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Articles & Ideas


Lindsay Kenny answers Frequently Asked Questions about EFT

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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 Lindsay Kenny has answered many inquiries from EFT Newcomers and compiled her responses into a list of Frequently Asked Questions. They augment and often parallel those that appear elsewhere on our website.

Hugs, Gary

Menu of Questions and Answers


By Lindsay Kenny

Q . Why do I have to say negative statements?

A. This is, indeed, a frequently asked question and a valid one. By stating the problem (usually something negative) it brings to the surface feelings and emotions about an event or issue, alerting the body and our sensitive energy system where the blockage might be (remember, the cause of all negative emotions is a blockage in the body's energy system). By saying the negative but true statement while stimulating the meridians, you are sending tiny vibrations or shock waves throughout your energy pathways. By doing so you are gently nudging away the blockage or disruption that causes the negative emotion.

If you stated a positive affirmation instead, such as, "Even though I was just robbed and beaten, that's OK, I feel safe and secure now" you're system would surely rebel. There would be a giant "tail ender" saying "What?! Are you kidding me? I don't feel secure or safe at all!" Your subconscious (or even conscious) would have the same reaction if you left off the negative occurrence as well and made only a positive statement.

Believe me many have tried this approach to no avail. It's true that when we tell ourselves "It's OK, I'll be alright" we can sometimes calm ourselves down. But calming ourselves is not the purpose of EFT. Using EFT can completely eliminate the negative emotion, pain or issue.

That said, however, once the intensity is at a lower 0-10 intensity level (3 or less) you can then switch to a more positive choice statement. Read more about the Choice Method elsewhere on the EFT website.

Q. Do I tap on one side or both?

A. You may have already noticed that many practitioners do tapping differently. Since I initially learned EFT from an Acupuncturist, who really understands the meridian system, I tap on both sides. My belief is that you have a better chance of getting to the blockage and dislodging it quicker by bi-lateral tapping. If you use one hose to wash your car, you'll still get it clean. But if a friend joins you with another hose on the other side, you'll get the car cleaner faster (and probably have more fun). That said, probably half of the practitioners out there just use one side and get good results. I've tried it both ways, and for me, double-sided tapping gets better results. I suggest you do whatever works best for you.

Q. Is it better to use the Karate Chop point on the side of the hand, or the Sore Spot on the chest as the set-up?

A. These points are virtually the same when it comes to effective set-up statements. However, I use the sore spot on the chest for two reasons.

- One, because the points on the chest are at the body's lymphatic drainage system, rubbing them consistently helps disperse the accumulated toxins there (which is why they are sore). This disperses them throughout the body to be diluted and flushed out.

- And secondly because I use the Karate Chop point to do Reversal Neutralizations, thus distinguishing that from the set-up statements on the chest. In reality you can use either points for both objectives.

Q. Why do some people use different tapping points?

A.The body has 14 energy pathways spread throughout the body. They come to the surface in several places; the face, head, upper torso, spine, ankles, wrists, etc. When Gary Craig developed EFT, one of his objectives was to make it simple. You can keep EFT effective and simple by just doing the basic "shortcut" points outlined in Gary's 79 page manual; EB, OE, UE, UN, CH, CB, UA. However, by adding a few more points, the inside of the wrists, liver spot (over the liver on the right side), and the crown of the head, you are again increasing your effectiveness rate.

There are really no right are wrong points. We tend to do what works best for us. And for me using the 10 points mentioned above brings extraordinary results. For awhile I left out the Liver Spot, just for convenience. But with the encouragement of my colleague, acupuncturist Zoe Walton, I added it back in. And maybe it's just my imagination, but I tell the difference with better results.

Q. Can EFT be used on children, the infirmed or pets?

A.Yes, EFT can be used on virtually anyone (including pets) with good results. For babies, pets, the elderly and those unable to tap themselves you can use surrogate tapping, which is tapping on yourself, for them.

