WHAT IS EFT TAPPING?
EFT Tapping is a form of self-administered acupressure and it can rapidly facilitate:
- Stress and anxiety reduction
- Elimination of panic attacks
- Trauma resolution including PTSD
- Reduction in blood pressure
- Reduction in cortisol levels
- Reduction/elimination of physical pain
- Performance and productivity enhancement
- Improved insight and cognitive shifts
- Emotional regulation and calming
- Processing of anger and rage
- and much, much more
HOW DOES EFT TAPPING WORK?
By tapping on key Acupressure points and focusing in on the “issue” we want to eliminate, the protocol effectively completes the processing of incompletely processed experiences – and their effects leave our body and our mind. And whether these incompletely processed experiences have left us with distressing thoughts, feelings, physical sensations or actual physical symptoms, it is possible to achieve significant relief – often very quickly.
For more information on how EFT Tapping actually works, keep reading.
BUT WHAT MAKES EFT TAPPING WORK?
Whether we use the language of “energy work” or the language of neurology, the following mechanisms are believed to be at work during EFT Tapping:
- Imaginal Exposure
- Somatic Activation
- Amygdala / Prefrontal Cortex Rewiring and Deactivation
- Information Processing and Reprocessing
- Cognitive Restructuring
- Memory Reconsolidation
- Eye Movement and Reprocessing
WHO USES / RECOMMENDS IT?
- Medical Doctors – including Neurologists and Psychiatrists
- Doctors of Osteopathy
- Therapists and Counselors
- Parents (on their children)
- Sports Performance Coaches
- Life Coaches
- School Counselors
- EFT Practitioners
- Pet Owners (on their pets)
WHERE’S THE PROOF?
Learning a new concept or having a new experience can challenge long-standing views and beliefs. Therefore, we encourage you to do your own reading and research on EFT Tapping and to come with questions. And while we aren’t here to try to convince anyone of anything, we are happy to refer you to all of the research and Randomized Control Trials that are cataloged at EFT International’s Research Page by topic. You may also search the Association of Comprehensive Energy Psychology’s Research Page as well.
Most importantly, EFT Tapping is an experiential modality. All the words in the world cannot take the place of having the experience of Tapping yourself. If you are interested in EFT Tapping, we recommend you learn from someone or work with someone who has had sufficient training.
The following organizations are considered standard-bearers in the world of EFT Tapping and we encourage you to compare them before making your decision about where to seek training.
EFT International – Non-profit committed to advancing and upholding the highest standards for education, training and professional development and promotion of the skillful, creative and ethical application of EFT worldwide. Offers live training and certification.
Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology – Non-profit professional organization for licensed healthcare providers and allied health disciplines, serves to organize and unify EP methods, provides professional support and education, and establishes ethical guidance in practice. Offers online training and certification.
EFT Universe – For profit organization offering certification and both online and live training.
Presentations and Trainings available for:
- Companies and organizations of all kinds
- Healthcare organizations
- Employee Assistance Programs
- Non-profit organizations
- Schools, Teachers, Administrators
- Child Advocates
- Mental Health Providers and Groups
- Medical Health Providers and Groups
- Veterans Groups
- Community Service Boards
- Social Justice Organizations
- Prisons and Prison Reform Orgs
- Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy Orgs
- Nursing Homes
- Corporate Wellness Efforts
- Hospice Organizations
- Worship Communities
Let’s Get Grounded!
GOT SELF? FEELING SOLID?
EFT Tapping can help you get grounded in your life – physically, spiritually, financially and more.
Here’s just some of what getting grounded can offer you:
- A strong sense of Self in your being and body
- Feeling connected and in your body during times of stress
- Clarity about who you are, what you want / need and what is best for you
- Financial wellness and security
- Ability to connect deeply with Self
- Availability for deep connection with others
- People listen to you when you speak
- Effectiveness – you get things done
- Trust in your Self, while still being able to take others’ perspectives into account
- A stronger connection to the divine, regardless of how you define this
Recently, our friend Steven Kessler hosted a free webinar on this topic, The Key to Self-Confidence, based on his book The 5 Personality Patterns. Steven is a long-time energy practitioner and the most widely used “energy practice” is EFT, or Tapping. Why in quotes? Because “energy” language often puts people off. But we can also speak about the mechanisms in EFT Tapping using the language of neurology. So whichever you prefer, the bottom line is this: Tapping works. For more information about how Tapping works, click here.
