Over the years, humans have done many things in the pursuit of happiness, ranging from the benign to the downright batty. Meditation, self-help books, aura cleansing, Ayahuasca ceremonies: very few stones remain unturned in our journey to inner peace. And who can blame us? Isn’t that all anyone wants, really, to be happy?
One relatively untapped (see what we did there?) path to inner happiness that has recently gained popularity is ‘tapping.’ No, we’re not going to recommend you start tap dancing—although that may put a smile on your face! ‘Tapping’ is slang for ‘Emotional Freedom Techniques’, otherwise known as EFT.
‘Tapping’ is what you get when your cross acupressure with positive visualisation. Like acupuncture, it’s based around the idea that there are various pressure points that allow energy to flow through the body. Instead of needles, you use your fingers to ‘tap’ these pressure points and release negative emotions and imbalances. During this process, positive affirmations are normally repeated.
While the principles behind EFT have been around for thousands of years, the practice itself is relatively new. It evolved from Thought Field Therapy (TFT), a technique created by US Clinical Psychologist Rober Callahan in the 1980s. Callahan discovered that stimulating certain energy points relieved anxiety in some of his clients. In 1993, Gary Craig used these acupressure points as a starting point to create a system he claimed could be applied to treat any emotional issue: EFT.
Since then, EFT practitioners have used the technique to treat a wide range of psychological issues like anxiety, depression, PTSD and addiction as well as physical symptoms like headaches and back pain.
Does it actually work?
So far, so good, but let’s get down to the nitty-gritty…is EFT the real deal? Unfortunately, the scientific research isn’t exactly in its favour. Like most healing techniques, there’s no concrete evidence to suggest it works. However, there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence from people who claim EFT has changed their life—including one Byrdie writer who says it relieved her anxiety. So, what gives?
Until more research is done into the science of energy healing, it’s safe to say the placebo effect is behind the effectiveness of EFT. That is, the patient’s belief in the treatment is what causes it to work, not the treatment itself. Such is the power of the human mind!
Whether or not you think EFT is the real deal, there’s no harm in giving it a go. Unlike acupuncture, EFT requires no equipment and you don’t have to be a trained professional to do it. It’s something you can do while you’re in the shower, on the bus (maybe without the mantras!) or even as part of your daily meditation practice. To find out more about how to practice EFT, click here.