I’m often asked why would you go and see an EFT practitioner when you can learn to do it yourself?
EFT – standing for Emotional Freedom Technique – is more commonly known as the tapping technique. It stems from Chinese medicine and more specifically acupuncture, working on the energy meridians that travel through the body. Where in acupuncture you work with needles on specific energy points, in EFT you gently tap with the tip of your fingers on those meridians to release blockages.
EFT also works both on physical blockages and emotional blockages – hence its title. It’s quite intriguing, isn’t it, to think number one that a lot of our aches and pain come from a disruption in our energy system and not only from structural or organic dysfunctions, but also to think that tapping or needling the body will release it within minutes. I’ve recently asked an acupuncturist about it, and they admitted they don’t really know the reason why needles release energy in the body. And it’s the same with tapping, why would tapping release stuck emotions!!?
But like in a lot of situations in life, the why or even the how doesn’t matter so much, as long as we get results. And acupuncture and EFT are very effective techniques indeed.
Where acupuncture requires proper training, EFT is commonly known to be a self-help tool that you can learn and apply yourself. So why on earth would you go and see a practitioner?
In the same way that you can build a website yourself quite easily nowadays, or you can redecorate your flat yourself, the results are generally much better when done by professionals. At least, that’s true for my flat :-p
So when can you use EFT for yourself, and when is it useful to ask a professional EFT practitioner to help you with your issues?
- If you’re using EFT as a one-off to release stress, tension or anxiety in a specific situation, for example you’re going for a job interview or you’re nervous because of a first date or even you want to get rid of an unhealthy craving, you can absolutely do it yourself. Generally a couple of rounds of tapping will make the feelings completely disappear. It is indeed that quick and effective!
- For most issues however, there are different layers to a negative emotion. Say for example you’re feeling angry at your partner because they forgot to pick up dinner on their way. But you feel that anger is stronger than it should be in those circumstances, and that’s likely because it covers up deeper feelings, such as long-standing resentment, pain or even sadness. If you’re very self-aware, you can indeed tap on those different layers until you reach the root cause of it all. That still works, yet it can be quite a draining experience, as most of the time you’ll hit some very painful feelings that are not easy to deal with on your own. After all, it’s been proven that in any therapy, the quality of the professional relationship between the therapist and the client is the most effective factor to change…so when you work on yourself, you’re lacking a very important part of the healing process that could make all the difference.
- Secondly, if you’re dealing with past trauma or very painful events, you may experience very strong distressing emotions or even re-trigger a trauma, and you would be safer in the hands of a professional that can help you stay grounded to avoid you feeling despair.
- And finally, in a lot of issues the root causes are often unconscious. And EFT is – in my experience – very effective if you address every single layer of the problem. But if you miss one or a few, the results might not last, hence the negative reputation of EFT not working. However when you’re very thorough in your discovery of layers, and you work systematically through them until nothing is left, the results are astonishing and long-lasting. So how do you do this? By nature, if some layers are unconscious you won’t be conscious of them…and that’s when a professional gets handy. Because if they’re skilled and intuitive enough, they will pick up on your unconscious – or non-verbal communication, and they will guide you to identify the deepest of the root in a way you wouldn’t be able to do yourself.
I’ve seen incredible results with EFT, from acute pain disappearing within minutes, to core identity beliefs being shifted in one session. And I’ve also seen variable results or issues coming back. And I put it all down to addressing all the aspects of the issue, and yes, sometimes it takes weeks because of the deep entanglement of beliefs, fears and repressed emotions that are part of our lives…but if you’re ready to work through your stuff, if you’re prepared to dive into the mind and unpick all those unuseful bits and pieces that prevent you to be the best you can be, then I assure you, EFT does work.
What about you, what’s your experience of EFT?