What is EFT?

If you have read my blog titled “It’s Not Just a Flesh Wound”, you would see that I have been through some tough things in life.  I had wounds that I didn’t even realize were there.  But after years of living a miserable life, I knew something had to change.  I did some research into the mind-body-spirit connection and came across something called Energy Psychology.  I decided that maybe this was just the thing to help me deal with some deep rooted issues.  I literally stumbled upon this technique called EFT.  I was tired of feeling defeated, overwhelmed with life, sad, anxious, frustrated, and unfulfilled.  I had been to traditional therapy for many, many years and all it did was keep me stuck in “victim mode”.  I blamed everyone and everything around me for my rotten life.  My therapist would listen to me bitch about my kids, my husband, my job, etc.  And then she would regurgitate what I said to her and show me a little empathy about it.  What we never did in those sessions was talk about how to heal.

At that time in my life, everything stressed me out.  I could never relax.  I felt judged.  I judged myself.  I shut down.  Basically, I would wake up in the morning and just go through the motions to get to the end of the day.  After years of living this way, I started to feel sick all of the time.  My allergies blew up.  My muscles got sore.  I couldn’t sleep and didn’t feel like eating.  I had headaches almost every day.  My shoulder were so tight.  My body was not showing me much love.  I lived this way for almost 15 years!

I was a self-help addict.  I read every book on relationships, communication, depression…  But since I was still playing the victim, nothing I read helped me.  My defenses were up.  I was protecting myself from feeling all of this emotional pain by denying that it was me who played a role in it, by projecting onto others, by pretending everything was fine, by wearing a mask everyday so people couldn’t see the real me.  It was exhausting.  A few years ago, I started to pray really hard.  I needed to find an answer to help me heal.  I was finally ready to let go.  I began to realize that my bodily aches and illnesses were related to my mind and my spirit.  In my research, I found an article about EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique.  It piqued my interest.  I read all about it and thought that maybe this was my answer!  It sure ended up being one of them.

Emotional Freedom Technique is based on the premise that in order to heal and to let go of old limiting behaviors, we need to be emotionally free.  This means to NOT let your emotions control your behaviors.  It means that you control your emotions and thus your behavior.  When you are emotionally free, you might experience something negative, but unlike in the past where you choose anger, jealousy or sadness (any of the negative, lower emotions), you are able to control your thoughts.  You are able to choose not to lower yourself.  You choose more rational behavior in reaction to this stressful trigger.

I realized that stress was killing me.  My cortisol levels were way off.  My hormones were out of whack.  My body was reacting negatively to all of the stress in my life.  And I realized that much of the stress I experienced was caused by my own thoughts!  If my thoughts were making my body sick, then my thoughts could heal my body as well.  EFT (called Tapping) is based off of ancient Chinese accupuncture and modern psychology.  By literally tapping on meridians (energy pathways) in the body, the stress response can be halted or calmed down.  When our body feels threatened, the amygdala in the brain sets off the stress response. It shuts down all unnecessary functions in the body (like digestion, production of hormones, our immune system…).  It increases hormones like cortisol, adrenaline, and epinephrine.  Our amygdala cannot tell the difference between the threat of a lion charging at us or the threats we feel because of fear, resentment, anger issues, relationship problems, money problems…  Over time, when our body stays in the stress response (fight or flight mode), the hormones produced start to poison the brain and body.  Repetitive stress impairs our cognitive performance, leads to blood sugar imbalances, decreases bone density, weakens muscle tissue, increases blood pressure, lowers immunity, and strains the heart.  Humans average 50 stress responses a day (according to Bruce Lipton, a Doctor of microbiology).  We get so programmed to reactive negatively to stressors that the negative feelings and thoughts we create keep us in the stress response for longer and longer.  One response leads directly into another and stress becomes a chronic state in the body.

EFT is designed to get rid of the negative energy in the body and to calm the amygdala in the brain.  It helps process the negative emotions and release them.  Once they are released, you can create new meanings and thoughts that are more positive.  Positive thoughts, beliefs and feelings activate the parasympathetic nervous system which reduces the stress hormones, increases endorphins, and increases dopamine, nitric oxide and oxytocin (the “feel good hormones”).  Our bodies have a natural repair/healing mechanism which can only function when in this relaxation response.  Using EFT can lead to releasing emotions that do not serve you, better relationships, better health, more success, and a sense of inner peace and relaxation.

The first step of EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique is to identify a negative feeling you are having (whether it be because of a situation or an actual pain in your body).  Let’s use the example of shoulder pain.  You will begin the process by rating your feeling/pain on a scale of 1-10.  Keep this number in mind.  The next step is to say 3 set-up statements. In saying these 3 statements, you are bringing the thought to your conscious brain and then you are affirming that you love yourself and accept this part of you.  We know that awareness is the first step to healing, but accepting you for who you are is also key!

While you say these 3 statements, you are going to tap with 3 fingers on the “Karate Chop” point of your other hand – between the wrist and the pinky.     For example, 1.  Even though I have this pain in my shoulder, I deeply and completely love myself.  2.  Even though this pain in my shoulder hurts so bad, I love and accept myself.  3.  Even though my shoulder hurts really bad, I love and accept myself.

Now you are going to tap through the meridian points on the face and body as you say reminder phrases (short phrases to describe the pain and to tell the story about the pain).  Here are the tapping points you will use.    1.  Inside of the Eyebrow (EB)  2.  Side of Eye (SE) 3.  Under the Eye (UE)  4.  Under the Nose (UN)  5.  Chin (CH)  6.  Collarbone (CB)  7.  Under the Arm (UA) and 8. Top of Head (TH).  You will use 2-3 fingers of one or both hands to tap gently on each point about 5-8 taps per point.  While you tap, you will say your reminder phrases.  Just describe the pain you are having, where you feel it, how it feels (achy, dull, sharp), and any other details about the pain.  Check in with the pain/feeling and rate it again (1-10).  It may or may not have changed.  On your second round of tapping through the points, tell the story about how the pain happened and what was going on in your life at that time.  Keep tapping through the points until the story is told.  You will be using your intuition to come up with the reminder phrases and the story, so just go with it.  Say whatever comes to mind.  You really can’t say anything wrong.  Check in and rate your feeling again.  After tapping through the points about 4-5 times, you should start to feel this feeling decreasing.  If not, keep tapping on it.  Once the feeling has been decreased, you will do a few rounds of tapping using positive affirmations and telling your brain and body that it is safe to release this feeling for good.  Click on this link to see an example of the rounds of tapping: https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/ee788a54-11c7-4c97-9e07-a3933fc02b26

You can use Tapping for numerous issues.  It helps deal with negative feelings, shame, fears, self-esteem, sleep issues, physical pain in the body, health issues, and more.  I’d love to get some feedback from you if you try this technique!

I  have a Facebook page you can check out at https://www.facebook.com/JennySalsberryEFC/  for more information on healing.

If you want to join my private support group on Facebook, click on this link:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/tapintoyoursoulwithJennySalsberry/

Harness your power to heal!

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