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How to do EFT Tapping Therapy – EFT Tutorial

How To Do the EFT Basic Recipe - EFT in a Nutshell

This article is part 1 of a 2-part tutorial describing the EFT tapping process. It starts with a brief introduction to the theory of how EFT works followed by the EFT Basic Recipe.

At the end of this article, the EFT tutorial continues with a link to another article called "Picking Effective EFT Tapping Phrases." These two articles combined will give you a good foundation to start doing your own tapping.

Note: Scroll down this page to find an EFT Tapping Points Chart.

How EFT Tapping Therapy Works

EFT is based on the following fundamental premise:

"The cause of all negative emotions and beliefs is a disturbance in our body's energy system."

Disturbances in the Body's Energy System

The energy system referred to above is the same energy system that is used in acupuncture. Acupuncture talks about there being 14 energy pathways in our bodies called energy meridians. All of our negative emotions, like anxiety, hurt, anger, shame and so on, are due to a disturbance in one or more of these energy meridians.

These energy disturbances are linked to memories of painful events. It is not the memory itself that is painful. Rather, when we think of the memory, the associated energy disturbance gets activated, which then causes the negative, painful emotions.

EFT Works by Clearing the Energy Disturbances

EFT works by intentionally activating an energy disturbance by thinking about a painful memory or just feeling your feelings. While the energy disturbance is activated, you tap with your fingertips on a set of 10 easily learned acupuncture points in order to clear out the energy disturbance in the affected meridians.

As the disturbance gets cleared through the tapping, you will experience your negative emotions actually drain away. When the energy disturbance has been completely cleared, your negative emotions will be gone. You can then think about the memory with no painful emotional reaction! Problems in your life that resulted from the original experience will clear up as well.

It's Important to Stay Focused on the Problem While Tapping

It is essential that the energy disturbance remains activated the whole time you are tapping in order to completely clear it. Therefore, you have to keep your attention focused on the negative feelings while tapping until they are gone. Getting distracted or thinking about two things at once can interfere with EFT working.

The EFT Tapping Procedure

Now that we have a basic understanding of how EFT works, we can learn how to do the actual tapping procedure.

EFT Tapping Points Diagram

(Copyright © 2008 All Rights Reserved - Do not copy.)

The Ten EFT Tapping Points

This diagram shows you the 10 points that we will use to clear all energy disturbances with EFT. The ten points address all 14 meridians due to the fact that some of the points are located at the intersection of two meridians. Since we are tapping on all meridians when we do EFT, we don't have to worry about which meridians have the disturbance in them. We are tapping on all of the meridians anyway.

See the tapping points diagram. The names of the points starting at the top of the head and going down the body are:

• top of head • beginning of eyebrow • side of eye • under eye
• under nose • chin • collar bone • under arm • inside wrist
• karate chop

How to Tap on the Points

  1. Top of head:
    Use all your fingers to "pat" the top of your head so that you don't have to worry about the exact location of the point.

  2. All the facial points:
    Use two fingers on each point for the same reason.

  3. Collar bone point:
    The collar bone points are located just below the "knobs" at the end of each collar bone. Use a flat fist just below your neck, where a man would knot his tie, to get one or both of the collar bone points.

  4. Under arm point:
    This point in located on the side of your body a few inches below your armpit. On a man it is level with the nipple. On a woman it is located in the middle of her bra band. Use all four fingers running up and down on the side of your body to tap on this point.

  5. Inside Wrist point:
    Notice the crease between your wrist and your hand on the inside of your wrist. The wrist point is located three finger widths below the crease. Use your whole hand to pat this point.

  6. Karate chop point:
    The last point on the pinky side of your hand is called the "karate chop" point because it is the place on your hand you would hit if you did a karate chop. You can tap this point any way that you like.

Note: For the points that are located on both sides of your body, it does not matter which side you use. It's also okay to switch sides while tapping or use both sides simultaneously. It will work any way that you do it. EFT is very forgiving that way.

The tapping on each point should be rapid little "thunks." I say little thunks because you should tap hard enough to feel some percussion during each tap but not hard enough that you will begin to feel tender after a lot of tapping. You only need to tap each point around 4 to 6 times, though more is not a problem. You won't need to count taps because you will be saying a phrase at each point (see below). Just tap rapidly while saying the phrase, and that will be enough taps.

The EFT Tapping Procedure — The "EFT Basic Recipe"

  1. Select the problem that you would like to address with EFT
    Most of our current emotional problems are due to painful experiences we had growing up. Therefore, the most effective way to really heal current problems in your life is to apply EFT to the painful memories that are the source of those problems. In addition, it is also possible to apply EFT to relieve in-the-moment difficult emotions (e.g., anxiety, anger, sadness), food and substance cravings, physical pain in the body and many other problems.

  2. The EFT "Reminder Phrase"
    Come up with a short phrase used to refer to the memory or problem, the more specific the better. We call this the "reminder" phrase because we will use it during the tapping process to stay focused on the memory or current problem. The way to create a reminder phrase for a memory is to give the memory a title, like the title of a movie. (For more information on creating effective reminder phrases, see the last sections, Picking Good Reminder Tapping Phrases and Using EFT to Heal Painful Memories, at the bottom of this page.)


    a. My best friend moved away and I was alone (title of memory).
    b. I'm afraid of flying.
    c. I have a buring pain in my left shoulder.
    d. I'm craving ice cream.
    e. I'm furious at Jan for going behind my back.

