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.