EFT tapping is getting more and more known among people interested in holistic approaches to health which recognize the inherent and inseparable connection between mind and body.
EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) is an extremely versatile tool that can be used both in therapy and for self-help. Here are just a few examples of the wide range of things where EFT can help:
- Releasing stress;
- Overcoming cravings and addictions;
- Enhancing your meditation practice;
- Enhancing concentration and creativity;
- Alleviating depression;
- Dealing with anxiety;
- Relieving physical pain;
- Healing emotional trauma;
- Building up self-confidence.
The technical aspect of EFT is very simple. It involves lightly tapping with your fingers on certain acupressure/acupuncture points on your head and the upper part of your body. This is why it is nicknamed ‘tapping’ and is sometimes also called ‘acupuncture without needles.’ Yet its apparent simplicity is misleading and it’s not surprising that many people who have learned the basics of EFT from youtube videos or books come away disappointed and say that it doesn’t work for them.
EFT and mindfulness
The secret power of EFT lies not in mechanically applying the tapping. The key to its success is the ability to tune in – as fully as you can – to what is going on within you, on emotional, mental and physical level. And you need to stay tuned in for the whole duration of tapping. This is easier said than done because in our everyday life we are so overloaded with different tasks and activities that we are often hardly aware how we really feel.
When doing tapping work with clients, I often begin by inviting them to ‘locate’ their emotions in their body. We experience emotions viscerally, whether we are aware of it or not. Unlike thoughts, emotions never exist just in our mind, separately from our body. Old metaphors that speak of ‘broken heart’ or ‘carrying the burden on our shoulders,’ or getting ‘butterflies in your stomach’ are not just fancy phrases, but an accurate expression of complex neurological and physiological processes.
Emotions – like a shock wave – reverberate in our system. I like to compare them to a ‘Genie in a bottle,’ a genie that pounds on the narrow walls of its glass prison demanding to be released. If we don’t pay attention to our emotions, they become stuck and turn into deposits of pain in our bodies. How does this happen? Neuroscientists are still unable to give us an answer. But it happens nonetheless.
Scientific research on EFT
EFT helps to clear emotions trapped and stored in our bodies. Once the emotional ‘genies’ are convinced that we are no longer in need of their service they are only too happy to fly away. Our body can then recover and resume its natural functions.
Over recent years, quite a number of clinical studies have been conducted exploring the efficacy of EFT in treating different physical and mental health conditions, see for example:
An attempt has also been made to understand how exactly EFT works, from the point of view of neurology and physiology: www.thetappingsolution.com/science-and-research. It has been suggested that tapping appears to calm the amygdala – the area of our brain responsible for the ‘fight or flight’ reflex. The amygdala, in turn, operates in close conjunction with the hippocampus – another part of the brain, which is thought to be the centre of emotion, memory, and the autonomic nervous system. Thus, calming the amygdala helps to ease the intensity of the emotions and disconnect them from memories.
However, as in general with the human brain, much still remains a mystery. And maybe this is not so bad, as it leaves room for excitement, experimentation and discovery…
The use of EFT in counselling
EFT has evolved out of TFT (Thought Field Therapy) developed in the beginning of the 1980s by American clinical psychologist Roger Callahan. Callahan, who had an amateur interest in Chinese medicine, was becoming increasingly frustrated with the slow progress and limited efficacy of traditional talking therapies, and one day – through either inspiration or desperation – he applied tapping on an acupuncture point for treating a patient with water phobia. This produced miraculous results and so started the ball rolling.
My experience concurs with that of Roger Callahan: though talking is essential and provides solid foundation for therapy, very often talking alone is not enough to bridge the gap between the body and the mind. Thus people sometimes come to me after years of counselling and still suffer from the same symptoms.
Tapping serves as a “knock-knock” to your body. It distracts the ‘rational mind’ and allows deep-seated emotions to surface so that they can dissipate. It also allows for communicating the knowledge stored in the ‘rational mind’ down to your body and vice versa. Once this interchange is established, things get moving and flowing, and the shift occurs.
Free EFT tapping workshops at CB2 café in Cambridge
Every first Sunday of the month I run free tapping workshops at CB2 café on Norfolk Street in Cambridge.
If you are interested and happen to be nearby you are very welcome to drop in. We start at 11am in the library upstairs. The first hour is a practical part, followed by questions and discussion over coffee.
Whether you are a complete newcomer to EFT or have already been tapping on your own, you would have something to discover at these workshops. They are fun, heart-warming and uplifting. Also group tapping very often creates a powerful resonance which helps you connect deeper with your self and with others.
There is no need to book your place in advance, but I would be grateful if you could drop me an email if you intend to come so that I know, approximately, how many participants to expect.
Look forward to meeting you! And feel free to drop me an email if you want to ask questions about EFT or to share your story.
With warmest wishes,
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