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EFT Tapping: A Self-Help Technique for Managing Anxiety

EFT tapping is a simple self-help method that uses gentle tapping on acupressure points to help relieve anxiety and stress. Best of all, it's free, discreet, and you can do it anywhere.



What Is EFT Tapping?

EFT tapping, or Emotional Freedom Technique, is an alternative therapy for anxiety, stress, and other emotions. It involves tapping with your fingertips on specific acupressure points on your body while focusing on the underlying feelings or events that are causing distress.

The basic idea is that tapping on these energy meridian points helps to release blocked energy and restore the balance in your body's energy system. This can help to relieve anxiety and make painful emotions feel less intense.


Where Does EFT Come From?

Traditional Chinese Medicine views the body as having invisible pathways, called meridians, along which the vital life force or energy known as Chi circulated. These meridians are like highways and smaller routes through which Chi and blood flow throughout our entire being.


It's an intelligent system connecting all the points in our body. Practitioners like Gary Craig (an engineer turned self-help advocate and the creator of EFT) have tapped into this by using specific points that provide powerful effects. It's not just the point itself but its links to other areas of the body through this network that contribute to its impact. This approach recognizes the interconnectivity within us at a deep level.



How EFT Tapping Works to Reduce Anxiety

EFT tapping works by stimulating acupressure points on your body that help regulate your energy (Chi) system.The basic technique involves tapping on the side of your hand (the karate chop point), then tapping on specific points on your face and upper body in a set order. As you tap each point, you repeat a statement that describes your anxiety and how you feel about it. For example, you might say "Even though I feel this anxiety, I deeply and completely accept myself."



After a round of tapping on the points, take a deep breath and check in with how your anxiety feels. Usually, you'll notice the intensity has decreased. You can then do another round, adjusting the statement to reflect how you now feel. Often, just a few minutes of EFT tapping can take the edge off and provide relief from anxious feelings.


The great thing about EFT tapping is you can do it anywhere and no one has to know. It's a simple yet powerful technique you can use to calm your anxiety and stress in the moment. The more you practice, the more effective it becomes.


An EFT Tapping Sequence for Anxiety Relief

An EFT tapping sequence can help relieve anxiety and calm your mind and body. The basic steps are simple to follow:

  1. Identify the issue causing your anxiety. Be specific about the situation, thought, or belief making you feel anxious. Rate the intensity of your anxiety on a scale of 0 to 10.


The main EFT tapping points are:



Karate chop point: The fleshy outside edge of your hand between your wrist and knuckles.



Top of Head point




Eyebrow point: The inside edge of your eyebrows, above the nose.




Side of eye point: On the bone at the outside of each eye.




Under eye point: The bone under each eye.





Under nose point: Between the nose and upper lip.





Chin Point: Between the lower lip and chin.




Collarbone point: The notch where the collarbones meet.




Under arm point: On the side of the torso, about four inches below the armpit.



2. Tap each point while repeating your statement (ex: Even though I feel this anxiety, I completely and deeply love and accept myself". Tap about 7 times on each of the points while saying the phrase at each point.


3. Re-rate your anxiety level. It should decrease, even if just by 1 or 2 points.

If it’s not lower, repeat the sequence.


Repeat as needed until your anxiety feels manageable. You may need to address other aspects of the situation for full relief. But EFT tapping can help take the edge off and give you a sense of control over anxious feelings. With regular practice, you'll get faster at using tapping to calm anxiety whenever it arises.


References

Church, D. & Brooks, A. J. (2014). CAM treatments in the management of psychological health disorders. The Canadian journal of psychiatry, 59(10), 552–558. https://doi. rg/10. 177/070674371405901003


Feinstein, D. (2012). Acupoint stimulation in treating psychological disorders: Evidence of efficacy. Review of General Psychology, 16(4), 364–380. https://doi. rg/10. 037/a0028602


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