The FAQs below were written in substantial part by Lindsay Kenny, an EFT Master practitioner and trainer, and were republished here with her permission. They do not necessarily reflect my views or personal experiences, and I assume no liability. If you have any questions about my personal experience with EFT or specific conditions I have treated with EFT, please contact me directly.
Why do people use different tapping points?
Do I tap on one side or both?
Why do I have to say negative statements?
What words or phrases do I use?
Why is it important to know my SUDs level, and what does SUDs stand for?
What if I can’t figure out my intensity level?
How do I deal with an intangible issue or get a SUDs level on it?
How long do I have to tap to get results?
How many sessions will it take to deal with my issue?
Does EFT work for…? (whatever)
What’s the difference between Simple and Complex issues?
How do you deal with relationship challenges using EFT?
Can EFT be used on children, the infirm, or pets?
I have tried EFT, but it isn’t working for ME. What do I do next?
Why do I sometimes get sad, depressed or agitated after a session?
What’s the best way to learn about EFT?
FAQs from Gary Craig’s 79-page manual
Does EFT last?
How does EFT handle problems that are intense or that are old issues?
How does EFT help with sports performance?
Why does EFT give surprisingly good relief from physical problems?
Q. Why do different practitioners use different tapping points?
A. The body has 14 meridians that run throughout the body. These energy pathways come to the surface in several place: the face, head, upper torso, spine, ankles, wrists, etc. When Gary Craig developed EFT, one of his objectives was to make it so simple that anyone would be able to do it. You can keep EFT effective and simple by just doing the basic recipe outlined in Gary’s EFT manual (you can download it free from my “Free Stuff” tab). However, by adding a few more points — the inside of the wrists, the liver point, and the crown of the head, you are stimulating five additional meridians, thereby increasing your effectiveness rate by over 50%. And it only adds a few more seconds – well worth it.
There are really no right or wrong points. For me, using all the points mentioned above in Pro-ER brings extraordinary results (see the “tapping diagram” available under the “Free Stuff” tab).
Q. Do I tap on one side or both?
A. You may already be aware that different practitioners do tapping differently. My belief is that you have a better chance of getting to the blockages and dislodging them quicker by tapping on both sides. Because what if the blocked meridian point is on the left and you’re tapping only on the right? Probably half the practitioners out there tap on just one side and still get good results. But for me, double-sided tapping gets better results. I suggest you do whatever works best for you.
Q. What words and phrases am I supposed to use?
A. This is a simple, yet complex question and one of the most frequently asked. People get stymied on this aspect because they really don’t know what to say and they think you’re going to do it wrong or compromise their results if they don’t say the ‘right’ thing. The easiest default phrase is to use this simple formula:
Add an acceptance affirmation to your problem. Here’s an example: “Even though I have this __________(state your issue), I deeply and completely love and accept myself and trust that no matter what words I”m choosing right now, my problem is being addressed.” There’s a bit more to it than this, but what’s important to remember is you can’t do it “wrong.” Try it different ways until you get the result you want.
To learn about doing set up phrases and what’s important about them, read the article on the “9 Stumbling Blocks of EFT”, located in the “Free Stuff” tab. Being specific, finding the core issue, and getting rid of Reversals are imperative to a successful EFT session.
Q. Why do I have to say negative statements?
A. This is, indeed, a frequently asked question and a valid one. By stating the problem (usually something negative) it brings to the surface the feelings and emotions about an event or issue, alerting the body and its sensitive energy system to where the blockage might be (remember, the cause of all negative emotions is a blockage in the body’s energy system). By saying the negative but true statement while stimulating the meridian points, you are sending tiny vibrations or shock waves throughout your energy pathways. By doing so, you are gently nudging away the blockage or disruption that’s causing the negative emotion. It’s important to say the statements while tuning into the emotion you’re focused on releasing, and these types of statements assist you in holding that at the forefront of your mind.
If you stated a positive affirmation instead, such as, “Even though I was just robbed and beaten, that’s okay, I feel safe and secure now” your system would probably rebel. There would be a giant “tail ender” saying “What?! Are you kidding me? I don’t feel safe or secure at all!” Your subconscious (or even conscious) would have the same reaction if you left off the negative occurrence as well and made only a positive statement.
Believe me, many have tried this approach and got limited results. It is true that when we tell ourselves “It’s okay, I’ll be alright” we can sometimes calm ourselves down. But calming ourselves is not the purpose of EFT. The purpose of EFT is to completely eliminate the negative emotion, pain or issue by removing the energy block.
That said, once the intensity is at a lower SUDs level (3 or less) you can then switch to a more positive choice statement.
