Thursday, November 19, 2009

What Is EFT Tapping?

I love EFT.

EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Technique. It is the practice of clearing out physical pain, negative emotions, and bad energy from the body. To perform EFT,  you repeat certain problems or affirmations to yourself while gently tapping on a specific set of points on your body:

(image from

How to Do EFT

Let's say you've been dumped by your partner and you're still really mad at them. The anger is driving you crazy. 

Perfect. EFT is great for this. 

Begin by tapping on the side of the hand (labeled as the "Karate Chop Point" in the above illustration) with your fingertips. Gentle pressure is all it takes. While tapping on the side of the hand, repeat the following statement three times:

"Even though I'm still mad at [my partner] and can't let go of my anger, I deeply and completely love and accept myself."
"Even though I'm still REALLY mad at [my partner] and I just want to get on with my life, I deeply and completely love and forgive myself."
"Even though I'm still mad at [my partner], I don't want to hold onto this anger and I deeply and completely love, forgive and accept myself...and [my partner]."

Next, begin tapping on the points. Most people deviate slightly from the diagram above and start with the eyebrow, ending on the top of the head. I don't usually need to tap on the fingers or the extra points as the effect is pretty fast for me now. Tap on each point about eight times. For each point, say something that reminds you of what you're tapping on. In this case, since you want to let go of the anger you're holding toward your ex, you'd say something like this for each point you tap on:

"This anger"

Once you've finished the cycle of points, take a deep breath or two. It may be helpful to rate the intensity of your feelings of anger before and after you tap on a scale of 1 to 10. Expect to move a couple points down the first time through. If you feel the need, tap through the cycle again, modifying your phrases slightly to:

"Even though I still feel..." and "this remaining anger"

Tap on persistent problems daily and you will notice results within a few weeks. It's important to be prepared for the emotional symptoms that may eventually manifest themselves with heavier problems, namely the resulting (lots and lots of) crying from taking actions to resolve your problems (don't think that EFT is a free ride into la la land! It's kind of like a guide: it shows you the way, but you've still got to do the work yourself).

EFT is really, really simple. You can use it for anything: smoking, aching knees, personal problems, anxiety, etc. You can't mess it up! As long as you are in the general area of the tapping points, it will be effective. If you practice EFT consistently for a time, you will notice that deeper problems will begin to reveal themselves. In that sense, EFT is a great way to shed light on the real causes of your problems.

My Experience With EFT

Though I come from a rather new-agey family, I was very skeptical when I first came across EFT. But since it seemed like such a tiny investment of time and energy to try, I did. I was in the middle of writing a paper that I had put off until it was four days overdue, and I could not get rid of the anxiety that I had about writing the paper long enough to actually type anything into my word processor. After about six rounds of tapping, I was able to crank out a paper. Had it not been four days late, I would have received an A. A small victory, but a victory nonetheless.

I've used EFT sporadically over the past year, but began using it almost daily after realizing how much it helped me stay away from some of my nastier, self-sabotaging habits (namely staying in my room, smoking at inopportune times of day, and spending too much time doing nothing on the internet) and thoughts (general feelings of inadequacy and failure). I spend about 20 minutes before bed every night tapping on things that are bothering me (I keep a written list).

Things I've begun to notice in my year of practicing EFT:
  • The more I do it, the more effective it becomes. When I first started tapping, I had to tap through several cycles for the same problem, use the extended tapping points, etc. Now that I've been doing it for some time, I usually only have to tap on a problem once to clear it from my noggin.
  • An interesting but common side effect of regular EFT is yawning while tapping. I started noticing this a couple of months in. Now, I let out a huge yawn after about three taps on the side of my hand and am yawning constantly throughout the process.
  • If I tap before bed, my dreams become incredibly vivid and interesting.
  • I have a persistent problem in that my mind is always racing. After tapping on whatever's bothering me, my mind is so still that I can actually focus on the present!
  • On that note, EFT is a great thing to do before meditation. I usually spend 10-15 minutes meditating after my nightly tapping.
Recommended Viewing

Brad Yates is one of my favorite EFT gurus. Kind, gentle, funny, and poignant, Brad has a unique approach to EFT that's more 'train-of-thought' than repetition. Check out his Youtube channel, where he has almost 40 videos on many common problems that people like to tap on. Here's one of my favorites:

After leaving a few 'thank you' comments on his videos several months ago, Brad sent me a free teleseminar recording from the paid-content section of his website. Thanks, Brad!

Magnus is a fantastic British EFT practitioner who delves a bit more deeply into the technique than others. His videos can get a bit repetitive, but the info contained within them is valuable. This Chakra Clearing tap is very powerful:

I can't sing the praises of EFT enough. It's free, it's easy, and it takes very little time, so why not try it for yourself? Put aside any skepticism and prepare to be surprised. The effect is subtle at first, but with repeated practice, it's incredibly powerful.


  1. HI, came across your site through stevepavlina forums. Heard about EFT but never really considered it before until reading your post.

    Something about how you presented it made me curious. I'm going to give it a try.


  2. Great to hear, Tola! I hope your experiences with EFT prove fruitful. Stick with it!