EFT Tapping Technique for Emotional Freedom and Stress Relief

By Val Silver

The emotional freedom technique, or EFT tapping, is an immensely popular tool for relieving stress and anxiety, healing damaged emotions, easing pain, shifting limiting beliefs, improving performance, and more. 

It is a flexible healing tool that can be tried for just about everything.

EFT is one of my very favorite energy flow techniques. It is flexible, can be tried for just about everything, and quite frankly, it works!

I am often amazed at how free it can make you feel, often in only one session. It's a relief to feel freed of emotional garbage.  I know from my own experience that using EFT Tapping consistently for myself has helped me release the stress and energetic disruption around situations that trouble me for years.  As my energetic patterns were brought into balance and harmony, feelings of deep inner peace replaced my negative feelings and stress.

It's a total joy for me to also help others move from tears to laughter as they experience a balancing of their energy fields. I love to hear them say,

"I can't believe I'm laughing about this!"

What is the Emotional Freedom Technique and How Does Tapping Work? 

The Emotional Freedom Technique was created by Gary Craig as a way to simplify the effective, but complicated Thought Field Therapy developed by Roger Callahan, and make it accessible to all. 

This meridian tapping technique is based on the ancient principles of acupuncture, Thought Field Therapy (TFT), and Nuero-Linguistic Programming.  The combination of tapping on specific points along with verbal statements gently realign the body's energy system and flow without needles. 

The theory behind EFT tapping is that negative emotional experiences lodge in the body and disrupt the flow of energy through the meridians. This creates disharmony and imbalances in the body. The statements keep your mind focused on the incident and its difficult memories while the tapping releases the associated blocked energy.

Clinical research has advanced our understanding of why the Emotional Freedom Technique works. EFT has profound effects on DNA regulation, brain activation, the nervous system and the production of of cortisol. It calms the stress response in the brain by providing a sense of safety during perceived or actual times of danger. After all, you wouldn't stop to tap on yourself and make statements if a tiger were chasing you down for its dinner. :) 

When properly applied, the emotional freedom technique affects the imbalanced energy lodged in the body by addressing emotions behind physical conditions and negative feelings. The energy of traumatic memories- no matter how big or small- can stay lodged in the body for decades until it is released. EFT Tapping disconnects the tension and discomfort that we attached to the memories, realigns the disrupted meridians, and quite often brings relief.

Think of this troublesome emotion like a rock in a stream. The water, or energy still flows, but its natural course is altered or slowed. Because your energy flow is physically changed, symptoms such as nausea or anxiety may appear.

This disruption affects you mentally as well. Emotion attached to the memory of traumatic experiences affects the way you see and experience the world.  When released, you feel a sense of relief. Your body is freed to regain balance and heal itself. 

The Basics: How Do You Do EFT Tapping? 

The basic Emotional Freedom Technique consists of making statements while tapping through a sequence of points starting at the eyebrow point and working your way down the face.

This illustration shows the EFT tapping points on the face and collarbone. 

Additional points located on the sides of the fingernails, inside of the wrists and ankles, on the top of the head, under the breasts, and on the sides (where the bra straps would be) may also be used.

emotional freedom technique tapping chartEFT Tapping Points

The set up statements are said while tapping the karate chop points on the outside of the hand under the little finger or by rubbing the sore spots on the upper chest. The basic set up statement goes like this: Even though (state the problem)  I deeply and completely love and accept myself. 

State the problem as you tap each point. Just say something simple like, "My anger at Mom" or "I'm afraid to get in the elevator". Don't worry that you are tapping in a negative statement or violating the Law of Attraction. You are simply acknowledging your current reality. Your subconscious mind knows this. With tapping, you release the emotional charge around that event so that it is no longer your emotional reality. 

Before you start tapping and after each round, assess your discomfort on a scale of 0-10. Zero means there is no "emotional charge". Ten means it is as high as can be. The ultimate goal is to bring the charge down to a zero. You still remember the trauma, but you no longer suffer from it.

The following short video, "Tap Along with Val Silver-Basic EFT Tapping Technique" demonstrates my interpretation of the original EFT basic recipe as taught by Gary Craig.  If you tap along, you agree to take full responsibility for yourself. Just follow along to get a feel for the process or choose a minor or moderately disturbing memory. Do not choose a severe trauma, which may require professional assistance and more help than this demo provides. 

