What if there was a tool you could use to decrease stress, help with physical pain, stop food cravings and change limiting beliefs? The Emotional Freedom Technique, known as EFT or Tapping, can do this and so much more.
EFT expert and co-author of the bestselling book “Freedom at Your Fingertips,” Brad Yates, joined Elevated Existence Magazine founder, Tammy Mastroberte, as part of the Living an Elevated Existence Mind, Body & Soul Summit to talk about the topic, and even walked listeners through a 10-minute tapping exercise.
“EFT is based on acupuncture and Chinese medicine, which has been around for thousands of years,” Yates said on the call. “In Chinese medicine, they say there is a flow of energy through these pathways in the body call meridians, and when this energy is flowing naturally we experience this natural state of wellbeing in body and mind. When this energy gets stuck somehow, then we don’t feel so good.”
By tapping on the eight key points given by EFT, we are balancing out the energy and getting it flowing again so we feel good and can clear out disruptions such as sadness, anxiety, anger and pain. Research has also been done showing the tapping process dramatically reduces stress. Particularly cortisol levels are reduced, which is one of the stress hormones, said Yates.
EFT & Emotions
Using EFT to bring down stress, fear and anxiety can offer immediate relief, and by getting our emotions under control, we can make better choices in our lives, said Yates. Most choices are made at the emotional level, and when they are not being made consciously, they are unconscious and based on our emotions.
“If we have uncomfortable emotions going on, and fears like, ‘I’m afraid to have more money then my friends,’ or ‘I’m afraid if I lose weight I might be more attractive, and I’ll have to get into a relationship, and relationships are painful.’ All of this stuff goes on at an unconscious level,” Yates said. “All we know is ‘hmmm, I wanted something to eat, and I was going to have a carrot and instead I ate a box of cookies.’ We make all those choices at an emotional level, and if we can use the tapping to clear out those uncomfortable emotions that so often drive unhealthy choices and unhealthy behavior, we can live a more elevated life.”
Each of the points we tap on with EFT is actually an endpoint along different meridians in the body, and each corresponds to a different organ in the body. These organs are also associated with different emotions, Yates said.
“The great thing about tapping is we are focusing on so many different emotions and so many different points, that we don’t have to narrow in because everything is so inter-related,” he noted. “When we are tapping all the different points we are covering our bases.”
Our emotions are designed to protect us and let us know when something is going on that needs our attention – similar to a smoke detector in our home, according to Yates. Anger is like having a smoke detector. It let’s us know something is going on that we need to look into. However, many people will sit and complain that smoke alarm is going off, and wont get up to turn it off or see if there is a fire, he noted.
“It’s not a matter of, ‘quick lets tap and make sure we get rid of that bad feeling.’ It’s a matter of ‘I’m going to process this and find out.’ So when the smoke detector goes off, is it a battery that needs to be changed, or is there really a fire that needs to be put out,” he said on the call.
The tapping process is a way of getting through our emotions to see what is really going on underneath. If we are feeling sad, or reaching for the cookies, tapping can help us find out why. Maybe we are really upset about an argument with a friend that brought up an issue from the past.
“With the nervous system, when we perceive a threat, our brain function goes to the midbrain and into fight or flight. Then when we realize the danger has passed, the parasympathetic nervous system kicks in and our thinking returns to the frontal brain where we have creative thinking, are open minded and can think more clearly,” Yates explained. “The tapping helps to move us back into that. It moves us back into the parasympathetic nervous system and helps us make better choices, and do better things and live a better life.”
Pain & Food Cravings
One of the fastest ways to see how EFT works is to use it on pain – whether its someone dealing with fibromyalgia, back pain or a migraine. Often tapping on pain will also help our stress level, and vice versa, because the two are usually tied together.
“So much of the pain we experience has stress in it. I’ve heard people say 75 percent to 90 percent of physical pain is emotional. As we clear that out, we are clearing out the uncomfortable feelings that we have about it,” Yates said. “It’s not just the physical pain going on, but also all this physical disruption in our mind. As we clear the stress, our body naturally heals itself. So we start healing more quickly.”
It’s not abnormal for someone to tap on a physical pain, and then discover as the pain clears, so does anger about an argument with a friend, he noted. The same is true for someone who may be tapping on sadness, and then find relief from a physical pain.
Another way EFT can help is to release a person from cravings including sugar and chocolate. Yates shared a story of attending an EFT conference with founder of the technique, Gary Craig, who passed out Hershey Kisses, and asked how badly on a scale of 1 to 10 people wanted to eat it. Then led them through a round of tapping.
“I was a chocoholic at the time, so I said, about an 8,” he shared. “We tapped for a few minutes, and I had about as much interest in the chocolate as I did the foil wrapper. And I don’t think I even touched chocolate for about 2 years.”
The same tapping is structure is used not matter what the issue is, and if we are in public, can even work if we are only tapping on one point. The wording we use helps to bring up the issues that may be lurking in our unconscious mind that may have an emotional charge to it.
We can even use tapping to raise our vibration and attract more good into our lives because when we feel better, we create better things for ourselves.
“If you think of a hot air balloon, it’s untethered. It just rises. An elevated life is our default position. It’s our natural state. We don’t’ have to push ourselves up into an elevated life. That is our natural tendency. It’s these ropes that tie us down – these uncomfortable feelings and old limiting beliefs that hold us back. So as we release and untie these ropes we naturally rise to a more elevate life,” Yates said.