Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT, is a great all-around tool to try on anything and everything, and it’s a technique I teach to all my clients. It was developed by Gary Craig, a Stanford-trained engineer, from his trainings with Roger Callahan, the pioneer of Thought Field Therapy. It’s a quick, deceptively simple technique that uses acupuncture points that are close to the surface of the skin, so you can stimulate them by tapping with your fingertips, instead of having to use needles. The points are at or close to the endpoints of the major meridians, so you’re giving yourself a mini-balancing session every time you use it.

A key to using EFT successfully is to be specific. It usually only clears one piece of an issue at a time. So the more specifically you can identify what the negative feeling is you want to clear, or the positive feeling you want more of, the faster you’ll feel EFT working for you. To begin with, try it on something that feels relatively uncomplicated. Notice what comes up during and after each round, then do another round on that. Keep going until there’s room to consider something positive (how you want to feel about something, for example, or what you want to remember in the future about it, or yourself), then do EFT again, focusing on the positive aspects.

Below is the EFT Basic Recipe as it was taught to me many years ago. I’ve since evolved it in my own way, which everyone does. Nowadays, I start focused on something in particular, then as I tap on each point I continue to focus on the issue, but I talk my way through it — describing how I’m feeling as best I can, explaining it to myself as best I can, or expressing my frustration that I have no idea what’s going on. The main point is to do whatever it takes to stay honed in on the emotion of the issue, and therefore the energy of it, as you tap your way through the points.

The EFT “Basic Recipe”

1. The Setup

Tap on the side of your hand while repeating 2-3 times…”Even though I feel ___________(this stress, pain, fear, etc) I love and accept myself unconditionally.”

2. The Sequence

Tap with fingertips of index and middle fingers, solidly (but not painfully) about 7 times per point, while repeating the “reminder phrase” (i.e. “all this anxiety,” or, “all this anger”):

A. Top of head

B. Eyebrow

C. Side of Eye

D. Under eye

E. Under Nose

F. Under Lip

G. Collar Bone (under collarbone, next to sternum)

H. Under Arm (on rib cage, 6” below armpit)

3. Take a deep breath; pause, and check back in with the feelings you were just focusing on.

4. If you still feel some intensity of feelings, then go back to the Setup, and repeat the affirmations, adjusting them to say, “Even though I still feel some of this (feeling), I love and accept myself unconditionally.” 2-3X. You can also include statements like, “I forgive myself for any contribution I may have had in creating or maintaining this (problem, feeling, etc.).”

5. Repeat the sequence, using the Reminder Phrase, “The rest of this (problem).”

6. Repeat Setup and Sequence until negative feelings are gone.

7. When negative feelings are gone repeat sequence again, this time using as a reminder phrase what you want to be feeling, for example, “I now feel peaceful and content.” “I replace the fear with the comfort of faith.”