Emotional Freedom Technique - Tapping your blue away
by Swati Chopra
After years of pandering to the West's appetite for the exotic and the esoteric, it is gratifying to be at the receiving end. And for once, it is not an umpteenth rehash of Yoga or Vedanta. The therapy in question is EFT, short for Emotional Freedom Technique, brought to India from Los Angeles, USA, by one-time cookery columnist Rohini Singh Chopra.
Rohini's excitement is palpable as she offers to demonstrate the therapy on a Life Positive staff member. We hold our collective breath in anticipation. What follows is a series of taps on different parts of the body and it is over. Over? What about the closed eyes and cupped hands that one has come to associate with energy healing? What about the one hour per day routine that one is exhorted to stick to if one expects any results? "You know, a recurring impediment to my work with EFT is disbelief," she says, an impish grin in place. Probably to keep us from expressing more disbelief, Rohini immediately launches into the whys and wherefores of EFT.
It all began when Dr Roger Callahan created TFT (Thought Freedom Technique), the forerunner of EFT. TFT was an improvised form of acupuncture—it made use of light taps instead of needles on meridian points in the body to cure diseases. Not terribly original (the practice of acupressure also entails applying pressure on meridian points), but effective nevertheless.
About eight years ago, Dr Gary Craig simplified the elaborate disease-specific TFT routine and called it EFT to distinguish it from the original. Although the EFT routine, called The Basic Recipe in EFT parlance, works on the same premise of dissolving blocks in the body's energy system by tapping meridian points, it differs as it takes care of the entire body in one quick routine. The Basic Recipe consists of tapping seven meridian points on the face and upper body and five on the hands. As Rohini says: "You need not be ill or stressed out to use EFT. In fact, practising it daily is something like overhauling your entire system in a few minutes."
Moreover, the finger tapping is only one part of EFT. In something that sounds suspiciously like NLP or the Silva Method, the right and left hemispheres of the brain arindividually activated after 'logging in' the body's energy network via EFT's Basic Routine. The practitioner 're-patterns' the brain by counting to kick-start the logical left half and concludes by singing what is literally the most famous song in the universe: 'Happy birthday to you'. This is meant to rev up the creative right half of the brain. Perhaps sensing one's incredulity, Rohini smiles: "Sounds bizarre, doesn't it? My hosts in America came in one morning and found me sitting on my bed singing 'Happy birthday' with gusto. The lady, perhaps concerned about my mental well-being, asked me later, 'Are you well?' I had a tough time reassuring her that it was all a part of the new therapy that I was learning!"
In the short while that it has been around, EFT has gained wide acceptance in the US where support groups are using it to deal with those suffering from a range of psychological conditions ranging from trauma to addiction and phobias. The success with which EFT has been used in treating the trauma of Vietnam War veterans has inspired Rohini to use the therapy among army personnel in India.
While treating war victims might still be a distant dream, Rohini has already embarked on her mission to heal with EFT. She recently worked with a woman who had been shot at by a gang of armed robbers trying to steal her car. Says Rohini: "Although she put up a brave front, she was severely traumatized. Once I began healing her, she broke down and confessed to being scared all the time. She could not sleep or drive. At the end of an hour, during which I performed the EFT routine on her a few times, she calmed down considerably. She even walked me to my car-the first time she had managed to move out of her home since the incident."
Rohini's healing sessions are punctuated with periodic assessments of the intensity of the problem or pain being felt by the patient. Assuming the pre-therapy intensity to be a 10, the subsequent assessments are rated accordingly. Rohini claims a progressive decline in the rating with each dose of EFT's Basic Recipe. "Different aspects of the problem surface each time I give EFT to a patient. For instance, one of my patients came to me complaining of depression as a result of her impending divorce. As I began working with her, I discovered that she was also suffering from guilt towards her children. At one point during the therapy, she suddenly realized that she had been imposing unrealistic demands on herself. EFT helped her to cope with one negative energy block at a time," recounts Rohini.
For the time being, Rohini has her plate full, what with EFT workshops slated for this month and plans to establish the India chapter of Gerry Jampolski's Centre for Attitudinal Healing, apart from her regular healing work with reiki. The interview over, Rohini graciously offers to relieve any problems one might have, emotional or otherwise. "And keep smiling!" she adds as she takes our leave, her amiable face wreathed in smiles.
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