eft meaning, history, and evolution: the emotional freedom technique

What is EFT Tapping? 

EFT Tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique) is a form of alternative therapy that stimulates certain points in the body while focusing on specific thoughts or feelings.

Tapping therapy addresses emotional and physical issues based on unresolved trauma, which manifests in our body and mind. By tapping on specific acupressure points, energy flow can be restored, and emotional distress can be relieved.

Tapping is a gentle and repeated touching process on a specific area. It is a versatile technique for treating various issues. From anxiety, grief, and depression to phobias, PTSD, chronic pain, and addiction.

It is a popular method of reducing stress. It is used as a complementary therapy alongside other forms of treatment. Like talk therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes.

One of the benefits of Tapping meditation is that it is simple and easy to learn. It requires no special equipment or training. The practice can be done anywhere by anyone, making it a convenient tool for managing stress and improving emotional well-being.

Key takeaways

  1. EFT Tapping can ease countless physical and emotional ailments, including stress, chronic pain, and insomnia.

  2. You can do EFT Tapping independently; you don’t need a trained professional.

  3. Tapping meditation can be done anytime or anywhere.

  4. Tapping is a therapy that stimulates the meridian lines in the body and encourages the clearing of energy pathways.

  5. EFT Tapping is a low-risk alternative therapy that can make life-changing improvements to the practitioner.

How does EFT Tapping work? 

The practice stimulates meridian lines in the brain and body, like acupuncture. It releases blocked energy and restores balance to the body and the brain’s energy system.

Tapping is also based on the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy, which emphasizes the connection between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

Focus on a particular feeling or trigger while tapping; you will remove its power and disrupt the panic message sent to your brain. It encourages your nervous system to move into the ‘rest and digest’ rather than ‘fight or flight’ mode.

EFT Tapping and the fear response 

Long ago, the stress response was necessary for survival. In physical danger, such as a wild animal, the body would feel fear, entering “fight or flight mode.”

The amygdala, which detects danger, triggers the stress response, causing the release of hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.

The amygdala cannot distinguish between physical threats and modern stressors like work stress. Thus, many individuals experience anxiety frequently, as their stress response is constantly activated.

This can have immediate adverse effects and potentially serious long-term consequences. Prolonged stress can trigger physical and psychological problems in many of the bodily systems.

Using Tapping, an individual can disrupt the stress signal and send messages to the brain, establishing safety, calmness, and relaxation.

Tapping can be used as a preventative measure, reducing symptoms before they become chronic. You do not have to reach a “breaking point” or maximum fear before giving this practice a shot. 

The history of EFT Tapping

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT Tapping) was developed in the 1990s by Gary Craig. However, psychologist Dr. Roger Callahan’s teacher created its predecessor, TFT (Thought Field Therapy), in the 80s. By combining his knowledge of Chinese medicine with psychology.

It was based on similar concepts of imbalances in the human body’s energy field resulting in physical and emotional ailments.

Tapping specific energy points in a particular sequence could correct these imbalances, ultimately improving health and well-being. However, the original method was challenging to teach.

It offered complex sequences for each issue and required a trained practitioner. As a result, in the 90s, Craig simplified the practice. He developed what we now know as EFT Tapping. Utilizing one specific sequence and performed on a number of issues. 

EFT Tapping development 

The practice has undergone significant development and expansion in the last 20 years. It was initially used for treating anxiety, phobias, and other emotional issues.

However, its applications have expanded to include various physical and mental health issues. These include chronic pain, PTSD, addiction, and depression.

In addition, there has been increased research on the meaning of tapping and its methods. Many studies showcase its effectiveness in reducing symptoms of various mental and physical conditions.

This has led to a growing acceptance of EFT tapping in the medical and mental health communities.

EFT Disease History, Research on Tapping 

Research has proven that this technique can make a real difference in people’s lives. Dr. Peta Stapleton’s 2012 Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease study discovered that Tapping reduced cortisol levels (the stress hormone) far greater than conventional talk therapy or resting.