February is “Get Grounded” month at Tap Into Community, so we’re bringing you some ideas to help you get grounded with EFT Tapping. To learn the brief, simple EFT Tapping protocol, click here. Once you’ve got that, here are some ways to get started. Let’s Get Grounded!
CHOOSE YOUR TOPIC
- Even tho I feel numb…This is where I’m at. This is how I feel.
- Even tho I feel nothing…Right now I feel nothing and that’s ok.
- Even tho I feel a bit disconnected…It’s ok to feel how I feel.
- Even tho I don’t feel like a person…sometimes I don’t want to be a person.
- Even tho I don’t feel connected…This is where I’m at. This is what I feel.
- Even tho I’m afraid I will never have a spiritual connection…I accept this is what I’m struggling with.
- Even tho I’m struggling spiritually…At least I’m showing up and trying.
- Even tho I long for a meaningful connection..I accept myself anyway.
- Even tho I’m angry about not saving my money…I accept that this is where I’m at.
- Even tho I’m scared because I can’t save any money…this is how I feel. It’s real.
- Even tho money scares me…I’m working on it. And it’s ok to be working on it.
- Even tho I’m not saving as much as I could…maybe it’s ok to start now.
NOW LET’S GET GOING!
- Choose one of these statements above, or create a statement that resonates with you and the problem you want to address. Make sure it feels authentic for you. Tailor it. Make it yours. The “set-up statement” can be repeated 1-3 times while tapping at the side of the hand. At the other points, you have some choices. Set up = Even tho (state problem) + validating statement.
- Note that you will hear a lot of people teach “I deeply and completely love and accept myself.” This is hard for many people to say when it doesn’t ring true. And saying this out loud actually brings up very big emotions for many people – so back it up to where it feels authentic. Any validating statement, such as the many listed above, can be used. Even a simple “Sometimes I accept myself” or “Sometimes I love myself” is great, as long as it feels true for you.
- After the set-up statement, tap the remaining points, about 5-7 times a piece while focusing on just the problem. “I feel numb” or “I’m spending too much money.” When you get started, give the intensity around this issue a rating between 0-10 so that you can re-test along the way and at the end. This way, you can gauge what’s happening and validate for yourself that there are real shifts happening.
- One way to tap is to just repeat this same statement at each tapping point. After 2 rounds of tapping this way, pause and rate your intensity. If it’s going down, great. Keep going till it’s a zero. That’s our goal – zero intensity. If it’s going up, you have a couple of options. 1) Get less specific – in other words, back away from the intensity, and tap more generally, such as “this issue” or “that thing.” Allow yourself to calm. The other really good option is to “Touch and Breathe” at each point. Stop the tapping, switch to touch and hold, and take a nice, slow, deep breath. Maybe take a second one – nice and slow. Then move to the next point. Do the whole circuit. You will feel calmer. For more info on Touch and Breathe, see below or click here.
- Another way to tap is to repeat whatever feels real until: 1) A new thought bubbles up, 2) An emotion bubbles up, 3) A physical sensation appears. Then you can follow wherever this new information leads you, just trusting that whatever bubbles up is doing so for a good reason. Just follow where it leads you, trusting that your body knows what’s important.
If you can follow and tap on the physical sensations you feel in your body (vs. thoughts or emotions or “story”) you will be working on the same issue, but keeping yourself out of the “weeds” and away from the more intense emotional experience. The physical reaction your body is having is where/how something you’re working on is being held in your physical being somatically. As you work this physical sensation through, whatever emotional or psychological distress is associated with this physical sensation also gets processed at the same time.
