We’re always looking for better ways to manage stress. Whether that’s meditation, deep breaths, a nice detox bath, time spent outside grounding, going for a walk, or a quick stretch sesh, it’s great to have a handful of tools to add a bit of calm to your every day. And if you’re interested in adding something else to your stressing-reducing arsenal, we have just the thing. Enter Emotional Freedom Technique, aka EFT tapping—a healing modality that can help to ease anxiety, release stress, and negative tension by tapping on specific meridian points.
After chatting with Kim Murray, EFT practitioner and meditation teacher, about all things tapping, I decided to try it out on a particularly stressful day and was actually amazed at how I felt after. My heart rate had slowed, my brain felt clearer, and I carried that feeling (and setup statement—more on that later!), throughout the rest of the day.
Tapping therapy can help when you’re feeling stuck in certain emotions and give you the tools to move through those feelings. If you’re curious how EFT tapping can help you, Murray is here to break it down for us.
What is EFT Tapping?
Based on the combined principles of ancient Chinese acupressure and modern psychology, EFT tapping was designed to calm the central nervous system via light tapping on specific meridian points rather than needles to stimulate acupoints. As Murray shares, “It’s also part neuro-linguistic programming (using your voice to rewire your brain) which is why it’s so powerful at helping you overcome your negative limiting beliefs—and it’s amazing at getting to the core route of a problem.”
Does EFT work?
Tapping can be used in so many different ways Murray points out, and the benefits are huge because you’re bringing your nervous system back into balance. Recent studies have hinted that EFT tapping can help reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and even physical pain. In another study, participants had lower heart rates, levels of cortisol, and blood pressure after tapping.
Murray notes that working on removing physical blocks in the body at the same time as you allow your brain to process whatever it is that you’re struggling with can reap incredible positive effects on things like anxiety, depression, self-doubt, lack of confidence, sleep problems, past trauma, overwhelm—the list is endless!
What benefits does tapping offer?
One of the most powerful ways in which tapping therapy can be used is to process past traumas (big or small). “It helps your brain effectively get to the core route of where a negative core belief, fear of phobia comes from then takes the emotional charge away from it,” explains Murray. “It allows both your brain and body to process the past and ultimately frees you from its grip.”
How might people feel after utilizing EFT?
Murray shares that it can be a very emotional process and people often cry and have huge releases. “This is really beneficial to your nervous system but whether you cry or not, people always describe feeling a lot calmer, grounded, and relaxed after the process,” she says.
Where are the basic EFT tapping points?
These are your basic tapping points but there are more than people think. Check out the full points HERE.
- Karate Chop – Small Intestine Meridian
- Beginning of the Eye Brow – Bladder Meridian
- Side of the Eye – Gall Bladder Meridian
- Under the Eye – Stomach Meridian
- Under the Nose – Governing Vessel
- Chin – Central Vessel
- Beginning of the Collar Bone – Kidney Meridian
- Under the Arm – Spleen Meridian
- Top of the Head – Governing Vessel
EFT Tapping in Five Steps:
Follow the simple guide below and head to Happy Head’s website for more info on the EFT tapping technique:
1. Identify the issue and rate the emotional intensity of the feeling you want to work on.
- The feeling could be anxiety, negative belief, fear, phobia, worry, or any difficult emotion or situation that you want to work on. Rate the feeling on a scale of 0 – 10.
2. Decide on your set-up statement which identifies the issue and includes a statement of self-acceptance.
3. Start by tapping on your karate chop and repeat the statements…
- “Even though I have this (insert problem here), I love and accept myself anyway.”
- “Even though I have this (insert problem here), that’s okay, I’m human.”
- “Even though I have this (insert problem here), I love my body and I love my mind.”
4. EFT Tapping Sequence.
- Next move around the points of the body (tapping 5-7 times on each) using language connected to the issue (e.g “this anxiety, this tension in my body, it’s exhausting, its holds me back…”
5. Test the final intensity.
- After two rounds take a deep breath (in through the nose out through the mouth) and rate the intensity of the emotion.
- Keep doing the rounds until your number has reduced. Keep using language that directly impacts the problem and only move to positive affirmations when it has reduced.
EFT Tapping Tutorials
If you’re interested in learning more, Murray has loads of free resources like the tutorials below on her website, happyheads.me.