EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Techniques and is a body-oriented technique used for physical complaints (including chronic ones) , negative feelings and thoughts, limiting beliefs and difficulty to process memories.
It is a method that you can easily learn yourself, so that you can use it in your daily life when there is increased stress.
Did you know that EFT was introduced in 6 Flemish hospitals for relieving concentration problems and anxiety in cancer patients? Read the article here.
Looking for a powerful tool?
We have already discovered much about how the brain works and what impact stress has on our bodies and feelings. Our built-in stress mechanism is triggered dozens of times a day because we have to continuously adapt to heightened moments of tension (e.g., full bladder, crying baby, angry boss, difficult meeting, argument with adolescent or partner,...). If we can easily address this, then the tension subsides again and we stay within our "Window of Tolerance," the area where the tension is bearable and where we remain calm. You stay connected to yourself and others. You recognize that you are in your "Window of Tolerance" by a calm breathing, heart rate, voice and relaxed muscles. You don't have to think about this, it happens automatically when you've gone to pee, the baby is calm again, you've worked it out with boss or partner,... You know it: a feeling of relief, 'hehe it's quiet inside myself again'.
But you also recognize the "o oooh" feeling when a stressor does not resolve. Then our survival mechanism engages unconsciously. A part of our brain called the amygdala (our "smoke detectors" sensing stress or danger) are triggered and initiate a fight/flight or freeze respons before we realize it. This unconscious part of our nervous system works in a flash of a second. You can't do anything about it. How do you recognize a stress response? The fight reflex causes you to have tense muscles, nervous behaviour, shivering, flipping or having tics. The flight reflex make you want to flee the situation. This can be done by literally running but also by fleeing into your work or food. The freeze reflex on the contrary paralyzes you. You feel weak, can't get a word out and can hardly feel your body.
EFT is based on this knowledge. Every illness, symptom, pain or physical ailment causes stress. Any situation where you experience negative feelings (sadness, indignation, shame, anger, dismay,...) causes stress. Every negative thought or limiting belief ('here we go again', 'I can't do that', 'I'm not worth it', 'I'm too stupid/fat/ugly/...', 'people can't be trusted',...) causes stress. And finally, negative memories and traumas from even years ago can continue to unconsciously haunt us and trigger stress.
And every time, the amygdala set the alarm and we experience a stress response. The relief that EFT brings in these cases is that it acts directly on calming the amygdala, as if on a primitive physical level the message is given: you are safe in the here and now, you can relax now. A lot of scientific research showed the added value of EFT for problems such as anxiety disorders, phobias, Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, addictions, eating disorders, etc.
During an EFT session, we gently and alternately tap the ends of the various meridians that are located just under the skin. Meridians are microscopic narrow pathways running through our bodies, through which our life energy flows. When stress increases, a meridian can become blocked. Perhaps you also recognize this when you just don't feel "in the flow," or you have too little energy? Any element that gives us stress can block meridians. It is exactly this blockage that gives the variety of symptoms (ex pain, sadness, fear, negative thought,...). By removing the blockage, the symptom disappears.
The practitioner can tap on you or you can do it yourself. Again, interesting scientific research has been done about treating meridians (via acupuncture or EFT) and has shown a direct link to decreasing stress symptoms.
EFT can help us grow as human beings because it brings us to that place of inner peace. Every being needs space and inner peace to grow and flourish.
Try it out
Have you already received an EFT session and would you like to practice on yourself? This video shows step by step what points you can tap on. The still image changes automatically after a few seconds, giving you time to apply what it says.