Focusing on what your body is doing creates safe distance from memories, emotions, and thoughts that may become overwhelming – or that you just plain don’t need to deal with in order to complete the processing of what is held in your body. It’s concrete, it’s trackable and it gets the job done.
So, as you’re tapping let’s say “Even tho no one ever listens to me…This is how I feel. It’s real.” You notice a wrenching feeling in your stomach. Switch your focus to this physical sensation. “This awful wrenching feeling in my stomach…” Describe it in as much detail as possible. “This orange wrenching feeling in my stomach, it’s orangey grey, it’s like a football shape, but like it’s made of concrete…” Keep tapping and repeating the description of what you are feeling. Focus on every aspect of it as you describe it out loud. Eventually, some aspect of what you are noticing physically will shift, change or disappear. Continue tapping on what is left – describe it, focus on it until nothing is left. You’ve focused on the physical reaction your body has when talking about “No one ever listens to me.” You’re processing where this distress is activated in your body while keeping yourself away from the thoughts and feelings related to that story. But you’re processing the exact same thing.
At this point, you may become aware of another sensation somewhere else in your body. If so, switch your focus to this sensation and repeat the same procedure. Zero in on what it feels like, be as descriptive as possible, until you notice a shift. Incorporate the shift. Keep going until there’s nothing left. In the EFT Tapping community, some people call this approach “Chasing the Pain.” It works.
THINGS TO REMEMBER
- Don’t tackle anything on your own that doesn’t feel safe, ok and manageable
- If intensity of physical sensations increases, keep tapping till you’re over the hump and the intensity starts coming down. Goal is zero intensity.
- If you change your mind after you’re into it or it becomes too much, no problem! Keep Tapping and shift gears – “I’m changing my mind – I don’t want to do this now…I don’t want to process this now…only I get to decide when…no one else…and I can always change my mind…I’m changing my mind right now…maybe I’ll do it later…maybe I won’t…
- Touch and Breathe is the fastest way to slow down your whole nervous system. So, what is Touch and Breathe?
TOUCH AND BREATHE
You know the tapping points. With Touch and Breathe you don’t tap, just touch and…you guessed it – breathe. Touching each acupressure point, take a long, slow, deep breathe. Maybe do it a second time. Next point, same thing. Touch, hold, take a long, slow, deep breath. Don’t rush. What you are doing now is slowing your whole nervous system down, so take it slow, and keep it natural. By the time you’re done with a round or two of Touch and Breathe, you’ll be ready to lie down or take a nap. It works.
Touch and Breathe is a great tool to remember – you can use it anywhere and anytime that slowing your whole system down will feel better or help you perform better. Use it in the parking lot before you go into the restaurant for that business dinner. Use it before you present in front of people. Use it before you go to sleep – it helps.
WEIRD BUT TRUE
When using EFT Tapping and moving lots of energy in the body quickly, here are some experiences people have quite commonly:
- Burping / belching
- Nose itching
- Tingling sensations
- Somatic sensations of all kinds
- Thirsty / dehydrated
The above are all experiences that I have had myself, watched others have in my presence or reported to me in session with clients. I’m sure I’m forgetting some others, but want people to know that these are very common.
Here’s my universal caveat about EFT Tapping. “We sometimes know where we’re starting with Tapping, but we never know where we’ll end up.” It’s important for you to have a strategy or two prepared for those moments when too much is bubbling up too fast. Backing away from the specifics and getting more general is good – in EFT Tapping we call these Gentle Techniques. Make sure you have a clear idea of how to use these techniques so that they’re available to you when you need them. it’s important to remember that if you are not already an expert on something, EFT Tapping will not make you one. Always work only within your area of expertise (scope of practice) and have gentle Tapping tools, as well as other grounding tools available at your fingertips for when you need them.
And because there is much to say on the topic of Ethics in EFT Tapping, we look forward to meeting you here again soon – for more invaluable information on using EFT Tapping. Effectively. Ethically. Affordably.
Melissa Lester Olson, LCSW
Women’s Therapist & Counselor
Advanced EFT Practitioner
EFT Trainer in Training
EFTi Ethics Committee Member
Founder, Tap Into Community
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