Energy Psychology, EFT: A Mind-Body Approach

Energy Psychology, EFT

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

(thyroid)

Pain, depression

 

The Meridian Treatment Points

Face/Head Points

TH: Many meridians run here

EB: Bladder meridian point

SE: Gallbladder meridian point

E: Stomach meridian point

UN: Governing Vessel point

Ch: Central Vessel point

 

Torso Points

CB: Kidney meridian point

UA: Spleen meridian point

LV: Liver meridian point

Hand Points

PC: Pericardium meridian point

LI: Large intestine meridian point

HT: Heart meridian point

LU: Lung meridian point

3W: Triple Warmer

SI: Small intestine

The Research

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.”

Note:

It doesn’t matter which hand you use to tap, or which side you tap on. You can switch sides, tap on both sides, or just stick with one side…

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…”

Tapping sequence:

  1. TH Top of head
  2. EB Eyebrow corner
  3. SE Side of eye
  4. E Under eye
  5. UN Under nose
  6. Ch Chin, Under lip
  7. CB Collarbone
  8. 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.

Written by 

Sarah is a licensed professional counselor in Pennsylvania. She works as a therapist and coach with people around the world, helping them create more peace within themselves and in their relationships. She is the proud mom of three sons. In her spare time, she's an avowed yogi and an avid runner.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.