Emotional Freedom Technique
By Lynn Buske: dedicated mother, sustainability enthusiast, avid writer, and body/mind/spirit wellness educator through BaredFeet – a longterm project, now turning non-profit, through which she offers yoga classes, dance and movement education, arts as wellness, and information on pure eating, mental health, and spiritual wholeness.
You slip and fall on the ice . . . and break your arm. Walking on the ice is never the same again. Each winter you approach the outdoors with apprehension and a sincere dislike for icy weather. You previously never noticed how much there was and how slippery it was. Perhaps even seasonal depression touches you each winter. And your arm? Well you are cautious with it, it never seemed to return to the way it was, even though x-rays showed that it healed, and that leaves you frustrated and in pain. This is an example of how one traumatic negative experience impacts your emotions and belief system, which impacts your future everyday life in unpleasant ways.
Enter Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Combining tapping on acupressure points, meditation, and cognitive awareness, EFT is an approach to healing that gently considers the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual impacts of negative experiences. The basis of it:
Positive healthy energy in the body flows freely. Every cell of our body functions optimally when blood, oxygen, and neurons move fluidly.
Negative emotions are emotions we try to protect ourselves from: pain, anger, grief, resentment, etc. “The cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body’s energy system,” explains founder Gary Craig. When traumatic things happen, from an argument to a loss of a child, the flow of our body’s energy is disrupted. Those disruptions remain—the imbalance and lack of flow causing the symptoms we have. At this point new, negative beliefs have been formed that impact our view of the world.
EFT gently brings your conscious awareness to the blockage—tapping proper flow into the negative memories and symptoms. When all positivity has been restored, the issue dissolves.
This is similar to meditation. The practice of meditation tells us that being present, aware, and unreactive to a negative experience or memory can release it. However, EFT has been found to be more potent and successful than meditation, and the reason for this lies in how it connects the energy pathways of our body to our brain’s conscious thought. All energy flow is information: “I lift my arm,” “I see ice,” “I am falling,” and “Ouch.” In a traumatic event our information system is overloaded with all of our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual responses—past and present. We cannot process the entire event, nor do we want to. EFT brings awareness to those channels where we have the time, security, and distance to process them. That distance and gentleness makes it more accessible and easier for the non-Buddhist monk to open up to.
EFT was developed by Gary Craig in response to more complicated meridian tapping research. He first started working with clients on it in 1995. The majority of his first successes came from working with war veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. In 2000, he released a manual for anyone to access, learn, and use. This release has generated endless success in many different applications.
People have used it on: broken limbs, cancer, Alzheimer’s, depression, autoimmune disease, anxiety, headaches, anger, grief, belief patterns, as well as “surrogate” tapping on children, animals, loved ones, and even cars that won’t start.
It is 100 percent safe. Applying EFT to extremely painful, complicated diseases and memories should be done with an experienced practitioner (to prevent “re-living” the experience, to provide support, and to assist in unraveling all the layers), but when done on simple daily negative experiences, it can be preventative and bring about a general state of positivity and flow.
Stay tuned for an upcoming article teaching you how to use EFT for yourself and your family, and where you can find local practitioners.