Are you currently using EFT with your clients? If not, you should know more about this valuable stress management tool.
Stress is at an all-time high, and it is seemingly growing each day. Jobs, family, finances, traumatic events in the world and a growing demand for our time and attention all cause additional stress. And there seems to be little relief in sight. Because of this, chronic stress is becoming an epidemic, and it is making people sick!
Stress has become such a big problem that it is now a major factor in six of the leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, lung ailments, accidents and suicide. And now, statistics show that 75 to 90% of all doctor’s office visits are for stress related health complaints.
The stress problem is not going to go away soon. Because of that, every health practitioner needs to arm themselves with a list of ways for their clients to actively reduce and manage stress if they hope to restore health and feel better.
Unfortunately, most clients are unaware that they need to take time to manage their stress daily, and that it must be made a priority. Many believe that sitting in front of a television is enough to counteract the negative effects of stress. They do not know that they need to take a more active approach to stress management to reap the benefits for their health. And it is up to us to help educate them about how stress is contributing to their health complaints. It is also up to us to help guide them to practical and productive ways that they can reduce stress.
One simple and powerful tool that can help reduce stress is EFT (emotional freedom technique). EFT tapping is a technique in which you gently tap on specific energy meridian points in the body. These same points are used in acupuncture, although EFT does not use needles. EFT is particularly effective with mental and emotional stress and is often used to help people overcome the stress that is related to past trauma as well as other emotional stressors.
The History of EFT
The power of tapping on meridian points was discovered by psychologist Roger Callahan, who was a pioneer in the field of cognitive and behavior therapy. It was through his study of applied kinesiology and understanding the energy meridian systems of the body that Dr. Callahan thought to try tapping along with the traditional forms of therapy that he was using. He used this idea with a client who struggled with an extreme fear of water. Not only did it lesson her extreme fear, but it completely removed the fear.
He created a system called Thought Field Therapy (TFT) in which a client will think of a specific emotional issue while tapping on one of the 9 gamut points recognized by Callahan. They then check in to gauge the level of emotional distress and continue tapping until that level decreases to tolerable levels.
One of Callahan’s early students was Gary Craig. Gary used TFT, but discovered that tapping on all of the original 9 gamut points in sequence could help to alleviate symptoms, simplifying the process. Craig also added a reminder phrase and included elements of NLP (neuro linguistics programming) such as reframing and questioning in his tapping protocol. He began sharing his energy healing system, EFT in 1995.
Gary Craig’s main belief and the discovery statement for EFT is:
“The cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body’s energy system” Gary Craig
How does EFT work?
When people have a distressing thought, there is a reaction that occurs in the body’s energy system and an emotion results. Typically, this reaction in the body’s energy system is a stress response, otherwise known as the fight or flight response.
Tapping the meridian points has a calming effect on the amygdala, which is where the stress response begins. It has also show to lower cortisol levels and shut off the stress response.
So many people are struggling in a constant mental and physical state of fight or flight. But having the power to shut off the stress response will go a long way to help both their physical and mental health. It disconnects the body’s reaction to negative thoughts and prevents the stress response and corresponding emotional reaction.
FDN founder Reed Davis is a firm believer in the calming power of EFT. Because of that, it is one of the protocols that he recommends to FDN trainees when working with clients.
“Sometimes it’s the only thing that works” Reed Davis
Here is a video from EFT founder Gary Craig, demonstrating the basic tapping points and how to tap.
Can EFT help physical issues?
Often there is an emotional component with physical aches and pains that people endure. In fact, this is common! So many who use EFT often experience a lessening or complete relief of symptoms after tapping. Aches and pains are also a common side effect of chronic stress because of uncontrolled tension in the muscles. EFT can help to loosen those muscles by counteracting the stress.
To learn more about EFT, check out Gary Craig’s website.