An introduction to Emotional Freedom Techniques

The fourth session in our Wellbeing Programme ‘EFT for Stress Management’, was led by Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) master trainer Adrian J Basford.  

Adrian explained that we are a biochemical machine that works on energy and introduced the question: ‘to cope or not to cope?’ We have lots of coping mechanisms that aren’t always good for us. However, EFT can offer a safe and practical solution. “You don’t need to believe in it for it to work”, said Adrian. “Just do it!”. 

EFT involves tapping on different meridian points in the body to encourage a mind-body connection. There are a wealth of clinical trials validating the efficacy of EFT, and it’s even being investigated by the National Institute of Excellence (NICE). It’s also being used in a variety of NHS practices up and down the country.  

Adrian introduced the three-brain theory and explained that we need to bring a balance between the three brains with EFT: the thinking brain (cognitive), the action brain (sensory), and the emotional brain (relational) which can provide relief for phobias, addiction, stress, anxiety, and more. To start using EFT, we first have to realise that we are dealing with a stress response. Adrian explained that our physical reaction to all stress responses is breathing. Our adrenalising system requires more oxygen, so we begin breathing in a shallow and rapid sequence.  

Stress is often measured on the Subjective Unit of Distress (SUD) scale between 0-10. The SUD scale can be used to implement EFT. Once you’ve identified your stress level, create a phrase that describes the problem and a positive affirmation, measure the intensity on the SUD scale, carry out your set up sequence three times while tapping, and repeat if necessary.  

Adrian introduced the key meridian points used in EFT.  The group then launched into several practical exercises, trying EFT in real-time with Adrian to reduce their stress levels. 

He also conducted a practical exercise for attendees experiencing physical pain. Attendees were asked to score their pain on the SUD scale and create a ‘set-up phrase’ and an affirmation to recite. This phrase was repeated as attendees began tapping on the meridian point on their hand three times, then they repeated a shortened version of the phrase while tapping on the other points introduced earlier in the session.  

Attendees reported feeling tired and relaxed after the session. 

Adrian also offered attendees practical advice on how to keep implementing EFT in their day-to-day lives, including learning their habits and stresses, making friends with themselves and learning to pre-empt their reactions to certain situations and work on them. 

Published On: June 11, 2024

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