Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT, or Tapping) – Part one

I went for my first EFT session yesterday, and it was profoundly powerful.

EFT was developed by Gary Craig, and is now practiced in many forms all over the world; the basic principles are very easy to learn for yourself, by advanced techniques can go very deep.

What is EFT? In Craig’s own words:

In essence, it is an emotional version of acupuncture, except we don’t use needles. Instead, we stimulate certain meridian points on the body by tapping on them with our fingertips. This has shown repeatedly to reduce the conventional therapy process from months or years down to minutes, hours or a few sessions.

The technique is used to release conditioning, emotion or trauma that is held in the body by correcting imbalances in the body’s energy system. The theory is that past events are often internalised physically, and can later manifest as disease, negative behaviour or phobias.

EFT uses a combination of affirmations and tapping on key meridian points to allow the body to release these held-on-to emotions so that they don’t manifest negatively any more.

I was recommended to Barbara Guest, a local EFT practitioner and trainer, by a friend who underwent a series of successful sessions a few years back.

I stumbled upon the technique just a few weeks ago when trying to find ways of overcoming the pain I was experiencing due to the abscess. I found a series of energetic videos by Nick Ortner which gave me immediate instruction on how to use EFT – or Tapping, as Ortner calls it – to very quickly reduce pain. It worked a little for me, but I was too far gone for it to make much of a difference, and I didn’t have the confidence in myself that I was doing it right. However, I was immediately convinced of its power to release conditioning and trauma, and made a mental note to look into it later on.

When I read Jini Patel Thompson’s recommendation of EFT as a powerful tool in the healing of IBD’s such as Crohn’s, it just felt right to me, and so we got in touch with my old friend and asked him who his practitioner was.

Like so many other energy therapies, it just makes sense in this arena; stress is obviously a key contributor to Crohn’s flare-ups, and I certainly respond to certain situations and obstacles in a way that causes stress, where others may not feel stress at all in those same situations.

Finding and releasing the cause of those stressful reactions feels like a vital weapon for my healing warchest.

I was greeted by a grounded, friendly, and comfortingly-efficient practitioner, who wasted absolutely no time in getting straight to the heart of the matter. Barbara had asked me to prepare in advance a list of issues that I felt I’d like to address. As I was explaining the source of a general undercurrent of stress and anxiety that I’ve held since childhood, Barbara stopped me mid-sentence, and asked if I was feeling that anxiety now. I told her that I was, and she asked me for the bodily location of that anxiety. I felt it in my chest, and she got to work immediately with the Tapping.

We did a few rounds of tapping; Barbara saying particular things about the anxiety – focussing on a particular childhood situation which had come to my memory spontaneously – while gently tapping on various points on my head, face and chest.

Shortly, the anxiety began to lift, and I felt various emotions coming to the surface. I cried as they did. Barbara continued to tackle that particular incident from various angles, and quite soon the anxiety had changed to a combination of aloneness and sadness. We began to explore these emotions, and Barbara began tapping on my key EFT meridian points while asking me to repeat a new round of phrases related to those feelings at that time.

Towards the end of several rounds of the tapping, a very vivid image came to my mind about a series of situations that I encountered in my teens that caused me stress and some trauma. I had heard Nick Ortner say that often the body will show you what needs to be looked at next, so I described the issue to Barbara, and she set to work addressing that.

This happened repeatedly throughout the session; just as a particular emotion released, I saw a new, vivid scene that needed addressing. The flow of the scenes was fascinating and quite a surprise each time it came up; I went from early childhood, through to the stressful events four years ago that triggered my first IBD symptoms, right through to the series of incidents that lead to my recent crash and hospitalisation. It was flowing and effortless. At times I sobbed my absolute heart out, as held beliefs, trauma, stress, and emotions appeared to be released.

All the way through, Barbara was hugely compassionate, kind, focussed, and non-judgemental as I shared with her some very intimate and sometimes dark details of my past. I felt, from the very start of the session through to the end, completely safe. Barbara is someone you know you can trust.

She explained that although we look at specific incidents, when the emotion experienced during a particular incident is addressed, the body naturally seeks out and releases similar held emotions from similar related events automatically. So we only have to knock out so many legs of the table for the the whole table to topple over.

Towards the end of the session, my whole body not only felt lighter, but I could actually feel the energy inside lifting me, as if I wanted to float out of the seat. As I stood up, Barbara had to guide me through a grounding excercise to stop me feeling dizzy. She explained that there was a lot of energy being released, and I needed to stay grounded and just let it happen.

We discussed where we were at in the flow of discovery, and what we should start with during the next session. We’d covered way more already than I’d imagined possible an a single hour-and-a-half session.

I was very glad that Jeannie was waiting outside to drive me home. I left feeling light a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. The background anxiety I’ve been feeling for most of my life hasn’t returned, so far, at least. I feel less tense, and more confident to deal with my journey ahead.

I’ve only had a single session, and only time will tell me if some of these issues I’ve addressed are released and gone for good, but right now, EFT feels to me like an incredibly powerful tool for transformation. With stress being a recognised key trigger of Crohn’s symptoms, EFT looks like an essential discovery at the start of this healing journey.

I’m very much looking forward to the next session.

4 thoughts on “Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT, or Tapping) – Part one

  1. Ben says:

    Thank you for sharing this – been intrigued by eft for years. Lovely to hear a friend has had such a positive experience.


  2. Sally says:

    This is a wonderful to read, your experience expressed so clearly. Also that you have discovered this bodywork is working for you. I have used tapping and currently undergoing EMDR (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) for trauma and have experienced similar ‘release’ and the sense that my body/mind is capable of sorting things out, when the right door or tool is used. As you say, it is astounding how simple the techniques are. EMDR uses tappers that I hold in each hand which stimulate my left and right brain to continue processing when a trauma feeling arises, I am then able to move through it, which presumably I didn’t at the time as the body/mind freezes and yes, holds the trauma in the body. Whilst working keeping touch with body sensations and movements is also involved. So positive to read another persons experiences. The freedom from ‘analysing’ or attempting to ‘work things out’ with regard to uncomfortable feelings that just wouldn’t shift with my usual methods, is simply life giving for me. Long may you continue to find benefit from this work.

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