EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) is an energy psychology that was founded in the mid 1990’s by Gary Craig, a Stanford Engineer, following his studies with Roger Callahan in Thought Field Therapy. As the public demand for alternative medicines is growing we are starting to see and hear more and more about the successes of EFT in the Media, in many areas including PTSD.
EFT is based on the belief that all negative emotions are a result of an imbalance in the body energy system. Eastern traditions have been aware of the meridians of energy for thousands of years. The meridian network was detailed in the first medical account of acupuncture in The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, which dates from the Han Dynasty (206 BCE to 220 ACE). A simple way to describe EFT would be that it is like emotional acupuncture, without the needles.
An EFT therapist works by tapping (teaching the Client to tap) with the fingertips on certain meridian points, stimulating the blocked energy so that is starts flowing freely again. Whilst tapping, the Client focusses on negative feelings, thoughts and emotions and experiences rapid and often long lasting relief, as the body and mind become calmed and energetically balanced.
One of the areas that EFT is most effective in is Trauma. When you experience a traumatic event, it is stored not only in your memory but in your body also. It is not uncommon for sickness and disease to be diagnosed shortly after the experience of trauma. The mind and body operate as one.
The mind is not able to tell the difference between what is happening in the present moment and what is a memory. It can be triggered by anything which it perceives as a threat and the body reacts instinctively in order to protect us. You may experience physical symptoms such as increased heart rate, sweating, shaking, nightmares, insomnia, mood swings, memories of destruction, pain or death, tensions or pain in the body.
For example, if you were the driver who had survived a severe car crash, and before the moment of impact you saw in the rear view mirror a red truck hurtling towards you, then the chances are, in the future (if you ever drive again), when you look into the rearview mirror and see a red truck coming up behind you, you will experience the same rush of physical symptoms that you had just before the original accident.
If you were beaten or abused as a child (or adult) you may be triggered by a smell, a location, a tone of voice or a facial expression and you would immediately feel an emotional intensity.
An EFT Therapist would guide you through these emotional and physical intensities. You would recall the traumatic memory and tap on the meridian points to calm down any anxieties that come up as a result. It is important to work with an experienced Therapist as they will have been trained in techniques such as the Tearless Trauma Technique which allow you, the client, to recall any incident in a safe and pain free environment.
Sometimes relief is experienced almost immediately. The memory is not taken away, instead the negative emotions are neutralized so that you do not have to relive the physical symptoms of the trauma over and over again, as if you were there.
EFT does not replace medical treatments and you should always seek advice from your Doctor before using EFT, this is especially important if you have depression.
Here are some interesting video links, showing EFT sessions live
Video interview with Celia Kane, diagnosed with PTSD, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Video footage was recorded working with War Veterans from Vietnam and Iraq and shows clearly how EFT works with PTSD go to http://www.emofree.com/freevideos.aspx and click on the video EFT for War Veterans.
This lady took part of one of Gary Craig’s earlier training workshops and this session was recorded with permission and is included in Gary’s DVD library. It shows just how EFT helped her with her childhood sexual abuse.
For more information on EFT and a whole library of information, including free downloads and tutorials go to http://www.emofree.com
I work as an Energy Practitioner and am a Member of AAMET (Association for the Advancement of Meridian Energy Therapies) and GRCCT (General Regulatory Council for Complimentary Therapists). I am also a Member of the NHS Directory of Complimentary and Alternative Practitioners which is available to GPs and members of the public (UK). For more information http://www.mindbodyEFT.co.uk or call 0845 0542898 (UK local rate)