Simple But Different – EFT For Anxiety
Have you heard of EFT and been wondering what it is, how it works, or how it could help you?
Or maybe you've explored all the mainstream techniques of dealing with anxiety, and you're ready to try something a little bit different – especially if it's easy and safe and is guaranteed not to leave you strung out on a limb feeling worse than when you started.....
Then fasten your seatbelt and read on.....
We'll only go a little way down the rabbit hole!
Photo credit: Michal Marcol at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
So what is EFT?
EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) is one of several methods of energy psychology, working directly on blockages in the mind-body energy system.
It combines the principles of ancient Chinese medicine with modern psychology, using gentle tapping on acupuncture meridian points to resolve emotional distress.
In essence, you focus on key aspects and feelings related to the issue, while tapping on these meridian points – so it differs from traditional acupuncture or acupressure, which just work with the energy system without requiring you to think about the issue.
Once learned, it's easy to apply as a self-help procedure, and it makes a great first-aid technique for anxiety or panic, since you can do it anywhere. (There's even a version where you just tap on finger points, which you can do very unobtrusively.)
EFT has been found helpful in a whole range of problems, including fears and phobias, traumatic reactions, anxiety, addictions, anger, etc. It is also helpful in dealing with pain and other physical conditions, especially where these have some emotional component.
And it's more and more being used in creative and innovative ways to deal with performance anxiety, self-sabotage and blocks to reaching your goals, self-esteem problems, relationship issues, and other problems that prevent you reaching your full potential and enjoyment of life.
There are no negative side-effects, and no reported cases where anyone has felt worse after doing EFT.
You can use it on everything!
How to use EFT
EFT can be used for any emotional or physical problem. Some problems will resolve with just one round of tapping, while others will require several rounds, with different aspects of the problem emerging one by one to be dealt with.
You can expect to get good results by using EFT as a self-help technique, simply by being persistent and working through the problem and its associated feelings, as these different feelings and aspects arise. However, if you are dealing with a complex or difficult issue, you may find it helpful to work with a therapist, for support and for help in identifying the core aspects of the problem. It's sometimes hard to go deep enough on your own.
Even if you want to work with a practitioner, you will get more from EFT if you have already learned the basic technique and practised it for yourself.
Doing EFT won't increase your distress, even though it does require that you focus on something distressing. This will probably be hard to believe if you have done any type of other therapy, but you will understand when you try it. The tapping immediately defuses your distress – it will just dissolve, and it's not like the numbing that you get from taking medication.
The best way to begin using EFT is to try tapping when you are already feeling anxious or beginning to panic. Although there are more complex ways to do it, with specific statements to say and a given order of points to tap, the basic form is just to tap while feeling distressed.
Tap on whatever points you can remember, in whatever order.
It's not a distraction technique!
So don't try to think about something calming.
If you've practiced mindfulness meditation at all, you will already know how to focus on what is happening in your body and mind. If you've never done that before, just have a go – it's pretty hard not to focus on anxiety when it's present!
Here's a video with Margaret Lynch, an experienced tapping practitioner, that shows you one way you can use EFT for anxiety. Follow along and learn how and where to tap, and pick up some useful tapping tips:
Video: Using EFT for anxiety
Is EFT helpful for anxiety?
There is only one way to find out - try it for yourself!
There's no risk, and it won't cost you anything to try it, and not even very much effort.
In fact, EFT and its older cousin TFT – Thought Field Therapy – were very targeted to anxiety and phobia treatment, and they have chalked up an impressive history of success in dealing with anxiety.
If you would like to read about the experiences of someone who did find EFT amazingly helpful for her anxiety, read this post.
Any warnings about EFT?
EFT is not a substitute for proper medical treatment.
For physical conditions, see your doctor first, and don't stop any prescribed medication or treatment without consulting your doctor.
EFT can be used with any medical treatment to enhance its results, and to reduce any unwanted side-effects.
EFT can be combined with any other therapy or treatment you might be using – there are no contra-indications. You can use it safely if you are pregnant or breast-feeding!
Want to learn more about EFT?
If you want to discover more about EFT, you can find a lot of free information on Gary Craig's official EFT website:
For a comprehensive overview of EFT, this book is recommended as an excellent introduction:
The Promise of Energy Psychology: Revolutionary Tools for Dramatic Personal Change by David Feinstein, Donna Eden & Gary Craig.
One of the co-authors is GaryCraig, the founder of EFT, so you can be sure that this is Gary's "Gold Standard" EFT...
David Feinstein is a licensed clinical psychologist, and the national director of the non-profit Energy Medicine Institute, while Donna Eden is a highly respected practitioner and teacher of energy medicine, with 5 other books on energy psychology published.
This book gets 4.5 stars on Amazon, and is highly recommended both as an introduction to EFT and energy psychology for a beginner, or to learn some more in-depth techniques if you already know the basics. It includes some explanation and background of energy psychology, as well as practical applications for personal change.
EFT has become popular and there are many books being written about it now, but you want to learn from those who have an in-depth understanding of energy psychology and how to apply it properly.
This is a great book if you want an overview of energy psychology, and it's highly recommended as one of the best for credibility and usefulness.