Emotional Freedom Technique – What’s in ‘tap’ anyway ?
Externally and superficially it appears to be a humourous frenzy of ‘body tapping ‘ with the repetition of an affirmation, it has found great popularity as a self help technique. Emotional Freedom Technique or EFT is a technique that utilises tapping of set meridian points on the body whilst repeating an affirmation. It is usually used for anxieties , phobias and pain management – although this list is by no means exhaustive . .
As an Osteopathic Practitioner I am determined to find accessible solutions for my clients. Pain management and lack of self empowerment are problems I encounter daily. E.F.T is a simple solution, easy to learn, simple to apply, as well as being very creative. Its empowering possibilities lie within its simplicity, it takes minutes to learn and apply, no special degrees are needed, no elitism, even children can use it (through the use of a surrogate Teddy Bear).
There is a clear debate regarding E.F.Ts place in therapy and self help. While there is much documentation about its efficacy from an anecdotal point, it lacks the scientific evidence base of other techniques. In Osteopathy we write much about the benefits of Cranial work, which on examination does not have a scientifically convincing set of peer review papers to support credibility. I continue to use Cranial Work and find it to be an ‘artful’ addition to my ‘toolbox’ of Osteopathic skills and many people find great benefits in the treatment , however I make clients aware of its anecdotal claims and its current subjectivity, E.F.T occupies similar ground.
EFT has a user friendly system of tapping which allows for a ‘personal touch’ in relation to the practitioner or client . Maybe it is only as effective as a good hug or feeling ‘accepted’, but these can be effective anyway. Personally I believe a time will come when E.F.T is an acceptable practice as common as shaking hands. At Spinalsolutions we have found it invaluable in aiding stress reduction, as well helping to navigate the ‘heart’.
We will be utilising the essence of this technique in future work done at spinalsolutions – of course a musculoskeletal problem is a prerequisite, but do not be too alarmed if we start treatment with a little TAP on the shoulder.
To tap or not to tap- Emma’s personal account of an adventure into the Emotional Freedom Technique–
“You want me to what now? Tap on my face and and repeat affirmations, and this is going to take my anxiety away?” I silently pondered if this was the answer to my prayers or an adult version of heads and shoulders knees and toes. I laughed my way through the first sequence feeling marginally uncomfortable about doing something so simplistic. While I was optimistic, the scientist in me thought it almost implausible that something so simple, and immediately accessible, would have the power to make a difference to the anxiety that had plagued my life for ten years.
My first round of tapping took 2 minutes to complete and my anxiety levels dropped significantly. This stuff worked! Incredible really, if you have ever been affected by anxiety you will understand how powerless you can feel. Being provided with free, healthy and immediate relief was so empowering. This was one of those times you want to jump up and down and hug your therapist.
The beauty of EFT is its simplicity and how it can be used for a whole host of things, from pain management to food cravings. The scope for it is actually endless and as you talk to fellow EFTers you realise how creative some people get with it. I have been tapping for 9 months, and although I have not used it for more creative reasons, I have had a real experience, which has improved over and time and produced very positive results.
My belief in the power of E.F.T was really certified when I used it to work through intense emotions surrounding difficult childhood memories. Previously I would reach for an unhealthy coping strategy when these emotions reared their ugly head, but E.F.T allowed me to discharge the emotion immediately and in a positive way. For the very first time I felt like I had some actual control over my emotional inner life and it removed a fear of dealing with painful memories. One word – freedom.
Throughout the past 6 months E.F.T has proven invaluable at times of stress and I have used it countless times in collywobble inducing situations, helping the nerves melt away and allowing me to function at my best. It has helped me reprogram more positive messages to my subconscious and challenge long formed patterns that have dominated my life. I have also found it invaluable for the emotions that surface with PMS, much healthier and cheaper than self medicating with expensive chocolates, although probably not as tasty.
Apart from occasionally looking like a weirdo tapping in public, EFT ticks a lot of the boxes for a reliable and safe self help strategy that makes a difference to everyday life. My withdrawals from the European wine lake have definitely decreased and overall I feel more confident at dealing with the nasties that life throws up.
I my humble opinion I would recommend everyone tries EFT, what is to lose….only that which has held you back.