The randomized controlled trial measured cortisol levels in participants’ saliva before and after the 50-minute treatment. The psychological symptoms were also assessed. The Tapping group recorded a 24% reduction in cortisol. The non-treatment and sympathetic listening groups only showed a 14% reduction. 

Another study working with veterans suffering from PTSD reported a 90% drop in symptoms after six weeks of Tapping. 59 people were given half weekly Tapping sessions and the other half standard PTSD care.

After the initial six-week period, 90% of those who received EFT Tapping no longer met the criteria for PTSD, comparable to just 4% of the standard care group who no longer met the requirements. 

EFT Disease History Beth Murray eft meaning

Can I do EFT Tapping on my own? 

Yes, Tapping can be done alone or with a practitioner.

The technique is simple and easy to learn. However, some people may prefer the comfort of working with a trained practitioner, especially for complex issues.

Although it is challenging to find motivation, there are sources to help you identify your issue and understand the meaning of tapping. You can use a platform such as YouTube to familiarize yourself with the sequence and methods used in the practice. 

What are the benefits of EFT Tapping? 

EFT tapping offers a range of benefits for both physical and emotional well-being. It has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety levels, leading to improved relaxation and an overall sense of well-being.

By addressing negative emotions and thought patterns it can improve emotional health and reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

In addition, the method is effective in managing chronic pain, headaches, and more by addressing underlying emotional issues. Tapping can also be a complementary therapy in addiction treatment programs to help reduce cravings and manage withdrawal symptoms.

Moreover, tapping helps boost self-esteem and confidence by addressing negative self-talk and limiting beliefs.

One of the main advantages of tapping is that it is simple and easy to learn. It requires no special equipment or training and can be done anywhere and anytime.

Beth Murray eft meaning

Are there any risks involved in EFT Tapping? 

While Tapping is generally safe and non-invasive, it may not suit everyone. A person with severe mental health issues or trauma history should consult a professional before trying the practice.

Tapping means to help and is not a substitute for medical treatment or direct work with a therapist. It can be used as a valuable tool to support other forms of treatment and promote overall well-being. 

EFT Tapping and grief

This mind-body technique is a helpful method for managing grief and its associated emotions.

It can assist in acknowledging and accepting the loss, addressing negative beliefs, reducing emotional intensity, finding peace, and improving self-care. It helps create a more patient and forgiving attitude towards pain.

However, it is essential to note that Tapping should not replace professional medical or mental health care. Do not assume the method will allow you to accept your loss instantly. Tapping is to assist in acceptance and improve general well-being, not be a full-proof fix.

EFT Tapping sequence

  1. Determine the issue that you want to work on to begin. Maybe a physical pain, a negative emotion, a limiting belief, a traumatic memory, or anything else that bothers you.
  2. Rate the initial intensity level once you identify the issue on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being low and 10 being high.
  3. Create a setup statement that combines a self-acceptance affirmation with a reminder of the issue. For example, “Even though I have this (issue), I deeply and completely accept myself.”
  4. Tap on a series of acupressure points while repeating the setup statement and a reminder phrase. The points to tap are:
  • Karate chop point (side of the hand)
  • Eyebrow
  • Side of the eye
  • Under the eye
  • Under the nose
  • Chin
  • Collarbone
  • Under the arm
  • Top of the head
Beth Murray eft meaning

5. Repeat the tapping sequence several times, focusing on the issue and any related emotions, sensations, or memories. Try, if possible, to relax and not tense up.

6. Repeat this for several rounds using your phrase, then recheck the issue’s intensity and see if it has decreased. If it has not fallen enough, continue tapping until it the intensity has reduced to a comfortable level. Witness the changes as they happen.

7. End the session with a positive affirmation or phrase, such as “I am releasing (issue) and feeling more peaceful and empowered.”

Once completed, you can assess how you feel. Remember, you can return to the method regularly or whenever needed.

