How To EFT

The Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) Process

Designed to be completely user friendly, Emotional Freedom Techniques invites you to take charge of your own emotional healing. EFT is based on the principles of acupuncture and acupressure. You tap on selected points while focusing your attention on specific physical or emotional reactions to events (whether past or present) that affect your current physical and mental health.

The simplicity of EFT is one of its best features. No matter what the issue you are addressing while using EFT, the process itself never changes. You use the exact same process each and every time. EFT is easy to learn and easy to adapt. It uses points that we are all familiar with and is easily modified by the user. If you have negative feelings that currently interfere with your enjoyment of life or keep you from reaching your life goals, in just a few minutes, you can feel some relief and take a step closer to uncovering the root cause of these feelings so that you can resolve them in a healthy way.

The EFT process has three main steps: 1) clarification of the issue, including recording how intensely you feel about it RIGHT NOW, 2) the Setup statement, and 3) the Tapping Sequence.

Step 1 – Clarification and testing

The first step in EFT is identifying an issue that you want to resolve with EFT. Once you begin using EFT, you will find it useful for everyday events that bring up negative feelings for you. However, EFT is a very effective tool for resolving issues that have bothered you for some time. The Personal Peace Procedure is a personal guide to excavating your past so that you can uncover and resolve feelings that began in negative events of the past but continue to bother you today. Whether you use EFT for an event from the distant past or for the bad day you had at the office today, you want to begin by making your issue very specific.

Remember that you are going to tap on acupressure points while focusing on the specific negative feeling. The specific feeling can be the memory of an event that triggers a physical reaction, the emotion that arises from the reaction, or a behavior that the emotion inspires. The important thing is to be as specific as possible. Zero in on the one detail that triggers the strongest negative feeling for you. So, for example, you don’t want to tap on the general “bad day at the office.” Tap instead on the memory of your boss’s red face looming over you and the hot spray of spittle that hit your chin when he yelled at you and the way your stomach heaved when he slapped the heavy file onto your desk and the way you couldn’t stop shoving cream-filled donuts in your mouth after he left.

Once you’ve identified a specific aspect of your issue take a moment to quantify it so that, later, after the tapping, you will be able to measure your progress. Write down a number on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being the worst it could be, that measures exactly how much this feeling bothers you RIGHT NOW.

Step 2 – The Setup

The Setup begins with creation of a two-part statement, the Setup statement. The Setup statement includes the specific issue you identified along with a statement of self-acceptance. The form for the Setup is simple:

“Even though _______, I deeply and completely accept myself.”

So for your bad day, you might say

“Even though my boss screamed at me and made my stomach feel sick, I deeply and completely accept myself.”

Remember to use whatever specific detail causes the most intense reaction for you. Focus on one specific issue. You can always move on to another one as you feel the first resolve.

Continue the Setup by making the mind-body connection. Say the Setup statement three times while continuously tapping on the Setup Point.

The Setup Point

There are two points that people commonly use for Setup Point. The first is the Karate Chop point. It’s is the fleshy side of either hand, the place where your fingers wrap someone else’s when you shake hands. The second point is called the Sore Spot and is located about 3 inches down from the V-shaped notch at the base of your throat and 3 inches to the left or right, roughly in line with your nipple. Some people have more success with the Karate Chop point for distinct issues and the Sore Spot for more global issues. EFT is very flexible. Try the different spots and do what works best for you.

The Rationale Behind the Setup

The idea behind EFT is that all negative emotions are caused by disruptions in the body’s energy systems. At times, even when we want to clear these disruptions, we may have resistance to letting go of our problem. Change is difficult, even positive change. Resistance to resolving an issue is called Psychological Reversal, or PR, from the idea that the energy is somehow “reversed.” Reversals do not always occur but, when they do, they can be time-consuming or difficult to diagnose. The Setup was designed to preclude the possibility of reversal. In other words, doing the Setup will help to clear any reversals that might exist, without you having to take the time to find out if they do or not.

