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If you thought that this technique from the early nineties was not being used anymore, you couldn’t further from the truth. Tapping on different places on the body to unblock energy to subsequently release negative emotions is what this technique claims to do. But what is the emotional freedom technique about, really? Could this be something to make your life more comfortable and enjoyable? Read what I found out below and get an overview of this old-ish but not forgotten therapy to find out.
Considering this therapy has been categorized as pseudoscience, you may be asking, why am I bothering?
(1) Wikipedia states “EFT has no benefit as a therapy beyond the placebo effect or any known-effective psychological techniques that may be provided in addition to the purported “energy” technique.”
The placebo effect and the “energy” technique are both interesting to me. I have read other research on the placebo effect, and I have some experience in using energy. I practiced Qigong a few years back, which is an ancient Chinese exercise and healing technique. It uses specific exercises and breathing to move the energy in the body. (I’ll share my experience at the end.)
(2) This site is about gathering and sharing information on how to live a happier and healthier life. EFT has been around for some years and is still being used to this day. That leads me to think that it is doing something of benefit for some people. And maybe after reading this article you may be one of those people.
Emotional Freedom Technique - From The Horses Mouth
To start, I thought it would be interesting to give you some background on how it all started. Here are some takeaways from a 2013 interview (on efttappingtraining.com) with Gary Craig, the founder of EFT.
- Gary Craig loved and played sport and had a vivid imagination. Early in his life, Craig used visualization to get desired outcomes, it came naturally to him. He visualized how he wanted his game to play out, and witnessed that taking place more or less exactly how he’d “seen it.” He was under the impression everyone did that. He found out later that wasn’t the case.
- Even though he studied to be an engineer, his passion was personal psychology, and “you are what you think you are”, noting in the interview that he realizes it isn’t quite so simple as that.
- He heard about a guy that could sort out phobias in 5 minutes and wanted to meet him. This was psychologist Roger Callahan who was using *Thought Field Therapy (TFT).
*Thought Field Therapy is the power therapy of the 21st century. It is a brief, effective psychotherapy for the rapid and natural healing of negative emotions and psychological problems.“From Roger Callahan’s website: Callahan Techniques®
- Craig learned Callahan’s TFT but was concerned that he wasn’t a therapist. Callahan thought this great and said it meant that he had less to un-learn. (The therapy is so different from conventional therapy that some therapists found it difficult to take on board with their conventional training.)
- It became hugely popular and opened a lot of doors for people, e.g. the housewife with headaches used the tapping therapy to rid her pain without drugs. He is quick to point out that this is not to disregard the medical profession in any way and instead to use EFT therapy as a complementary therapy to it.
Psychologist Meets Engineer - From TFT to EFT
- Craig redeveloped Callahan’s TFT and in the mid-1990s launched EFT. He saw TFT as being overly complicated and being the engineer that he is, took TFT apart and re-developed it; making it more streamlined but just as powerful.
- He says that EFT hasn’t changed much since the 1990s, apart from the eliminating of the psychological reversal. Callahan believed that when people got stuck in life or that they suffered from *secondary gain that this required the energy being reversed in the body and called it a psychological reversal. This part of the therapy did not sit well with Craig, and he decided to get more curious about why people got stuck or had a secondary gain.
*Secondary Gain – some people have a built-in reason NOT to get well—E.,g. Someone with chronic pain does not enjoy socializing, but their partner does. When they experience a lot of pain, their partner does not pressure them to go out. Their pain is reinforced. Subconsciously, the person may not even realize they are doing this.
“In order to be terrific, you’ve got to be specific”.Gary Craig
- His level of curiosity leads him to ask the right questions. He concluded that people got stuck in life due to specific events in their past. Once these events were highlighted and dealt with the ailment (physical or emotional) disappeared.
- He discovered that if you breakdown complex issues into specific events, then you can get a handle on just about anything. But he stresses the importance of the therapist in this process. The skill of the therapist is the key to applying the EFT effectively. The role of the therapist to discern the individual’s specific events that may be causing the issue is a real skill and is done by developing trust and rapport with the person.
Gray Craig's EFT Website Message
It is clear from Craig’s website (emofree.com) that he is well aware that not all EFT is being used as he would like and here is a quote from his article called “The EFT Silent Sea of Disappointed People”:
“The not-so-good-news is that it is rare to find any two people who do EFT the same. Why? Because this proliferation of EFT has naturally been filtered through thousands (or millions) of belief systems and is being taught throughout the world by a throng of enthusiastic people, each believing in their customized version of EFT with integrity and the will to do good. This is very confusing to the newcomer.”Gray Craig
At first glance this healing modality can look a bit strange so how does it work?
The Chinese Meridian System And EFT Tapping
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has a concept called the meridian system. A system of pathways in the body that carries our life force energy (Qi or Chi). TCM states that energy (or as the Chinese say Qi) can get blocked in these channels and cause dis-ease in the body, which leads to illness.
EFT integrates the meridian system into its therapy process by tapping on the meridian points using the fingertips. Tapping unblocks energy and aids healing.
