Emotional Freedom Technique (also known as "EFT", "tapping" or "EFT Tapping") is a stress-reduction technique that works with the body and mind to heal the physical and emotional wounds that keep us from living our best lives. It's often described as emotional acupuncture - but without the needles!
EFT tapping works, in part, with the subtle but powerful energy circuits (known as meridians) that run through our body. These energy pathways are at the heart of many Eastern healing practices including acupuncture and acupressure. But where acupuncture and acupressure focus primarily on healing physical issues (by balancing disturbances in the flow of energy throughout the body), Emotional Freedom Technique seeks to heal the emotional issues that keep us from achieving optimal health and well-being.
During your EFT coaching session you'll be guided to gently tap (using your fingertips) on certain acupressure points (acupoints) of your body while "tuning into" a particular challenge or concern and your emotions around it. The primary goal of tapping is to calm the body and facilitate healing and personal growth by: (i) reducing or eliminating the emotional charge around upsetting events and situations, and (ii) identifying and transforming limiting beliefs and unhelpful patterns of thought and behavior.
When emotional issues are confronted and cleared, the body is better able to heal itself. And when we reduce stress and get negative thought patterns and beliefs out of our way: personal performance can reach new heights, relationships can take on greater depth, meaning and purpose; we can make more conscious and empowered decisions; find new ways of moving forward; and meet life's challenges with greater clarity and peace.
When you're stressed or experiencing any other "negative" emotional state, a small cluster of cells (called the amygdala) nestled in your mid-brain and forming part of your limbic system is triggered, setting off an "alarm bell" that activates your body's fight, flight or freeze response. Once this stress response is activated a whole host of changes are initiated in your body. Your immune system is suppressed, your adrenaline begins to surge, your muscles tense, your heart rate, blood pressure and blood sugar all begin to rise...and blood begins to flow away from your brain (making it more difficult to think and see things clearly) and out to your limbs and peripheral muscles, in case you need to run or fight.
While this is all good in situations where there is a real threat to your physical safety, unfortunately neither your mind or body have evolved to the point where they can distinguish between "actual" threats and "perceived" threats. This means that even the most benign of daily stressors (like your husband taking the last cup of coffee or you being late for work) can cause the amygdala to sound the alarm. And while the resulting stress response may not feel as noticeable as it might if you were being chased by a tiger through the jungle, its still there... and its cumulative ill-effect on the body should not be underestimated.
When done correctly, Emotional Freedom Technique (and in particular "tapping" on acupoints while recalling an upsetting thought or experience) sends a calming signal to the body and allows the amygdala and other parts of the limbic system associated with fear to recognize it's safe. The stress response is then deactivated, even though the upsetting thought or experience may still be present. What's even more fascinating is that through repetition, tapping appears to reprogram our brain and retrain our limbic response so that thoughts or situations that were once filed away as "dangerous" are no longer seen as a threat. This means we can tune into a previously upsetting thought (or even re-experience a "trigger" tied to a prior trauma - such as a smell, taste, sound, or visual cue) with less emotional distress.
Approximately 85% of all illness is believed to have a root in emotional stress. Stress negatively impacts our health and periods of prolonged stress can have a devastating effect on our body. Not only does stress impact how we think and feel, it suppresses the functioning of our immune system. What's more, if stress hormones (such as cortisol and adrenaline) remain elevated for too long they become toxins - damaging cells, interfering with memory and learning, decreasing skin elasticity, muscle mass and bone density, increasing fat deposits around our bellies and waist, and even promoting the growth of tumors. Needless to say, incorporating practices that help reduce stress and improve our emotional state can have a dramatic effect on our happiness and longevity.
While EFT tapping may still be considered experimental in nature and questions remain as to the exact mechanism(s) through which it works, its effectiveness is supported by a large and ever-expanding body of scientific research. To date, over 100 scientific papers about EFT have been published in peer-reviewed psychology and medical journals and the research (which encompasses dozens of randomized control trials along with pre and post outcome studies, meta-analyses and systematic reviews) continues to grow. In fact, in just the past few years the first fMRI study documenting the occurrence of neural/brain changes with EFT was concluded, along with two important studies showing significant drops in cortisol (our main stress hormone) with the use of Emotional Freedom Technique.
As EFT continues to become more widely practiced and studied, there's little doubt that the evidence base to support it will continue to grow. Still curious? Click the button below to find additional resources on Emotional Freedom Technique and the science behind it.
Research has shown the effectiveness of tapping for a wide variety of issues. Some of the most common challenges experienced by my clients include:
If you're struggling with these issues (or any other life challenges) and are open to trying something new, send me an email or click on the button at the bottom of this page to book a free 20 minute Intro-to-EFT session.
I'm glad you asked! EFT has shown much promise in helping those diagnosed with mental health conditions (such as anxiety, depression and PTSD) as well as a variety of physical conditions, including chronic pain. However, since I'm not a licensed medical professional the support I can provide for these types of challenges is limited. By this I mean that while EFT can play an important and complimentary role to the treatment you are already receiving from a licensed healthcare professional, the services I provide are NOT intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition or to replace the care of a licensed healthcare professional. If you are concerned about your physical or mental well-being and are unsure where to turn, please don't hesitate to send me a note. If your concerns are outside my scope I can refer you to someone better able to assist.
That depends. While tapping can produce long term or lasting results in just a single session, multiple sessions may be required in order to truly explore and get to the root cause of a presenting issue. Clients can also maintain and extend the benefits they receive in a practitioner-guided EFT session by learning and practicing EFT themselves at home.
Once you learn the tapping techniques and tapping points you can absolutely use EFT on your own (or tap along with one of many on-line/you-tube videos) as a self-care/stress reduction technique. However, clients who are having limited success on their own or who are looking for additional support or insight may benefit from the guidance of a certified practitioner. Here's just some of the perks of working with a certified practitioner:
As of today most Canadian insurance plans do not directly cover the cost of Emotional Freedom Technique sessions. However, many workplaces offer "indirect" coverage in the form of health spending accounts, which employees can look to for reimbursement for a wide variety of health-related products and services. The scope of these benefits is often broad enough to cover the costs of alternative healing modalities such as EFT. If reimbursement is a concern for you, it's always best to check with your employer or insurance provider prior to incurring a particular expense.
Yes I do! I love working with kids. Kids are amazing. They're insightful, inquisitive, and generally open to new concepts and ideas. Kids are also incredibly intuitive. All of these things come together in a way that sets them up for success with EFT.
Imagine how children could flourish if they had a simple way to process and release the daily traumas they experience at school and elsewhere. A "go-to" tool to help them deal with things like bullying, test anxiety, fear of public speaking, stress around sports performance, or their worry about being called on in class. Imagine how joyful they could be if they didn't have to carry the weight of so many heavy emotions (like insecurity, anger, shame and guilt) with them from childhood through to their adult years. What could they accomplish without that burden? How far could they go? Let's find out!