Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), also known as "tapping," is a relatively new technique that has been gaining popularity in recent years as a tool for managing emotional distress and improving overall well-being.
EFT is a form of acupressure (acupuncture without the needles) that involves tapping on specific points on the body while focusing on an emotional or physical issue.
The basic theory behind EFT is that negative emotions and physical symptoms are caused by blockages in the body's energy system. By tapping on specific meridian points while focusing on a particular issue, the flow of energy is restored, and emotional and physical healing can occur. This approach is based on traditional Chinese medicine principles of energy flow through the body.
Although the exact mechanism of action of EFT is not yet fully understood, there is growing research on the neuroscience of EFT that sheds light on how it may work to produce its therapeutic effects. One of the key areas of the brain involved in the regulation of emotions is the amygdala, a small, almond-shaped structure located deep within the brain. The amygdala plays a critical role in processing and storing emotional memories and triggering the body's stress response. When we encounter a perceived threat, the amygdala sends a signal to the hypothalamus, which activates the sympathetic nervous system, leading to the fight or flight response. Studies have shown that EFT can reduce activity in the amygdala, leading to a decrease in the intensity of emotional responses. For example, a 2012 study found that tapping reduced activity in the amygdala in response to a negative emotional stimulus.
In addition to reducing activity in the amygdala, EFT has also been found to increase activity in the prefrontal cortex, a region of the brain involved in executive functions such as decision-making, planning, and emotional regulation.
A 2013 study found that EFT increased activity in the prefrontal cortex in response to negative emotional stimuli. Another area of the brain that has been implicated in the effects of EFT is the insula, a region that plays a role in the perception of bodily sensations and the awareness of emotional states. A 2016 study found that EFT reduced activity in the insula in response to negative emotional stimuli. Overall, the neuroscience of EFT suggests that it may work by modulating activity in the brain regions involved in emotional regulation, leading to a decrease in the intensity of emotional responses and an increase in emotional regulation. While more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms of EFT, these findings provide a promising foundation for the use of EFT as a therapeutic tool for emotional and psychological distress.
EFT can be used to address a wide range of emotional issues, including anxiety, depression, phobias, PTSD, and grief. It can also be used to alleviate physical symptoms such as pain, headaches, and digestive issues. The tapping process itself is straightforward and can be learned and practiced at home. In a session with me I will usually begin by having the client identify a specific issue they want to work on and rate the intensity of the emotion or physical symptom on a scale of 0-10.
I will then guide you through a series of tapping sequences, where you'll tap on specific points on the body while focusing on the issue. After each round of tapping, you would re-rates the intensity of the emotion or symptom until it decreases to zero or a manageable level. I often blend EFT into a session as its fabulous at reducing things like cravings.
The effectiveness of EFT has been studied in numerous clinical trials, with promising results. A 2019 systematic review of EFT for anxiety found that it was a promising treatment for anxiety-related disorders, with many studies showing significant reductions in symptoms. Similarly, a 2016 review of EFT for PTSD found that it was an effective treatment for reducing PTSD symptoms, with many studies showing significant improvements.
In conclusion, EFT is a powerful technique for managing emotional distress and improving overall well-being. its a really useful tool I can teach you for addressing a wide range of emotional and physical issues.