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What is EFT and how can it help you?

One day Sally came to see me. Sally had a stressful job, children, a home, ailing parents to look after and all the usual life admin to keep up with. She was exhausted. She came for an intuitive massage. On doing her consultation, Sally told me she had 'lost sight of who she was.'

After the massage treatment, which she said was 'sublime and could she please stay on my couch for the night' she then asked me about meditation. 'Could it help my anxiety?' she asked. I explained how, when we are ready to put some time into looking after our wellbeing, meditation can work wonders for anxiety.

We went onto work together over several months. She learnt to meditate, use EFT and continued to have regular massages with me.

One day she came in and said 'oh I must tell you, the other day I had a migraine, I did some tapping, took some time out to connect to my breath and after a while my migraine went and I was able to get on with my day. I felt so proud of myself.' I nearly did a little dance right there and then! OK, I admit it I did do a little clap.

For me, my 'why' is stories just like these. To give you the tools to help yourself is entirely why I do this work. It's empowering to have a set of tools you can reach into your 'wellbeing kit' and go, 'let me give that a go.'

So what exactly is 'tapping' or EFT?

Very simply, when we tap on various acupressure points on the body it reduces stress.

Numerous randomized controlled trials and outcome studies have demonstrated Clinical EFT to be an effective evidence-based treatment for PTSD, anxiety, phobias, depression, and pain. (Church, 2013a)

'EFT tapping is a somatic intervention to reduce psychological distress through self-stimulation of acupoints on the face and upper body while focusing on sensations in the body, or a distressing thought or feelings.' (Stapleton, 2020).

If someone had told me a few years back that when I get back ache I'd tap on my head and the pain would go down I'd have been sceptical. But it actually does happen and it does work for me.

I'm not alone. I've helped others deal with a fear of flying, cutting down smoking, binge eating, a driving fear, pain, tiredness from fibromialgia, general anxiety and more.

I myself use EFT for anxiety, menopause symptoms, like hot sweats, mood issues, and dealing with my emotions in a healthy way.

EFT stands for emotional freedom technique. It's often just called 'tapping.'

This comes from the fact we tap on various parts of the body to help calm the mind.

When we are fearful, anxious, in pain, or feeling an intense emotion our part of the brain that wants to keep us safe takes over.

Think of this as the brains alarm system kicking in.

By tapping on parts of the body during EFT it sends calming messages to the brain which turns down the alarm system.

By turning down this alarm the rational part of the brain then gets louder.

If you think of this like a tipping scales, when we tap, we allow the rational mind to rise up and calm us down.

EFT is not a magic cure. For example if you had a severe phobia of spiders I wouldn't expect after our sessions, for you to get a pet turantula, call him Steve, and pop him in the corner of your living room. But I'd like to think we could enable you to see a house spider and not have to run out of the room. Tapping allows us to 'lessen the intensity' of a fear or the emotional response to something.

What I love about tapping is that it isn't by-passing or ignoring your emotions and going straight to 'let's be positive!'

What we do in EFT is actually acknowledged the emotions, we name them, feel them and in doing so it allows them to move through the body and then ultimately lessen their effect on us. There's a great saying, the only way out is through.

We have to feel it to heal it.

For a long time, researchers believed that past experiences or trauma were stored in the mind, and that talking was the answer. Whilst I have a healthy respect for talking therapies sometimes we also need to work through what's being stored in the body to shift the emotions to a healthy place.

(It's for this reason my favourite way to work with clients is when they are also seeing a therapist. You do the mind/emotional work with them and the emotional/body work with me.)

Physical and emotional issues can get stuck in the body. Because your ‘issues are in your tissues’ like I've expained in a previous blog

Often we have a story around an emotion that we don’t want to feel. It can be scary to feel our deepest emotions and fears.

But by paying them attention the moment we sit with the pain, sadness or despair, and physically feel it, it gets room, we give it space to be heard. It's like taking the pressure off, giving yourself permission to feel the discomfort, anger, sadness, frustration, grief.

How often when we build up something in our minds to be frightening, then we actually do it, it's not so bad? EFT can address these kinds of fears, shine a light onto the feelings, and lessen their grip on us.

What can EFT help with?

EFT may be able to help with a wide variety of issues, including:

So, if you're ready to face a fear, emotion or issue and wish to lessen it's effect or your life, book your first session.

With the right guidance tapping is easy to learn and is a brilliant tool to have in your emotional tool kit.

Go gently,

Karen 🌿

As with many forms of holistic therapy, EFT should be used as complementary -alongside traditional medical advice and support. If you are concerned you may be experiencing any of these issues, it is important to speak with your GP first and to continue with any current treatments or medications prescribed to you. If you are already undergoing other forms of therapy or treatment, make sure to let your EFT practitioner know before you begin.

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