What is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)?

EFT is a new discovery that has provided thousands with relief from pain, diseases and emotional issues. Simply stated, it is a unique version of acupuncture except you don’t use needles. Instead, you stimulate well-established energy meridian points on your body by tapping on them with your fingertips. The process is easy to memorize and is portable so you can do it anywhere.

Check out this video by Brad Yates about Emotional Freedom Technique and the extraordinary benefits of applying these techniques.


The basic principle of EFT is: The underlying cause of all negative emotions is an imbalance in the body’s energy system.

The theory states that negative emotions are built in the following stages: A negative experience occurs; negative emotions are felt in response to this negative experience, leading to inappropriate programming inside the body; and then the body’s energy system gets disrupted due to these negative emotions. The contention of EFT is that in order to remove the negative responses, tackling the negative experience is not enough, because doing so cannot correct the energy imbalance. Rather, the energy imbalance must be restored along with curing the negative emotions.

The main difference between EFT and TFT lies not in principles, but in application. In TFT, a specific sequence of tapping points (known as an algorithm) is used for a particular problem. This sequence is determined using a procedure borrowed from applied kinesiology, called muscle testing.

In EFT, the order and sequence of tapping point is deemed to be unimportant, and therefore there are no individual algorithms for different problems. Instead, a comprehensive algorithm is used for all problems, and no diagnosis or muscle testing is required.

The Setup and Possible Setup Statements
Tap the karate chop point then state the problem that you would like to work on, followed by a positive statement. Below are some examples of possible Setup Statements:

  • “Even though I feel anxious about these things in my life, I deeply and completely love and accept myself anyway.”
  • “Even though I have all this worry in my life, I deeply and completely love and accept myself anyway.”
  • “Even though I have this terrible fear, I deeply and completely love and accept myself anyway.”
  • “Even though I can’t seem to stop eating chocolates and sweets, I completely love and accept myself.”
EFT_Tapping_Points_lg After you do this, create a Reminder Phrase for the problem you are working on, such as “this anxiety”, “this terrible fear” or “this urge to eat sweets.”

Tap the stress-relief points using the graphic at the left, as your guide. Click on the image to view the EFT Tapping Points.

EFT has been the subject of three peer-reviewed publications as of 2007. In one study, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology in 2003 and funded by the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology, 35 patients with a phobia of small animals received a single treatment with EFT. The authors concluded that:

The findings are largely consistent with the hypothesis that EFT can reduce phobias of small animals in a single treatment session. However, due to methodological limitations in the present study, firm conclusions about the efficacy of EFT must wait for confirmation from future studies.

The second study, published in The Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice, was conducted by Waite and Holder on people who reported specific fears or phobias. This study compared four groups: A group that received regular EFT; a second group that tapped on sham points that were not EFT points; a third group that tapped on an inanimate object (a doll) and a fourth group that received no treatment. The first three groups did statistically better than the fourth group, but there were no significant differences between the three tapping groups. That is, the groups that tapped on sham points and on the doll did just as well as the EFT group, but all three groups did better than the no-treatment group. Since the group that used the doll was not tapping on meridian points yet still benefited equally, the authors suggested this as a falsification of the theory that EFT works because of the body’s energy meridian system.

In the Rowe study, the SA-45 was used to test the effects of EFT psychological functioning that might result from participation in an experiential Emotional Freedom Techniques™ (EFT) workshop and to examine the long-term effects. The SA-45 was given before the workshop, after the workshop, 1 month after the workshop, and 6 months after the workshop. There was a statistically significant decrease in all measures of psychological distress as measured by the SA-45 from pre-workshop to post-workshop which held up at the 6 month follow-up.

Case Studies

Susan was a client of mine who had a severe case of Lyme disease.

The first time she came to my office she was so pale and weak she could barely stand up and indeed thought she would not be able to have her session.

I asked her to lie back in the recliner so we could at the very least take down the symptoms so that she could drive home.

I asked her what felt bad and she said she felt weak, exhausted and nauseous.

We tapped on the karate point repeating “Even though I have this weakness and this nausea, I totally and completely love myself anyway.” Then we went down all the tapping points repeating “this nausea”, “this exhaustion”, “this terrible weakness”.

After about 15 minutes she was able to sit up in the chair and said that that her nausea had subsided and she was able to stay for the session.

We worked on the symptoms for another 10 minutes and then started talking about some childhood traumas that had occurred right before she had contracted the lyme disease, when she was 13.

We tapped on one of those situations;

Even though this (event) happened, I totally and completely love and accept myself anyway.

This event had made her feel that she was not listened to and was not accepted. It made her feel “weak” and powerless.

We tapped on all the tapping points using “weak” and “powerless” in the main statements

By the end of the hour Susan had all the color back in her face and was standing up reporting that she felt fine to drive home!

Over the course of the next month Susan used EFT at home and came once a week for a session with me. We used EFT to tap on what might have been the “benefits” to her of the illness (such as: I am taken care of, I don’t have to make decisions) and also some of the traumas that led up to the illness.

After that first month she reported feeling much stronger and able to work a full week without having to leave work in the middle of the day (Something she had not done for a long while).

She has continued to use EFT on herself and after a year has reported that she is doing extremely well. Her Doctors are very happy with her continued progress.

Last fall I found myself in the midst of yet another syndicated rerun of my

childhood relationship with my Dad, only this time I was 35 and there had not been an active connection with him for almost a decade. I was experiencing a break up of catastrophic proportion. It became clear to me that the pain and suffering that accompanied my present failed relationship was misplaced and was being caused by my unresolved patterns and belief systems instilled in me as a child.

That’s when I found Christina Florence. I remember the first day I walked into her office, I was in physical pain caused by my mental breakdown, I was disheveled, under nourished and emotionally bankrupt. I felt as though I was standing at yet another crossroad, my choices were to end my life or heal, once and for all, the darkness and despair of my tortured past.

As I began to tell Christina my story, I immediately felt her commitment to my healing in her voice. She looked at me with eyes of understanding and compassion and as she spoke to me, I began to feel an unfamiliar hope that I may have actually found the woman who was going to coach me into a series of monumental breakthroughs. I realized in that very moment that I could actually live into a future that looked nothing like my past.

Through a series of safety establishing conversations, Christina asked if I was ready to begin the work necessary to unfold the blind spots that have been so unsuccessfully sourcing my relationship life. I knew that I was at the last house on the block of a dead end street and my willingness to heal was unparalleled.

Christina taught me a new technique and walked me through my first series of EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique. I felt instant relief. I described my mental and emotional state as “buttery”. I felt free. I interpret the meridian tapping as “breaking up and dissolving what’s in the way and replacing it with a more empowered stance.” Whenever I use the EFT method I feel as though I’ve expedited through years and years of emotional debris in one session and I get to have an instant shift.

Christina would ask me to rate my emotions on a scale of ten to zero, ten being complete obsession and breakdown and zero being authentic freedom. She would tap with me until I reached zero, no matter how long it took. Christina’s stand for my healing was remarkable. She never wavered from her commitment to my healing.

In addition to EFT, Christina introduced me to EMDR, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. I silently and verbally revisited my childhood memories, like witnessing my Father murder my childhood dog, while focusing on a moving external stimulus. Every few minutes we would break the sequence and I was immediately asked to remember non related information, like my current address or my mom’s maiden name. Christina would check in with me and ask how I was feeling, she would assess my present state and we would begin another set of memories and movements. After a series of these sequences, I noticed a level of confidence and security that was not present before practicing the technique. I observed emotional freedom surrounding my tortured memories. I actually felt balanced and detached from the pain of my stories.

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