Since 2017 there have been EFT advancements, as Gary points out on his website that provides unlimited healing powers. He writes about this in his book called The Unseen Therapist, and it has replaced the original tapping.
However, he still teaches tapping as he says people need time and experience to adopt The Unseen Therapist. (He offers a FREE copy of The Unseen Therapist on his website emofree.com).
What Can The Emotional Freedom Technique Be Used For?
Most people can use EFT tapping. It can be used for anxiety, weight loss issues, pain, stress, and many other issues.
Can it do any damage directly? No, but like any type of therapy, there isn’t one solution to fit everyone. Depending on your situation and the type of issue you have, you may need to seek professional advice. There may be cases (mental or physical) where delaying traditional treatment could be fatal. Use wisdom with your well being.
As Gary Craig says, sometimes EFT is a compliment to traditional treatment.
What The Skeptics Say About EFT
Wikipedia notes The Skeptical Inquirer (magazine) viewpoint as follows:
“A hodgepodge of concepts derived from a variety of sources, [primarily] the ancient Chinese philosophy of chi, which is thought to be the ‘life force’ that flows throughout the body.” The existence of this life force is “not empirically supported”The Skeptical Inquirer (magazine)
I read an article about EFT tapping on The Skeptic’s Dictionary. The full article is here: http://skepdic.com/eft.html. In essence, though they say it is metaphysical mumbo jumbo and I quote:
“He (Gary Craig) could tell you to take two of these little blue pills twice a day for two weeks and probably have just as many satisfied customers as the EFT folks. One difference, however, is that we have a way to test whether those little blue pills are a placebo or not. But we cannot do a randomized, double-blind controlled experiment on subtle energy being unblocked along meridians by either the insertion of needles or the tapping of fingers. This is good because nobody can do a scientific test to prove that EFT is bunk.”The Skeptic’s Dictionary
A couple of sceptical people’s opinion online:
“….I didn’t give it a lot of research, but after being sent around the Web, I got a brief idea about how it goes. My initial reaction was just another cures everything fad. Looked to me like the same old power of positive thinking routine with a few sill exercises thrown in. Am I wrong? Like I say, I’m being lazy here. It just didn’t seem worth investigating in depth.”
“That’s pretty much what I thought. Let your fingers dance. Release the energy!”
Is EFT For You?
If you are interested in finding out more then check out the tons of websites, Youtube videos and online courses, eg. Udemy.
The website EFT International (eftinternational.org) is dedicated to this type of therapy. They say they are the world’s leading professional EFT association. There is a science and research area on their site plus various EFT articles, audios, books, and training.
Also, both emofree.com and eftinternational.org offer FREE information in the form of an ebook or manual.
Me And Chi
I mentioned at the beginning that I’d previously learned some Qigong. Watching YouTube one day I saw this guy from Spring Forest Qigong demonstrating some beginner Qigong exercises. So, I gave it a go, and I could feel something between my hands. It surprised me that much I ended ordering the guy’s course to learn at home. I enjoyed it as it relaxed me both physically and mentally. It piqued my interest so much so that I traveled to China, but that’s a whole different article I need to write. LOL.
Do you want to give it a go?
Jump up, and I’ll show you:
- Stand, with your toes pointing forward and knees soft.
- Relax your shoulders by lifting them up and then letting them drop.
- Soften your jaw.
- Hold your hands out in front of you, fingers spread slightly, as shown in this picture:
Slowly move your hands towards each other:
Slowly move the hands back to the original position:
Continue to move your hands back and forth slowly. Pretend there is a big ball between your hands. See if you can feel the energy gently pushing back.
How Much Does It Cost?
That depends on:
- The therapist you choose
- The issue you have
- Whether the sessions are face to face or on the telephone.
Gary Craig’s website explains costs on his page: How To Tell In Advance Whether An EFT Practitioner Has Sufficient Skill in EFT under Fees To Expect. That will give you an idea. He says:
“In general, fees per session will range from $60 USD to $185, with the average fee falling somewhere in the $80 – $125 range. While these may be the customary fees for the professional services you are seeking, bear in mind that therapy or counseling using EFT is often more rapid than a conventional approach and therefore may be more cost-effective in the long run.”Gary Craig
To Chi Or Not To Chi? That Is The Question
It really is the question because if you do not believe in the existence of life force energy (or Qi) and the meridian system then what’s the point of learning how to tap that energy to help yourself?
Now you know a little bit more of what the Emotional Freedom Technique is about.
The choice is yours.
If you do decide to look for an EFT therapist then Gary Craig’s earlier point about a skilled therapist is important. But that’s pretty sound advice regardless of what therapy you go for.
I noticed that both Gary Craig and EFT International have an option to assist you in finding an EFT Practitioner.
You may be reading this because you want to learn to be an EFT practitioner rather than use it as a therapy. If so, you’ll find information on doing that on EFT International.org.
I do not have any affiliation with any EFT company or person. I find energy work fascinating and wanted to look into EFT a little more. Sharing this information may make someone aware of it and it benefit them. That is my intention.
Whatever you decide, happy tapping!
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