When I find myself off in the weeds or feeling bad, EFT is always there to help me weather personal challenges, and live life as authentically as I possibly can. It enables me to get back on the horse when I fall, to stretch more comfortably, and to approach all of my goals more effortlessly.
I use it to help other people too: When you acknowledge hurts, fears, worries and negative self-talk or limiting thinking, a lot can change –allergies can mysteriously vanish, chronic pain/conditions can dissipate and with naturally improved self-esteem as a result of this work – imagine what kind of life you could live?
My training and experience includes hundreds of hours of private sessions and group work since 2005.
I am an AAMET Accredited, Certified EFT Trainer (of Trainers), and I also bring more than 17 years of experience as a private tutor and learning specialist to my 1-on-1 session work. I teach EFT workshops all over the US, and I mentor practitioners, teachers and students, as well as continue a full practice.
My Tapping Story
In early 2005. I was working as a learning strategies trainer in New York City, a job where I was traveling from home to home, giving private lessons, tutoring and helping people create technology solutions for themselves.
I did well professionally, but I was pretty unhappy, and I felt as if I was really spinning my wheels. I sensed I was carrying a ton of stress around with me – and I had some good reasons – but I knew I wanted to let go of it, somehow. TMJ (a painful jaw condition) tormented me daily - so much that I used to wake with headaches, and my wrists always hurt from what I thought was simply working on the computer too much. It seemed I was constantly sick in some form or another, always on antibiotics and deeply unsatisfied with my personal relationships.
I learned of EFT almost casually after contacting a hypnotherapist I found online. Before we got around to doing any hypnotherapy, she introduced me to EFT and explained that she had just learned it and wanted to try it on me. I agreed, and, to my surprise and delight, after only five minutes of tapping, several years of “carpal tunnel” pain literally melted away (and did not return for over two years)!
The experience blew me away. EFT eased my physical symptoms, and it also removed the sting from deeper, more troubling PTSD issues and traumatic memories that slowly — and safely — emerged during the tapping. Had I actually found a cure for the many terrible feelings I had been carrying around with me for so long? In short, I experienced the clear connection between my feelings and my physical symptoms during this process — and a way to finally do something about it.
What is Tapping All About?
There are a number of ways people describe EFT, Emotional Freedom Techniques or Tapping:
A self-help technique, similar to acupuncture, except we don't use needles
A Westernized form of Chinese Medicine
Tapping on acupoints while talking or tuning-in to the problem at-hand... It helps restore balance to the body's energy system
A somatic (body-centered) form of talk-therapy
An evidence-based, somatic intervention for the effects of trauma, similar to EMDR
As someone who's been practicing EFT (for myself and to help others) for over 13 years, I believe tapping helps us hold space for ourselves in new ways – ways that allow the energy of difficult thoughts and feelings to naturally shift. When we allow ourselves to have what we are having (e.g. the 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 high alert. There is a sense of being under threat that 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.
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.
With EFT, we can begin allowing ourselves to gently have our pain, and find and clear the roots of our present painful circumstances. For example, this may mean noticing our thinking that we're not doing or being enough or otherwise pushing ourselves too hard. 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 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...
When we'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?
If you're new to EFT/Tapping, I've co-written a free introductory manual (available from AAMET/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 AAMET/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.