Emotional and psychological distress is more prevalent now more than ever and so I feel it is important to reach out and discuss a technique that is simple, free and takes minutes to do.
If I told you that you can dramatically reduce depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic pain in minutes and at the same time, improve your immune function, change your DNA expression, lower the stress cortisol in your body and can even change your brain’s pathways (Church et al., 2018).
You would not believe me, right? Well, good news people, it is real!
Here is how……
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is an alternative treatment for emotional distress and pain. It is also called psychological acupressure or tapping. All negative emotions and pain are due to a disruption in energy. EFT creates a balance in your energy system and treats the problem.
In the last 10 to 15 years there are over 100 clinical trials that demonstrate the effectiveness of EFT and that by stimulating acupressure points on your body or “tapping”, which can stimulate meridian points that can change DNA expression, can radically reduce your cortisol levels AND can even change your brains pathways – learn to think different! (Bach et al., 2019).
Only 1 hour of tapping can change 72 genes in your body and reduce stress cortisol levels by 24% (Bach et al., 2019). Even Australian nurses used this technique for burnout, stress and anxiety levels during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 in a randomised controlled trial with significant results (Dincer and Inangil, 2021).
Cognitive behavioural therapy has relatively the same outcomes psychologically, however it is much more expensive and does not provide the other health benefits, like improve immune function as mentioned above. But most importantly it takes allot longer to achieve results.
It only takes 8 weeks of tapping for 2 hours a week and results last for 12 months or longer.
With Cognitive behavioural therapy takes 6 months to get positive outcomes and maintain them. Not that I have anything against this therapy and think it is crucial in some circumstances. However, for the majority of us, this simple technique can literally change your life.
5 Steps you need to do if you want to update your brain’s learning to treat a worry, anxiety, cravings (chocoholics), whatever it may be.
1. Vividly identify the issue
Consciously feel the worry, anxiety, stress, or craving. You need to access the memory (feeling) you are trying to work with or get rid of. State the problem.
2. Identify the intensity of the feeling. Set a benchmark of intensity of 1 to 10 with 10 being the worst or the highest. This access the emotional or physical pain and discomfort you fell from your focal issue. It also helps monitor progress.
3. Establish a phrase that explains what you are trying to address or achieve. You MUST focus on 2 main goals.
• Acknowledging the issue
• Accepting yourself despite the problem
For example, my issue is chocolate. I acknowledge I have a problem with eating too much chocolate and it controls me. Yet I deeply and completely accept myself knowing I have this issue, its ok. You can make it your own as long as it is your own and not someone else’s. It must be related to you and only you, i.e., even though my father is chronically ill, I deeply and completely accept myself. This will not work.
4. The EFT is a methodic tapping sequence that focus on 9 meridian points. There are 12 but these 9 are mostly used in EFT. Here is the sequence from Healthline
• karate chop (KC): small intestine meridian
• top of head (TH): governing vessel
• eyebrow (EB): bladder meridian
• side of the eye (SE): gallbladder meridian
• under the eye (UE): stomach meridian
• under the nose (UN): governing vessel
• chin (Ch): central vessel
• beginning of the collarbone (CB): kidney meridian
• under the arm (UA): spleen meridian
Begin by tapping the karate chop point while simultaneously reciting your setup phrase three times. Then, tap each following point seven times, moving down the body in this ascending order:
o side of the eye
o under the eye
o under the nose
o beginning of the collarbone
o under the arm
After tapping the underarm point, finish the sequence at the top of the head point.
While tapping the ascending points, recite a reminder phrase to maintain focus on your problem area. If your setup phrase is, “Even though I’m sad my mother is sick, I deeply and completely accept myself,” your reminder phrase can be, “The sadness I feel that my mother is sick.” Recite this phrase at each tapping point. Repeat this sequence two or three times.
Here is a video that takes you through the process. (157) Nick Ortner’s Tapping Technique to Calm Anxiety & Stress in 3 Minutes – YouTube
5. Test your score. If you were 10 and now are 5, then you are 50% there. Keep going until it reaches 0. Usually it takes 3 rounds and revaluate.
Conclusively, EFT is acupressure used to restore balance to your disrupted energy. It is effective for stress, anxiety, depression, pain, and insomnia. It is also an authorised treatment for War Veterans with PSTD.
Research is still unlocking the effects of this incredibly old treatment used for centuries in China, for other disorder and illnesses. I am definite that they will find astonishing results. I will keep you posted.
If there is depression and you feel overwhelmed and find it is getting too much. Please, please, please reach out and get help.
Where to get help
Your GP (doctor)
Local community health centre
beyondblue Support Service Tel. 1300 22 4636
youthbeyondblue Support Service Tel. 1300 22 4636
Lifeline Tel. 13 11 14
Kids Helpline Tel. 1800 55 1800
SuicideLine Tel. 1300 651 251
headspace Tel. 1800 650 890
SANE Australia Helpline Tel. 1800 187 263
Bach, D. et al. (2019) ‘Clinical EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Improves Multiple Physiological Markers of Health’, Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine. SAGE Publications Ltd, 24, pp. 1–12. doi: 10.1177/2515690X18823691.
Church, D. et al. (2018) ‘Guidelines for the Treatment of PTSD Using Clinical EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques)’, Healthcare. MDPI AG, 6(4), p. 146. doi: 10.3390/healthcare6040146.
Dincer, B. and Inangil, D. (2021) ‘The effect of Emotional Freedom Techniques on nurses’ stress, anxiety, and burnout levels during the COVID-19 pandemic: A randomized controlled trial’, Explore. Elsevier Inc., 17(2), pp. 109–114. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2020.11.012.