What is EFT and How Does It Work?
EFT – or Emotional Freedom Techniques – is a method designed to release negative emotional charges from the body. Remember the last time you felt excited, how that feeling gave you loads of energy, how you felt motivated and enthusiastic? That’s an example of a great emotional charge to have stored in your body – every time you come across a similar situation to the one that stimulated that excitement, you feel all that excitement again and more. Knowing what is EFT can change your life in unexpected and delightful ways.
By contrast, however, think about the last time you were frightened by something – maybe a lonely walk through a shortcut on the way home, or a noise outside in the night. Remember how your heart pounded, your breath quickened and maybe your palms began to sweat? That’s an example of a negative emotional charge – and it’s one that your system also remembers and reproduces each time you’re in a similar situation.
One of the ways we learn so quickly and so well is based on our body’s ability to associate memories with physical sensations – the smell of lavender, for example, may well take you right back to your granny’s front room. How you feel about your granny becomes associated with the smell of lavender. This is great for warning us about present dangers – the smell of gas, for example, means get out fast! However, this subconscious facility for learning can sometimes bring about not so useful reactions.
Imagine, if you will, a situation long ago when a child is giving a presentation in a primary school class. The presentation goes really well … until something happens – the props are in the wrong order so the child picks up the wrong thing, or worse, drops it! All the kids begin to giggle, the child goes red, loses their place, begins to stumble over the words … and finally runs out of the room in tears.
Now imagine that same child as an adult who has to give a presentation to his peers. The closer the time comes when the presentation has to be given, the more nervous the person becomes, until the day of the presentation comes. Armed with key cards, PowerPoint and a well drilled team, giving the presentation is pure torture from beginning to end as this person relives the emotional charge left in his body from his primary school presentation experience.
And it gets worse. Every time the person has to give a presentation, the emotions become more intense, the sweating more profuse, until eventually he feels paralysed by the mere thought of giving a presentation.
EFT uses a tapping technique – or algorithm – to release those troubling emotional charges stored in the body. It’s a way to physically address the physical sensations our bodies produce in response to strong emotion. In particular, EFT is great for releasing unexpressed strong emotion.
The tapping technique involves tapping gently on certain places on the face, upper body and hands, while thinking about specific events where the emotion has, for whatever reason, not been expressed fully. These events can be as simple as a presentation given at primary school or as complex as PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
With our presentation example above, a practitioner would take the person bit by bit through the original experience, tapping out each emotion as it arises, leaving our presenter with a clean slate on which to base his emotional response to presentations in the future.
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