What Is EFT Tapping And How Does It Work?

Emotional freedom technique (EFT), or EFT tapping, is an alternative treatment for mental health issues and emotional distress. Developed by Gary Craig in the 1990s, EFT tapping combines acupressure and psychology to reduce emotional pain and balance energy in the body (via Medical News Today). EFT tapping involves tapping or applying pressure on the body's various energy meridian points while focusing on a specific issue or unwanted emotion.

Based in Chinese medicine, meridian points are believed to be areas of the body through which energy flows. Tapping or applying pressure to these points can help release negative emotions and calm the central nervous system. Much like acupressure, EFT tapping is believed to restore the body's energy balance and reduce negative emotions and stress. Although research is limited, this technique has been used to treat anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

It's not enough to simply tap on your body's meridian points, however. You must also practice mindfulness and set an intention for each round of tapping. "Speaking out which emotions feel lingering allows the emotions to diffuse and dissipate," Linsey Lekhraj, an epigenetics coach and holistic nutritionist, told Well+Good. "This allows for deep subconscious and energetic clearing to happen as a result."

How to do EFT tapping

EFT tapping can be divided into 5 basic steps. First and foremost, you must identify the issue you wish to resolve (via Healthline). This is the issue you'll be focused on while you're tapping, so it's best to just focus on one problem at a time. You also need to rank the intensity of the problem area on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being the most intense. This will help you to determine the effectiveness of the technique. Ideally, the intensity ranking should decrease by the time you're done tapping.

Before you can start tapping, however, you need to come up with a mantra that acknowledges the issue at hand and conveys self-acceptance. While you can come up with your own phrase, the common structure is: "Even though I have [problem], I deeply and completely accept myself." After this step is complete, you can finally begin the tapping sequence.

The EFT tapping points include the top of the head, eyebrow, side of the eye, under the eye, under the nose, chin, beginning of the collarbone, and under the arm. Tap these meridian points with two or more fingers while reciting your specific phrase or mantra. After repeating this seven times, you can assess the effectiveness of the tapping by rating your intensity level once again.