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Articles & Ideas


Can You Do EFT With Eyes Closed?

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

Hi Everyone,

EFT Master Patricia Carrington gives us a thorough treatment of this question.

Hugs, Gary

by Patricia Carrington Ph.D., EFT Master

Every so often a person will ask me, "Can I keep my eyes closed while I’m doing EFT?".  I will now answer this question.

Several years ago I asked Gary Craig for his opinion on this and he told me that he has never specifically instructed people to keep their eyes open during the process and does not know of any EFT practitioner who insists upon this.  His reaction to the question was pretty much the same as mine.  While many people seem automatically to keep their eyes open during EFT, not everyone does so by any means and we can't see any reason why people shouldn’t close their eyes during it if that is what they prefer.

Since the time I asked Gary this question I have noticed that it happens much more often than I had realized.that certain clients will close their eyes when doing EFT.  And when I’ve watched audiences at EFT conferences I will often see roughly one quarter of the people there tapping with their eyes closed – a far larger percentage than I would have guessed.  Closing their eyes during EFT seems quite a natural thing to do for certain people.

It’s even possible that closing your eyes during EFT might be an advantage because then you wouldn't be distracted by sights around you and might experience EFT with more depth.

What we may be talking about here is the great individuality of people with regard to what works and what doesn't work with EFT (and most other things in life for that matter!).  Personal preference and circumstances obviously play a large part here.  I sometimes use EFT, for example, to get to sleep at night when I am wide awake and sleep is not coming easily.  For obvious reasons, at that time I keep my eyes closed because it seems to facilitate the sleep process.  I tend to do EFT mentally at that time too and not actively tap with my fingers because I find the latter tends to make me more wakeful. “Even though I'm wide awake, I choose to feel pleasantly drowsy", seems to work beautifully from the with EYES CLOSED.

This doesn't mean that closing my eyes when I do EFT during the day will necessarily produce sleep.  However, my personal experience has been that it does create a somewhat different mood than EFT with eyes open.  Since many external stimuli are shut out when my eyes are closed, my focus on EFT becomes more personal and immediate for me.  I find that intense concentration and a sense of turning inward are fostered to by closing my eyes during the process and my mood becomes more meditative nature. 

An interesting facet of this turning inward is the fact that a more "meditative mood" can be a created in this manner.  I have written extensively about the meditative mood in my books on meditation and have pointed out that the it is in fact a light trance state.  I would like to suggest that EFT, whether done with eyes open or closed, is also a highly beneficial light trance state.

The question this raises of course is –– "Is a trance state good or bad?”  It’s been my experience that the kind of light trance easily and naturally induced by meditation (and most other healing practices for that matter) and by EFT, greatly facilitates positive suggestions made during it.  In EFT this results in a strong carryover of the benefits of EFT to everyday life.

I am aware, of course, that many people believe that a light trance is necessarily something negative, a thing to be avoided.  But why should that be?  I think it's because the word "trance" tends to create strongly negative images in many people's minds.  According to Webster's dictionary, it implies an “inability to function or being in a state of daze or stupor”.  It may conjure up images of stage magicians or of Svengali-like mind control.  Such images depict DEEP hypnotic trances while in actual fact it is the light trances of everyday life that are far more prevalent.  These light trances are actually everyday occurrences for all of us and don’t possess alarming qualities at all.  They simply involve a sharp narrowing of attention which becomes focused on only a few objects or events or thoughts. Because of this narrowing of attention, our generalized reality orientation –– that is, our awareness of our surroundings and our usual ways of thinking and perceiving –– begins to fade, creating a "trance" effect.  Dr. Ronald Shor, a pioneer in the study of hypnotics, describes his own experience with such a spontaneous trance this way:

"I was reading a rather difficult scientific book which required complete absorption of thought to follow the argument.  I had lost myself in it and was unaware of the passage of time or my surroundings.  Then without warning, something was intruding upon me; a vague, nebulous feeling of change.  It all took place in a split second and when it was over I discovered that my wife had entered the room and had addressed a remark to me.  I was then able to call forth the remark itself which had somehow etched itself into my memory even though at the time it was spoken I was aware of it." (R.E. Shor. 1969).

The fact is that many everyday occurrences involve entering a light trance, although we usually don’t call the state we experience by that name.  We know, for example, how artists may become so intensely absorbed in their work during its inspirational phase that they become practically oblivious to their surroundings.  The same obliviousness can occur when we are deeply involved in some majestic scene or in an engrossing game, or it viewing a work of art, listening to music, scaling a mountain…or when doing EFT.  Does this mean that we should consider these activities as the form of "self hypnosis"?

The answer is "No."  Although unquestionably EFT and self hypnosis both involve some degree of trance, there are some important differences between them as well as a few similarities.  The similarities are the increased receptiveness of people practicing these techniques to self-administered suggestions of mental or physical behavior they want to bring about.  The self hypnotized person acts (or thinks) according to suggestions he gives himself in a consciously induced trance while the person doing EFT acts according to suggestions he gives himself through the EFT phrases in a state that is natural to the EFT process.

The introduction of a positive verbal affirmation into EFT is a major component of the process, and the default self-acceptance phrase, "I deeply and completely accept myself" is as much a positive affirmation as are the Choices phrases used in the EFT Choices Method that suggest specific positive goals.  We have all watched Gary Craig lead workshop members in demos where he "installs" positive affirmations and insights repeatedly, often using a different one at each tapping point.  This is, in fact, one of Gary's most impressive advanced EFT techniques.

There is no doubt in my mind that positive suggestions and affirmations take effect more quickly and more profoundly during EFT that during ordinary "full waking" life, and this strongly suggests that there is a natural hypnotic component to EFT, as there is to EMDR, NLP, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, and many other therapeutic interventions.  If the technique is effective it usually involves a normal reversible state of light trance.  It is in fact this trancelike quality that gives their power to many of these techniques.

The ability to bring about a highly suggestible state may be one of EFT's greatest strengths, and it is done during EFT without any hypnotic induction or special props or unusual happenings.  Quite simply and naturally a state is created in EFT which allows positive suggestions to reach the very core of a person.  Actually, this is quite a startling achievement if you think about it!

To sum up what I've been saying, closing one's eyes during EFT can be natural for many people while others may greatly prefer to keep their eyes open You should respect your own experience as to what works best for you in this regard..  The state of light trance and suggestibility brought about by EFT may be of great value to all of us.  My advice here is to respect the powerful manner in which EFT can instill in you positive suggestions which may well change your life.


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