EFT Tapping – A quick guide on how to tap

EFT Tapping is an energy healing modality that can be summed up as ‘acupuncture without the needles’.

EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Techniques, which is its proper but more tongue-tying name. The even more user-friendly term for it is Tapping, so called because it involves using your fingertips to tap on specific points on your head and body.

In simple terms, EFT or Tapping is a blend of ancient Chinese medicine and modern western psychology. You can think of it as like acupuncture without the needles and it can free you from persistent or inappropriate negative emotions, in other words, stuck or blocked nervous energy in one or more of your nerve channels, or meridians.

If you think of your energetic system as an energy motorway, then a past trauma is a little like a car crash or traffic jam on that motorway. Something is stopping the energy – or traffic – from flowing and this causes problems that can then manifest into physical issues.

How does EFT Tapping work? In the most simple terms, this light tapping on the endpoints of the primary energy meridians in your body sends a calming signal to the amygdala – which is the brain’s alarm bell and the trigger for the fight, freeze or flight response.

Which is all well and good but how do you actually do it? Below is a run down of the process as well as a quick video if you’d rather watch a video than read through instructions…

  1. Identify the issue

This could be any physical, emotional, mental or spiritual issue. For example, a sore shoulder or anxiety around losing a job. For people wanting to deal with weight, it could be ‘I hate my fat belly’ or ‘I’ll never find a soul mate until I lose this weight’. Physically, it could be ‘my back aches from all this excess weight’.

  1. Rate the intensity of pain or distress from 0-10

If it’s physical pain, how sore is it on a scale from zero to 10? If it’s an emotional challenge, how upset or distressed are you?

  1. Set-up statement

While tapping with two or three fingers on the fleshy side of either hand, just below the little finger, also called the karate chop point, we just plainly state the issue. For example, ‘I’ve got this chronic back ache’ or ‘I’m really stressed about money’

We say the set-up statement three times and there are two aims to achieve by doing this. First, you’re acknowledging the problem or issue. You’re shining the light on it and pulling it out from where it’s been hiding in the dark. And, second, you’re accepting and loving yourself in spite of it.

So a typical set-up statement would be: “Even though I’m stressed to the max about all the debt I’m in and I can’t see a way out of it, I accept that I feel this way and I completely love and forgive myself anyway.” (Funnily enough, weight and abundance issues are very often connected at a subconscious level – for example, if you feel like you never have enough money, you may be holding onto excess weight to ensure your survival through tough times or to make you feel less like you have nothing.)

Another set-up statement could be: “Even though I’m overweight and I hate having all this excess fat on my body, I accept that this is how I feel about it and I completely love and forgive myself anyway.”

If you have a problem saying that you completely love and forgive yourself, then you can reframe it by saying something like “I choose to love and forgive myself” or “I am open to the possibility of loving and forgiving myself”.

  1. The Sequence:

This is the bit that stimulates and balances the body’s energy pathways. We tap around the face and body, tapping with two or three fingers on the end points of the primary meridians

While using our reminder phrase from the set-up statement and any other details that seem relevant – the more specific you can be, the more powerful the technique:

  • Top of the Head (TH)
  • Beginning of the Eyebrow (EB)
  • Side of the Eye (SE)
  • Under the Eye (UE)
  • Under the Nose (UN)
  • Chin Point (CH)
  • Beginning of the Collarbone (CB)
  • Under the Arm (UA)

The Reminder Phrase is quite simple as you need only identify the issue with some brief wording. Depending on your issue, you might say the following at each tapping point…

“This throbbing pain”

“My fat belly and huge thighs”

“Abandoned by my father”

“This stuttering in public”

There are two points to make here – it doesn’t matter which hand you use to tap and it doesn’t matter which side you tap on, you can tap on either or both.

  1. Re-test the Intensity:

Finally, you establish an ‘after’ level of the issue’s intensity by rating it on a scale from zero to 10. So, if your issue is a 2 it’s not so strong but if it’s a 9 or 10 it’s as strong as it can be. Don’t stress too much about this, just use your intuition and gut feeling, take the first number that pops into your head.

The reason for giving it a score or a number at the start is so that you have something to measure after a few rounds of tapping. You’ll be able to see if your feelings get stronger or if they stay the same or lose their intensity. Ideally, the number will get to zero but you may find that it actually goes up initially as you focus on the feelings and thereby increase their intensity as you dive deeper into these emotions. That’s all good! You’ve got to go into them in order to process and release them. Keep tapping until the number starts falling. Keep repeating the tapping process until you get to zero or you plateau at some level.

When you get to a 2 or 3 on the zero to 10 scale, you can try bringing in positive statements, for example, staying with the theme of weight you could say:

“I choose to love and appreciate my body for a change”

“It’s time to stop beating myself up about my weight and start recognizing the incredible organism that my body is”

“I love and appreciate everything my incredible body does for me”

“I am beautiful”

What I like to do after each round of tapping is cross my hands over my heart, close my eyes and take a deep breath then say the word ‘transform’. I then visualise every cell of my body integrating this new positive belief system and vibrating at this new frequency

Another thing I sometimes like to do at the end of a session is, while tapping one by one on the right edge of the fingernails of my left hand, say:

Thumbnail: “There’s a divine part of me…”

Index finger: “That already knows how to honour, love, nourish and respect my body…”

Middle finger: “That divine part of me is communicating this knowing to the rest of me now…”

Ring finger: “This new knowing is uploaded into every cell of my mind and body now…”

Pinky finger: “This process is now complete.”

In your mind’s eye, imagine this new knowledge of how to honour, nourish and listen to your body pouring into every cell of your body until your whole being vibrates with this new frequency of self-love. Visualise this happening.

Just a small note on the fingernail tapping, some people prefer to skip the ring finger because that meridian is taken care of in the primary sequence, personally though, I like to do all five fingers.

Those are the basics in a nutshell.