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The Crazy Weird Techniques Known as EFT or Tapping

Australian Tapping Institute / Group Tapping  / The Crazy Weird Techniques Known as EFT or Tapping

The Crazy Weird Techniques Known as EFT or Tapping

How did I get into EFT – Tapping?

If you’re like me when I was first introduced to Tapping, I was pretty skeptical that tapping on different parts of my own body was going to change my life somehow. I had a sensible science head and only believed in things I could explain. The energy medicine world was a mystery to me and the concept that the human body is full of electrical circuitry just didn’t seem plausible. I was a fan of acupuncture but had no idea how it actually worked or what it was actually doing for me.

What I had learned from my Life Coaching Certification course was that to be the best Coach I could be for my clients, I needed to do work on myself to resolve some of my own inner conflicts. I had my own Success Coach I worked with regularly and I started to use my journal daily. I bravely faced my deepest fears about my own success as well as looking at my past experiences and how they were impacting my thoughts and decisions. At that time, I used a lot of Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) methodology as well as great coaching tools in my Practice.  And while my clients were getting great shifts in their thinking and they were able to change their behaviour I still had a lot of messages in between sessions from them. I received messages with everything from “I’m really feeling stressed out today, can I come in to see you sooner?” or “[insert other person] just said blah blah to me, and I can’t stop crying” or “I’ve just had a horrible fight with [insert other person] and I’m so angry”.

Their messages were about different events and triggers happening to them, but the result was the same result.

They were searching for a way to feel better in that moment!

I knew something was missing in what I was offering my clients – but I had no idea what!

A friend from Coaching college had found this tool called Tapping and she wanted me to embrace it as she had. I was pretty resistant, but I did do a couple of Tapping sessions I found on YouTube just to satisfy her persistence.  I didn’t find it helped me very much and didn’t give it much further thought.  However, a couple of months later when visiting her she insisted that I let her “coach” me through an EFT session – I indulged her.

I trusted her so I surrendered to the process. I dropped my pre-conceived ideas and skepticism.  I allowed her to lead me as a coach and focused only on myself in that session.

What I didn’t realise was that this session was about to change my life!

From that session I knew what was missing for my clients. A tool to get them over a specific event or trigger – in that moment!  A way for them to feel better instantly.  They didn’t need to completely resolve an issue as it arose but a tool that will help anyone to change how they are feeling in any given moment so they can get on with their day – I thought this was PRICELESS.

That day I resolved to get qualified in EFT as soon as I could, so I could start offering this as a technique for my clients. I graduated later that year and started Tapping with every client I saw.  Whether I was helping someone with their business improvement or some personal issue – every client was shown how to do a simple 5-minuteTap on their collarbone and repeat a simple three-word statement. Either “I am safe” or “I am ok”.  When I received their message that said “I’m feeling very stressed today…” my response was “Have you tapped for five minutes yet?  Tap on your collarbone and repeat “I am safe” then come back to me”. Over time the messages from clients changed, the frequency reduced.  They all knew not to message me before having completely atleast 5 minutes of Tapping. Once they had done their 5-minutes of Tapping they didn’t need me between sessions. They were empowered to help themselves because the ability to self-soothe, or to change how they were feeling in the moment was theirs!  Literally, at their fingertips.

My sessions with clients also changed. No longer were we having to rehash triggers and events from the time between sessions so we could spend time resolving deeper issues instead.

S0, whether you too are a skeptic, or a believer, let me walk you through a bit of a background to Tapping, show you where it got started and some of the scientific research behind it.

Where Tapping come from and how long has it been around?

Tapping is another word for Emotional Freedom Techniques or EFT. Without knowing the background and its evolution it can be a little challenging to get the whole concept of the effects it has on the body and what its actually doing, how’s its rewiring the brain and calming the nervous system.

Have you noticed that when we pick up a baby, we instinctively tap on it?  Whether it’s on its bottom or back.  That’s an instinctive human understanding that Tapping will soothe.

It has deep roots in modern psychology as well as the ancient science of acupuncture. It draws primarily from two approaches in psychotherapy being namely cognitive therapy and exposure therapy.  Cognitive therapies address how we see the world through thoughts. These thoughts also shape our behaviour.  Exposure therapies focus on the therapeutic value of remembering traumatic life events.  It also draws on the alternative medicine theories of Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP), energy medicine, and Thought Field Therapy (TFT).

It’s a gentle technique that involves tapping with your own fingertips on acupuncture points on your own body. Acupuncture theory teaches that energy flows through our body along pathways called meridians. Stimulation of these meridians via the acupuncture points disperses the negative energy in your body that becomes blocked by physical and emotional trauma and life experiences.  The body, like everything in the universe, is composed of energy. Restore balance to the body’s energy, and you will mend the negative emotions and physical symptoms that stem from the energy disruption.

