What is Emotional Freedom Technique?
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a popular modality that specifically addresses the mind-body connection. EFT is a type of psychological acupressure that involves the stimulation of traditional Chinese acupuncture points. Instead of using needles, however, it requires only one’s fingertips gently tapping on specific acupressure points on the body. EFT also involves actively thinking about or verbalizing the problem while “tapping” into energy conduits.
How does EFT work?
EFT, or balancing the body’s energy system, is a way to alleviate both physical and psychological pain. The technique is safe, easy to use, and provides excellent results for those dealing with emotional blockages, trauma, physical pain, phobias, grief, addiction, weight issues and more. Its success has been attributed, in part, to its ability to stimulate the brain to reconstruct, or reframe, its cognitive processes. Simply put, by successfully employing EFT, the person no longer processes thoughts or emotions the way they did before, and negative feelings and emotional hot buttons simply lose their emotional charge. The memory of the traumatic event still exists, but it can no longer trigger a stressful or painful emotional or physical response. The person experiences the appropriate feelings but loses the over-the-top emotions regardless how extreme or how long they existed.
Who developed it?
Developed by Stanford-trained engineer Gary Craig, EFT clearly draws not only from the likes of Chinese Acupuncture and holistic psychology, but also from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Classical Conditioning, Thought Field Therapy, Applied Kinesiology and NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming). It is truly as brilliant and simple as it is eclectic.
For those unfamiliar with it, EFT may seem like a relatively new concept or technique. In reality, an estimated 6 million people worldwide use EFT and have been doing so for decades. It is actively being researched in 7 different countries by various investigators. One area under investigation is the work being done using EFT with veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In one study, veterans were given standardized psychological tests both before and after 6 sessions of EFT. The results showed a statistically significant decrease in all parameters of PTSD with positive psychological gains remaining three months later. Results like these have provided not only hope, but also impetus for further study on the use of EFT.
Could EFT influence our genetic expression?
Another area under study is how EFT can impact our genetic expression. It turns out that just because heart disease or diabetes runs in your family does not mean that is your genetic destiny! Genetic material is not written in stone; genes are much more malleable than previously believed. Eye color and a few other heritable traits aside, the physical and mental health conditions we attribute to genetics may be more aptly considered genetic predispositions, or genetic possibilities, subject to external influences. These external influences fall under the realm of epigenetics, a branch of science rapidly gaining popularity.
Consider the story of identical twin sisters reared apart. By 92 years of age, one sister lives independently, still works around the house and has outlived most of her friends and family. The other sister is blind, riddled with arthritis and has dementia. Since they are genetically identical, only epigenetic signals could account for the vast difference in their quality-of-life outcome.
Can our thoughts affect our wellbeing?
While it may be easy to grasp the concept that whatever one eats, drinks, or if one exercises, smokes or takes drugs may turn on or off certain genes, it is the metaphysical influences that are most intriguing. While one cannot see an intention, an attitude, a belief or a prayer, it is certainly reasonable to consider that these intangibles also exert powerful epigenetic influences. Operating from the premise that beliefs create behaviour, and behaviour becomes our biochemistry and ultimately our reality, then consciously choosing one’s own beliefs and feelings in an effort to create health and wellbeing is not only reasonable, it is advisable!
The human body has the amazing ability to receive and transmit energy as evidenced by its electromagnetic field. Specifically, the body’s connective tissue (CT) is able to store, amplify, filter and move this energy. Because this ubiquitous tissue wraps around and connects all the organs, connective tissue is the perfect vehicle for conveying important energetic information. It is conceivable that every single thought reverberates throughout the entire connective tissue system, turning off or on genes that could manifest as stress or peace, disease or health. It makes sense to employ a gentle, safe technique like EFT to allow us to address our thoughts, words, lifestyle and emotional issues. EFT also helps resolve disruptions in the body’s energy system long before they manifest as physical and/or mental dis-ease, or ultimately disease.
While EFT is not a panacea and may not work 100% of the time, its effectiveness and reliability rate is quite high. As the field of epigenetics continues to prove that genetic expression is altered by conscious thought and behavior, EFT provides a way to sidestep ominous genetic potentials by overcoming limiting beliefs, painful memories, and self-sabotaging behaviors. Easy to learn and simple to use, EFT can help diminish the trauma, anxiety, fear, and a host of other negative thoughts or memories that contribute to human suffering. Certainly, the trend moving forward is to utilize self-help tools like EFT, and other energy healing modalities, to exert positive epigenetic effects that will help people achieve greater health, happiness and wellbeing.