EFT Tapping: A Powerful Tool for Emotional Wellness
eft tapping guide

In the realm of holistic healing, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) tapping has emerged as a powerful tool for addressing emotional distress, reducing anxiety, and promoting overall well-being. Rooted in ancient Chinese medicine and modern psychology, EFT tapping combines the principles of acupressure with cognitive behavioral therapy to alleviate negative emotions and restore balance to the body's energy system. 

Emotional health is foundational to a healthy, happy, fulfilling life. Life is challenging, and negative emotions are common. If we don’t do ongoing emotional release, we will likely become more negative over time. Therefore, ongoing emotional release (preferably on a daily basis) is critical to overall well being.

I’ve personally experienced the benefits of tapping for ongoing emotional regulation and stress release. In my coaching sessions, I will often lead my clients in tapping for releasing a specific subconscious belief (beliefs are always anchored in emotion). The purpose of this post is to give you a guide to tapping so that you can use it in your life for everyday emotional release. 

What is EFT Tapping?

EFT tapping involves gently tapping on specific meridian points on the body while focusing on an emotional issue or problem at hand. These meridian points are the same as those used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years to balance the flow of energy, or "qi," throughout the body. By tapping on these points, EFT aims to release blockages in the energy system, thereby reducing emotional tension and promoting a sense of calm.

The Process of EFT Tapping:

Tapping will always involve at least five steps:

  1. Identify the Issue: The first step in EFT tapping is to identify the emotional issue or problem you wish to address. This could be anything from anxiety and stress to grief or despair. Be as specific as you can with this step. For example: “I am feeling fear regarding my finances.”

2. Rate the Intensity: Once you've identified the issue, rate its intensity on a scale from 0 to 10, with 0 being no intensity and 10 being the most intense. Rating the issue will help you measure the degree to which the tapping session was successful, so don’t skip this step!

3. Tapping + Statement: With one hand, gently tap the karate chop point (the fleshy part of the hand between the wrist and the base of the pinky finger) while repeating a setup statement three times. The setup statement typically follows a format revolving around self-acceptance in the midst of this specific problem. For instance: "Even though I am experiencing fear over my finances, I unconditionally love and accept myself."

4. Tapping Sequence: Next, tap on a series of meridian points with two fingers, cycling through them. I recommend tapping on each point for at least 5-10 seconds. You can linger on a spot for longer if you feel like it.  As you tap, repeat the reminder phrase that acknowledges the issue. The following are some classing tapping points that you can start with:

  • Eyebrows (inside)
  • Sides of the eye
  • Under the eyes
  • Under the nose
  • Under the mouth (between the chin and the lips)
  • Collarbone
  • Under the arms
  • Top of the head

5. Check-in: After completing a round of tapping, take a moment to reassess the intensity of the issue. If it hasn't fully resolved, repeat the process, adjusting your setup statement and reminder phrase as needed.

eft tapping guide infographic

I have found the best results with tapping when I have added these additional (and optional)  steps:

6. Elaborate on the problem: Before moving towards the self-acceptance statement, I like to spend extended time focusing on the problem. The goal here is to make sure the problem is getting adequate attention and validation. For example: “I can’t stop worrying about my finances and whether or not I’m going to make it. It’s so frustrating. I wish I could stop, but I can’t seem to.”

7. Transition to Self-Acceptance: “Even though I feel this way,  I am choosing to love myself in the midst of it.” Again, this legitimizes the problem while simultaneously shifting your focus towards self-acceptance.

8. Make it spiritual: Even if you don’t have a faith or religion, it is objectively healing and soothing to experience the sensation of companionship in the midst of pain. Loneliness amplifies pain. The feeling that we are not alone reframes it. I will usually bring God into my tapping sessions with a statement like this: “Even if I can’t feel Him, I know that God is with me in this pain, and I am choosing to invite Him in and replace it with Himself.”

9. Experiment with different points on the body: I’ve found significant emotional release when trying different points on the body intuitively. Some particular spots that seem to work for me are the neck (Adam’s apple,  the jugulars, and the sides), the fleshy spot on my face just in front of my ears, along my shoulders, and below my chest muscles.

Benefits of EFT Tapping:

Stress Reduction: EFT tapping has been shown to significantly reduce levels of stress and anxiety by calming the body's stress response and promoting relaxation. Some studies show that it can decrease overall cortisol levels (the primary stress hormone) by 24%.

