What is EFT Tapping and How To Do It

EFT Tapping can reduce stress, anxiety, depression and more. But what exactly does it do?

The basic premise behind EFT is tapping on the body to stimulate the flow of energy to feel better. 

This article will cover everything you need to know about EFT tapping, how it works, its benefits, and more.  

What is EFT Tapping?

Developed by Gary Craig, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is based on the idea that when we tap on certain parts of the body, we release endorphins which make us happy and reduce emotional and physical pain. 

EFT tapping originates from the centuries-old acupressure practice where practitioners would press their fingers on pressure points in specific areas of the body to help alleviate pain and cure illness.

How Does EFT Tapping Work?

Acupressure and acupuncture techniques are rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and have existed for thousands of years.

According to TCM, energy flows through meridian points (pressure points) in our bodies. When there is a blockage in any one of these meridians, it causes symptoms such as pain, fatigue, and other ailments. 

Acupuncture uses thin needles to penetrate the skin and stimulate the flow of energy in order to heal the body. Acupressure, on the other hand, uses fingers, knuckles, and elbows to apply pressure and stimulate the energy flow. 

EFT tapping is similar in that it also uses the same pressure points, but it differs in that EFT uses fingertips to tap when applying pressure. 

According to EFT International, pressure points are believed to also be connected to our emotions and if they get blocked, then we experience negative emotions like fear, anger, sadness, etc. EFT tapping helps unblock those pressure points and allows the body to naturally restore itself and change those emotions.

The Benefits of Using EFT Tapping 

The main benefits that EFT tapping provides are:

  • Stress Relief
  • Anxiety Relief
  • Depression Relief
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Chronic Pain Relief
  • Anger Management
  • Weight Loss

There have been recent scientific studies on how effective EFT is as an alternative therapy for psychological distress: anxiety, depression, and PTSD. 

EFT Tapping for Anxiety, Depression, and PTSD Relief

1. EFT for Anxiety Relief

One of the most common reasons why people seek out alternative treatments is because they want to find ways to deal with stress and anxiety without relying on medication. 

One study showed that using EFT tapping reduced anxiety in 90% of patients with complete relief in 76% of the people. A year later, the reduction in anxiety was maintained by 78% of the patients. 

2. EFT for Depression Relief

Across 20 studies, EFT has been shown to be effective in reducing depression symptoms and more effective than traditional depression treatments, including antidepressant drugs. 

Another study of 30 patients with depression saw significant improvements and were scored out of the "nondepressed" range after four group EFT sessions. 

3. EFT for PTSD Relief

In addition to treating anxiety and depression, EFT has been proven to be very helpful in treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in military personnel. 

One study found that EFT helped veterans recover, with 86% no longer considered as having PTSD after six sessions. Six months after the study was conducted, 80% still retained the benefits from EFT. 

How to Do EFT Tapping

EFT can be performed with an EFT practitioner or self-tapping in five steps. 

Here's how to do EFT tapping:

1. Identify the Issue

Before you start tapping, identify what issue you're trying to resolve. If you're feeling anxious about something, ask yourself what you're afraid will happen. You may not know exactly what you're afraid of, so think back over the past few days and weeks. What happened?

Was there any specific incident that made you feel anxious? Is there anything else going on in your life that might make you feel anxious? Once you've identified the source of your anxiety, you'll be ready to begin tapping. 

It's important to only think of one issue for maximum effectiveness.

2. Test the Initial Intensity

Once you've identified the source, you test the current intensity of the emotion by setting the baseline intensity level on a scale from 0 to 10, with 10 being the most intense or worst and 0 as being not a problem at all. 

Setting a baseline to start from will help assess improvements after each EFT session, so you can monitor your progress. For example, if your initial intensity started at 10, and you are now at 3, you've achieved a 70% improvement 

3. The Setup

The Setup is the process of getting ready for the tapping session by setting up the phrase for the issue that is being addressed. The phrase achieves two goals: 

  • Acknowledgement of the issue.
  • Accept yourself despite having the problem.

No matter if it's an emotional or physical issue, the phrase that's commonly used is:

"Even though I have this [issue], I deeply and completely accept myself." 

When creating the phrase, be sure that it's addressing your own issues and not someone else's. For example: 

  • Don't say: "Even though my dog died, I deeply and completely accept myself." 
  • Do say: "Even though I'm sad my dog died, I deeply and completely accept myself." 
  • Do say: "Even though I have this knee pain, I deeply and completely accept myself." 

One important note is that the phrase expresses a negative. This means that you're acknowledging a problem but accepting yourself anyway. 

The tapping will aim to neutralize the negative energy. Other conventional methods of positive thinking look to cover the negative with positive phrases.

