What is EFT?
EFT is a collection of techniques used for healing. It is a mind-body technique used to nullify the effects of difficult emotions. In EFT we tap on the acupuncture points on our face, body and fingers while focusing on issues that bother us. EFT does not require needles but involves a gentle tapping procedure with our fingers.
EFT is a combination of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), and modern psycho-therapeutic tools like TA (Transactional Analysis), NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), EMDR (Eye movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and BT (Behavior therapy).
According to TCM, our body is made up of energy and we have 14 meridians, pathways that carry energy, and these pathways affect the organs in the body. Stimulating the end points of these meridians (energy pathways) along with vocalizing what you're experiencing, helps in resolving emotional and physical issues.
Neuroscience behind EFT ( How does it work?)
- Recalling a troubling memory or negative emotion/belief etc: Activates some regions in our brain responsible for fight/flight.
- Stimulating/tapping on acu-points – sends calming signal to the emotional brain (amygdala)
- Vocalising while tapping – makes our thinking brain active.
When we’re stressed our thinking brain ( medial prefrontal cortex, MPFC) goes offline. Our emotional brain takes over. With the help of tapping we can bring our MPFC online again. This part of the brain is responsible for executive functions such as observing what’s going on, making predictions and decisions. Tapping helps in bringing about a balance between the emotional and thinking brain; helping us regulate our feelings, make rational decisions, calm our body’s alarm response (fight/flight).
Positive Effects of EFT (Based on Research)
1. Down-regulation of cortisol (Dawson)
2. Reduction in Hyper-arousal state (Feinstein)
3. Increased regulation of sympathetic and parasympathetic interaction (Lane)
4. Increased expression of the stress-regulatory Immediate Early Genes (Church)
Advantages Of Using EFT
Zero Side effects
Faster than traditional methods
Scientific Explanation for EFT
This is an excerpt from the article published in APA's Journal of General Psychology. This explains how EFT works.
"Bringing to mind an emotional trigger, problematic scene, or unresolved traumatic memory activates the amygdala, arousing a threat response. Stimulating selected acupoints, according to the Harvard studies, simultaneously sends deactivating signals to the amygdala. Repetition of the physical intervention resolves these opposing signals by reducing the arousal while the trigger is still mentally active. The hippocampus records that the memory or trigger is being safely engaged without a stress response, and the neural pathways that initiate the associated stress response are permanently altered. Being able to encounter the memory or trigger without limbic arousal becomes the new normal."
Published on Aug 20th 2012.
By Feinstein, David
Review of General Psychology