a primer on Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT™)

On the left-hand side of the EFT (Emo-free) site’s main page you’ll see: ‘What is EFT?’ with a drop down explanation that won’t copy paste.  Given that, I’ve tried to find some of the contents of that, and ended up with an older page on ‘What is EFT? – Theory, Science and Uses’; A Refreshing New Use of An Established Process.  It Often Works Where Nothing Else Will.’  Note: the basic protocols are all free.

Some snippets:

“EFT breathes fresh air into the healing process by borrowing from the Chinese meridian system. While acupuncture, acupressure and the like have been primarily focused on physical ailments, EFT stands back from this ancient process and points it also at emotional issues. These, in turn, often provide benefits for performance and physical issues.

EFT combines the physical benefits of acupuncture with the cognitive benefits of conventional therapy for a much faster, more complete treatment of emotional issues, and the physical and performance issues that often result.

While related to acupuncture, EFT does not use needles. Instead, we use a simple two pronged process wherein we (1) mentally “tune in” to specific issues while (2) stimulating certain meridian points on the body by tapping on them with our fingertips. Properly done, EFT appears to balance disturbances in the meridian system and thus often reduces the conventional therapy procedures from months or years down to minutes or hours. The basic Tapping process is easy to learn, can be done anywhere, and can be used to provide impressive do-it-yourself results.
Further, the basic method is very portable and learnable by almost everyone. No special education is required. Even children have produced beginner’s benefits with it. The foundational process within EFT is known as The EFT Tapping Basic Recipe and is detailed for you in the next article: How to do the EFT Tapping Basics – The Basic Recipe.

The Link to the basic recipe.

It still contains the ‘Other Tapping Points and Routines’ that the newer short-hand version has pretty much erased; those parts I consider crucial, and they provide cross-hemispheric communication, the eye movements of which is the basis of EMDR, certainly useful, but it features prolonged sessions focusing on the traumatic images, thus boo-hooing, etc. and it’s very, very pricey.  This is free how cool is that?  Yeah, you can buy other stuff, but I never have, even though some stuff sounds cool, like ‘The Unseen Therapist’, wanh wanh…

Anyway, given that this short video is there, and is dated 2013, the page above may date from that time as well, and I’m glad it’s still available.  I’m not all that high on the contents myself of that video myself, but yes, often emotional issues are related to chronic disease, in some cases causal (the basis of whole body/mind concept), say high blood pressure, asthma attacks, headaches, etc., but diabetes?  Well, maybe, musculo-skeletal conditions…I’d say yes, sometimes the emotional effects can be mitigated with EFT, but the structures won’t change, say with severe curvature of the spine, spondylosis, spina bifida or other birth defects, etc.    But over my decades of massage therapy/bodywork and related psycho/spiritual/soul work, I didn’t so much use it to treat disease, but what seemed to be at play inside.  I’d found that often people gave out subtle clues as to their inner life discomforts, and I might ask a subtle question or two about an image I’d sensed from them or what their body’s protective musculature armoring was saying, then offer some of my own stories, and often they’d expand on their own inner issues.  So, often once they were dressed again, I’d offer them EFT, and was often amazed at the results, for issues such as depression, despair,  feelings of failure, PTSD/night terrors and other traumatic events; nightmares, claustrophobia, deep rage, free-floating anxiety, pervasive grief, etc., and often when those emotions were reduced, those clients would feel better physically as well.

Additionally, I will say that I’m uncomfortable about the term ‘negative emotions’, as often those are very helpful and entirely appropriate over a short period of time.  It’s when they’ve served their purpose, yet linger and take over our psyches that it’s time to say adieu, adios to them, yes?  So these videos are instructive.

Now on this next one, try to pay attention to how hard it is for Gary to make circles with his eyes; that has meaning to me, as I often find it difficult as well, and find that doing it slowwwwwly or repeatedly until I can get it right…has value.  There really is a sorta-science about eye movements and directionality and where one looks to imagine something, remember something, lie about something, but that’s a whole different subject.  Still, learning to control our eye musculature is a good thing, imo, even for better vision.  As a side note, I did a class with a bloke whose thesis was: what we fear potentially causes us to enlarge the person or situation we’re afraid of, and he taught us to simply pull back the large image we were seeing…using the muscles behind our eyes to pull the image/s into a smaller and proper perspective.  Quite helpful to me.

Both are needlessly long and can be a bit irritating (Ack! Could ya hurry up, already, Gary; and how ‘bout some anatomical terms instead?!’  Sturnum?  Most lateral Proximal metatarsals?), but both are helpful as starting points.  Does he ever note that your ring finger nail bed point is already covered in other points along the same meridian?  I’ve forgotten.   Anyhoo:

On the left sidebar of the main page of the site is also : Answers to Common Questions.

On the right sidebar are links to several different language versions of The Gold Standard (Official) EFT Tapping Tutorial, all free; this is the USian English version page.


Now I have a few things to offer based on my own experiences of treating myself to some tapping…or not, and I’ll start with the most difficult thing to admit first:

A person has to believe that they’re indeed worthy of feeling relief from whatever emotion has scrambled them into whatever dark hole. I swear by the gods that a few months ago a hideous family Zzzzzzt to my psycho-spiritual well-being had me so trapped that not even analyzing my nightmares had brought me relief, and yet…I curiously didn’t tap.  And when i finally did, it proved impossible to say ‘…I utterly and completely accept myself’ in the set-up, and instead had uttered ‘…I’ll try to accept myself’ which was hard enough.  What I was tapping for was ‘even though I’m a worthless piece of shitttt, (with all those Ts said aloud), ‘I’ll try…’and so on.  One might have hoped I’d burst out laughing, but no: it was no laughing matter to me, a worthless piece of shittt.

