By Juanita Ecker
Because EFT tapping (Emotional Freedom Techniques) is still relatively new, people may not know what to expect of a tapping session. I thought it would be a good idea to explain how it works.
Here is a little background on EFT. EFT was developed about 25 years ago by Gary Craig. Its foundation is in Chinese medicine and acupuncture. Instead of using needles, you tap gently with your fingertips on the meridian points (acupoints) on the surface of your skin. Tapping on the acupoints helps restore balance in the energy system. Focusing on a negative event or a bad memory while tapping helps remove the charge (the negative emotions) associated with that event or memory. In other words, the tapping allows you to release the emotional impact of those thoughts so that the memory no longer triggers you. This may sound complicated, yet tapping is very simple to do.
EFT tapping reduces stress and calms the nervous system. Research has shown that it is effective in addressing pain, phobias, and trauma, among other problems. It can be used to calm anxiety and reduce cravings. It can work on relationship issues, financial burdens, or work-related stress. Whether it is money, relationships, career, health, or body issues, EFT is a powerful technique that can help you get more out of life.
We all have unresolved emotions that are stored in our bodies. For example, think of something you wish had never happened. When you think of that event, what emotion comes up for you? If what you are feeling is negative, then the energy of those unresolved emotions is still stuck in your body. The meridian tapping is a way to release those unresolved emotional hurts and reprogram the subconscious mind.
EFT practitioners often offer a free consultation prior to your actual tapping session, so they can learn what you want to work on. Check with the practitioner you are considering to see if he or she offers this option. (No tapping is done during the initial consultation.) During the consultation, you can ask questions and set realistic goals. You can then decide if it makes sense to work with this practitioner. Many EFT practitioners now offer sessions that are done on the phone, via Zoom, or via Skype, as well as in-person sessions. For the phone sessions, it saves the clients travel time and they can do the sessions from the comfort of their homes. This allows the client to work with any EFT practitioner no matter where they live.
So what really happens in a session? At the beginning of the session, the practitioner will ask what the most pressing issue is right now. EFT tapping can address a variety of physical and emotional issues. Whatever is the most pressing issue for the client is where we start.
At the beginning of the session, you will be asked to tune into your body while thinking about the issue you want to address. The practitioner will ask you to give the emotion you are feeling a rating from 0 to 10. This numerical rating is your SUD (Subjective Units of Distress) score. At 10, the emotion you are feeling is at its worst; at 0, it is completely gone. This SUD rating helps both of us measure the effectiveness of the techniques we are using during the session.
You tap along with the practitioner during the session, each of you tapping on yourself. We tap on the end points of the meridians on the face and torso. EFT sessions are relatively painless. You won’t have to dwell on painful memories for tapping to work. After a few rounds of tapping, you will be asked to tune in and see where your SUD number is now. We track when the number goes up, down, or disappears. The goal is to get the SUD number down to 0.
In this or subsequent sessions, the practitioner will help you identify a specific event or a combination of events from the past that have contributed to the challenges you are experiencing now. Often there are many aspects to an event or an unresolved emotion. Think of the aspects as different parts of a story: the sights, smells, tastes, what you heard, and what you felt. We diligently clear each aspect until it is down to 0 before we move on to the next. We prefer to use the techniques that will help the client clear the issue as quickly as possible.
During tapping sessions, we uncover core issues that play a role in how you view the world. If you are working on a belief such as “I want to lose weight,” “I want to make more money,” or “I want to meet a mate,” the practitioner will ask you to assign a number between 0 and 10 to determine how true the statement feels for you. This rating is called a VOC (Validity of Cognition) score. The scale is the opposite of the SUD scale: at 0, the statement does not feel true; and at 10, it feels totally true.
If we find that you are incongruent with a belief (the number you assigned the statement is not at a 10), we will use the tapping techniques to reprogram your subconscious. The tapping removes beliefs from the subconscious mind that are not serving you and are actually blocking you from achieving the results you want. The tapping is a tool to turn those beliefs and behaviors that are no longer serving you into positive ones that do.
People often ask me if they will need more than one session. Some issues can be dealt with in one or two sessions. Issues that are deep-rooted, persistent, or complex could take longer. I have found that when clients commit to at least four sessions, they typically experience a real breakthrough. The multiple sessions give them enough time to feel a shift.
Clients love how they feel at the end of a session. What was once upsetting to them no longer triggers an emotional response. My clients tell me they feel calmer, happier, and less stressed than they did at the beginning of the session.
Can EFT tapping create a one-minute miracle? Probably not; however, it could be the step you take to improve your life dramatically.
Juanita Ecker is an international EFT tapping coach. She specializes in business performance anxiety, test anxiety, pet loss grief, dealing with an aging parent, and coping with a spouse or family member who has an addiction.