Energy Psychology (EP) is a family of therapies that combine Western psychology methods with Eastern energy-based healing principles. This mind-body approach allows EP to facilitate rapid, positive change. The most common form of EP is EFT, the emotional freedom techniques. More than 100 studies published in peer-reviewed journals document the effectiveness of these simple energy-based techniques.
The Meridians and Related Emotions
Understanding EP begins with an acceptance that we are more than meets the eye. Everything is energy, as the saying goes! For instance, acupuncturists have worked with meridians for thousands of years. In a nutshell, meridians can be though of as little energy highways that run through our bodies, carrying energy through our system. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, each meridian is associated with a specific emotion or set of emotions. Because of this, you can release an emotional block (or a problem) when you stimulate its associated treatment point by tapping or rubbing it.
Here is a rundown of the meridian points and related emotions.
|Treatment Point Location||Meridian||Related Emotions|
|GV||Above the mouth||The Governing Vessel||Associated with self esteem; moving forward|
|CF||Below the mouth||the Central Vessel||Associated with shame; launching new projects|
|BL||Inside eyebrow corner||Bladder||Trauma; aggravation, irritation|
|GB||Outside corner of the eye||Gallbladder||Visceral anger: rage, fury, wrath|
|ST||Under the eye||Stomach||Fear, anxiety|
|KI||Just below the collarbone notches||Kidney||Anxiety|
|SP||Under the armpits||Spleen||Worry|
|LV||Bottom rib, under nipple||Liver||Anger|
|LU||Thumb: outside corner of the nail||Lung||Grief|
|LI||Index finger: outside corner of the nail||Large intestine||Guilt|
|PC||Middle Finger: outside corner of the nail||Pericardium||Life-flow; sexual issues|
|HT||Pinky Finger: outside corner of the nail||Heart||Anger about a specific issue|
|SI||Outside edge of the hand||Small intestine||Vulnerability, sadness|
|3W||Back of the hand, between the 4th and 5th metacarpals (leading to pinky and ring fingers)||Triple warmer
The Meridian Treatment Points
Peer-reviewed professional journals have published more than 100 research studies demonstrating the effectiveness of EP therapies. Importantly, this includes not just one-offs and case studies, but more than 50 randomized controlled trials, 40+ outcome studies, and four meta-analyses. (A meta-analysis depends on a pretty large group of studies, which are combined in order to draw conclusions with greater confidence.)
One striking study of veterans with PTSD showed that PTSD symptoms dropped after EFT treatment; after 10 sessions all the veterans were free from clinically diagnosable PTSD. This is so important, because we used to think PTSD was not treatable. More recently, the US government invested millions in a virtual-reality PTSD treatment center, which is cool — but not very practical. The center is outside of DC, and did I mention expensive? Yet there are so many people who need treatment all over the country. EFT is a low-cost intervention which is simple, effective, and has virtually no negative side effects. In addition, clinicians and researchers have used EP to treat addictions, anxiety, depression, food cravings, phobias, sports performance, and stress.
EFT: The Emotional Freedom Techniques
One of the most common techniques in Energy Psychology is EFT. To use EFT, begin by bringing your problem to mind and allowing yourself to feel the emotions related to the problem. Then try to identify which emotion you feel most strongly. Rate that emotion on a 0-10 scale, with 0 meaning the problem does not exist, and 10 is the worst you’ve experienced.
Next, start tapping on the side of the hand, using all fingers from the other hand, while you repeat the setup statement (the problem, and an affirmation):
“Even though I (have this problem), I deeply and completely accept myself.”
Then tap the points while repeating the problem, using related statements such as “It feels terrible, it feels awful, I can’t believe it, I feel so bad…”
- TH Top of head
- EB Eyebrow corner
- SE Side of eye
- E Under eye
- UN Under nose
- Ch Chin, Under lip
- CB Collarbone
- UA Under arm
When you’ve finished tapping, take a deep breath, and reassess the problem on a 10-scale. If you have not achieved a “0”, tap another round. Continue working until you have reached a 0.