EFT Emotional Freedom Technique
EFT has been described a needleless acupuncture for the emotions. In addition to the simpler, all-purpose tapping protocol, EFT also instructs people to speak affirmations and engage in unusual, yet seemingly effective behaviors, including tapping, eye movements, humming, and counting. Gary Craig, a student of Roger Callahan, developed EFT, by combining EMDR’s eye movements and emphasis on shifting underlying cognitive belief systems with a more generalized acupressure point tapping, based on TFT. One cycle of EFT takes only a few minutes, generates little distress and it can be effective even if the client does not believe that it would be. There have been no formal research studies done to empirically prove efficacy of these acupressure techniques. However, clinicians and clients alike seem impressed with the results that they’ve been getting (author included).
According to van der Kolk, et al (1996), effective treatment requires exposure to, without total re-experiencing of, the traumatic material; too much arousal precludes assimilation of any new information. It may be that the tapping protocol in TFT and EFT provides a concrete physical stimulus drawing attention back to the here and now, anchoring clients in the present. It also appears that the physical, rhythmic stimulation has a calming and soothing effect on agitated clients. This is most likely produced by the reciprocal inhibitory relaxation response of the parasympathetic nervous system’s reducing the effects of the hyperactivated sympathetic nervous system (Carbonell and Figley, 1995). In EFT, you tap gently on certain acupuncture meridians on the face and the body as you tune into the problem you want to resolve. The tapping process, combined with your focused attention on the issue you want to resolve, can reduce physical and emotional pains, end cravings/habits, and relieve anxiety, fears and phobias, sometimes with remarkable speed and often with long-lasting positive effects.