4. EFT Tapping Sequence

Now that you've set up the phrase and tested the intensity, you're ready to tap. This is the actual tapping portion of the method that follows the EFT Tapping Sequence on these tapping points:  

1. Karate Chop (KC) - This point is found on the outside of both hands, the parts of your hand that would be hit as part of a karate chop. It's located halfway between the wrist crease and base of the pinky finger.

    EFT Tapping - Karate Chop

    2. Top of the Head (TOH) - This point is located on the top of your head in the middle. Draw imaginary lines from your forehead to the back of your head, and from one ear to the other ear. Where they intersect is the TOH point.

    3. Beginning of the Eyebrow (EB) - This point is located at the beginning of one of your eyebrows near the top of the nose.

    EFT Tapping - Beginning of the Eyebrow (EB)

    4. Side of the Eye (SE) - This point is on the bone of the eye socket on the outside of the eye.

    5. Under the Eye (UE) - This point is located at the bottom of the eye socket bone, about 1 inch under the pupil.

    EFT Tapping - Under the Eye (UE)

    6. Under the Nose (UN) - This point is found in the area between the top of your upper lip and the bottom of your nose.

    7. Chin Point (CH) - This point is found between the lower lip and the point of your chin.

    8. Beginning of the Collarbone (CB) - This point is found where the collarbone, breastbone (sternum), and the first rib meet. To find it, start at the bottom of the U-shape at the top of your breastbone, where the tie knot would be. Then move down 1 inch and to the right or left 1 inch (pick the same side as the above points).

    EFT Tapping - Beginning of the Collarbone (CB)

    9. Under the Arm (UA) - This point is found on the side of the body, about 4 inches under the armpit. It is at the same horizontal level as the nipple.

    EFT Tapping - Under the Arm (UA)

    Tap each point in the sequence 5 to 7 times as you recite your reminder phrase. This will put focus on the problem area that you are trying to address. 

    You do not need to say the whole setup phrase, it's more of a reminder phrase.

    For example, if you're setup phrase is, "Even though I'm sad my dog died, I deeply and completely accept myself," the reminder phrase can be, "The sadness I feel that my dog died." Another example is "This knee pain." 

    The tap and reminder phrase count do not need to be the same. You can tap 5 to 7 times and recite the reminder phrase 2 to 3 times for each tap point.

    5. Test the Final Intensity

    Once you have tapped all the points, test the final intensity of the pain using the 0 to 10 scale. If the pain is gone and is 0, then you know that you've successfully treated the issue for that sequence.

    However, if the intensity level is still 1 or above, then repeat the sequence until you have reached 0. 

    Does EFT Tapping Really Work?

    There have been studies that have shown EFT tapping as effective for reducing emotional distress from anxiety, depression, and PTSD. The reason why there is controversy surrounding EFT is that it is still new, and many practitioners are just starting out. 

    Even though there isn't enough scientific research yet to prove whether or not it works, many people have reported positive results. Most study results come from the feedback of patients and how they feel after EFT sessions, rather than scientific measurements on the body. 

    EFT Tapping Final Thoughts

    One of the most common reasons why people seek out alternative types of therapy treatments is because standard treatment and medicine do not always work. This is especially true when it comes to treating various physical and emotional conditions.

    EFT tapping is one of those methods that’s gaining popularity due to its effectiveness and simplicity. The fact that it requires no medication and only takes a few minutes per session makes it easy to incorporate into our daily lives. 

    EFT Tapping FAQs

    Who was the founder of EFT?

    Gary Craig is the founder of the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), developing and proposing the method in the 1990s. It was based on his study of Roger Callahan's Thought Field Therapy. Craig refined his work until he developed the EFT technique. 

    Where do you tap to lose weight?

    To lose weight with EFT, you need to tap all 9 points in the tapping sequence. You start with the Karate Chop Point to the Under the Arm point. The sequence of points is the same for all ailments and the thing that changes is your reminder phrase. 

    Is EFT tapping the same as EMDR?

    EFT and EMDR use different approaches. EFT uses tapping 100% of the time, while EMDR primarily uses eye movements, and only sometimes uses tapping. The occasional tapping in EMDR is why there can be confusion between the two. 

    How long does it take EFT tapping to work?

    For EFT tapping to start working, it could take anywhere from 4 to 12 rounds of the full tapping sequence of five steps. If you have a lower initial intensity level, it would take fewer rounds of tapping. Each round of tapping that goes through the 9 tap points will take about 2 minutes to finish. 

    Are there any risks to EFT tapping?

    There are no physical risks to EFT tapping because there are no needles or drugs being used. The main risk from EFT is the possibility of bringing up past traumas and not being able to control it yourself. Bringing in an experienced practitioner is needed for these situations. 




    • Healthline: https://www.healthline.com/health/eft-tapping
    • WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/balance/what-is-eft-tapping
    • Medical News Today: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326434
    • The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Psychological-Trauma-Symptom-Improvement-in-Using-A-Church-Hawk/da5f43bcc80084453a5a347eb7296636f266a990?p2df

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