Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)
Earlier, we posted a few articles about the use of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) and how it works in well with hypnotherapy. If you’re not familiar with the basic concepts and background to do with EFT, we suggest you have a look at these articles and familiarise yourself with them.
The crucial part of EFT, no matter why or when you use it – in a trance during a hypnosis session or during your waking state – is the tapping sequence and the positive affirmations. In this article, we’d like to give you more details about how to go about this.
The affirmation is the first thing to sort out. First of all, you need to acknowledge where you’re at right now. Admitting that you have something that is a problem is always the first step when it comes to freeing yourself from anything negative – just think of the way that Alcoholics Anonymous gets people to start by saying “Hello, my name is Jane and I’m an alcoholic.” For this example, we’ll take a person who’s got a phobia of dogs. He or she would start their affirmation by stating the problem “I’m terrified of dogs.”
The second part of the affirmation is where you accept yourself where you are. This tends to work better than simply starting with the positive thing you want to happen, along the lines of Couéism, as your unconscious mind has a tendency to kick in with some responses to your positive statement with something along the lines of “Oh no you won’t because you’ll X, Y and Z.” It’s best to get the problem out into the open. So for our person with a phobia of dogs (cynophobia), the full affirmation would be “I am terrified of dogs but I can accept myself.”
Now you are almost ready to begin the tapping sequence. Before you begin, think about where you are on the emotional scale in regard to your problem, where 0 is complete calm, joy and peace, and 10 is total hysterical panic. Here, you might need to visit the past in your memory or else during regression as part of hypnotherapy. The aim is to come down the scale and get closer to zero.
The first taps will be on the karate chop point – the fleshy part of the curve on the edge of your hand about halfway between the knuckle of your little finger and your wrist. Tap seven times. Then move onto the other points in the following sequence:
1. On the thick end of the eyebrow where it meets the bridge of the nose;
2. On the thin end of the eyebrow just before the temple, using the opposite eyebrow from the one you touched in Step 1;
3. Under the eye – imagine you’re trying to smooth away dark circles caused by lack of sleep;
4. Under your nose in the little hollow above the upper lip;
5. The hollow where the point of the chin starts curving up to become the upper lip (if you pout your lower lip out, the deepest point of the fold you make doing this is the right place);
6. On the collarbone on the inner edge where it meets the sternum in the middle of your chest;
7. Side of the chest under the arm – this should be at about bra band level for women or about an inch below the armpit;
8. The top of the head.
Once you’ve gone through the sequence of tapping and affirmations, it’s time to reset the energy flows, so to speak. At this point, some EFT counsellors suggest that you roll your eyes and hum a short song (or one verse of a song). Then change your affirmations to a positive statement – the outcome that you want to have happen, and repeat the cycle of tapping. Phrase these positively: “I’m comfortable around dogs,” rather than “I’m not afraid of dogs.”
Once you’ve gone through the second round, evaluate your feelings again. Have they moved a bit closer to zero? If they are still at the uncomfortable end (you can read more about the scale and the feelings associated with each number in a previous article), then go through the process again. However, this time, instead of repeating “I am terrified of dogs but I can accept myself that way,” as you tap, you change the affirmation to something along the lines of “Although I am still terrified of dogs, I can accept myself that way.” Notice the subtle hint that the terror is going to eventually end, even though the negative feelings are “still” hanging around. Using this affirmation, go through the cycle of tapping again, followed by the positive outcome cycle.
And on you go. Different practitioners have different approaches and may have some variations when it comes to the affirmations. Some, for instance, might not have the positive cycle where you speak out the final outcome that you want to have – such as being comfortable around dogs. In this case, several cycles of tapping will be used, starting with the “I’m terrified of dogs but I can accept myself like that,” phrase before moving straight onto “Although I am still terrified of dogs…” and then onto “Even though I still occasionally get terrified of dogs…” and so on, gradually weakening the problem part of the statement.
Still other practitioners encourage slight variations on the affirmation as you go through the tapping sequence. This stops your brain going on autopilot and not really listening to what’s coming out of your mouth – which can happen if you repeat a sentence (7 repetitions times 9 meridians to tap = ) 63 times. Here, the negative parts of the statement could go something like “I don’t like being around dogs,” or “I panic when I’m near dogs,” or “I’m scared to go to my sister’s place because she has a dog that terrifies me.” The positive statements are along the lines of “I’m comfortable around dogs,” “Dogs don’t bother me,” “It’s important to have a good relationship with my sister,” and so on, with the affirmations tailored to your individual situation and responses.
And don’t forget to ask any questions you might have!