Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

Overview

Location of the tapping points on the hand, head, and torso.

Emotional freedom technique (EFT) is a method some people use to help manage emotions and troubling thoughts. They may also use it to lower their stress and anxiety. For example, EFT may help calm you if you're feeling angry. Or it may help ease your thoughts if you're worried about something.

EFT is also called tapping. This is because to do EFT, you tap your fingertips on certain points on your hand, head, and torso. The points you tap on for EFT are like those used in acupuncture.

Experts don't agree on how well EFT works. And it shouldn't replace going to see a health professional for serious issues like depression and trauma.

How to do EFT

You can do EFT, or tapping, whenever you feel upset. You may find that it helps you feel better.

To do EFT, follow these steps.

  1. Think of an issue that's bothering you.

    This could be any issue. For example, it could be something you're feeling anxious or sad about.

  2. Measure how your issue makes you feel.

    Rate how bad you feel on a scale from 0 to 10. A score of 0 means you don't feel bad at all. But a score of 10 means you feel as bad as possible. Write down this number.

  3. Create a statement that describes your issue, followed by a statement of self-acceptance.

    For example, you could say, "Even though I feel anxious about work tomorrow, I deeply and completely accept myself." Or you could say, "Even though my partner broke up with me, I deeply and completely accept myself."

  4. Tap repeatedly on the edge of your palm, below your little finger.

    While you tap, say your statement out loud 3 times.

  5. Now tap on the rest of the points on your body, one at a time.

    While you tap, state your issue over and over. For example, you might repeat "anxious about test" or "we broke up." Tap on each point in this order.

    1. Tap on the top, center of your head.
    2. Tap on the inside edge of one eyebrow.
    3. Tap next to the outside edge of one eye.
    4. Tap on the bone underneath one eye.
    5. Tap between your nose and your upper lip.
    6. Tap between your lower lip and your chin.
    7. Tap beneath one collarbone (find the notch beneath the inside edge of the collarbone).
    8. Tap under one armpit (about 4 inches below the armpit).
  6. Stop and remeasure how you feel about your issue.
  7. Repeat the steps if needed.

    Tap until you can give your issue a lower number, or until you feel better.

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