In present time most of us have been conditioned to believe only what we can explain and rationalise for ourselves. As a Practitioner, you will have people ask you to explain exactly what it is and what it does. Knowing the science and history of Tapping will help you with that.

There have been so many hybrid versions of EFT emerge since its founder, Gary Craig released it back in the 1990’s. Many of these have undertaken extensive documented clinical trials over many years, while others are known to work, yet don’t have the scientific research backing up its efficacy.

What types of EFT or Tapping therapy are around?

While this Guide is specifically focussed on Emotional Freedom Techniques as a therapy, the terms Tapping or Energy Tapping can be applied generically as they encompass many different techniques, methods and approaches too.  The list below includes some of the names that these techniques are known as.  I am sure if you research even further you will find even more!

  • Emotional Freedom Techniques
  • Clinical EFT
  • Faster EFT
  • Choices Method
  • Optimal EFT
  • Meridian Tapping Techniques
  • Touch and Breathe Method
  • Be Set Free Fast
  • Tapas Acupressure Technique
  • Simplified Energy Therapy
  • Provocative Energy Therapy

While the names vary, the intent remains the same – work with the energy system of the body to heal itself.

We teach the version known as Clinical EFT. It’s undergone significant clinical trials both in Australia and other countries around the world. Personally, I like the scientific research and conclusions that underpins the success of these techniques in helping our clients get fast, effective and long-lasting results.

Show me the Science

In the 1927 a psychiatrist name Wilhelm Reich observed that emotional trauma can result in rigidity in certain regions of the body. After WWII Joseph Wolpe, a Psychiatrist, treated veterans with post traumatic stress disorder using various forms of physical stimulation. Wolpe found that diaphragmatic breathing while recalling a traumatic memory such as combat experience could remove the emotional content from the memory.  This is an early example of using exposure therapy. Our patient would still have the memory, but it no longer triggered the huge emotional response.

In the early 1960’s George Goodheart, a Chiropractor discovered he could treat physical conditions by tapping on acupuncture points.  Fast forward a few more years when a Clinical Psychologist Roger Callahan, began applying acupoint tapping to psychological problems. Callahan first worked with phobias to cure them then went on to discover he could apply this Tapping to PTSD, anxiety and depression. His method came to be known as Thought Field Therapy.

Gary Craig is credited with simplifying Callahan’s Thought Field Therapy to the Emotional Freedom Techniques that we practice today.  He moved the therapy away from specific points being used for specific issues, to utilising a range of acupoints, in any order and collectively working on the body’s energy system.

Although it has taken many years, there is now a solid foundation of evidence demonstrating what happens in the body and mind during the EFT process. Dr Peta Stapleton, Australia’s foremost EFT researcher has recently published her findings of clinical studies using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of participants using EFT for effective and permanent weight loss. Dr Stapleton’s research continues.

On a recent Australian TV show several home remedies were presented to a panel of doctors and those offering an indication that they may work were chosen for trial. During this show Australia’s eminent neurosurgeon, Dr Charlie Teo was introduced to Tapping and went from skeptic to convert!  Tapping was selected on this show, went through independent trials and was deemed effective by the Panel of doctors, including Dr Teo.

EFT efficacy research has been undertaken in 10 countries, involving 60 researchers, resulting in publication in 20 peer-reviewed medical and psychology journals demonstrating that EFT is effective for phobias, anxiety, depression, PTSD, pain and numerous other problems.

How does my unconscious brain keep me safe?

When you first watch an EFT session or use EFT yourself you might be quite surprised at how fast things change. I was a complete skeptic.  Even after I had my qualifications in my hand, I still wanted to know more so I am still continuously researching and stay up to date with the science behind these techniques that are getting amazing results for people.  What I have found is that our human brain can detect threats through the limbic system. The limbic system has the job of keeping you safe, and its responsible for the tagging of negative experiences with an emotional charge.

 

Let’s take a step back and give you more context around this. When you had a traumatic experience as a child, say you had a dog chase and frighten you. Your limbic system tags this memory as unpleasant or dangerous. Now your limbic system is always scanning your horizon for threats, just like it did when animals and the like wanted to eat us for breakfast.  It compares cues from the environment you are in right now with your bank of previous tagged unpleasant memories.  Once you see a dog, any dog, the connection is made in the brain almost instantly, your limbic system puts your system on high alert, and your fear response kicks in as the threat is perceived.

