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EFT in the News

The Intriguing Procedure that has Health Practitioners Ecstatic

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated. Please use my newest advancement, Optimal EFT. It is more efficient, more powerful and clearly explained in my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™.  Best wishes, Gary

The Intriguing Procedure that has Health Practitioners Ecstatic

Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)...: An Often "Instantaneous" Treatment for PTSD, Phobias, Pain and Hundreds of Ailments

by Lindsay Kenny
Director of the National Alliance for Emotional Health

It has now become widely accepted that our emotional health plays an important role in our physical well being. Once we recognize that our hearts pound when we're frightened, our faces turn red when we're embarrassed, our palms become sweaty when we're anxious, and most commonly, our heads ache when we're stressed, it's hard to deny that emotions are affecting our bodies. In fact, there is an endless list of ailments attributed to stress alone, that includes indigestion, stiff neck, shoulder pain and teeth-grinding.

But how much damage can an emotional response really cause to an otherwise healthy body? Left untreated, negative emotions can have a devastating impact on our long term health, including ulcers, hypertension, depression, asthma, and cancer. In fact, unresolved emotional issues have become a silent epidemic in our country. Millions of us carry around a lifetime of betrayals, anger, stress, anxiety, grief, rejection, and much more. While many may seek help for emotional problems...most, tragically, do not. "I can get through this" or "I'll get over it in time" is the stoic but dangerous mantra too many vocalize.

Teen suicides have tripled in the last 25 years and are now the third leading cause of death for 15 to 24-year olds. Spousal abuse is on the rise, with the U.S. Department of Justice estimating that there are between 960,000 to 4 million American women who are physically abused by a husband or a live-in each year. Bullying in schools, nervous breakdowns, child abuse, and other emotion-based problems are on the rise. Yet we are only now realizing the physical impact that these emotional challenges are having on our bodies.

Moreover, we now have thousands of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, who are not only physically injured, but emotionally wounded as well. The VA says it has already treated 6,400 veterans of the Iraq and Afghan wars for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and experts predict that about 15 percent of returning Iraq and Afghan war vets could develop PTSD. Based only on our current deployment then, over 23,000 troops will suffer from this traumatic mental illness alone. And that is only one of many detrimental mental ailments. Viet Nam, Gulf war, and WWII Vets can tell us how horrific it is to see friends and cohorts killed in unspeakable ways. Some will seek therapy, but most won't. And many of those who do will still struggle through life scarred from atrocities they have witnessed. VA hospitals are full of Vets who can't let go of what they saw, heard, smelled and felt in combat. Friends and family will suffer as well, living on the outside of the embedded memories their loved ones are experiencing internally.

As the San Francisco VA hospital recently discovered (as well as thousands of individuals and health care practitioners around the world) there is a ground-breaking alternative treatment for emotional issues such as PTSD, stress, grief, phobias and more. This revolutionary healing aid is called Emotional Freedom Techniques, or EFT and was developed in the early 90s by Gary Craig, a retired Stanford engineering graduate. By using EFT with Viet Nam Vets at the S.F. V.A. hospital, Gary was able to alleviate PTSD in a matter of minutes with many patients who had been there for 30 years or more. Additionally, he was successfully able to eradicate lifelong phobias, help Vets overcome nightmares, addictions, night sweats and much more. While the Vets were thrilled to be released from the demons that had haunted them for decades, some of the doctors were reticent to acknowledge the astounding results achieved with this unusual "new" process. Many seemed to think EFT worked "too quickly" and with "too little effort" to be genuine or long-lasting. Fortunately that is not the case.

"Some day the medical profession will wake up and realize that unresolved emotional issues are the main cause of 85% of all illnesses. When they do, EFT will be one of their primary healing tools, as it is for me." Eric Robins, MD

Personal experience using EFT demonstrates that, used properly, the results can last indefinitely. Unlike talk therapy, there is a physical element to EFT, and complete relief from an issue can be realized in a matter of minutes rather than years. This immediate relief alone causes skepticism and controversy, yet EFT is based on the ancient principles of acupuncture, creating that relief by realigning energy meridians in the body. However, EFT does not use needles, or any other equipment, it's pain-free and the emotional elements are incorporated though verbal interaction with the client. Additionally, EFT uses basically the same "recipe" for success, regardless of the issue, thus making it simple enough for virtually anyone to learn and apply.

Without a doubt, traditional talk therapy, as well as acupuncture, hypnotism, yoga, meditation and other types of therapies have played critical roles in dealing with many emotional and physical issues throughout the years. I can't imagine where we would be today without them. These methods have their drawbacks or limitations, however. Talk therapy, for instance can take months or years to resolve an issue, and is often an emotionally painful journey. Many people who are afraid of needles fervently avoid acupuncture as a result. Hypnotism, yoga and meditation require abilities and dedication not everyone possesses. Furthermore, many of these therapies require multiple sessions which can be costly, yet can have limited or temporary benefits.

