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How to Tap Yourself Calm with Emotional Freedom Techniques

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Annie O'Grady

Annie O'Grady

Annie O'Grady, author of 'Tapping Your Troubles Away', is a qualified accredited Master Trainer and Advanced Practitioner in EFT INTERNATIONAL, a not-for-profit association which is standardising EFT training around the world.
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Health & Wellness
Aug 19, 2021

How to Tap Yourself Calm with Emotional Freedom Techniques

'I wouldn't have believed this if I hadn't tried it, because tapping on yourself to feel better sounds ridiculous,' said a newcomer to EFT tapping, an evidence-based practice for a wide range of health issues. 'But after tapping for a few minutes, I'm not panicking now about my coming surgery, I accept that I have good doctors, so I can relax.'

The self-help technique for dealing with everyday stresses is now literally at your fingertips, after only a few minutes' tuition. EFT tapping is a stress release technique accessible to anyone, from the office worker upset by workplace pressures, to the parent wanting to help an anxious child, to the great-grandmother who regularly taps away worries for ten minutes before bedtime so she can sleep better. 

EFT tapping is a practical DIY help, a quick way of calming mind, heart and body.

  • Want to calm anxiety symptoms?
  • Recover from shock?
  • Lower or get rid of specific anger, frustration, sadness, grief, unnecessary fear or any emotional pain?
  • Soothe mental anguish/excessive COVID fears? 
  • Reduce or lose some physical pain, maybe a headache?
  • Start clearing relationship difficulties?
  • Let go of sports/stage performance nerves?
  • Soothe a sick pet?

Tapping for in-depth and complex problems requires trained experienced help from qualified EFT practitioners. While this takes more persistence, more than 120 international clinical studies prove that evidence-based EFT tapping often achieves startlingly impressive mind/body outcomes, and does it faster than traditional methods.1 

For example, EFT's stress release technique is on record to ward off or stop a migraine in minutes.1A This is possible because extensive research shows that emotional distress contributes greatly to illness.1B

How Do You Do EFT Tapping?

You learn to fingertap on several acupuncture points on your body (acupressure) while you say a reminder phrase in a repeatable 60-second cycle. This is a simple, gentle and safe way to help safeguard both your mental and physical health.

While the reminder phrase simply focuses attention on one specific problem of yours at a time, the psychological acupressure, which is another name for the basic tapping sequence, relaxes your nervous system via the ancient Chinese map of the body's meridian system -- and together they rewire unhelpful neural pathways in the brain which leads to positive effects. Harvard Medical School research demonstrates that acupressure calms the brain's fear centre, the amygdala.

More complex problems frequently yield to experienced help from EFT practitioners.

  • Do you want to put behind you a fear of the dentist, or a phobia, or depression, or even Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which has no official cure? More than 21,000 U.S. war veterans diagnosed with P.T.S.D. have experienced six to ten one-hour EFT sessions, some online or by phone, and a large percentage of them no longer qualify for P.T.S.D. (How many suicides has that prevented?)2
  • Do you want to quickly and gently neutralise bad memories? The massive Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACES) continuing in the U.S.A. highlights alarming connections between unresolved childhood trauma and just about every serious illness or addiction much later in life.

As EFT Master Ann Adams says, 'The genius of EFT is that you can pull up what bothers you, and turn it off!'

Calming an anxiety disorder on a humanitarian scale, volunteers teach the tapping process to traumatised groups of adults and children in disaster areas worldwide.3

EFT and Science

EFT began humbly on the internet in the nineties as a gift to the world by its developer, Stanford engineering graduate Gary Craig, who simplified a more complex modality called Thought Field Therapy.

Millions of lay people and health professionals alike now use EFT as the tapping solution lowers their stress hormone cortisol. While researchers consider a 15% reduction of cortisol is good, in one study a one-hour EFT private session reduced cortisol by 23%, and a one-hour group tapping session reduced cortisol by 43%.4

EFT is endorsed by some major institutions in the U.S.A., U.K., and Canada5, as well as by many doctors and some psychiatrists. Epigenetics pioneer Dr. Bruce Lipton says, 'EFT is a simple, powerful process that can profoundly influence gene activity, health and behaviour.'

A recent study showed that a 50-minute EFT tapping session switched on an average of 72 beneficial genes. These included genes that suppress tumors, build memory, reduce inflammation, boost immunity and regulate insulin.6

Australia's Associate Professor Peta Stapleton of Bond University (Psychologist of the Year, 2019), has spent ten years conducting world-first randomised clinical trials investigating EFT for depression, food cravings and chronic pain. She recounts experiences in her book 'The Science Behind EFT Tapping', which has a foreword by Dr. Joe Dispenza.

In her 2019 TED talk, 'Is Therapy Facing a Revolution?',7 Dr. Stapleton describes EFT as a leader in 'fourth wave psychotherapy', meaning brief techniques that involve a somatic (body) component, which require more than 2 but fewer than 10 sessions.

In Australia, Dr. Stapleton cites increasing mainstream acceptance of EFT via Australia's Blue Knot Foundation, which endorses EFT for helping adult survivors of childhood trauma, also via the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) , which provides financial support for EFT treatment.8

Dr. Stapleton's groundbreaking fMRI testing of people while they use EFT not only records beneficial effects on brain changes but it also confirms that even imagining doing this tapping practice creates effective improvement (because you have to keep still in an fMRI machine).8

While EFT might sound too good to be true, why not try it for yourself with a qualified EFT practitioner or trainer, and improve your stress response?

You could book a private session or an online workshop, or take a short course, or even train as an EFT practitioner. Professionals in other disciplines often add some EFT skills to their own.


1. 'The Science Behind Tapping' by Dr. Peta Stapleton (2019)

1A.This is demonstrated on a woman with a migraine on the DVD 'PTSD and Trauma', (which I have, about the making of a U. S. movie documentary on treating combat veterans with EFT, called 'Operation: Emotional Freedom – The Answer')

1B. Dr. Peta Stapleton: 'The Ultimate Tapping Guide'

2. PTSD: conducted by Dawson Church Ph.D. over 10 years. Youtube video :'Dawson Church on the Latest EFT Research with German subtitles' (2017) 

3. Youtube video: French tappers work with traumatised people after Haiti earthquake 2012.

4. Studies show cortisol reduced after a one-hour EFT session by 23% after a private session, up to 43% in group tapping. (15% is considered good.) Dr. Peta Stapleton,

5. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Canadian Psychotherapy Association, U.K. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. 

6. A new study recently performed by Maharaj at Akamai University was published in the peer reviewed journal, Energy Psychology Theory, Research and Treatment, that documents altered gene expression immediately after a 50 minute session of EFT.

7. Youtube: TED talk 'Is Therapy Facing A Revolution?, by Dr. Peta Stapleton, (2019) and her book 'The Science Behind EFT' (2019).

8. Interview with Dr. Peta Stapleton on Kinda Radio, UK, (2021).

Related Topics

From the NTP Practitioners,  Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT),  Stress,  Anxiety,  COVID-19

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