Think of a time when you felt frightened by something that happened as a child, here in the now as an adult.  Sometimes we can’t even make sense of why we are still worried about that thing. It’s because the limbic system has “tagged” that memory.  Your limbic system uses these emotional tags to warn us of danger, and that emotional intensity flushes through the body.  Your limbic system does its job of comparing the new sensory input (you see a dog) with the negative tag of the pain, fear, fright, of the previous tagged experience of a dog that scared you.

This is your flight, fright, freeze in action. It’s comes from your amygdala.  Now this action has been keeping humans alive for millennia. And it does its job well.  Only now we don’t have animals wanting to snack on us. Once the human flight-fight is activated i.e. we recognise a threat, it takes less than 3 seconds for our adrenal gland to pump out copious amounts of cortisol, adrenals and epinephrine into our system.  This surge in adrenaline pulses rapidly through the body. Your heart will race, and the blood vessels in all non-essential systems constrict forcing blood to your peripheral muscles taking them ready for action, i.e. to move!  These non-essential systems include the digestive tract, reproductive system, immune systems – just to name a few.  Your liver will dump glucose into your bloodstream to give you energy. Your pupils dilate and blood drains from the frontal lobes when a threat is triggered.

Now – the only problem with this flight or fight reaction is – we no longer have animals wishing to eat us on a daily basis.  The true threat to our wellbeing, or survival simply isn’t there. And this whole threat-assessing system sits at the core of our human brains, always turned on, always scanning but with very few real threats to contend with.  In the absence of real threats, our brain sets off contending with all the imagined threats… fears, worries, anxieties, resentment, anger, shame, guilt and the list goes on.

EFT works very simply and scientifically. The tapping points we use are the same points used in acupuncture and acupressure.  The tapping soothes the body and interrupts the emotional trigger (from the trauma), while we tap on acupoints of our own body.  It’s the pairing of the troublesome memory with the soothing physical stimulus that breaks the power of that memory, reducing the emotional intensity.  We use it by remembering a negative emotion (exposure).  We then put that negative emotion together with a new (cognitive) input and reframe the memory with a statement of self-acceptance. Tapping signals to the body that you are safe and allows the memory to be “untagged” as a threat or danger.

Your nervous system no longer perceives that memory with stress, or an emotional tag.  The memory is still there, but without the emotional intensity. It’s that emotional intensity we want to continue to reduce for ourselves and our clients.

How does EFT work?

The old adage from EFT Founder Gary Craig was to use EFT on everything.  This was where my skepticism kicked in.  I didn’t understand how Tapping on my hand, or around points of my face was going to reduce my knee pain or that ache in my left hip.  It took me a while to make that mind-body connection particularly between trapped emotions in the body and the physical pain felt in specific locations in the body.

Research has demonstrated that the body traps unresolved emotions in our body. My work with clients demonstrated that the body stored those emotions usually in a place that will get your attention, particularly when we have a pain yet can’t remember injuring that part of our body. For example, pain in my left knee is an indication of issues with a significant female in my life. Holding onto sadness, hurt and loss. Feeling like a victim and holding myself back.

If I tapped on the usual tapping points and just used the phrase “this pain in my left knee”, I could expect to get a small amount of relief from my knee pain. However, if I was to tap on the usual tapping points and focus on words such as “all of this sadness, I let it go” or “everywhere I hold onto feeling like a victim, I now let it go”, then I could expect to get a significant shift in the pain in my knee.  Tapping isn’t an instant-fix, or one-time-tap-on-your-body-and-its-gone type of therapy.  If it was – Practitioners would be millionaires!

Tapping is part of a process. A gentle yet effective way to peel back the layers of issues tagged in your memory.  Removing a pain in the body can be as fast as one session, however it could take a couple of sessions, depending on the emotional issues causing the pain, and how willing a client is to address these emotional triggers with their Practitioner.  It is the uncovering of the root cause of the tagged memory and working on that issue that will release the pain trapped in the body.

I have worked with many clients over many years with a wide range of physical ailments and pains.  This list below was developed through my own experience with clients, my research of case studies and stories from Practitioners and EFT-advocates. It focusses on physical ailments EFT has been used to help remove or support the reduction of, by identifying the emotion trapped in the body and releasing that. This list is not exhaustive, it’s just a small sample.

·         Headaches ·         Back pain
·         Stiff neck and shoulders ·         Joint pains
·         Numbness in fingers ·         Toothaches
·         Muscle tightness and tension ·         Stomach aches

A further search of case studies, websites and research papers has revealed even more issues with the human body that EFT is said to be to effective at treating. Notice we don’t refer to EFT as “curing” anything because it’s the body’s own ability to heal that does the work. EFT is the tool that assists with the removal of stress anxiety worry etc. etc. that then allows the body to heal itself.