After saying your Setup three times while continually tapping, or rubbing, either the Karate Chop point or the Sore Spot, you are ready to move on to the Tapping Sequence.

Step 3 – Tapping

The tapping sequence is accomplished by saying a Reminder Phrase, based on your Setup, as you tap about seven times on each of the tapping points. Seven times on each point in the sequence while continually saying the Reminder Phrase constitutes one round of EFT. You tap as many rounds as needed to lower the intensity measurement when you think about the original issue. So, for instance, if the detail of your bad day that has the most intensity for you is the upset feeling in your stomach, and you measure the intensity, originally, at an 8, you will tap, beginning at the top of head, saying “This upset stomach.” Move through one or two rounds, then measure again. If the intensity has not dropped to a comfortable level, for instance, below a 3, continue with more rounds or move to an alternate technique.

The Points

The following series of points are located on both sides of the body, so you can use two or three fingers to tap the points on either side of your body, or both sides at once. You can tap first one side, then the other. Many people even find one point that seems to work best for them. The have success concentrating on that one point, returning to it often, or even, at times, using that point alone. Again, experiment, and do what works for you.

With EFT’s flexibility, there is no required order to the points, but, they are generally taught beginning at the top of the head and moving down the body simply because they are easier to remember in that order. EFT instructions vary in the points they recommend. Since EFT is so flexible and people have different preferences, different practitioners and writers have defined different sets of points. Some sets are shorter than others. Some include the top of the head point and the liver point. Some don’t. Some include the hand points. Some don’t. All the points included here are useful.

  • The Top of the Head point is about a finger’s width behind the exact crown of the head. Many people can feel a slight depression or tenderness there.
  • The Eyebrow point is at the tip of the eyebrow near the nose, on the bone. Both sides of the body are used.
  • The Side of Eye point is at the outside tip of the eyebrow. Both sides of the body are used.
  • The Under the Eye point is on the top of the cheekbones underneath and in line with the pupil.
  • The Under the Nose point is in the indentation between the nose and upper lip.
  • The Chin point is in the crease between the bottom lip and the chin.
  • The Collarbone point is the soft spot about an inch toward the outside of the body from the hollow V shape at the base of the neck, just off the sternum (breast bone), just under the collarbone.
  • The Under the Arm point is about a hand’s-breadth below the armpit. Both sides of the body are used. For some people who are chemically dependent, this spot can drive up distress so you may delete this spot if needed.
  • The Rib point is also called the Liver point. It is between the 6th and 7th ribs in line with the nipple (for women, it’s about where the bra band would be).
  • The Thumb point is at the base of the nail bed on the side of the thumb toward the body.
  • The Index Finger point is at the base of the nail bed on the side of the index finger toward the body.
  • The Middle Finger point is at the base of the nail bed on the side of the middle finger toward the body.
  • The Little Finger point is at the base of the nail bed on the side of the baby finger toward the body.

Remaining Issues

When you’ve finished a few rounds, but the intensity has not fallen to zero, you may wish to tap another round or two modifying the Reminder to acknowledge the remaining issue:

“This REMAINING memory of my boss’s looming red face….”

You may also repeat the Setup, tapping the Karate Chop point or Sore Spot, with a modified Setup:

“Even though, I STILL have some of this REMAINING memory of my boss’s looming face…”

Begin a new round of tapping with this new Reminder Phrase, continuing until the intensity measures 0.

The 9 Gamut

The 9 Gamut is a quick technique designed to help balance the brain by providing both left and right brain activity. You can add it at the end of a sequence when the intensity is low, but doesn’t seem to be dropping to 0.

Begin by tapping the 9 Gamut point.

  • The 9 Gamut Point is on the back of the hand about a half inch below the spot where the where the indention between the knuckle little finger and the knuckle of the ring finger.

