Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is the simple process of tapping on acupressure points on the body as you focus on your issue or problem. This tapping is presumed to balance the body’s energy system and remove blockages in energy flow.

Most people begin to notice positive results within minutes of first using EFT, and this deceptively simple process can often provide effective relief for emotional issues such as fears, phobias, anxiety, sadness, anger, grief or trauma.

EFT is gentle, easy to learn and works. Once you learn it, you will have the power to relieve emotional stress.

To give you an idea of how EFT works, here’s the EFT short sequence or short version steps, in order:

  • 1. Start by rubbing a spot (sore spot) on the upper chest or tapping on the karate chop point on the side of the hand. This helps open up your energy system, and correct any energetic ‘reversal’.
  • 2. While you are doing this, make a set-up statement (initial phrase) about the problem.
  • 3. Tap (using acupressure) on the seven specific energy points.
  • 4. While you are doing this, focus on the problem, using the reminder phrase (a shorthand description of the problem you are targeting).

In the beginning, concentrate on establishing the correct order and positions in the tapping sequence. When you have mastered the basics you can concentrate on the ‘problem’ more effectively. Later, you can use your intuition and vary the points if you wish.

Once you have identified a problem to focus on, you can commence EFT by rubbing the ‘sore spot’ on the upper chest. The sore spot is located by finding the hollow at the base of the throat with your finger.

From there go straight down the breastbone about 7 cm and across to the left 90 degrees; at that place prod gently in a large circle until you find a spot that’s sensitive or a little bit tender. It’s a site of lymphatic congestion, hence the sensitivity. The technical term for this point is a ‘neurolymphatic reflex point’.

If you have trouble locating the sore spot because it is not tender or sore for you, don’t worry, it is located a little differently in some people. Either use the spot that is sensitive for you, or use the general area by rubbing in a large circle with the flat of your hand. You can also tap instead on the karate chop point if you wish.

There are a further seven tapping points in EFT that should be used in the following order:

  • 1. The eyebrow point, which is more towards one eyebrow.
  • 2. The side of the eye point, which is at the end of the eyebrow.
  • 3. The under (the pupil of) the eye point in the centre of the cheek.
  • 4. The under the nose point, in the midline.
  • 5. The chin point, located under the mouth in the midline in the little indentation halfway between the lower lip and the chin.
  • 6. The collarbone point, which is found by touching the hollow in the throat and feeling the two heads of the collarbones on either side; pick one head and tap directly underneath the collarbone. (Officially, this point is located at the junction where the sternum, collarbone and first rib meet.)
  • 7. The under the arm point on the side of the body, approximately level with the nipple for men, or in the middle of the bra band for women.

Once you have established where these points are on your body, you can start tapping. Using these points in this way stimulates the entire energy system via the meridian channels, according to Chinese theory.

To begin, use the first two fingers of your dominant hand. Tap 7–10 times on each point. (Do not be overly concerned with how many times you tap on each point — it is more important that you focus on your problem while tapping, rather than on counting the number of taps.)

Make sure your tapping is light enough to feel, but not hard enough to hurt. This light touch will pay dividends. Either side of the body or face is good. Using either hand (or both) is also fine.

Many people are concerned about tapping on only one side of their face or body and feel a need to balance this with tapping on the other side. However, since the meridian channels on both sides are identical this is not necessary. If you want to, that’s fine, just realize that you do not have to tap on both sides in order to achieve results.

EFT is a very robust and forgiving technique. It will usually work for you, even if you vary the order and do not tap exactly on the points. Make sure to be precise at the beginning and you will find the rest of the procedure smooth.

By Steve Wells M. Psych and Dr David Lake, authors of Enjoy Emotional Freedom - Simple Techniques For Living Life to the Full.