EFT: The Secret to Serenity?

01 Oct

On Friday evening in a chance conversion my good friend mentioned coming across someone else who did EFT. My response: “What’s that?”

This sent me on a learning expedition on the internet, where I discovered EFT is a way to ‘tap’ away negative emotion. It’s based on ancient Chinese meridians which are used in acupuncture. But instead of sticking ourselves with needles, we can just tap a few simple points while focusing on the emotion and accepting ourselves despite that feeling, and after doing so the negative emotion lessens with the goal to reach 0 intensity.

WTF?! You say. I know, but read it here to learn about it from a more convincing teacher. It’s FREE!!! lol.

I’ve had success using EFT, and I’ll quickly recount two here, because I believe this can make a huge difference in everyone’s lives. Today we went down to the shopping mall, which was super busy. Going to the mall makes me feel anxious and overwhelmed, it’s exhausting, and with a toddler to deal with as well now I generally get home and collapse for a few hours. When we first walked in, the noise and people and everything quickly got my heart rate up, my chest felt tight, and all the familiar suckiness of the environment set in. I was all, stuff it, I’ll try EFT just to see. So we were walking, and hubby had the boy, so I quickly tapped through the sequence a couple of times, focusing on the anxiety and overwhelm, and while they didn’t disappear completely, it definitely dropped to a 1/10, from about an 8. Yay! We did our thing. I didn’t get grumpy, didn’t get short with either of my boys, didn’t get the need to flee, and when I got home I wasn’t totally exhausted.

The other success with with little boy yesterday. He’s scared of the toilet. He cries, he says, “I can’t do it!” and no matter what I say he won’t go near it, let alone sit on it. He’s not potty trained yet, but I was worried about the prospect of having a kid who would only use a potty. Anyway. I said to Jake, “do you want to go sit on the toilet?” I got him into the bathroom and he was standing over a metre from it freaking out. I got him to focus on it, and then tapped his points (head, face, chest, under arm – go check out the site for specifics). He moved forward and looked into the toilet, then started blowing raspberries at it. I said, “do you want to sit on it?” and he said, “no” and blew a few more raspberries at it, then I let him leave, convinced there had been a change. Yay! Also, a kid blowing raspberries at a toilet is quite hilarious to see.


It makes me question the wisdom in extinguishing negative emotion. A bit of fear is a good thing (that crocodile is scary, I might not go prod it with a large stick). A bit of anxiety can help us function better (omg, I’m gonna mess up: go in prepared, get it right). Being sad, grieving, helps with acceptance. Emotional pain reminds us to avoid situations that hurt us either physically or emotionally. And, my biggest one I think, learning to deal with negative times, and what you perceive as a negative time (ie. what affects you compared to what you let go without therapy) teaches you so much about yourself, others, and the world we live in.

I haven’t come to any kind of conclusion here. With any treatment we’re encouraged to consider risks versus benefits, but EFT is pushed as risk free. I don’t believe it is. While I’ll continue to use it on aspects of my issues that have debilitating effects, and I think I’ll use it once more on my boy to ease his fear of loud noises (caused by the CHCH quakes), I don’t think I want to eradicate all negative emotions. The bad lets you appreciate the good.

One final note. I do not believe for a moment EFT can cure ADHD. ADHD is a neurological disorder, not a symptom of an underlying emotional problem. Bipolar, on the other hand, well, I dunno, it’s a disorder, but it’s classed as a mood one. One article said it can help, but only if you use it in the early stages of a cycle. One area a may experiment in.


Posted by on 01/10/2012 in Mental Health


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2 responses to “EFT: The Secret to Serenity?

  1. Beaulah

    01/10/2012 at 7:56 am

    Wow! That’s amazing Fran. I’m glad you gave it a go. I’ve come across the ‘negative emotion is good’ argument a couple of times from other people who I’ve talked to about EFT and I definitely understand the concern. After having used it for five years, however, I can attest that it in no way removes the capacity to feel negative emotion, to grieve or to get scared.
    About a month ago, as you will remember, my Grandfather died, and I was in shock when I first found out. My whole family had to immediately pack our bags and jump on a plane. I didn’t have time to do much in the way of EFT (except tapping the finger points while waiting in line), but the fact that I have done quite a bit in the past helped me be present to things like my dad crying without freaking out.
    While I was up in the North Island, I had a few private moments of bawling my eyes out and each time I used EFT and just let myself feel however I needed to (I don’t say stuff out loud or use set up statements most of the time). Within a few minutes, I’d be back to feeling tired… calm… and appreciating everything I got to experience with my grandfather.
    It’s hard to explain exactly, but when I was younger, before I started using EFT, emotion would ‘take over’ and send me into these dark spirals. I’d get angry / snarky / hysterical and quite irrational. Now I still feel things intensely, but I’m aware of how I feel and almost ‘at peace’ with it…? It’s something I acknowledge and appreciate but don’t get overwhelmed by.
    More recently I bailing on a close friend at the last minute and she was really disappointed in me – disappointment is still a huge trigger for me. I know normally I would have gotten all defensive and justified my decision, but I decided to skip that crap and accept that I had both a) screwed up and b) there was something else going on that made me want to bail. It was really hard, going after her and letting her tell me she was disappointed and being present to that. I don’t like blows to my self-image lol… but by the end of the next day I’d repaired what could have been a massive tear in our relationship. I still have to work on clearing whatever was there for me in the first place that made me want to bail, but I think it’s a fear of saying what I want from the beginning (because it might hurt someone’s feelings).
    I guess what I’m trying to get at is EFT doesn’t remove common sense or natural emotional response. It doesn’t stop you being careful when driving (or feeding crocodiles). What it does seem to do is give you much more freedom to make your own decisions, rather than being controlled by the emotions you’ve been trained to feel by trauma in your past… and that has made all the difference for me =D

  2. J.C

    01/10/2012 at 10:31 am

    Great comments and feedback for Fran there Beaulah. My mother is an EFT practitioner, so I’ve had plenty of exposure as well. I think of it as basically removing the emotion – doesn’t change the event or take anything away from an experience, but means that you aren’t so overwhelmed that you can’t learn from/appreciate/whatever else from an event/situation etc. I’m pleased you’ve found it helpful so far, Fran! I do, on an almost daily basis.


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