Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is a method through which one taps on the meridians (energy centers) in the body while surfacing and exposing troubling emotions that persist in our consciousness.
This powerful and effective healing modality draws on ancient understandings of the body/mind/spirit matrix. Examples of this awareness of the energy systems of the body are found in ancient traditions from China, India and the West. They include time-honored practices such as acupuncture, acupressure, yoga, meditation and prayer.
These ancient practices have been granted new and scientific credibility in our own time. As physicists have moved beyond Newtonian cause and effect physics to the deeper Quantum level of physics, they have encountered the strange and exciting world of invisible fields of energy that pervade, animate and underlie all life. All human beings are energy in its material form. And the problems and solutions we seek in our lives have to do with our energy flow and disruption, our connection to larger energy fields of which we are a part, and invisible sources of healing and power known intuitively to the ancients.
This awareness of and appealing to energy to address our greatest challenges has been joined with the psychological understandings of exposure therapy (surfacing the hidden to clear awareness) and cognitive therapies (reframing thought structures that continue to influence and shape our emotions).
Current evidence-based research on EFT has been conducted in clinical settings with careful controls and measurement. The results have often been remarkable. To review some of the body of this research go to eftuniverse.com.
The limbic system of the brain, particularly the amygdala, serves as the integrative center for emotions and emotional behavior. In times of great stress or memory/sensory induced stress, the amygdala floods the system with cortisol which affects all of the autonomic systems of the body such as heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration. It is the place where emotions and memory are combined. The role of the amygdala has been essential to our survival as it provides the neurological foundation of the fight-flight-freeze response in the presence of perceived threat. When activated habitually, however, the continual release of cortisol into the system contributes to high and persistent stress. This habitual response and resulting continuous stress has a destructive effect on all aspects of a person’s well being. What was essential to survival becomes a threat to survival.
The remarkable result of tapping on energy centers while simultaneously exposing persistent troubling emotions is the reduction of cortisol in the entire system. EFT soothes the sensory aspects of the amygdala in the presence of troubling memories and emotions. This reduction of cortisol as the result of EFT tapping has been carefully measured and recorded in controlled experiments.
EFT combines the insights and practices of ancient spirituality, quantum theory, energy psychology, exposure therapy, cognitive restructuring and brain research. The result is a powerful tool for healing that is relatively fast, effective in many cases, and usually long-lasting. A skilled practitioner is aware of these many dimensions as they work with a client. And any individual may apply the insights and practices of EFT for themselves at any time.