  3. Rate the Pain or Intensity Level
    Assess on a 0 to 10 scale how painful the memory is or how intense the emotion or pain is, where 0 is no intensity at all and 10 is the maximum intensity you can imagine. It is not important that this number be totally accurate. It will only be used to generally track our progress, so don't worry about being exact.

  4. Perform the Set-up Affirmation
    You do the set-up affirmation by saying a self-acceptance affirmation three times while tapping on the karate chop point. The self-acceptance affirmation has the following form:

    "Even though ______________, I deeply and profoundly accept myself."

    The blank is filled in with the reminder phrase that you came up with in step 2.

    For example: "Even though I'm craving ice cream, I deeply and profoundly accept myself."

  5. The EFT Tapping Sequence
    Perform two passes through all ten points:
    Say the reminder phrase while quickly tapping on each point. You will say the reminder phrase once per point. This is just the reminder phrase without the "even though" and "I deeply and profoundly accept myself."

    It is important to stay focused on the memory or feelings while tapping on all of the points. When you have done all ten points, you have completed one pass through the points. Repeat this for a second pass.

    The combination of the Set-up Affirmation and two passes through all of the points is considered the EFT Basic Recipe.

  6. Reassess the Pain/Intensity Level
    Reassess the pain level of the memory on a scale of 0 to 10. If the tapping is working, your pain level should come down around 1 - 3 points per basic recipe. It may come down even more.

  7. Perform Another EFT Basic Recipe Until Done
    Repeat steps 4 through 6 to apply another EFT basic recipe to the memory or painful emotions. However, if your pain level came down at all, then we change the wording of the set-up affirmation and reminder phrase a little bit to acknowledge the progress that has been made.

    The set-up affirmation becomes:

    "Even though I still have some _____________, I deeply and completely accept myself."

    The reminder phrase becomes:

    "Remaining _______________"

You keep applying the EFT Basic Recipe to your painful memory or emotions until the pain level, including all of the associated emotions, goes down to zero. At this point, that memory will be completely healed or your in the moment emotions relieved.

Using this minimal version of EFT, you will tend have a 40 - 50% success rate. There is more to learn about EFT in order to get much better success rates (at this point it's rare for EFT not to work for me).

If the tapping process doesn't work for you after several tries, please read my article, What to Do When EFT Doesn't Seem To Work, which can help you get much better results.

Where can you go from here?

If you would like tips on how to use EFT, sign up for my Tapping Tips For Your Success Newsletter below.

These are short and sweet newsletters with practical, easy-to-digest ways to use EFT to enhance your life.

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How to Pick Effective EFT Tapping Phrases
(What to say while tapping)

When first learning EFT, one of the most common questions is "what words do I use for the reminder (problem) phrase"? I know that this was confusing for me when I was first learning.

I have written a separate article for understanding how to come up with good phrases to use for tapping that you can read here:

Article: How to Pick Effective EFT Tapping Phrases

I also created a video explaining how to pick effective EFT tapping phrases:

Video: How to Pick Effective EFT Tapping Phrases

Using EFT to Heal Painful Memories

Video: How to Heal Painful Memories with EFT Tapping

EFT is most effective when applied to memories of specific events in your life. These early memories are the root causes of our current day problems. The memory should be a short specific event whose duration is measured in minutes.

The method first taught for working with a memory is to give it a title, like a title of a movie. The title should include what was upsetting about the memory.

For example, let's say that your father yelled at you when you were crying with the classic "stop crying or I'll give you something to really cry about!" line.

One possible title for this memory could be "Daddy yelled at me for crying." This will probably work well if you are in touch with the painful feelings associated with that memory. However, there is an approach that I find even more effective.

Often, painful memories include some key sentence spoken by the parent, like in the example above. The sentence with the parent's tone of voice and facial expression will usually capture what is most painful about the memory.

Unless the memory is already on the verge of being too painful, it is often helpful to get in touch with what is most painful about it so as to more thoroughly heal the experience.

In this case, I usually have my clients use the parent's actual sentence as the tapping phrase. I will have my clients say the phrase as if they were their parent and encourage them to use the same facial expression and tone of voice.

"Even though 'stop crying or I'll give you something to really cry about', I deeply and completely love and accept myself."

You would then repeat

"stop crying or I'll give you something to really cry about"

at each tapping point with the parent's tone of voice and facial expression. This is a powerful way to more fully access one's feelings while tapping and will result in a deeper healing experience.

More Helpful Resources

I have two resources to help you learn more about EFT Tapping:

These resources include a wide range of practical tips for making the best use of EFT in your life.

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Attracting Amazing Love

I felt more relief from 3 EFT sessions with Stefan than I got from 13 years of talk therapy!

I find Stefan to be gentle, accessible, expertly skilled and exquisitely intuitive.

~ Client Testimonial

Stefan has the most amazingly gentle way of introducing you to yourself. He helped me to soften my painful, negative self judgments.

He showed me that I could touch the broken places inside with compassion, and allow them to heal. Through his insightful, empathic guidance I am opening my heart to joy and love.

~ Phylliss C

LTrader | Resources

STEFAN GONICK, Expert EFT Practitioner, Trainer & Soulmate Attraction Mentor

Westhampton, MA 01027 (located in Western Massachusetts, near Northampton and Amherst)
stefan@EFT-Alive.com • Skype ID: stefancgonick