Experience the Art of EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) with Jade Barbee
What is EFT Tapping?
EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) or "tapping" is a gentle self-help approach to feeling better and healing old wounds. Sometimes it's called "acupuncture without needles" or "like EMDR, except you can do it yourself".
There is a lot of varying opinion as well as valid, up-to-date scientific data about what tapping is and how it works, but based on practicing it to help myself and others for over 16 years, I believe it helps us hold space for ourselves in ways that benefit our health in surprising ways.
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When we allow ourselves to have what we are having (e.g. the stress of negative thoughts, "bad" feelings, memories or symptoms we've been avoiding or pushing away), we can feel better, often in a matter of minutes. In other words, tapping is a somatic (body-centered) and systematic approach we can use to experience the benefits of being present – to ourselves.
Everyone has had negative or painful experiences, and each of us deals with these in our own way. Some of us self-medicate (with food, alcohol, drugs or shopping, for example) others externalize (scream, abuse, blame, etc.) and still many more internalize the pain in the form of self-blame, anxiety, physical symptoms or negative thinking. Sometimes it's a combination of all of these. In essence, we humans can get in the habit of pushing away or trying to bury difficult thoughts and emotions.
Bodies Under Stress
When we are stressed out and feeling poorly – even at a so-called low level – our bodies are in a state of discomfort or even high alert. This sense of being under threat can continue for hours, days, weeks or months, depending upon our unique orientation to life. We might be quite used to this, or simply accept it as a part of living – even as we struggle under the weight of it – physically, emotionally, in our relationships...
This pressure can seem to come from outside of us, but consider that it actually comes from within us - from our own negative thoughts, unexpressed feelings, or as a response to the early troubling experiences we still carry.
When our stress responses have been triggered, we find ourselves in a state of fight, flight, freeze or flop. Our bodies release adrenaline and cortisol - powerful stress hormones designed to help us take action for safety and survival. Sometimes this response is appropriate (jumping out of the way of a speeding car, for example), and sometimes it isn't (e.g. inability to express ourselves clearly, screaming at loved one, stuffing down our pain, reaching for the bottle, etc.)
Healing is Possible
EFT can reliably calm our outsized stress responses – like fear, frustration or chronic anxiety – in the moment it is happening, allowing us to think more clearly and restoring our choice-making ability.
In skilled hands, EFT can further be used to address and disarm what gets triggered that is often at the root of our stress – those bad things that happened, our negative thoughts about them, our unfortunate conclusions about ourselves – so our nervous systems can safely relax. We're likely just trying to protect ourselves – consciously or unconsciously – from bad things happening again...
In short, when we allow ourselves to gently have our pain – to no longer push it away – healing is possible. When we tap and allow what's most present for us, a trail can open up back to the early times in life when we developed our strategies and protective coping skills. By being present to the feelings, images, or memories that arise while we tap – we create the space for our discomfort (or "stress") to naturally change or evolve. In this way, tapping brings relief...
Do you think your issues might be stress-related? If you sense you're stuck in a cycle of stress or struggle, a program of personal EFT sessions can help. How often do you really give yourself the opportunity to be present to yourself or notice what's going on under the surface of your current situation?
Learn the Art of "Tapping"
If you're new to EFT, I've co-written a free introductory manual (available from EFT International). Download it here to get started exploring how tapping can help you.
Are you interested in the science behind EFT or the research that's been done? There are 35+ Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs, the gold-standard for research) involving EFT and EFT-related modalities. Head over to EFT International to explore the research archive.
Finally, if you've heard about EFT, experienced it, or sense that it might be the right tool to help you better assist your clients, consider an EFT training course. Together we practice the ins and outs of tapping with other students in a fun, engaging and cooperative group environment – a fantastic way to learn this life-long skill.