Some of the aspects that make this a remarkable healing tool are that EFT:

( Often works when nothing else has

( Usually provides rapid, long lasting, and gentle relief

( Requires no drugs, needles, or equipment

( Can be easily learned by virtually anyone and self administered

( Is effective on a multitude of issues using the same basic technique

On a personal note, I can honestly say that EFT saved my life. In early 2000 I became severely depressed. My life was great; I had a wonderful husband, a prosperous career, and a positive attitude normally ruled my world. But the depression gripped me like vice squeezing the life and energy out of me. I was so miserable that I finally decided to commit suicide! However, I wanted find a way to take my life so that my dear husband, friends, and family would think it was an accident. At the zenith of my depression, and as the last effort before ending it all, I decided to seek professional help. I accidentally stumbled across a therapist who EFT'd me for the first time.

I arrived at her office shrouded in gloom and sobbing, certain that I would end my life as soon as this sure-to-fail session was over. Instead, I was astonished that in a matter of minutes from beginning the EFT process my depression was lifting and I was feeling much better. A few more "rounds" of EFT, lasting about 10 minutes total, and I was back to my old positive, energetic self. Needless to say, I was amazed...but still a bit skeptical. How could this have happened? And so quickly? And would it last? Well, it did last and I'm living testament to EFT's extraordinary potential. I use it now myself everyday for stress, headaches, fatigue, back pain, and so much more. I can't imagine my life without EFT and in fact, would most likely not even be around had it not come into my life.

It is because of my friend, Zoe Walton, an acupuncturist, that I learned how to use EFT. It was also with her help and encouragement that I worked hard to become an accomplished EFT practitioner and ultimately introduced it into my coaching practice. Here is what Zoe says about this intriguing process:

"In 1999 I incorporated EFT into my practice. Many people I see have physical symptoms arising from past or continuing stress. The chronic stress syndrome is often caused by emotions such as fear, anger and frustration, but can be caused by nutritional or physical stressors or trauma. This can lead to physical symptoms such as low thyroid, edema, fatigue, sleep disturbance, allergies and more.

"EFT is now the major tool I have found to address this stress. EFT is based on rebalancing the meridian system that has been disturbed by chronic stressful emotions. The results I have seen using this tool has been amazing. Clients can learn to use EFT on their own or have a facilitator guide them. Over and over I have seen my clients release long held stressful emotions, beliefs, and patterns that no longer serve them. As a result they are happier and healthier people. I now incorporate EFT treatments with about 95% of my patients and can't imagine where my practice would be without it."

EFT has been clinically effective in thousands of cases for:

( Trauma & Abuse

( Stress & Anxiety

( Fears & Phobias

( Depression and Addictive Cravings

( Anger and Frustration

( Weight issues and more

Additionally, hundreds of physical symptoms including headaches and migraines, body pains, asthma, and other respiratory ailments, allergies and food sensitivities can be successfully treated with EFT. When properly applied, over 80% of the recipients achieve significant improvement or complete cessation of the problem with just one session, of the meridian-based EFT.

Meridian Therapies

There are actually several Meridian or Energy-based Therapies available today. However, EFT has the largest following, is the easiest to learn, and is the most user-friendly of these techniques. Since acupuncture is a Meridian based procedure it stands to reason that one of the largest benefactors from EFT would be acupuncturists. Indeed thousands of practitioners are already big fans of EFT. It is not meant to replace acupuncture; however, adding it to one's repertoire can vastly expand and enhance his or her practice. EFT can add a new dimension to a practitioner's options for their clients and provide a viable alternative for needle-phobic, aging, disabled or very young patients.

While less than two decades old, it is estimated that over 1,000,000 people worldwide have received the benefits of EFT. Thousands of acupuncturists, therapists, medical doctors, and other health care professionals are already strong believers in EFT's healing and therapeutic potential. Still, billions more have never heard of EFT, and many who have are sceptical of this relatively unknown science. Ironically, EFT's ease of use and the speed in which one experiences results are the main reasons it has not been more readily recognized by the medical community. Dr. Christopher J. Hegarty, an alternative medicine researcher, journalist, renowned speaker, and best selling author says about EFT:

"Valuable breakthroughs often take a long time before being accepted. For example, the doctor who discovered and proved the need for sanitary conditions when clients were being treated saw his proven work ignored for decades. EFT, by contrast, has already received international acceptance".

Dr. Hegarty describes the first acupuncture symposium held in America at Stanford University, in 1972, where acupuncture was discussed. There, Dr. Paul Dudley White, (Dwight Eisenhower's personal physician while he was President of the United States) statedin an interview with Dr. Hegarty

"Christopher, I traveled to mainland China as a tourist after retiring from medicine. I went to a demonstration of acupuncture at a leading Chinese hospital and witnessed a number of major operations being done without anesthesia that changed the rest of my life. I am now devoted to seeing acupuncture used in the U.S. It may take time to see the benefits utilized in the U.S., but it will happen."

Dr. Hegarty goes on to say:

"With that symposium as the starting point, acupuncture is now being widely used in America. EFT is a logical extension of that movement and, because of its value and simplicity (and skillful use of the internet) is known around the world. EFT has come full circle and is now being used in China, the birthplace of acupuncture. I have not known of a healing breakthrough to reach so far, so soon. My observation is that EFT will likely be a global force in the field of integrated health and healing."

