EFT Tapping Guide on Everything You Need to Do It Right
Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental disorders in the United States. According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, people have a 17 percent risk of major depression within their lifetime (1). From my personal experience, the importance of mental health cannot be underestimated. You don’t have to have a hugely traumatic event to crumple under life’s pressures. This is why the self-care movement has exploded in the mainstream community. (I mean, we’re all a lil f*cked up in our own ways...) We need to ask ourselves: what can we do proactively to take care of ourselves? One answer might be EFT Tapping.
- EFT Tapping is an alternative treatment for physical pain and emotional distress
- You focus on your issue at-hand and then tap at specific points (mostly on your face)
- EFT Tapping can help alleviate many negative issues such as anxiety
What is EFT Tapping?
EFT stands for emotional freedom technique. Developed by Gary Craig, EFT is an alternative treatment for physical pain and emotional distress (2). Craig believes “The cause of all negative emotions is the disruption in the body’s energy system” (3). To address the imbalance, EFT practitioners tap specific areas on your body to relieve the energy disruption (3). The physical component is paired with verbal identification of the issue and acceptance towards oneself (2).
Why specifically tapping? EFT tapping has its roots in ancient Chinese medicine. In fact, it shares similarities with acupuncture minus the needles. The theory is that tapping at the meridian points (read: pressure points) can clear energy blockages (6). This will restore your body’s balance and hence alleviate your symptoms (2).
Benefits of EFT Tapping
Is EFT Tapping just a bunch of nonsense? The medical community isn’t wholeheartedly endorsing EFT as the next big thing. However, EFT has garnered a huge amount of anecdotal support. From anxiety to chronic pain, proponents of EFT are swearing by the method. Seriously, one reviewer claims that EFT Tapping helped her quit her sugar addiction for two months straight (5). Considering how addictive sugar is, going cold turkey for that length of time is no small feat.
In addition, the existing studies do suggest EFT Tapping has positive benefits on individuals.
Overall, EFT Tapping is purported to help with negative emotions such as (4)(5)(7):
- Food Cravings
- Chronic Pain
- Tension Headaches
A 2019 study found that anxiety decreased 40 percent, cortisol (the stress hormone) decreased 37 percent, cravings decreased 74 percent, and happiness increased 31 percent among participants who underwent EFT Tapping (7).
Regardless of what you think about the evidence, it definitely doesn’t hurt to try it. The great thing about EFT is that you can try it out at home! Of course, it might not be the same as going to a practitioner, but why not?
5 Step Guide to EFT Tapping
I think everyone can benefit from EFT Tapping, especially to relieve anxiety. We live in a fast-paced, judgemental, and pressurized society. And I mean, socializing in-person after quarantine? If that doesn’t spell out anxiety for you, I don’t know what does. Crowds make me feel so nervous nowadays.
If the mental benefits don’t phase you, the physical consequences that negative emotions have on our skin, body, hair, and general health might persuade you. From my personal experience, I have developed premature frown lines already from stress!
In the video, Craig taps with his fingertips or pat with his entire hand (7).
- Karate chop area (fleshy bottom part on the pinky-side of your hand)
- Top of the head
- Beginning of the eyebrow (inner)
- Side of the eye (area right on the outside of the eye)
- Under the eye (think where your dark circles end)
- Under the nose
- Halfway between mouth and bottom of chin
- Beginning of the collarbones (inner)
- Under the arm (4 inches down the armpit, around where your nipple is)
1. Identify your issue
Is it a sore muscle? Food craving? What exactly is making you anxious? Pinpoint exactly what’s bothering you.
2. Rank on a scale from 0-10 how intense your issue is
Ten being extremely intense, 0 meaning not-so intense. This serves as an initial benchmark for later evaluation. If your concern is more on the emotional side, recreate the memory and think about how it makes you feel (6).
3. The Setup
Tap the karate chop area of your hand. While you do this, you will verbally acknowledge the problem at hand, and then wholly accept yourself. You want to make sure that the problem that you acknowledge is personal to you and represents something you feel. Do this before every tapping round (6).
Craig has a simple sentence template: “Even though I have this _______________, I deeply and completely accept myself” (6).
4. Tap away
Flow through the tapping points while saying the issue at hand repeatedly (6). For example, you could say “I am overwhelmed by exams” then tap at a point.
5. Reassess your intensity level
The goal is to get your intensity to 0. If you started at a 10, maybe it’s now a 7. Keep flowing through the EFT Tapping technique until you get to 0 (6).
Here’s a video if you’re more of a visual learner.
I watched the video and tried it. I didn’t seem to have a life-changing experience, but I did feel more relaxed and calm after it. (My issue was my overly tense forehead because I get headaches pretty often) I like the idea of a meditative routine. I’m notoriously bad at actual meditation because I can’t stop overthinking. However, when doing this, I was better able to focus in the present because of the physical and verbal component taking all my attention. I would say give it a try! There’s nothing at-risk if you do.
Written by Jessica Lu