I remember sitting before my trauma therapist, in a tiny studio apartment, with tears streaming down my face. It had been a few weeks after a psychiatric stay, and I wasn’t sure it would be last.
“I’m not getting relief fast enough! I don’t know how you expect me to make it through another week before I see you again!”
Calmly, she asked if I had ever heard of EFT. After all, I spent years in the rooms of 12 Step Recovery, I grew up in a very New Age Spiritually based church, I’d been exposed to meditation since I was a kid, I said my affirmations like my life depended on them – I think she (like many therapists before her) was afraid there wasn’t anything new they could give me. There was probably a sigh of relief between us when I admitted no, I had never heard of it – but I was ready to try something, anything new.
She introduced me to The Tapping Solution and within a few months, I had finished reading the books, articles, and watched all the videos their site had to offer. Somehow, miraculously, my panic attacks became manageable. My agoraphobia was less of a roadblock. My PTSD flashbacks began to disperse. Most importantly, the things my trauma therapist was providing became more effective.
On April 1st of this year, it will have been 6 years since my last suicide attempt and psychiatric stay. What a milestone! While many things have contributed to my healing journey, EFT has been the front-runner of it all!
What is EFT?
EFT or The Emotional Freedom Technique is a holistic therapeutic practice that consists of tapping on meridian points with your fingertips while talking to yourself. That’s the simplest explanation I could come up with, please stay with me while I explain.
Obviously, none of this is incredibly new. Acupressure and acupuncture have been utilized in Eastern Medicine for about 5,000+ years. If you’re familiar with affirmations, you know the way we talk to ourselves holds immense power. Mindfulness and validation are at the cornerstone of almost every spiritual and therapy practice I’ve tried. The thing that sets EFT above the rest, aside from utilizing all those things at once, is that it can be self-taught, self-administered, and create immediate relief when you’re curled up on the bathroom floor unsure of how to make it through the rest of the night. (I can’t be the only one who has had the experience, I know you’re out there.)
What can EFT do for you?
Well, I’d much rather tell you what it has done for me. I already said it’s been 6 years since my last psych visit. Allow me to paint a picture. For most of my life, I struggled with living. Ever since I was a depressed teen – that turned into a depressed adult – suicide seemed like my only option. Add in diagnoses like Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, PTSD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Agoraphobia, and BPD, you can bet I was the life of the party – a party I didn’t want to be at. (That party was Life… if you didn’t catch that.)
My life is all about progress, not perfection. There’s always more to learn, more to heal, and more room to grow. However, I can say – most of my PTSD symptoms are gone. My fibromyalgia pain flares are few and far between, sometimes I even forget I have it. Most days I am up and about, and I can walk by myself without a panic attack to a park or restaurant over a mile away. My anxiety? More manageable than it has ever been!
So how do I do EFT?
I have to say, it much easier to show you, than to write it out for you. After all, if I type out – “tap on the side of your hand” or “under your armpit”, you’re going to have even more questions than if I just show you. Typing out an explanation of the process in which you talk to yourself while tapping on these various points is still going to lack clarity.
So, I invite you to watch me fumble around uncomfortably before a camera while I talk more in-depth about what EFT is and HOW to do it.
As I leave you with this article, I do hope that perhaps I have introduced you to something new you can utilize in your meditation, mindfulness, and healing practice. EFT has been an incredible addition to my toolbox and perhaps can be for you too. If it’s not new to you, then perhaps this snippet of my story will encourage you to utilize it and share it with others.
Until next time, stay blessed!