June 2, 2009 Jeanne Rust

Emotional Freedom Techniques

The Wikipedia Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) from Gary Craig and Wikipedia definitely put Emotional Freedom Techniques in the alternative medicine and energy psychology arena or what some people would refer to as "woo-woo". I might have thought the same myself of Emotional Freedom Techniques except I had the good fortune to attend Gary Craig's first training session in the mid-1990s.

The underlying philosophy of Emotional Freedom Techniques rests with the belief that negative emotions are caused by disturbances in the body's energy field. As a person thinks about a disturbing memory or emotion and simultaneously taps on a series of 12 specific pressure points on the body, he or she is helped to free himself or herself from such disturbing thoughts through altering the body's energy field, thus restoring it to "balance."

I am usually very skeptical of something that claims to "cure" all emotional, psychological issues as well as pain, disease, and physical issues. Of course EFT practitioners also claim that Emotional Freedom Techniques can help with depression, anxiety, trauma, addictions, PTSD, all phobias, as well as weight loss, performance issues, and everything else!

I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. While standing in the front of the room, one woman who was terrified of snakes burst into tears, started screaming, and was visibly shaking when a live snake was brought into the room in a cage and placed in the very back of the room. Gary Craig worked with her, teaching her Emotional Freedom Techniques, and literally in 10 minutes she was carrying the cage around the room while talking to the snake, calling him Snakey, and making snake jokes!

Another woman was deathly afraid of elevators and for many years only used the stairs in department stores and office buildings. Gary taught her Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) and then took the woman and the entire training class to the bank of elevators in the building where the training was being held. The woman proceeded to get on the elevator. She was still quite nervous but after a few more sessions of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) she was able to ride the elevator up and down quite happily!

As I began to work on some of my own negative emotions and "issues" while in the training, I had the strangest feeling after I completed the tapping process. I felt a huge sense of relief as if my insides were relaxing! I was so amazed at the way I felt. I no longer felt so much of the anger that I had been carrying around with me for years. A feeling of serenity and peace had filled the space in my heart where the anger used to be.

I have continued to insist that Emotional Freedom Techniques be used at Mirasol for our eating disorder patients. We have a wonderful, extremely competent practitioner that teaches our patients the techniques. Particularly at mealtime the patients are able to reduce a great deal of the fear of eating and fear of food.