Q. Why is it important to know my SUDs level and what does SUDs stand for?
A. SUDs stands for Subjective Units of Distress. It’s important to know your intensity level so you’ll know where you are and where you need to go. If you simply say, “I’m really upset” that doesn’t give you much information. If you can put a number to it, say a 9, for instance, even if it’s subjective, you at least have a guesstimate of a starting point. Then as you tap and get in touch with your decreasing SUDs level on subsequent rounds, you’ll know you’re making progress. You’ll also have a handle on how far you still need to go to completely resolve your issue.
Conversely, if your number hasn’t changed after a couple of rounds, you’ll know you’re missing something and will need to make some adjustments. Likewise, if you get down to a 2, you know you’re close, but not quite finished. You’ll want to keep going until you can say for certain that you’re at a zero.
It’s important to remember that the objective of EFT isn’t just to “feel better” (although that’s certainly nice). The ultimate goal is to realize a complete cessation of a negative emotion or issue. So don’t stop just because you start to “feel better”. Keep tapping until you’re feeling great and the issue has been completely put to rest. If you truly get to a zero on the event, issue, pain, or whatever, it’s unlikely it will return. To make sure that you’ve really neutralized a problem, test yourself by trying to get upset. Revisit the issue, even the formerly painful aspects, and see if the intensity rises at all. If it does, you still have some work left to do.
If the event, pain, or issue seems “fuzzy,” hard to remember, or difficult to grasp, and there’s no “charge” left, then you are likely done. When my clients get to a zero, I ask them how they know that. Often it is the cessation of a physical manifestation, such as tightness in the shoulders or chest, or an upset stomach. Or they might feel profound relaxation, feel lighter and experience renewed energy or peace of mind. Believe it or not, often they can’t remember the issue or can’t imagine why the issue had upset them in the first place!
Q. What if I don’t know my intensity level?
A. It’s not always easy to figure out, on a scale of 1 to 10, how much your shoulder hurts, or how angry you are at your brother-in-law, or how afraid of spiders you are. At best it’s a subjective guess. While many people come up with their SUDs level right away, many others struggle with this small, but important aspect of EFT. If you can’t figure out your level, just guess what your number would be. Try saying this sentence out loud rather fast, “Even though I don’t know what my intensity level is, if I had to guess I’d say it was a…..”.
Q. How do I deal with an intangible issue or get a SUDs rating on it?
A: So, what if you have a problem like procrastination, or lack confidence, or want to lose 30 pounds, or I’m just stuck and can’t get rid of clutter? How do I measure or test issues like that?
To deal with intangible or hard-to-measure issues, I use what is called “The Ultimate Truth Statement.” This is a multi-step process but the general idea is this: Develop a statement that represents the most positive outcome you would like to achieve –essentially your “goal”–and write that down. Then write down all the ways your life will be different once you’ve achieved this goal. Then write down how you would “feel” if you achieved this goal. Then take words from all 3 of these steps and construct your present-tense Ultimate Truth Statement. After this, check for your level of believability by reading your statement and seeing where your subconscious says “no way that’s true” or “that’s never gonna happen” and write down all those limiting thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes. THIS is where you start tapping. You must tap away all your “resisters” first before you can ever bring your Ultimate Truth Statement into reality. Please call me for an appointment and I’ll take you through all the steps – this is a wonderful process for goal-setting. It works great for weight loss, procrastination, and success goals.
Q. How long do I have to tap to get results?
A. The short answer is: until you get the result you want. Normally you can resolve an issue in 3-4 rounds, which only takes a few minutes. Simple issues are particularly quick and easy to deal with. Sometimes, however, it may take 5-6 rounds, or even 10-12 to resolve a difficult issue. You may need to go through several “doors,” look at many different aspects, and dig for the core issue, to get the optimal end result of complete resolution. That takes time. But hey, what’s an hour or maybe two to completely resolve a painful, lifelong issue?
Traditional therapy could take months or years to resolve the same problem. keep things in perspective and realize that even the most difficult or complex cases can be resolved to completion in a fraction of the time any other therapy might hope to offer. Patience and persistence are the keys to successfully resolving challenging issues.
It’s also important to make sure an issue is completely resolved before leaving it. Some people say “Gee, I feel better now” and stop at that. Later when they feel a negative charge again about the same issue, they think that EFT didn’t work. If you truly get all of the aspects resolved and get an issue to a zero on the SUDs scale, it’s likely gone for good.
That’s not to say that at some point, an aspect that was missed might not pop up for you. But resolving that should be very easy, since the bigger components have already been collapsed. So stay with it until you’re sure an issue is completely resolved. Test yourself by trying to get upset about it again. If you just can’t find a charge, then you’re likely done. That’s how long it takes.
