How Do We Heal with EFT?

How do we heal with EFT? Let’s first distinguish between the use of EFT for in-the-moment stress release and healing.

Stress release can happen very quickly—in minutes—by simply tapping on the acupressure points with or without focusing on what is stressing you. This is often accompanied by yawning, relaxing of the body, feeling better for the moment, or getting motivated to do something positive right now!

By healing I mean a deeper, permanent change that is characterized by noticeable improvements in self-esteem and happiness. People who experience healing say things like, “I’m a different person now;” “Others notice a positive change in me;” “I don’t get upset like I used to;” or “I just feel more peaceful and less stressed in general.”

How do we achieve healing with EFT?

We learned our negative beliefs about ourselves in our earlier lives during significant or repetitive events. Remember the many times you got a B on an assignment and your parent punished you for not working hard enough? Or the multiple times you got an A and it was ignored? In the first example, one might learn the lesson, “I must be perfect or I’ll be punished” and become a perfectionist.  In the second, one could learn, “I can get a perfect score and it doesn’t matter” and decide it’s just not worth trying to do well and fail over and over again. These patterns of behavior can have a long-lasting detrimental effect on one’s life.

When we identify the events from our earlier lives we “neutralize” them. To neutralize an event, we remember the event and tap at the same time and, in doing so, as shown through brain research, we rewire our brains to react differently to the same memory. In the end, any trauma or negative aftermath is cleared from our body and mind, resulting in the ability to recall the event with no negative reaction. Often a positive reaction replaces the trauma, such as a feeling of compassion or peace.

Not every memory has to be neutralized before the associated negative belief is found to be false. We tap on as many as we need and at some point the belief collapses. Gary Craig suggests this could be 5-10 similar events, not the hundreds that actually occurred.

By neutralizing enough of the memories that created our inner turmoil, we become different in our present day lives. The perfectionist becomes relaxed about making mistakes and the person who has a pattern of failing begins to achieve success. These are examples of what Gary Craig, EFT’s founder, called “emotional freedom”—hence the name of this wonderful healing tool (Emotional Freedom Technique).