If you search for EFT – Emotional Freedom Techniques – online you may well run a mile!
The information is often dismissive, alarmist and, quite frankly, inaccurate. They talk a lot about What EFT is NOT!
On one well known encyclopedia site, within a few short paragraphs the word ‘pseudoscience’ crops up at least 3 times.
Interestingly, that same word is used on the same site to describe Acupuncture, Reiki, Shiatsu Massage and Alternative Medicine.
Which is a shame. Because, although EFT might take a little bit of getting used to, it is incredibly effective and helpful. Especially in situations where Western medicine is left scratching its head, without all the answers.
So here are 7 things that EFT is NOT!
1. EFT is NOT a cult or religion.
❌ No system of beliefs you are required to adopt.
❌ No figurehead to whom you are devoted.
❌ No insistence that this is the only way.
❌ You will not be brainwashed into having no autonomy.
❌ Nobody will try to get you to change your faith or stay away from your loved ones.
✅ You may be encouraged to ‘love and accept yourself’, as in the initial Set-Up Phrase, but even that is optional!
2. EFT is NOT a placebo.
A placebo is defined as ‘An inactive substance or other intervention that looks the same as, and is given the same way as, an active drug or treatment being tested.’
Or ‘A substance having no pharmacological effect but given merely to satisfy a patient who supposes it to be a medicine.’
Clearly EFT is neither of these things.
❌ First of all, there is no deception involved (however well intended) and it’s not ‘merely to satisfy a patient.’
✅ There have been upward of 100 evidence-based scientific research studies showing that EFT reduces the stress hormone Cortisol. It acts directly on the Limbic system which regulates the well-known ‘fight or flight’ response and the body’s reaction to stress.
3. EFT is NOT a distraction technique.
We all know what distraction looks like – take your mind off the thing, focus on something else, then you’ll feel better. (Very useful with toddlers!)
EFT does the opposite.
✅ The idea is to focus directly – though as gently as necessary – on the upset or issue we are experiencing.
As you tap round the acupressure points, you keep the mind and body centered on the emotions, thoughts and physical sensations that you’re experiencing. The negative feelings are then processed and reduced. And new mental, more empowering, perspectives arise naturally.
4. EFT is NOT dangerous.
✅ There are no known side effects or risks of acupressure or EFT tapping. It’s safe for almost anyone to try.
❌ It’s not medicine in the Western sense, meaning that there are no chemical side effects.
✅ It’s easy and effective as a self-help tool, and there are many highly-trained practitioners out there who have learnt the techniques with reputable organizations.
💖 Just as you would check out any health and wellness method and the people offering it, it’s a great idea to do the same for EFT. (Just balance out what you’re reading online!)
5. EFT is NOT a cure-all.
❌ During the Covid pandemic I heard of some alternative practitioners (not just of EFT) who refused to wear masks, fully believing that, because they worked to strengthen their energy system, they would not get sick.
❌ IMHO this is short-sighted and somewhat irresponsible. True, EFT does reinforce your immune system (by reducing stress hormones), but it is not a cure-all and should not be seen as such.
❌ If you broke your foot I would not suggest you tap round the points... at least until after you've had an X-ray and put your foot in a cast, and perhaps taken pain meds.
✅ Only then we can deal with the residual pain, the emotional upset, the moment of impact, the fears you’ll never hike again etc etc.
✅ There are amazing things about Eastern medicine and wonderful things about Western medicine. Let’s embrace all the good available to us.
6. EFT is NOT just one technique.
In my book ‘The Music Inside’ I wrote about Emotional Freedom Technique (singular) and how helpful it had been for me as a professional violinist and in all areas of my life.
✅ I then went on to get trained and learned that the real term was in the plural! And that there are many techniques used, aside from the basic, tap-round-9-acupressure-points, recipe.
7. EFT is NOT hard or mysterious.
✅ This technique is incredibly simple and quick to learn, as well as free and available 24/7!
Learning how to ask the right questions, use specific sequences of words, and create change on an even deeper level, may best be done with a practitioner.
But, if you can think and you are open-minded enough to give it a try, you don’t even have to be a ‘true believer’. Energy work works, even for the skeptics or doubters!
And the last thing EFT is NOT!
One thing I often say when I’m introducing Emotional Freedom Techniques to groups:
💖 Just like learning the violin or having children, EFT is NOT necessarily for everyone all of the time.
But it’s a lot easier and less time-consuming than either of those and can be incredibly beneficial and a wonderful tool to have in your toolbox!
Thank you for giving it a try! 💖