Emotional Healing: By addressing underlying emotional issues, EFT tapping can facilitate emotional healing and release pent-up feelings of anger, sadness, or fear. While in my opinion tapping is not as precise as muscle testing for identifying and releasing long-held subconscious beliefs,  behavior patterns, and roots of self-sabotage, it is nevertheless useful for clearing emotions that are closer to your conscious awareness.

Improved Well-being: Regular practice of EFT tapping can lead to a greater sense of overall well-being, increased self-awareness, and enhanced emotional resilience.

Pain Management: Some studies suggest that EFT tapping may also be effective in alleviating physical pain by addressing the emotional component associated with pain perception.

Incorporating EFT Tapping into Your Life:

EFT tapping can be easily integrated into your daily routine and customized to suit your individual needs. Whether you're dealing with work-related stress, relationship challenges, or simply seeking to enhance your emotional well-being, EFT tapping offers a simple yet powerful way to address emotional issues and restore balance to your life. Anytime you have 5-10 minutes of lull is a great time to check in with yourself and tap.

Some particularly good times to incorporate tapping are:

  • On your work breaks.
  • At the end of your work day.
  • Before going to sleep.

Tips for Incorporating Tapping

When starting out tapping, I recommend the following tips:

  1. Practice a point cycle. Focus on a series of points and get used to moving through them in order, 10 seconds at a time.
  2. Feel free to start with fewer points. The 9 points listed previously are the ones most commonly recommended. Feel free to get used to slowly, starting with 3-4 and adding another point each time you practice.
  3. Start with 10 minutes total, then increase. There’s no exact duration for best results. A few minutes is better than none. That said, the longer you tap, the more you will allow yourself to release.
  4. Once you’ve mastered the basics, make it your own. Experiment with the phrasing that feels truest to your own voice. Elaborate on how you are feeling. Linger on a particular point for as long as you want. Allow additional feelings and thoughts to come to the surface.

Additional Resources for Tapping

If you want more information on tapping, here are some resources to help you dive in.

  • Books:
    • "The Tapping Solution" by Nick Ortner: This book offers a comprehensive guide to EFT tapping, including practical techniques and case studies.
    • "The EFT Manual" by Gary Craig: Written by the founder of EFT, this manual provides detailed instructions on how to apply tapping for a wide range of emotional and physical issues.
  • Apps and Online Courses:
    • The Tapping Solution App: This app offers really solid guided tapping meditations and courses led by experts in EFT tapping, covering various topics such as stress relief, abundance, and emotional healing. 
    • Udemy: Look for EFT tapping courses on platforms like Udemy, where you can find both introductory and advanced courses taught by experienced practitioners.
  • YouTube Channels:

Remember to explore different resources and find what resonates with you. EFT tapping is a highly adaptable technique, so feel free to experiment and tailor your practice to suit your individual needs and preferences.

FAQ

Does tapping reduce cortisol levels?

There have been multiple studies linking EFT tapping with a reduction in cortisol levels. One notable example is a randomized controlled trial published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease in 2012 investigated the effects of EFT tapping on anxiety and cortisol levels in adults. While the study primarily focused on anxiety reduction, participants who received EFT tapping also showed a significant decrease in cortisol levels compared to those in the control group.

What are the 9 tapping points?

The classic tapping points are the heel of the hand (the “karate chop point”), the top of the head, the insides of the eyebrows, the outsides of the eyes, under the eyes, under the nose, under the mouth, the collarbone, and the armpit. 

However, because your meridians travel throughout your body, there are multiple points on the body where tapping can be effective. Once you have mastered the basics of tapping, you should experiment intuitively with additional points on the body. You can also consult a meridian map to see where on the body may be optimal to tap.

Does tapping really help with emotions?

There have been studies showing that tapping has been helpful for relieving stress and various physiological markers. One such study was performed by Donna Bach and published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine in 2019. There is also quite a bit of anecdotal evidence in favor of tapping’s ability to clear negative emotions. I personally have seen it be particularly effective for ongoing emotional maintenance, clearing the stresses that arise in day-to-day life.


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eft tapping guide
EFT Tapping: A Powerful Tool for Emotional Wellness
In the realm of holistic healing, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) tapping has emerged as a powerful tool for addressing emotional distress, reducing anxiety, and promoting overall well-being. Rooted in ancient Chinese medicine and modern psychology, EFT tapping combines the principles of acupressure with cognitive behavioral therapy to alleviate negative emotions and restore balance to the… Read More »EFT Tapping: A Powerful Tool for Emotional Wellness

Benaiah Brown

I'm an emotion coach and spiritual advisor. I enjoy coffee, animals, dance, and walking aimlessly. Book a call with me here.