Q. How long do I have to tap to get results?

A. The short answer is: Until you get the result you want. I want to expand on that a bit though. Normally you can resolve an issue in 3-4 rounds, which only takes a few minutes. Simple issues are particularly quick and easy to deal with. Sometimes, however, it may take 5-6 rounds, or even 10-12 to resolve a difficult issue. You may need to go through several "doors", look at many different aspects, and dig for the core issue, to get the optimal end result of complete resolution. That takes time. But hey, that could be an hour, or maybe two at the most to completely resolve a painful, lifelong issue.

Traditional therapy could take months or years to resolve the same problem. We often get spoiled with "one-minute-miracles" getting impatient when something is taking too long. But we must keep it in perspective and realize that even the most difficult or complex cases can be resolved to completion in a fractionof the time any other therapy might hope to offer. Patience and Persistence is the key to successfully resolving challenges issues. Time should not be a factor.

I want to point out that it's also important to make sure an issue is completely resolved before leaving it. Some people say "Gee, I feel better now" and stop at that. Later when they feel a negative charge again about the same issue, they will think that EFT didn't work. I hate it when that happens! If you truly get all of the aspects resolved and get an issue to a zero on the 0-10 intensity scale, then it's likely gone for good.

That's not to say that at some point an aspect that was missed might not pop up for you. But resolving that should be very easy, since the bigger components have already been collapsed. So, stay with it until you're sure an issue is completely resolved. Test yourself by trying to get upset about it again. If you just can't find a charge, then you're likely done. That's how long it takes.


Q. What if I can't figure out my intensity level?

A.It's not always easy to figure out, on a scale of 1 to 10, how much your shoulder hurts, or how angry you are at your brother-in-law, or how afraid you are of spiders. And how do you get a SUDs rating for more intangible issues like procrastination, being stuck, having a weight issue? At best it's asubjective guess.

While many people come up with their SUDs level right away, many others struggle with this aspect of EFT. I ask clients to guess what their number would be by saying this sentence out loud rather fast, without pausing at the end. Just say what comes to you. "Even though I don't know what my intensity level is, if I had to guess I'd say it was at a.....".

This simple little trick bypasses the conscious mind and allows the subconscious to provide the answer. Good practitioners generally know where their client stands as they talk about an issue. So if a client's number were far off from the estimate of the practitioner, he or she would have reason to question the client's answer. When working with yourself, however, you can only guess and do your best. Odds are if you don't analyze it too much and just go with your gut feeling, you'll be just fine. As stated in the above question an answer is important to get the SUDs rating so you'll know where you are and where you need to go.

Q. How do I deal with an intangible issue or get an intensity rating on it? What if I have a problem like procrastination, or lack confidence around new employees, or want to lose 30 pounds? How do I measure or test issues like that?

A. To deal with intangible or hard-to-measure issues I use what I call the Ultimate Truth Statement. Here's how you can use this interesting and effective tool. Develop a sentence that would represent the most positive outcome you would like to achieve. For instance, if you have a problem with procrastination use an Ultimate Truth Statement of "I always complete tasks in a timely manner, never putting things off, and always keep commitments with myself and others."

Note: Examples of other Ultimate Truth Statements would be something like these:

  • I'm committed to improving my health by weighing 150 pounds by October.
  • I'm a confident, certain, public speaker and love speaking in front of large groups.
  • I'm highly motivated to find a new job where I can be happy, comfortable and passionate.
  • I'm 100% committed to taking care of my health by exercising at least 30 minutes a day 5 days a week.
  • I am grateful for all my parents have done for me, and am proud to honor their lives by taking care of them in their old age.

With the Ultimate Truth Statement use the 1-10 scale, but with the 10 representing the ultimate goal of 100% confidence in the truth or believability of the statement. That is, with the procrastination issue, if you felt completely committed to always doing things on time and never procrastinating, you would be at a 10. Most likely you'll start this process at a 5 or less. In the beginning the Ultimate Truth Statement is far from how you actually feel, but is the goal to achieve doing EFT.

Therefore, begin with a set-up statement of "Even though I usually procrastinate, waiting until the last possible moment, I love and accept myself anyway". Then do a couple of rounds stating a negative reminder phrase of "My tendency to procrastinate" or "My habit of putting everything off."