After four rounds including three with the prompt ‘remaining worthless piece of shitttt’, I did manage to get the intensity level down to a 2, then called it quits.  So there’s that for you to consider about your own self. But now when I have that same feeling, I’m more apt to tap…a bit sooner.

When I was using EFT in my practice, most often folks were content to get to an intensity 2 level, then they didn’t want to do another round, either; dunno why that was, although I’ve speculated about it’s clue as to not wanting to let go entirely...of whatever.

If memory serves (rarely does it), I’ve used tapping most often for fear, as with my crap knees there’s plenty to spare, but also feeling of guilt.  I was raised in showers of guilt by my parents, and worthlessness by my paternal grandparents (whom I’ve only ever forgiven in my dreams).  In one session I did with th blessed Ron Kurtz in the muscular armoring link above, he’d had me climb up onto a high rock near the edge of a lake at a healing arts festival we were both attending.  He’d told me to look out at the lake, and when I was ready, fall back into his arms.  Pure Terror (you’ve likely done it in group sessions as a trust-building thing, with three or four folks to catch you).  Are you fucking kidding me, Ron??? It’s so far down to you!  Can you really catch me?!

Well, of course in the end I did it (and without weeing my knickers, she notes proudly), and he did catch me, and he said ‘You did it!’  ‘Yeah, but looked as I was falling!’  He held me, and I patted his back. He gently asked me to notice, then said  ‘Hmmmm; you’ve been parenting your mama all your life, haven’t you?’  Bingo.  Translation: I must not have been worth parenting; what an epiphany.  And here was that same sense invading me recently again all these decades later, as I fell into that same old trap: a worthless piece of shitttt: guilty as charged.

But seriously, I’m so grateful to the magnificent Ron Kurtz and the classes he taught, as well as to the (yeah, rather hokey) Gary Craig for their healing protocols.  And if you sense you might benefit from this (yes, very long) Primer, I hope you try it, and it works for you.  If you have questions, I’ll try to answer them if I’m able, either in the comments or in DMs (PMs?).  Ooopsie; one thing I’d forgotten to mention is that I always include both left side and right side points in one round, the same for the gamut point exercises, as it feels more…balanced and centered to me.

Best heart,

(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)

5 responses to “a primer on Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT™)

  1. I’m not sure if you were passing this on to me, in light of the disturbing events in my homeland, wendye, but if so, thanks very much. My youngest son has used the tapping technique for himself to good effect, as advised by a friend, though I’ve never had occasion to do so.

    There is a physical component to some prayerful exercises, which are differently oriented but basically involve centering the mind in the heart along with breathing techniques. I have to admit that I do the mindful excercises but not the breathing, since learning La Maz techniques for childbirth long ago.

    Those can, I’ve read, be carried too far, as while they are very relaxing they may in fact interfere with the natural muscular constrictions that occur as labor gets underway. A cousin of mine found herself in precisely this difficulty which required then some physician assisted medical intervention – it did seem she was too relaxed (though of course there may have been other complicating issues as well.)

    I found the techniques helpful in the early stages but then would let the body take its own course (at which I still marvel that it knew what to do).

    With respect to the anguish felt by families of victims in New Zealand, there has been such an outpouring, which I would say is natural, of sympathy commencing with the example of the Prime Minister, that I don’t believe there is going to be a backlash to the situation there. And alongside that is a recognition that not enough had been done to notice what should have been red flags of unacceptable behavior, permitted under the false rubric of ‘free speech’.

    I commented on that over at thedailyblog.co, that as long as New Zealand had loose laws on repetitive fire weaponry the situation was like a crowded theatre in which a hooligan yells ‘fire!’ just to cause mayhem. So get Aussie like laws in place before free speech isn’t a danger, something like that.

    Otherwise, Groundhog Day here we are.

    • no, i hadn’t offered this long labor of love for you, juliania, but for denizens at c99% where i cross-post, and as i’d said in the only comment the diary had gotten, and only 5 recommends, it was because folks there had mentioned in comments: deep depressions, suicidal thoughts, and anxieties so harsh that their hearts were malfunctioning, and more.

      but as for the rest of your comment, i’m glad that prayer serves you well in lieu of this technique, and am glad t hear that one of your sons has found it beneficial, as do mr. wd (even more often than i) find it so. dunno about la maz breathing, myself, but yes, it’s likely that there were underlying pathologies at play

      best heart to you, ww,

  2. Seeking a ‘home’ for this link, wendye, and I’m not sure if the language in the title is permissable but the article is a sure antidote to my cheerlessness feelings these days, so I’ll give – have to say I found it duckduckgoing ad infinitum to find out what has become of the old NZ publication “The Listener” – which has turned up many interesting sites, this one among them:


    Timing is, of course, everything. This was written on Horror Friday.

    • ‘give her a Puitzer already!’, lol. it’s hilarious, juliania, but who knew there were 122 brands of chips in any nation, plus: when i’d read ‘chips’, i’d thought it was gonna be about what USians call french fries (i mean freedom fries) as the brits call chips.

      so glad for you it turned your spirits skyward. me, i’m up and down, just now kinda down, but family shit never seems to take much of a break. an them julian assange being so under the gun, too. but the weather’s nice, and a few does and two large red foxes have come back, which helps a hella lot.

  3. I should say the original essay had been composed and published then or thereabouts.

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