Dear EFT Community,
Here Sejual Shah describes using the hand points alone when working with people new to EFT. The hand points are often easier for them to wrap their minds around than the whole Basic Recipe.
- Dawson Church
The EFT shortcut algorithm is quick to learn, but sometimes the processing of emotions released can take a lot more work. Where there hasn’t been enough time to build trust to do the latter, I’ve found working with the hand points alone useful. Below I describe two situations where I work with the hand points alone: first, introducing EFT to complete strangers (thanks to EFT trainer Suzanne Zacharia for sharing this approach with me); and second, in quickly empowering someone new to EFT.
Introducing EFT to Strangers
The strangeness of EFT can often get in the way of introducing it to a stranger. Sometimes the recipient can feel self-conscious enough to block any change happening in such a situation out of fear. When in distress in a public place, most people would rather hide than be made the local sideshow. This is where working with the hand points alone can be helpful.
The process can be discrete and needn’t seem foreign. Tapping on these points is a short step forward from shaking hands, an everyday part of social interaction. Thus, you can work within the comfort zone of an EFT newcomer and be more successful in building rapport and trust.
Another benefit is that you’re unlikely to open up a can of emotional worms that the person would prefer not to deal with in public. This type of deeper work can come later when they are ready to work on core issues in private.
In short, if I come across a person in distress in public and sense they might be open to help, I’ll offer EFT. I’ll get the agreement of the person that I can tap on their hand, explaining that it is a de-stress technique. I pre-frame what I’m about to do by explaining that the head and torso points are more efficient in neutralising intense emotions, but that as we’re in a public place I’ll give them a taster by working only with the hand points.
I undersell the hand tapping technique so that we’re working with low expectations and allowing for the possibility that nothing might change. In reality, my experience is that it has never failed to bring about a reduction in intensity and often brings about a significant change. I tap on the side of the hand point for the Setup, but then use the finger, thumb, wrist, and Gamut points of one hand to bring the intensity down on an issue. I’ve helped individuals new to EFT in the following ways:
- Reduced a friend’s headache, which was at an intensity level of 5 out of 10 down to 0 in three rounds whilst in the back of car at night. The friend’s partner is now keen to learn EFT for herself, having experienced the benefits of hand tapping for a separate issue.
- Resolved a sudden allergic rhinitis from an intensity level of 3 to 0 in two minutes. The woman was astonished she could feel her sinuses draining so quickly and easily. As she departed, she said she was going to tell all her colleagues back at the office about how quickly EFT helped her.
- Gained a 75% improvement in a dyslexic symptom. I shared a table in a crowded coffee shop with a mother and two daughters. With the mother’s permission, I offered hand tapping to her 8-year-old dyslexic daughter. As a benchmark, we used how she saw the word "cat" in her mind’s eye. Initially, she saw the word flying around rapidly. I invented some fun word play of the cat running around chasing an invisible mouse and tapped on the finger points.
After about three short rounds, the daughter said that the cat was only moving a little and much slower. Whilst we only worked on one aspect, and further work is needed to resolve the problem, I know that the mother has been inspired to download the free EFT manual. She has gotten her own evidence sufficient to investigate EFT further for her benefit.
All three examples show how individuals have gotten their own evidence that EFT can work, and are sufficiently inspired to explore further. What a great way to spread the word!
The last example also points to a further benefit in offering hand tapping by creating a safe environment: empowering the person. Simple as the EFT algorithm is, for some newcomers with heavy problems or too much going on, there can be a sense of "this is still too complicated for my needs right now."
Empowering Someone New to EFT
Where I have limited time to explain how EFT works, especially in a public environment, I try to leave the person feeling they can work with the hand points and start calming down the pain they’re living with on a daily basis. This isn’t the most efficient approach to their self-healing, but for many it’s the gentlest way forward when they’re feeling overwhelmed. Thus they work at a pace that’s right for their needs.
Here are a couple of examples of this approach at work.
I was at a busy open-air market stall selling crystals when “Jenny” asked me what a particular mineral was. I passed it to her, gave her the name, and asked her if she felt anything from the crystal energy. She immediately said it made her uncomfortable. I offered hand tapping and helped calm down the reaction rapidly.
Jenny then mentioned that she has been struggling with some upsets in her life. So I taught her how to tap on her hands whenever feelings of discomfort came up, even when at work or in public. For her this was a safe way to work. She contacted me two weeks later to tell me how much the tapping had helped in her day-to-day life: “It really works!” she said in a delighted voice. Jenny is coming back to get better at doing EFT, but in the short term has gained confidence and experience that EFT works really works.
“Tania” is a retired friend who lives far from me. She has suffered ME (chronic fatigue syndrome) for more than a decade. The ME had gone into remission last year through holistic bodywork with another therapist. However, this year was different. Tania had a bad 12 months undergoing a serious operation, the effects of two nasty falls, and a bad bout of shingles.
I’d offered EFT on a few occasions. She firmly declined, as she had the misconception she would have to confront the emotional aspects of her problems in order to get anywhere. The geographical distance between us made it difficult to pursue the topic and allay her fears, whilst working on the phone didn’t suit her.
On a recent visit I found her very low in spirits and physically tired. She started talking about her problems. Seeing the distress on her face, I asked if I could do some gentle tapping on her hand as she talked. Then minutes later, there emerged a different woman. She was vibrant and full of energy for the first time in over a month. The hand tapping had taken the edge off her distress. This lasted the rest of the week, long after I’d returned home.
At the end of the week, she phoned me and asked me to devise some Setups for her so that she could continue with the tapping on her own. I suggested that given how successful the finger tapping was for her, it would be good if she continued with it for now. And as for the wordplay, I suggested that she say a very simple affirmation to herself a couple of times, “I love you,” which would provoke tail-enders for her to finger tap and take the edge off.
Simplicity was the key for Tania here. If we’d gone into the full-on version of EFT she would have required one-on-one help, which would have conflicted with her desire to be independent. I suspect she would have gotten bogged down and lost momentum in her progress. There was the potential for the release to be too overwhelming for her on her own.
Instead, by teaching her finger tapping as a starting point, she’s got a tool she can use simply and easily to take the edge off many intense memories. I’m hoping that she will in a short period of time be ready to work with the full version of EFT, with or without a practitioner, to get to the heart of her problems.
At the heart of this strategy is the desire to empower the people I work with to pace their improvement at whatever rate they decide is right for them. If they want to try the full version of EFT, then I encourage them to download the free manual or work with a practitioner who suits their needs. In the meantime, finger tapping provides an easy way to calm down distress until they can proceed to full EFT. If a client is too distressed to go on to full EFT and isn’t ready to work with a skilled practitioner, then I encourage them to do finger tapping, as at the least they’re calming down their pain. It’s a first step.
After sharing my experiences with hand tapping in the newsletter, I received a huge e-mail response with lots of queries, which I responded to individually at the time. Below is a summary of those questions and answers.
Please describe the location of the hand points you mention: I use the side of the hand, finger, thumb, and Gamut points, and the wrist points (the wrist points are on the inside of the wrist at the base of each hand).
Do you just tap on all the hand points or only certain ones?: I tap on all hand points available unless my intuition suggests otherwise. As we're trying to move stagnant energy, I find it helpful to work with as many points as are easily accessible.
Do you still do the full Gamut, i.e., the counting, etc.?: I don't use any of the Gamut brain-balancing movements (including the humming and eye rolling) as this would be too intrusive when making first contact. In my full-length treatments with clients, I rarely use the Gamut brain-balancing movements, as I usually get such great results with the shortcut head and torso points.