On the third round switch to phrases on consecutive points like that start gradually changes your position to something like; "I'd really like to eliminate this habit of procrastination....I'd like to do things on time....I want to let go of always being late....I want to be timely with my projects and commitments....etc. It's this gently transition to where you've been to where you want to be that starts changing your psyche on the issue.

Now check yourself with the Ultimate Truth Statement. You should have moved up a few notches on the scale (remember you're going toward the 10 this time). Keep repeating the above process until you're within 3 of your goal (that would be a 7 or greater).

Then go back to the set-up point and switch to a choice statement. It would be something like this: "Even though a part of me tends to put things off, a bigger part of me wants to do things on a timely basis. So I choose to let the bigger part of me win. I choose to find the resources within me to eliminate this habit of procrastination. And I choose to do things on time, when they are due." Do a variation of this three times on the set-up point. The wording doesn't have to be exactly like this. Be flexible and do what works for YOU.

Now, on the first round, state the remaining negative, such as; "My remaining habit of being late" (or whatever the issue), at each point.

On the second round, at each consecutive point say "I choose to tap into my own resources to break this procrastination habit" (or I choose to eliminate being late, etc.... "I chose to be on time", "I chose to let go of my being-late habits"..."I chose to complete commitments on or before when they are due"...."I choose to completely eliminate my procrastination"..."I chose to be on time"...etc.

On the third round alternate the remaining negative with the positive choices, i.e. Remaining procrastination...I choose to eliminate it...remaining procrastination...I choose to be on time with projects...remaining procrastination...I chose to be proud of myself for doing things on time...remaining procrastination...I chose to break and eliminate that habit...etc.

Now check yourself with the Ultimate Truth Statement. You may be at a 10 by now. If you're at an 8, do the choice rounds again. If you're at a 9 or 9.5, do the 9-point Gamut to polish off the issue and complete the process. Use the phrase of "Remaining procrastination" while tapping on the Gamut point and doing the eye rolls, humming and counting.

Then complete this process up by doing one more round of just positive, desired phrases. At each consecutive point put in a different positive affirmation such as: "I'm always on time ... I'm confident in my abilities... I'm clear about what needs to be done and when... I always do things in a timely manner ... I'm proud of myself for completing projects on time ... I see what needs to be done, and I DO IT now...People respect me for keeping my word...I keep my commitments to myself and others...I'm a responsible, on-time person, etc. Doing these positive affirmation while tapping feels SO good and is a great way to finish up the process.

At this point you should be able to make the Ultimate Truth Statement and actually mean it with confidence. If you get stuck and just can't seem to change the believability of your Ultimate Truth Statement, chances are you have a Reversal and your subconscious doesn't really want to change. To fix a Reversal read my article on Reversals, and specifically "Fixing SBS".

Q. Does EFT work for...?

A. One of the most common questions EFT Practitioners hear is "Can EFT help with.... diabetes, hepatitis, Multiple Sclerosis, pimples, etc?" To which we almost always respond "Probably! Try it on everything!" A more thorough and accurate answer, however, would be "Many others have experienced great results with your issue, so it's highly likely that you will get resolution too." It's safe to say EFT has been tried on just about every issue, problem or physical ailment you can image.

We know EFT can bring miraculous results to virtually anything...especially in the hands of an accomplished practitioner. And since EFT has never been known to harm anyone, it's painless, and it works when nothing else has, go ahead and try it on your issue. I've used it on everything from corns to cancer and from hiccups to hypertension.

In experienced hands, EFT delivers significant relief over 90% of the time (the medical profession would love to have those results). Many cases, however, especially if complex, require more than just applying the basic sequence. So if you've already tried EFT and aren't getting the results you want, it's unlikely any shortcoming of EFT, but rather that you're missing some important element. Virtually all complex issues should be dealt with by a competent EFT Practitioner.