Now while you spend some time reading over the list, I am sure some of you will have your own skepticism raise its head again.  I know mine did when I compiled this list a couple of years ago.  What allowed me to be open to using EFT to reduce the symptoms of a specific ailment, such as those listed below, was to remember that we are looking at the underlying cause for the physical manifestation of the issue, not the issue.

 

·         Performance anxiety ·         Insomnia
·         Chronic fatigue syndrome ·         Asthma
·         Stomach aches ·         Allergies
·         Trembling ·         Itching eyes
·         Psoriasis ·         Agoraphobia
·         Menopausal symptoms/PMS ·         Body sores
·         Allergies ·         Rashes
·         Constipation ·         Irritable bowel syndrome
·         Relationship problems ·         Morning sickness
·         Sexual dysfunctions ·         Sweating
·         Poor co-ordination ·         Muscle tightness and tension
·         Multiple sclerosis ·         Eyesight
·         Respiratory problems ·         Burn and bee stings pain
·         Urination problems ·         Carpal tunnel syndrome
·         Phobias (animals, flying, driving etc.) & Fears ·         Addictions (drugs, stimulants, food)
·         Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) ·         Women’s health issues
·         Trauma, abuse and childhood issues ·         Blood pressure
·         Anxiety, stress and overwhelm ·         Depression

A great analogy we use with our students is table tops and table legs.  Each of the ailments or issues listed here are table tops. They are the issue that is presenting for a client, the issue that they can tell us is happening, or that they have.  Rarely, if ever, is this the real issue for our client.

So, if we think in terms of table tops – our presenting issue is the table top. With the use of EFT, we want to resolve the table legs.  They are the underlying beliefs, thoughts, past experiences that are supporting the physical issue. That are holding up our table top.  Tapping on a table top is only scratching the surface. We want to dive deep into those table legs to resolve issues for our clients in a deep and lasting way.

Where are the tapping points on my body?

While each meridian in the body has a top and bottom or a beginning and end point, we use points in the upper part of the body when we tap. The table below gives you the name of each of these points and the usual abbreviation for each point.

·         KC Karate chop
·         EB Eye brow ·         CH Chin
·         SE Side of eye ·         CB Collarbone
·         UE Under the eye ·         UA Under the arm
·         UN Under the nose ·         TH Top of the head

The diagram below shows you where each of these Tapping points are on your body.

Each meridian relates to specific parts of the body too. The table below identifies the tapping points and which meridian in the body it relates to. It also includes emotions that are related to each specific meridian. Sometimes when people are Tapping, they are drawn to a particular point that they like to tap on. Referencing the table below could give you quick insight into an emotion that you might need to release and let go.

 

Tapping Point Which Meridian Emotions associated with each Meridian
Eyebrow Bladder Trauma, frustration, restlessness, letting go control, fear of future, powerlessness, timid, inefficient
Side of Eye Gall Bladder Not wanting to see in front of you, victim, depressed, indecisive, confusion, anger, feeling 2nd best
Under the Eye Stomach Fear of the past, fear of rejection, inferiority, guilt, limitation, worry, self-esteem, self-love, stores nervousness
Under the Nose Governing Vessel (spine)

1 of 2 main meridians in the body

Things left unsaid, manages embarrassment, look at world without judgement
Chin Central Vessel (Front)

2nd main meridian of the body

Regret, shame embarrassment of something already spoken
Collarbone Kidney Cleansing, adrenal glands, hypersensitivity, toxin build up, kidney stones, pent up emotions/anger pissed off.
Under Arm Spleen Disconnection from feminine energy, angry, frozen, frustrated, not wanting face own issues, worry, stress, broken nurturing
Top of Head Governing Vessel Things left unsaid, manages embarrassment, look at world without judgement
Karate Chop Small Intestine Sadness, surrender, letting go
Thumb Lung Unwillingness to breath, fear of living life
Index Finger Large Intestine Guilt, can’t move forward physically, can’t manifest, deflected responsibility, blame
Middle Finger Heart Protector Circulation, sex meridian, jealousy, finding your place in the world

How do I do Tapping?

The easiest way to teach you how to “do” Tapping is to show you.  Here’s a video I recorded a couple of years ago so I could demonstrate how to tap, where to tap, how many times to tap each point, etc.  Click the link here to watch  . Its only 4 minutes long, then come back here and head into Chapter 3.

 

If You’d like to receive this entire Guide as a PDF, then click here to get your copy now. http://bit.ly/386zmO2

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