Beth Murray eft meaning

Ten example set-up statements to use in EFT Tapping

  1. Even though I am scared, I deeply and completely accept myself.
  2. Even though I am anxious, I deeply and completely accept myself.
  3. Even though I don’t fit in, I deeply and completely accept myself.
  4. Even though I feel like I am not enough, I deeply and completely accept myself.
  5. Even though I am afraid they will not like me, I deeply and completely accept myself. 
  6. Even though I worry about money, I deeply and completely accept myself.
  7. Even though I wish I were smaller, I deeply and completely accept myself. 
  8. Even though I fear I will not be included, I deeply and completely accept myself.
  9. Even though I don’t trust myself, I deeply and completely accept myself. 
  10. Even though I fear being wrong, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Ten examples of positive affirmations to use in EFT Tapping

  1. I am okay as I am 
  2. I am worthy of love
  3. I do not need to lose weight 
  4. I am wanted and loved 
  5. I am open to enjoying life
  6. I know my feelings are valid 
  7. I am capable of creating my own love
  8. I am happy being myself 
  9. I do not have to rely on anybody else
  10. I can overcome my doubts
Beth Murray eft meaning

What are the meridians, and why are they important? 

The meridians are a central concept in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and are the foundation of many forms of alternative therapy, including acupuncture.

These are pathways or channels through which energy or “qi” flows, connecting the internal organs and providing the vital energy necessary for life.

The meridians play a vital role in the meaning of tapping and the therapeutic process. The basic premise is that negative emotions and physical symptoms arise from disruptions or blockages in the body’s energy system.

By Tapping on specific meridian points while focusing on negative thoughts and feelings, we help clear these blockages. This allows energy to flow freely throughout the body and restore balance to the energy system.

How many meridians are there?

Twelve primary meridians are associated with a specific internal organ or physiological function. These meridians run along the skin’s surface and can be accessed through acupressure or acupuncture.

Tapping means to sti the meridian points without needling, making it a non-invasive and gentle therapy.

The meridian focus points used in tapping include the top of the head, the inner and outer eyebrows, the chin, the collarbone, and the side of the hand. Each of these points is associated with a specific meridian and internal organ.

Tapping on them is thought to focus and stimulate the energy flow in that meridian.

For example, the top of the head point, also known as the “governing vessel” point, is believed to help with overall relaxation, sleep, and stress reduction.

The collarbone point is associated with the kidney meridian and is thought to help regulate water metabolism and eliminate toxins.

Tapping points and their corresponding meridians: 

  • side of hand: small intestine meridian
  • top of head: governing vessel
  • eyebrow: bladder meridian
  • side of the eye: gallbladder meridian
  • under the eye: stomach meridian
  • under the nose: governing vessel
  • chin: central vessel
  • beginning of the collarbone: kidney meridian
  • under the arm: spleen meridian
Beth Murray eft meaning

How can I train in EFT Tapping? 

One of the reasons the practice of tapping and the knowledge around the meaning has become more prominent in recent years is the improvement of technology and accessibility of online resources and training programs.

This has made it easier for people to learn and use the technique on their own and for professionals to incorporate it into their practices and repertoire.

There are many options available worldwide for people who want to train in person or online.

What does the BrainTap App have to do with EFT Tapping?

The BrainTap app and EFT tapping are two different techniques similar in their stress and emotional regulation approach.

Braintap is a guided meditation and visualization app that uses audio technology and a BrainTap headset to help reduce stress, improve focus, and promote relaxation. It incorporates binaural beats, guided imagery, and relaxing music to help users reach a state of deep relaxation and mental clarity.

While people may think the techniques are interlinked, they are not affiliated or related. The meaning of EFT Tapping is different, as it doesn’t rely on technology and uses your hands as tools.

To practice the BrainTap method, use your mobile device with either the BrainTap Headset or a pair of headphones and select a session from the list of aspirations.

Each session is designed to stimulate diverse neural pathways in your brain and promote relaxation.

Overall, both Braintap and EFT tapping can be helpful tools for managing stress, improving emotional regulation, and promoting overall well-being, but they are unrelated.


EFT Tapping is a valuable technique becoming more mainstream and well-known every year.

Having a tool at your fingertips to manage stress and anxiety gives you more power to control your emotions and well-being.

You don’t have to have experienced major trauma or pain to benefit from the practice; you just have to be open-minded to a non-invasive technique being powerful enough to make a difference in your life.