinion won’t matter because you’ll feel amazing doing it!).
Enough about the concept of EFT tapping therapy . . . let’s put it into practice! Read on for the five steps to practice Emotional Freedom Technique yourself.
Use Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) Tapping In Your Daily Life
We all face unique challenges in life, some more difficult than others. It’s not easy to process these events, but it is possible to learn how to manage and move past them.
So, the next time you find yourself struggling or feeling down, try Emotional Freedom Technique.
Because once you’re tapped into who you truly are and the power that lives within, you’ll be ready to release what’s holding you back to make room for something new-growth, happiness and joy!
Feel free to leave a comment below and let us know about your experience with tapping. We love hearing from you!
All included information is not intended to treat or diagnose. The views expressed are those of the author and should be attributed solely to the author. For medical questions, please consult your healthcare provider.