There is an art to EFT that goes far beyond what you can learn in the 79-page manual or even by watching all of Gary's wonderful videos that only comes with experience and practice. For instance there are several obstacles that can impede EFT's progress. I suggest you read my article "The 9 Stumbling Blocks of EFT"

Q. What's the difference between Simple and Complex issues?

A. First let me "broadly" define "Simple" issues. There are no hard and fast rules, but typically simple issues are problems that are usually:

  • Single faceted, like the hiccups, or your boss embarrassed you at the sales meeting, or you're disappointed that you didn't get the promotion you wanted, or you're stressed after a tough day at work.
  • Recent, as opposed to something that happened years ago, or has been going on for a long time.
  • Not chronic; that is it's not a persistent problem like chronic pain, anger or grief
  • A simple pain or injury, as opposed to a complex medical issue or a serious illness
  • Fear or simple phobias
  • Emotions like stress, frustration, anger, embarrassment, cravings, etc .
  • Ones you can generally work on and resolved yourself, with some basic knowledge of EFT

I believe there are Two Tiers of complex issues, which almost always involve more than one aspect.Tier one issues include things like grief, chronic pain, "minor" traumas, allergies, some abuse issues, weight issues, food addictions, stuttering, and most non life-threatening illnesses. Many of the examples used in my "9 Stumbling Blocks" article (available on the Free Stuff page) are examples of Tier 1 complex issues. Some of these you can work on yourself. If you're not getting a resolution, you should contact a practitioner.

The second, or more-difficult-to-work-with,Tier 2, includes child abuse, sexual or ritual abuse, traumatic or life-altering accidents or deaths, severe and sustained physical or emotional abuse, drug addictions, morbid obesity, and so on. Tier two complex issues are usually highly charged emotionally or often a result of very traumatic occurrences. Also included in these more difficult cases would be psychological problems such as bi-polar, schizophrenia, multiple personalities, serious illnesses and so on.

Here's what's important to remember: Most simple issues can be handled by anyone, including yourself. Complex issues, especially Tier 2, need to be dealt with by an experienced practitioner. Nonetheless, in case you're curious or just want to know more about complex issues read my article "EFT issues, Simple or Complex?" on the Free Stuff page (the article is mostly for other practitioners, but you're welcome to read it too) But again, please consult a qualified practitioner for the tough stuff.

Q.What words and phrases do I use?

A. This is a simple, yet complex question and one of the most frequently asked. The easy answer is use this simple formula: Add an acceptance affirmation to your problem, such as "Even though I have this __________(fill in your issue), I deeply and completely accept myself." However, there is a bit more to it than that. What's important to remember is you can't do it "wrong", but some phrases are more effective than others. Try it different ways until you get the result you want.

To learn about doing set up phrases and what's important about them, read my article on the "9 Stumbling Blocks of EFT". Being specific, finding the core issue, and getting rid of Reversals are imperative to successful EFTing.

Here are some examples of set-up statements. Remember, being specific is important.

"Even though I have this fear of speaking to groups over 5, I deeply and completely accept myself."

"Even though a part of me doesn't want to forgive my mother for hurting my feelings at Christmas, I accept who I am without judgment."

"Even though I have this sinus headache above my eyes, I deeply love and accept who I am."

"I deeply and completely accept myself, even though I have anger towards my father for yelling at me last night."

"Even though I have this stiffness on the right side of my neck, I completely accept myself and love my body."

"I deeply accept myself unconditionally, even though I have a killer craving for chocolate right now."

"Even though I have this fear of snakes, I love and accept myself anyway."

"I deeply and profoundly accept myself, even though I'm really sad over my breakup with ________."

Q.How many sessions will it take to deal with my issue?

A. There isn't an easy, pat answer to this question. There are so many variables among people and issues that it could take 1 session or 5. Some might even be more than that. Complex issues, weight issues, abuse, trauma, and many others often take several sessions. Often I'm done with someone in 30 minutes, depending on the circumstances. I find that we can often deal with 1-3 issues per session. However, many people have multiple issues making it hard to tell without really getting into the matter.

One lady, for instance called me because she was 'stuck' at work and couldn't seem to get the recognition she wanted. That seemed, on the surface like a relatively easy matter to be dispensed with quickly. As it turned out, however, there was a considerable physical trauma in her life that had to be dealt with, the suicide of a family member, an eating disorder and much more. And while "Ann" didn't think any of those things contributed to her problems at work, they were actually critical to her success (or lack thereof).

So the answer to this question is "It depends". However, long it takes will be considerably less than traditional therapies of any kind, and likely much more effective.


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