Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

Emotional Freedom Technique (EMT) is a fast and easy process that can help anyone to remove the negative patterns and emotions that have caused problems in their lives. EFT has been described as one of the most important breakthroughs in the area of psychology ever.

During the past 20 years EFT has been used for a broad range of difficulties, by thousands of practitioners around the world.

EFT dramatically relieves emotional imbalances and disturbances as well as many physical symptoms. Dr. Joseph Mercola, Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfield, Bruce Lipton PhD, Candace Pert PhD, Donna Eden, Eric Robins, MD, all endorse and recommend EFT.

EFT is an Energy Psychology or Meridian Therapy. It is based upon Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, and uses some of the acupuncture points, but instead of using needles to stimulate these points, we tap them gently with our fingers.

Acupoint tapping sends signals directly to the stress centers of the midbrain, not mediated by the frontal lobes (the thinking part, active in talk therapy)," explains Dr. Dawson Church, Ph.D., who has been researching and using EFT since 2002. Because EFT simultaneously accesses stress on physical and emotional levels, he adds, "EFT gives you the best of both worlds, body and mind, like getting a massage during a psychotherapy session."

“It's EFT's ability to access the amygdala, an almond-shaped part of your brain that initiates your body's negative reaction to fear, a process we often refer to as the "fight or flight" response, that makes it so powerful. "By reducing stress," adds Church, "EFT helps with many problems. When you reduce stress in one area of your life, there's often a beneficial effect in other areas."

Church estimates that 10 million people worldwide have used tapping, and what's so exciting is how incredibly quickly it's alleviating issues like depression, anxiety and insomnia, as well severe PTSD, physical pain, weight problems, addictions, and even illness.

So…how can tapping on acupuncture points resolve all these serious issues?   There is very real science behind EFT, as well as documented results.

Humans run an intricate system, which is fuelled by electrical impulses that run throughout the body. When this system is out of balance, the neurotransmitters and hormones that control our moods, and how we process information are also out of balance.

Cortisol is the hormone that is produced when our flight or fight response is triggered. It’s part of our ‘caveman brain’.

These days, work, finances, family, traffic, negative self-talk unresolved trauma, arguments, disagreements, noise, environmental factors, and poor nutrition trigger cortisol. All these stressful events happening constantly put us into stress overload.

The fight or flight response only lasts a few minutes when it’s in balance and can be processed. With this constant barrage though, many of us never process our emotions completely or reduce our Cortisol output.

We experience negative emotions that never process or resolve, including stress, depression, anxiety, phobias, repeated unwanted behaviours, shame, guilt, and fears of all kinds. These stuck emotions cause our adrenal glands to release even more Cortisol. We may also experience physical symptoms, pain and other diseases.

Some experts say that up to 80% of the diseases we experience are caused by stress.

All emotions are natural human responses, but they do need to process. If our Cortisol levels stay high, if we don’t process and release those emotions, it becomes a vicious circle.

Fear is how we stimulate our fight or flight response. Anger is how we know our boundaries have been crossed. Sadness and hurt are how humans experience loss and grief. All these emotions are natural, pure, human emotions. But they need to move, to process, to release.

Acupuncture points have a particularly high concentration of mechanoreceptors, free nerve endings, and neurovascular density. Dr Church and Dr David Feinstein PhD have shown that tapping on these particular acupuncture points sends message to the Amygdala, the Hippocampus, and other structures in the brain where the emotional problems are stored neurologically. This reduces the Cortisol levels.

The tapping disrupts previously established neurological patterns. As the old neurological patterns are disrupted, the negative emotions disappear.

As the Cortisol levels go down serotonin levels increase. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps to calm us and contributes to good moods.

In doctors Church and Feinstein’s study, 83 participants were separated into three groups. One group was guided through an hour-long EFT session. The second group received an hour of talk therapy, while the third, the control group, received no treatment. The group that did an hour of EFT demonstrated a 24 percent decrease in Cortisol levels, while the other two groups showed no real change. The EFT group also exhibited lower levels of psychological symptoms, including anxiety, depression, and others, as measured by the Symptom Assessment-45 (SA-45), a standard psychological assessment tool.

When we are in a state of stuck negative emotion, it’s like a loop in our brain. We’re stuck in tunnel vision, can’t think of solutions, can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, cannot think positive thoughts. When the brain is flooded with serotonin, the loop of unprocessed emotion is disconnected and disrupted. The emotion diminishes and we feel calmer, more balanced, and the part of the brain that comes up with solutions can evaluate the situation and create solutions much more easily. b It opens up all the possibilities that we were unable to consider when we were stuck.

Any side effects that result from EFT are positive. The worst thing that will happen is that you’ll feel more relaxed.

With deep, long-term issues, especially related to abuse, trauma, or not having had one’s needs met repeatedly, as a person clears one issue, other related aspects may arise.

Once something is cleared, it’s over, and if it seems like it’s recurring, it’s simply another aspect of the situation, or the core issues reasserting themselves.

EFT boasts a success rate of over 80%. For complex issues, the art is in the delivery of EFT.

While EFT is simple and can be used by anyone, anywhere, anytime, for more complex issues it is best to consult an expert.

EFT and the Tapping Methods have been recently been included in publications approved by the highly prestigious and influential American Psychological Association (APA).

Modulating Gene Expression through Psychotherapy: The Contribution of Non-Invasive Somatic Interventions. David Feinstein, Ashland, Oregon.  Dawson Church, Foundation for Epigenetic Medicine, Santa Rosa, California





Submitted by Anne Goodman, MNLP, DH, EFT

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