Applying EFT

Unlike using needles as with acupuncture, you simply have the client tap or touch lightly on specific meridian points. These points are mostly on the upper body and face and stimulating them sends tiny "shock waves" or soothing pulses throughout the energy system. By performing this systematic stimulating of the meridian points, (about 10 in all), while verbally addressing a specific problem, the emotional or physical issue progressively disappears. This simple process balances and re-energizes the system, often in a matter of minutes, clearing blockages and dissipating the negative emotions as you go. Often an issue is resolved after only one or two "rounds", which usually take only a few minutes (a round consists of the tapping sequence, while using appropriate verbiage). More complex issues, like rape, PTSD, or serious illnesses, however, may encompass several aspects and could take an hour or more to get ideal results. Persistence, however, will usually completely eradicate the issue, and in far less time than other therapies.

How does it Work?

In order to understand how this surprisingly effective process works, it's important to look at the "Discovery Statement", which is the foundation for EFT...

"The cause of ALL negative emotions is a disruption in the body's energy system."

Gary Craig, founder of EFT

In other words, every negative emotion we experience, including depression, anger, frustration, stress, grief, guilt, anxiety, fear, etc. is a result of a blockage somewhere in the body's energy system. This life-force energy is carried by the body's meridian system through tiny pathways, much as arteries and vessels carry the body's blood. This principle, of course is second nature to acupuncturists. When that energy is blocked or disrupted by a traumatic or unpleasant event such as being dumped by our sweetheart, feeling pressured by a deadline, or being ridiculed by our boss, the resulting effect would be a negative emotion - like sadness, embarrassment, stress, humiliation or anger.

There is another step in the equation, however. If someone insults you, for example, the end result would most likely be anger. What actually happens first, however, is that the insult causes a disruption somewhere in your body's energy pathways. It's that disruption that causes the negative emotion of anger....not the insult itself.

The Real Culprit

In other words, there's an interim step we never recognized before that's the real villain in the equation. It's the disruption of our energy that causes the negative emotion. So rather than just the cause and affect of insult = anger, it's actually insult + energy disruption = anger. When we're injured we experience pain. And when our energy system is "injured" or blocked we experience a negative emotion. This was only discovered until about 25 years ago (although knowledge of the meridian system is 4000 years old). Assuming this formula is true (and experience suggests that it is), then the logical conclusion is: if we can dissipate the energy disruption, the resulting negative emotion will be eliminated as well. And that is exactly what happens when applying EFT.

What Health Care Professionals from around the World Say about EFT:

"Having been trained in numerous healing techniques, I found myself become disillusioned with them when neither I nor my patients would consistently use them! ... I felt there had to be a better way...and "stumbled" on Gary Craig's website...and voila, there it easy to learn, easy to use healing technique! Now I use EFT with almost every patient, and those who use it, experience remarkable changes in their life, both physically and emotionally! What a gift to share with others! Patti C, Acupuncturist, EFT Practitioner & CHT

"In addition to several emotional issues, I have used EFT for impressive relief for many physical problems including Hiatal Hernia, Candidiasis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. The process is gentle and often provides benefits where other methods fail." Raul Vergini, MD Italy

"EFT has been, for me, the single most effective technique I've used in my 45 years of practice as a psychiatrist. I've had success with panic, social anxiety and many other disorders." Curtis Steele, MD, Canada

"I have found EFT to be so useful that it has become the centerpiece of my practice. I have used it successfully on a long list of emotional issues. ...Interestingly, when the emotional issues subside, physical ailments often enjoy simultaneous relief." Sonia Novinsky, Ph.D., Brazil

Extraordinary, but not perfect

With all this praise I should mention that EFT is not perfect. There are rare times when it doesn't appear to work. For instance, because EFT works with the electrical system of the body and water is an important conduit for that energy, dehydration will impede a successful treatment. Other factors such as psychological reversal, substance sensitivities, or applying the protocol incorrectly can inhibit positive results. The good news, though, is that the impediments to EFT's success are correctable. Furthermore you can try EFT on anything including; lactose intolerance, jealousy, the hiccups, insomnia, and much more. Even if executed incorrectly, EFT can still produce amazingly positive results.

EFT remains, in my opinion, the most amazing and effective transformational and healing technique available today. Yet until a person experiences EFT for themselves, it's hard to fully comprehend the profound positive impact this healing technique can have on our emotional health and well being. Only time will tell what discoveries and progress we will make with this remarkable tool in the years to come. And in Gary Craig's words...

"We're on the ground floor of a "Healing High-rise".

For more information on EFT, and to download a free 79 page manual giving all the basic of EFT, go to or visit Lindsay's site at

About the author:

Lindsay Kenny is the founder and director of the National Alliance for Emotional Health and a Life Effectiveness Coach in the San Francisco Bay area. Lindsay conducts EFT workshops and trainings for health care professionals as well as corporate clients. She also offers pro-bono workshops for non-profit organizations, including a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. You can contact Lindsay Kenny at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or reach Zoe Walton, LAc. at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Explore our newest advancement, Optimal EFT™, by reading my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™. More efficient. More powerful.