In general, are you a believer or a skeptic? To be honest from the beginning, that will have a big impact on how you will deal with the answer to the popular question ‘is EFT tapping a scam’.
In this article, I will provide you with some good information about the so-called emotional freedom techniques in an unbiased way. In addition, I will give you my honest opinion backed up by my own experience and the well-known facts related to this profoundly intriguing energy psychology method.
If you want to get really detailed information on the topic, I refer you to the books The Tapping Solution by Nick Ortner and Unblocked by Raniere & Raniere. But for a quick summary, and my own personal experience and research, read on…
To begin, however, I have to shoot another question – how open-minded are you when you bump into something liked and admired by many people but you know very little about? If you are like me, then you tend to be rather skeptical about it, especially when it comes to something that looks as wacko as this bizarre tapping technique.
Let’s put it straight – seeing someone breathing deeply with closed eyes and continuously tapping different parts of his body while repeating an affirmation may seem a bit…peculiar, right? And people claim that changed their lives! But does it really help? In what way? What does the science say about it?
Without further ado, let’s start dealing with these questions. It all starts with understanding…
What is EFT Tapping?
E.F.T. stands for emotional freedom techniques. It is an energy psychology method that heavily relies on the principles of ancient Chinese alternative medicine and more specifically – acupressure. According to that method, all problems that come to us – both physical and psychological are due to the emotional stress that we suffer which results from the distorted energy balance in the body.
Such stress is often caused by traumatic past experiences, negative thoughts and emotions, and pretty much everything that severely disturbs our inner peace.
Acupuncture claims that life energy also known as ‘chi’ flows through the body via meridian points. The focused pressure on these points while mentally concentrating on a specific issue (pain, anxiety, etc.) helps in releasing the blocked energy which is the main reason behind the emotional distress and the highly problematic energy imbalance.
The Technique Explained
So how does EFT tapping exactly work? It requires you to concentrate on a specific problem (physical or psychological) while using your fingertips to gently apply pressure on the 12 acupressure points – see image below.
Preferably, you have to be in a quiet environment where you feel comfortable and nothing could potentially disturb your peace. The technique also implies that you focus on a specific statement, or better to say, affirmation.
For example, let’s say that you feel anxious about an upcoming exam. In order to apply the EFT technique, and release the stress, you have to start tapping in sequence on the above-mentioned points on your body while repeating the affirmation: “Even though I have stress in my life right now, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
You also have to determine your stress level from 0 to 10. If it is still high, you need to continue the process until you reach a point where your problem is almost or entirely gone and you feel much more relaxed.
In brief, the entire technique relies on deep relaxation and positive thinking but most importantly, on your own acceptance of the problem or the pain that you experience. Often, this is the toughest part because we tend to rebel against what is wrong with us and try to subconsciously reject it. Why? Because the very fact that we may feel uncomfortable makes us feel even more uncomfortable.
What about the meridians and the acupressure points, you’ll ask? Do they really exist? Let’s see about that.
What Does the Science Say?
It’s not a surprise that modern science doesn’t have sympathy for anything that falls under the umbrella of alternative medicine. This is the case with the emotional freedom techniques as well. To this day, there is no medical proof that can back up the existence of meridians or acupressure points in the human body.
The entire concept of traditional Chinese medicine is based on beliefs and ancient knowledge. That is why modern science considers E.F.T. as a pseudoscience and rejects it by stipulating that its often undisputed ‘victories’ are entirely due to the placebo effect.
And no one could blame the scientists for fiercely disputing something that simply cannot be explained by the exact disciplines.
With all that being said, there are plenty of proven track records showcasing the powerful efficiency of acupuncture and the EFT.
The Statistics in Favor of the E.F.T.
In the past several years the research has gone through the roof. If you search online about the benefits of EFT tapping you will find millions of people who swear that practicing emotional freedom techniques has helped them find a better life – an emotionally balanced life.