Note: Some emotional issues require persistence or additional techniques before you notice an improvement. It also helps to use a spontaneous flow of individualized statements and to explore different aspects of the problem once you get comfortable with the basics.  

Can You Do EFT Tapping for Yourself?

The beauty of the EFT technique is that you can use it on yourself and get really good results, even if you are just learning. However, even experienced EFT practitioners sometimes need a 'tune-up' or a helping hand for an objective perspective on the blind spots that are keeping us stuck. Getting help is not a sign of weakness or being flawed. It's a sign that you are empowered and are taking responsibility for your healing. 

To use EFT tapping for yourself,  choose one troubling memory or  use the personal peace procedure. Make a long list of negative memories from childhood through adulthood. If you think of it, write it down, no matter how trivial. Then take each memory at a time and tap on it. Gary calls this the Personal Peace Procedure. Recurring dreams provide fodder for EFT tapping as do particular songs that bring you down. Tap along as you sing or listen.

If you get stuck on a memory and can't bring it down to zero after several attempts, there are probably aspects you aren't addressing. It is difficult to see our own blind spots. This is when working with a practitioner can be helpful. I've had clients tell me that they made more progress tapping with me on a stubborn memory than months of working on it on their own. 

Research Support for the Emotional Freedom Technique

Thanks to hundreds of clinical studies that validate EFT tapping as an evidence based practice, it has been making its way into the mainstream. Hundreds of clinical studies Thanks to research studies conducted with PTSD in war veterans, Emotional Freedom Techniques has been making its way into the mainstream. It is even gaining acceptance from the conventional medical community as a tool for helping war veterans ease PTSD. 

Research into EFT tapping has been extending into other other areas as well. It shown positive results for anxiety, improving athletic performance, depression, phobias, pain, addiction and weight loss.

A study conducted at Bond University in Australia demonstrated that tapping reduced addiction and food craving by rewiring neural pathways in the brain over a four week period. A Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging scanner was used to confirm that brain centers associated with cravings were no longer activated. 

As a matter of fact, research suggests that energy psychology techniques (renamed cognitive somatic energy practices, CSEP) such as EFT show promise for treating anxiety, PTSD, and depression with the same speed and lasting positive effects than conventional mental health care - or better. 

See a comprehensive list of studies and their results here.

Advances and Changes in EFT

As EFT tapping evolves, experienced practitioners develop new ways to put their own spin on the process.

  • Some practitioners have developed elaborate scripts for specific issues. Although EFT tapping is meant to be individualized, scripts can be useful when working with a group or listening to an audio.
  • The popular "Choices Method" developed by Dr. Carrington was one of the first additions to basic EFT. After significantly reducing the energetic charge around an negative emotion, positive and negative statements are alternated followed by a round of [positive statements. For example, "Even though I am afraid of heights, I choose to feel comfortable on the 3rd floor of the building."
  • The tapping process has been simplified even more by a few practitioners. Fewer tapping points work as does holding the points or visualizing them. 
  • Other methods of EFT tapping, like Matrix Reimprinting, are more complicated. A part of this technique is imaging your adult self or another resource person going into the memory and tapping on your younger self before the trauma occurs. Others incorporate inner child work. 

Holistic energy healing methods combine well with EFT, as do other techniques for releasing emotions.

Related Pages

EFT Tapping page updated 03/2021

For Educational Purposes Only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult with your health provider before using natural remedies and/or complementary therapies if you are pregnant, nursing, or you are being treated for a medical condition. Be aware that certain herbs and supplements interact with medications.

Recent Articles

  1. Accepting Yourself: The Benefits and Challenges of Self-Acceptance

    Nov 26, 22 10:30 AM

    Accepting yourself is a vital spiritual practice that comes with benefits and challenges. Only with unconditional, honest...

    Read More

  2. Earth Energy Healing Exercises

    Nov 04, 22 10:53 AM

    Learn 3 earth energy healing exercises to promote personal wellness and one exercise for giving healing energy to the earth.

    Read More

  3. Why Am I Always Tired: 9 Common Causes of Low Energy

    Aug 11, 22 04:29 PM

    If you are asking, "Why am I always tired?" one or more of these nine reasons might be to blame.

    Read More

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read. Post a comment in the box below.