By Vivian Coutinho
EFT is a brand new therapy that is simple and easy while offering miraculous results at the level of body and mind
We are emotional beings, and being emotional, our state of mental and physical health is directly affected by how, and what, we feel. In other words, our health is governed by the nature of our emotions. Our emotional state, however, being largely negative – to the extent of 90 per cent or more – is the source of more harm than good in our lives.
There are many different psychological therapies that have been developed over the years to overcome mental health issues. But the one that is emerging today as the most effective of all, is EFT, or Emotional Freedom Techniques. This is an amazing, you can even say magical, tool available to all of us to counter the harmful effects of our negative emotions. And it not only gives you freedom from emotional issues, but relief from physical illness too, because mind and body are closely connected (mens sana in corpore sano, as the Latin expression goes). To describe it briefly, in the words of Gary Craig, who developed the procedure, “It is a unique version of acupuncture except you don’t use needles. Instead, you stimulate well-established energy meridian points on your body by tapping on them with your fingertips.”
EFT is simple. It is easy. And it is quick. It sometimes works in moments. It often works where nothing else does. It promises relief from almost every emotional or physical issue you can think of. What could be more wonderful than a therapy that has all these qualities and provides you with a health remedy literally at your fingertips? The original idea behind EFT was discovered by Dr Roger Callahan, a therapist who, the story goes, used it so effectively that his earnings declined drastically – to the point of bringing him to bankruptcy – because he needed only a session or two, where previously he needed many, to cure his clients!
The case studies on record cover an astounding variety of mental, emotional and physical conditions that have been successfully treated by EFT. These range from common aches and pains to severe symptoms resistant to other modes of treatment, from allergies and addictions to all kinds of fears and phobias, from panic to depression, from weight issues and eating disorders to asthma and blood pressure, from diabetes to many life-threatening diseases.
The results from the use of EFT have often been thought to be ‘miraculous’, but only because it is a relatively new therapy that has largely been given very little attention by the medical fraternity. As it becomes more commonplace, it will cease to be described as such.
It revolves around the concept, not new to Eastern philosophy, that the cause of all illness is our negative emotions, which disrupt the life-healing energy flowing through the meridians in our bodies.
The Modus Operandi
An EFT session involves a few quick and easy steps. Typically, you first identify an emotional or physical issue that you would like to work on, and evaluate its intensity on a scale ranging from 0-10. Then you say a couple of ‘set up phrases’, performing a few simple actions while doing so. And finally, you tap gently with your fingertips on a dozen acupressure points on the face, upper torso and hands. The whole session may last a couple of minutes or so. Small effort for the big results that it brings.
How does it work? EFT may appear to perform miracles but once you understand the principle behind it, you realize what a beautifully simple procedure it is. It involves correcting the energy flow in the body. Eastern philosophy speaks of this energy that constantly flows along certain pathways or energy meridians through our bodies. It is known by many names, such as prana, chi or ki.
This psychic energy is what keeps our bodies in perfect order and governs all the bodily processes, right down to cellular and DNA activity and chemical reactions. It can be thought of as flowing in exquisitely perfect, divine wave patterns at extremely high levels of vibration. As Wayne Dyer puts it so succinctly, this energy, if left to flow undisturbed, keeps the body in perfect health.
The ground reality, however, is that we humans rarely allow this to happen. Quite unwittingly, but very effectively, we disrupt the divine flow of healing energy that is constantly coursing along the energy meridians throughout our bodies. We perform this disruptive task by the simple process of allowing negative thoughts to remain active in our minds! This is, by and large, an unconscious process, because our awareness level is generally low, and we are unaware of the thoughts we think.
These thoughts generate negative emotions, and this negative energy sets up a counter flow that interferes with the divine life force permeating our physical being.
It is this interference that depletes the healing energy that would otherwise remain intact in our bodies. Often, the negative charge is so strong, that it blocks this energy flow completely, leading to serious illness and disease. Tapping with the fingertips on certain designated ‘meridian points’ on the body releases or corrects the healing energy flow that has been disrupted by the harmful energy patterns generated by negative emotions.
This may result either in instant relief, or a cure over a period of time, depending on the intensity of the negative state of mind of the individual.
Initially, EFT is best applied under the supervision of a therapist. This is because an issue that needs resolution may have many aspects attached to it. So identifying the core aspect is crucial to its success. Otherwise, you might conclude that it is not working for you, because what might seem like the issue may not be the real issue at all, but some other aspect, or aspects, more deeply entrenched in the mind, may be at work.
Here are some interesting cases. Vijaya, an office-goer, had lost her father three years ago but could not come to terms with his death. Every time she thought of him, she couldn’t stop crying. She also couldn’t look at his picture. She tried everything from rationalizing to other methods of relief. Nothing worked. But she found that eating chocolate brought relief from her discomfort. This soon became a craving.
When she realized this, she decided to try EFT to address her grief as well as the chocolate addiction. In a one-day workshop, a few rounds of tapping were enough for her to be able to think of her father without emotional discomfort. But the chocolate craving persisted. It was only when the therapist identified “the craving for the nice feeling after eating chocolate”, that it vanished. That night, she was able to look at her father’s picture without experiencing any emotional pain or discomfort whatsoever, and her problem was resolved. Further, she is now using EFT creatively in all areas of her life.
Then there is the case of Manoj, an IT professional, who met with an accident six years ago that left him paralyzed, with excruciating back pain. He tried homoeopathy for a year and a half, which helped him get back on his feet and to work. But his severe pain restricted his movements, and prevented him from sitting comfortably or bending to pick up things. Three EFT sessions with a practitioner, and he was free of the pain.
The first session addressed the pain, but it persisted. The second addressed the frustration of living daily with the pain and the handicap. But it was the last session, which dealt with his belief that the pain had to be there, that did the trick.
He had mentally retained an image of the MRI scan, showing the fusion of two vertebrae in the lower back, along with the dire prognosis that he would always have pain due to this condition.
EFT works wonders with the young as well. Khushbu, a 10th grade student, failed two subjects and scored just 43 per cent in her prelims. She learnt EFT at a workshop immediately thereafter. Her board exam was just a few weeks away. She began using the procedure to eliminate anxiety while studying as well as just before her exam. She achieved a score of 76 per cent.
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