EFT Tapping changed my life. Well, it was ONE of the things that changed my life!
I first experienced EFT (Emotional Freedom Therapy) around 15 years ago after a traumatic event. Afterwards, I felt anxious, lost, and for a few weeks I was physically ill. Within two days of my first session I made an almost complete recovery. Within a week (and after my second session) I felt a new lease of life. At that point, I knew I wanted to learn this technique.
I also used EFT for a positive outcome: I was asked to speak at a conference in the main arena of the EICC (Edinburgh International Conference Centre). No pressure! And it was in front of a brand new group of directors of our business unit. Because I was able to release my nerves, I spoke with confidence and clarity to several hundred people and got amazing feedback afterwards. This experience was instrumental to me becoming a speaker as part of my work.
So let’s delve into it and explore how it can help you.
What is EFT Tapping?
EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Therapy, said to be originated by Roger Callaghan as Thought Field Therapy (TFT). Then Gary Craig developed it as a simpler method in the 1990s. It’s a natural, holistic method where you tap on acupressure points to stimulate energy meridians. Chinese medicine and other holistic healing techniques such as acupuncture and shiatsu refer to the structure of these 12 meridians in the body.
What happens in an EFT session?
My main practice with one-to-one clients is coaching: I ask questions in a facilitative style and listen intently to pick up on what might be significant for them. However, sometimes we need something more targeted if someone is particularly distressed, anxious, in pain, upset, or overwhelmed. They may even have low energy, be close to burnout, or feel like there’s no hope.
Firstly, I explain to the client what EFT Tapping is and how it works, and check how they feel about trying it. I then outline the steps of the process:
- We identify the issue and come up with a short statement we can use and repeat.
- I ask how distressing it is at the moment, out of 10, with 10 being the worst it could be. This is to get a starting point for us to work with.
- We begin tapping the hands together in a particular way and repeat the statement 3 times.
- We then tap round the acupressure points from the top of the head, on the face, and down to the torso. These connect to the meridians whilst naming the feelings and emotions.
- Finally, I ask the client to take a big deep breath in and out, and imagine releasing the feelings and emotions. Often there is a significant shift in the body and energy. I describe it like blowing the problem away.
- We usually repeat the cycle another once or twice, checking in on the score out of 10. Sometimes we adjust the statement for how the client is feeling now, if they signal that to me.
If you know me as a coach, you will be used to me working mainly with outcomes rather than spending a lot of time on problems. I’m usually an advocate for “what you focus on, you get more of”.
In contrast, this technique is deliberately different as it involves naming, acknowledging, and releasing the issue. I find it works very well with the majority of clients, with results in 20 minutes or so.
A few people have felt so relaxed afterwards they wanted to sleep. Others have said they feel light and energised. Many feel able to take action or communicate something important, especially when it relates to their needs.
A word about professional boundaries at this point. If we reach the limit of my professional expertise, for example if there is a trauma comes up where I think the client needs specialist support from another qualified practitioner, I will signpost appropriately and make sure they’re ok before we finish. This has only ever happened once (and I couldn’t have foreseen it), but I think it’s worth saying. I have a duty of care to everyone I work with and I follow a code of ethics.
EFT Tapping for day-to-day life
Once you’ve learnt the technique, you have an amazing tool that you can call on any time. You can also use tapping as a form of proactive self-care. I know some people who do it every day to release any tension they may be holding.
It’s great for restoring balance, or if your energy feels a bit ‘off’. I’ve used it myself or with clients for a multitude of pressures in life, e.g. work, financial concerns, parenthood, or other caring responsibilities. It promotes a natural healing process for mind and body. I find it much easier to be compassionate, solve problems, be confident, resilient, and calm by using EFT.
There is a sequence to it, which becomes much easier once you learn it. Hence the title of this post! It can be quite a journey working through the emotions AND it can bring greater ease to life the more you use this technique. I have used it with people from all walks of life from sports to art, science, and senior leaders in Executive Coaching sessions.
Stimulating the vagus nerve
And here’s the science bit… EFT Tapping is a way to stimulate the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is a vast network which runs from the brain to the intestines, unconsciously sending and receiving signals about what’s going on. It’s a vital part of the ‘hardware’ and ‘software’ of the body. And it’s no accident that we talk about what our gut is telling us – it actually IS sending signals, constantly!
I have been reading up on this recently as it is helping me to deal with long-covid symptoms. Things like viruses, daily stresses, world events, and emotional issues can feel relentless at times. Basically, when the nervous system is triggered too frequently, it affects our Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) which automatically runs things like breathing and digestion. And in turn, it depletes our energy if our system is under attack.
Stimulating the vagus nerve is a fantastic ‘antidote’ to stresses and strains on our mind and body. It overrides the fight-or-flight responses – and the longer-term effects of that. Instead, it puts us into rest-and-digest mode which is restorative for mind and body. This is vital for long-term health and wellbeing.
The great news is, there are multiple ways to stimulate the vagus nerve… from breathwork and movement to singing and chanting. And EFT Tapping is a way to get a good dose of this in one go, to help you on your way.
Are you interested to know more? Feel free to book a complimentary chat and we can take it from there (no obligation of course). We can discuss a package of shorter sessions or incorporate this into a personalised coaching programme.