Believe it or not, the EFT is known to treat physical or psychological conditions that medications and traditional hospital therapy fail to heal. Such illnesses include depression, anxiety, chronic pain, various addictions, disorders, etc.
Even though energy psychology is not entirely backed up by science, many pieces of research show that it is something that doesn’t deserve to be overlooked. EFT tapping emerges as a modern, yet untraditional but effective practice that many people turn to.
One of the strong adherents of EFT tapping and creator of the Eco Meditation – Dr. Dawson Church writes about his astonishing experiments with the E.F.T. in his book ‘Mind To Matter’. (This is a great read, and available in audiobook as well as paperback or hardcover). Several years ago Church established the so-called ‘Stress Project’ in which he tested what is the effect of the tapping on war veterans suffering from PTSD.
The controlled results showed that the levels of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline dropped by an impressive 63% for some of the subjects just after several tapping sessions. When the facts talk, even the gods are silent.
My Own Experience with E.F.T.
To be honest, I was very skeptical about the EFT tapping method. I consider myself as an open-minded person who doesn’t judge a book only by its cover and who likes to explore different things. That is how I got acquainted with sensory deprivation, for instance. Nevertheless, the whole concept looked too unusual for me and I was deeply prejudiced against it.
However, I remembered that a couple of years ago the acupuncture literally healed my father’s lower back discopathy when he was already utterly disappointed with the results of traditional modern medicine. That is why I decided to give it a chance and also because at the time I had huge stress in my life coming from my work environment.
So I started tapping first thing in the morning for 10 minutes while concentrating on the anxiety I was feeling. The first 2-3 days were a disaster because I felt no change at all and I had trouble concentrating on my affirmation. It all seemed so uncomfortable to me. I decided to give it a chance for a few more sessions because I believed that I didn’t execute the tapping correctly, so I continued.
After a few days, I started to feel differently. I began to realize that the stress diminished. It was a strange feeling because I still could notice it and I realized that it was there but somehow it didn’t bother me anymore.
I felt untouchable and I got excited. After a few more sessions I noticed that the stress was entirely gone. Also, I discovered that all it took is some practice. After a while, it was so much easier for me to concentrate that with time the tapping started to feel natural for me.
Now I use it every time when I feel anxious about something and I have used it several times while trying to lessen my chronic shoulder pain (I have several fitness traumas). Honestly, I have to tell you that it provides huge relief and I don’t care if it is the placebo effect or not.
Is EFT Tapping a Scam – Final Verdict
Even though the exact science cannot explain the means by which the energy psychology and the EFT tapping work, the proven track record of its many benefits are undeniable. That is why the EFT tapping is not a scam.
Not only that but it is transforming into a worldwide phenomenon that gives hope to millions of people around the globe who seek relief for a plethora of physical and psychological conditions. What’s curious is that the statistics show that it helps many athletes improve their mental discipline, gain confidence, and faster cure physical traumas. And these are not just statements but statistically proven facts resulting from real case study research.
What makes E.F.T. so alluring is that, unlike many other “miraculous” methods preached by new-age gurus, it is free, accessible, and easy to use. And the positive results come almost immediately.
So my advice to you is to try it and see it for yourself. I promise that you will be surprised.
Remember, that you don’t have to know how a car works in order to drive it. Don’t let your prejudices stand in your way and become an obstacle for exploring new things that can better your life. The world is not only composed of hard matter and stones. Energy is at the origin of it all and, believe it or not, this is a scientific fact.
What do you think of the EFT tapping? Have you ever tried it? Speak your mind in the comments below!
Books on EFT
Main reference: Our information comes from The Tapping Solution by Nick Ortner which you can read for even more details.
Another good book on EFT tapping is Unblocked by Raniere & Raniere.
If you want to introduce the idea of tapping to children, a great kids book on EFT is Tapping Your Way to a Great Big Smile by Ana Cybela.