While continuously tapping this spot, hold the head still, looking straight ahead, and perform the following nine movements:

  • Eyes closed
  • Eyes open
  • Eyes sharp down to the right
  • Eyes sharp down to the left
  • Roll eyes in clockwise
  • Roll eyes counterclockwise
  • Hum a tune for 5 seconds
  • Count to 5
  • Hum again for 5 seconds


When you feel as if the distress may be gone, test by using the Movie Technique to review the details as if it were a 2 minute movie. As you review the story, monitor your level of distress. If you are working by yourself, you can imagine the movie silently or pretend you are telling someone about it. If the distress increases to 2 or 3, do the tapping sequence again until it is at 0, then continue to the end of the story. Any time you feel a rise in your feeling of stress, stop and tap until it tests at 0.

EFT Plus

Occasionally, tapping alone doesn’t lower the intensity measurement as much as you’d like. In that case, there are additional techniques that often help to finish the job.

If your distress or level of intensity did not change at all while tapping through the EFT sequence, you might have some stubborn disruptions or blocks in your energy system that would respond to some simple corrections. Some disruptions can be cleared by changing your physical circumstance. Try taking a few deep cleansing breaths and then resume your tapping. You may be dehydrated, so make sure you take a long drink of water. Change rooms or go outside. Change lighting or noise levels. At times, disruptions might be corrected by removing metal belts or underwire bras.

Some disruptions may be Psychological Reversals that weren’t cleared sufficiently with the Setup. PRs are type of disruption or block caused when your wise and reasonable mind can

be overwhelmed by your emotional mind.  A classic example of this phenomenon  is the reason dieting doesn’t work.  This is nothing to worry about; it is correctible, and it happens to everybody. Rarely, impediments to success with EFT may be neurological/energy disorganization, or energy toxins and allergies. Energy toxins are rare, but if you suspect them, you might consider avoiding all scented products or replacing old fabrics like pillows or curtains. Since energy toxins are rarely the problem, they are worth considering but alternative techniques, such as focused use of the Sore Spot or Collarbone Breathing Therapy should be tried first.

Correcting Psychological Reversal with Use of the Sore Spot

To clear PRs, focus your attention on the specific problem being treated and rub the Sore Spot on the left side of your chest while saying out loud

“Even with all my problems and limitations, I deeply and completely accept myself.”

To clear remaining psychological reversals, place attention on the problem to be cleared, tap directly under nose and say 3 times emphasizing the underlined words,

“Even if I never get over this problem, I accept myself deeply and completely.”

Tap the karate spot on the side of the hand continuously while saying each of the following sentences twice:

“I accept myself deeply and completely, even if

  • I am not ready to eliminate this problem.
  • I don’t deserve to get over this problem.
  • I feel it’s not safe to get over this problem.
  • I am scared to try to deal with this problem.
  • I will feel deprived if I get over this problem.
  • I will not do what is necessary to get over this problem.
  • I will lose my identity if I get over this problem.

Clear Neurological Disorganization with Collarbone Breathing Therapy (CB2)

To clear Neurological Disorganization, use Collarbone Breathing Therapy. You’ll do one complete cycle on the right and left collarbones with the right hand, then one complete cycle on the right and left collarbones with the left hand.

Right hand:  Begin by holding two fingertips from your right hand on your right collarbone point and, with the left hand, tap the right gamut point continuously while doing the following breathing sequence:

  • Breathe half way in and hold it while tapping for 5 taps.
  • Breathe all the way in and hold it for 5 taps.
  • Breathe half way out and hold it for 5 taps.
  • Breathe all the way out and hold it for 5 taps.
  • Breathe normally for 5 taps.

Next, bend fingers of right hand, touch the right knuckles on the right collarbone point, tap while doing breathing sequence again.

Repeat the entire cycle with the right fingertips, then the right knuckles, on the left collarbone point.

Left hand:  Move to the left hand by holding two fingertips from your left hand on your right collarbone point and, with the right hand, tap the left gamut point continuously while repeating the breathing sequence.

Next, bend fingers of left hand, touch the left knuckles on the right collarbone point, tap while doing breathing sequence again.

Repeat the cycle with the left fingertips, then the left knuckles on the left collarbone point.

When finished do the EFT Protocol again, focused on the original issue.

Loretta Sparks 2002

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