What is EFT?
EFT is a very simple and yet powerful technique: it allows you to clean out emotional blocks in any area of your life. In return, you will be free to choose a new habit, a new response to a situation, and you become free to lead your life in the direction you want it to go.
History of EFT
It was Dr. Roger Callahan who discovered the basic principles of EFT in 1979. He had been working with a client suffering from water-phoby since her childhood. He applied traditional exposure therapy where you deal with your irrational fears by slowly and gradually getting closer and closer to the scary situation or object. This is a slow procedure that leads the subconscious mind to learn that what was previously percieved as dangerous is in reality not threatening at all.
In this particular case, however, it was all in vain. He had already applied all possible and known techniques he could think of and still – nothing changed. Dr. Callahan knew the meridians, but did not work with them in his therapy.
Once the patient told him that fear of water causes cramps in her stomach. All of a sudden Dr. Callahan had the idea to stimulate the meridian ending points underneath the eyes. The patient tapped these two points gently for a while, and then she said loudly: This horrible cramp from my stomach is gone! And even if I think about water, I don’t have this sensation any more!
She got up, walked out to the pool in the garden, and realised that she was no longer afraid. Fear was gone to never to come back ever since. This happened more than 30 years ago.
Enthousiastic about the success, Dr. Callahan developed special algorithms where he linked special symptoms to special “tapping patterns”, and he started to teach his new method.
One of his students, Gary Craig thought that the order of tapping and thus the algorithm matters less than the core idea of tapping the end points of meridians. He simplifed Callahan’s system and established his own stimulation order which can be applied to any problem.
Just like kinesiology, EFT embraces beautifully the Traditional Chinese Medicine and its several thousands years of wisdom with the modern Western science.
The “smoke detector” of our brain is the amygdala gland. It percieves any stressful situation and “turns the alarm on” in the whole nervous system. This is the ancient human reaction programmed to protect us: stress. The fight or flight (or freeze) response enters in the game: our muscles are becoming tense, blood pressure rises, our heart is pumping faster so that you have more energy to deal with the situation that demands extra effort.
Source of stress used to be mainly exterior, really life-threatening danger. This is why the power of stress reaction is so extreme: it is programmed to serve us by saving our lives. Even though nowadays stress-triggering situations tend to be more often of inner origin – such as a subconscious association that makes us believe that one given situation is dangerous because it reminds us of another one – stress produces the same reactions in the body no matter if the triggering event comes from the inside or the outside.
Our everyday lives are filled with stress factors that we cannot clear out of our systems: the level of cortisol (which is a hormon generated by stress) keeps growing and gets stored in our bodies like a toxin.
Let us take a look now how the Western medicine-based evidence proves the efficiency of the stimulation of meridian ending points.
Nick Ortner in his book, The Tapping Solution quotes a resarch conducted at Harvard Medical School where the effect of stimulation of meridian end points was examined. In the first research, they looked closely at the effects of meridian stimulation – done by needles just like in traditional acupuncture. During the treatment, the MRI and PET scanning of the brain clearly showed how the alarm reaction of the amyglada diminished and stopped as a result of stimulation of the meridian end points.
In a second phase, they repeated the previous experiment, but this time, instead of needles, they were only tapping on the same points by hand. Results were the same!
Another very interesting research was lead by Dawson Church PhD. He focused on the change in the level of the most important stress hormon: cortisol. He divided the group of participating people into 3 groups. One of them did not receive any treatment at all. The other group participated in an hour-long traditional talking-based therapy, and the third had a 1-hour tapping session. As a result of the tapping, the cortisol level decreased in average with 24%, whereeas in the traditional talking therapies, there was no significiant change. This 24% decrease is considered a drastic change and there has not been any other technique giving such powerful results.
Energy healing is becoming more and more popular as it produces great results both in the field of mental, physical and emotional challenges.
The 12th Division of the American Psycologycal Association (APA), the Society of Clinical Psycology researched in depth the energy psychology and compared it to the “evidence based approaches”. David Feinstein, PhD, clinical psychologist at John Hopkins School of Medicine Faculty of the Department of Psychiatry said: “The research evidence for energy psychology, coming from more than a dozen countries, suggests that it produces outcomes for a range of conditions that are unusually rapid, effective and lasting.”
In a study published at the APA magazine, Feinstein stated that based on the results of the stimulation of the acupuncture points, the EFT method fits the category of “well-established treatment” defined by APA Division 12, for treating anxiety and phobies, and “possibly effective therapy” for treating depression and fear of public speech.
By tapping the ending points of the meridians, you create similar results like in acupuncture or acupressure: it boosts the energy flow in your body. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, every illness and emotional challenge is caused by the block of the life energy (chi). By tapping those meridian points, you not only give a boost the flow of these meridians, but you do much more.
Tapping stops the stress reactions and as a result, amygdala will learn that the given situation is not dangerous, so there is no reason tro stress. This way, we can also transform how we carry the past negative events. We cannot change what happened, but we can change how you feel about it, and what emotions are associated with them.
By defining the goal of the tapping, we focus our attention, our energy on those blocks that are specifically linked to the given problem, and we clean those blocks, thus we can create spectacular changes.
What is Picture Tapping Technique? (PTT)
Picture Tapping Technique is an EFT-based technique where instead of words, we work with pictures. By drawing pictures, we can release traumas and blocks that are not accessible to the conscious mind, but works like charm on the level of subconscious mind – which speaks the language of pictures.
PTT works great with kids: for them, drawing is a natural way of self-expression. They have not yet learned to give everything a name or a label, so this allows them to express themselves in a playful, free way, even those fears that cannot be put into words. Since the subconscious mind works with pictures, the releasing of the negative emotions will also take place on a deeper level.
PTT is also a wonderful tool for adults. Adults are often scared of the idea of drawing, because the childhood fears or humiliations associated to drawing might be activated. Well, let me assure you: in this case, it does not matter what you draw and how it looks like. The essence is to let out whatever is inside you. It can be two lines, it can be a spot or three dots on the paper. It is not the form that counts, you are not expected to create any outcome. What matters is to let the subconscious associations linked to the topic come out on paper.
This allows me to work with people who prefer not to talk about their emotions, or they are feeling so overwhelmed by emotions that they prefer not to share them with others, or people who are so disconnected from themselves that they are not even conscious of what they feel.
This method can also be a powerful tool to process deeply hidden traumas, to which we have no access through analytic thinking.