Q. How many sessions will it take to deal with my issue?
A. There is no easy, pat answer to this question. There are so many variables among people and issues. Complex issues, weight issues, abuse, trauma, and many others often take multiple sessions. However, many people have multiple issues making it hard to tell without really getting into the matter.
For instance, one client called because she was ’stuck’ at work and couldn’t seem to get the recognition she wanted. That seemed, on the surface, like a relatively easy matter. As it turned out, however, there was a considerable physical trauma in her life that had to be dealt with, the suicide of a family member, an eating disorder, and much more. And while she didn’t think any of those things contributed to her problems at work, they were actually critical to her success (or lack thereof).
So the answer to this question is “It depends”. Just know that however long it takes, it will still be considerably less than traditional therapies of any kind, and likely much more effective.
Q. Does EFT work for (insert any…)?
A. One of the most common questions EFT Practitioners hear is, “Can EFT help with…. PTSD, diabetes, hepatitis, Multiple Sclerosis, acne, etc?” To which we almost always respond “Probably! Try it on everything!” A more thorough and accurate answer, however, would be “Many others have experienced great results with your issue, so it is highly likely that you’ll get resolution, too.” It’s safe to say EFT has been tried on just about every issue, problem, or physical ailment you can imagine.
EFT can bring miraculous results to virtually anything… especially in the hands of an accomplished practitioner. And since EFT has never been known to harm anyone, it’s painless, and it works when nothing else has, go ahead and try it on your issue.
In experienced hands, EFT delivers significant relief over 90% of the time (the medical profession would love to have those results). So, if you’ve already tried EFT and aren’t getting the results you want, it’s likely not a shortcoming of EFT, but rather that you’re missing some important element. Virtually all complex issues should be dealt with by a competent EFT Practitioner.
There’s an art to EFT that goes far beyond what you can learn in the 79-page EFT manual available on the www.eftfree.net website that only comes with experience and practice. For instance, there are several obstacles that can impede EFT’s progress. I suggest you read the article “The 9 Stumbling Blocks of EFT” by Lindsay Kenny, which you can find in my “Free Stuff” section.
Q. What’s the difference between Simple and Complex issues?
A. First let me broadly define “Simple” issues. There are no hard and fast rules, but typically simple issues are problems that are usually:
• Single faceted, like a headache, or your boss embarrassed you at the sales meeting, or you’re disappointed that you didn’t get the promotion you wanted, or you’re stressed after a tough day at work.
• Recent, as opposed to something that happened years ago, or has been going on for a long time.
• Not chronic; something that’s not a persistent problem like chronic pain, anger, or grief
• A simple pain or injury, as opposed to a complex medical issue or a serious illness
• Fear or simple phobias
• Emotions like stress, frustration, embarrassment, cravings, etc.
• Ones you can generally work on and resolve yourself, with some basic knowledge of EFT
As for “Complex” issues, I believe there are Two Tiers of complex issues, which almost always involve more than one aspect. Tier one issues include things like anger, grief, chronic pain, “minor” traumas, allergies, some abuse issues, weight issues, food addictions, stuttering, and most non-life-threatening illnesses.
The second, or more difficult to work with Tier 2 includes child abuse, sexual or ritual abuse, traumatic or life-altering accidents or deaths, severe and sustained physical or emotional abuse, drug addictions, morbid obesity, and so on. Tier two complex issues are usually highly charged emotionally or often a result of very traumatic occurrences. Also included in these more difficult cases would be psychological problems such as bipolar, schizophrenia, multiple personalities, serious illnesses, and so on.
Here’s what’s important to remember: Most simple issues can be handled by anyone, including yourself. Complex issues, especially Tier 2, need to be dealt with by an experienced practitioner.
Q. How do you deal with relationship challenges using EFT?
A. Relationship challenges, whether they are personal or professional, are usually just symptoms of a bigger, underlying cause. There’s ALWAYS something underneath the problems—jealousy, anger, frustration, hate, guilt, etc. We’re never upset for the reason we think. Often the husband reminds the wife of her controlling father, or the wife reminds the husband of his dominant, non-affectionate mother (or whatever.)
Many times someone brings all their hurts from past relationships into the new one, punishing the “innocent” new partner for the sins from the old partner–that’s what’s usually the cause of their friction, not the current relationship.
First I work with each person individually, neutralizing any traumas or emotional charges from the past. I deal with the cause for the strife that results in anger, resentment, frustration, etc. Most people see significant positive change after the first session. Once each person is “clean”, I then exercise the option of seeing them together. While each person and each couple has their individual issues or problems, the formula is pretty much the same: deal with the cause and the symptom easily dissipates. The number of total sessions depends on many factors including the severity of the issues and the willingness of the participants.
Q. Can EFT be used on children, the elderly, or animals?
A. Yes, EFT can be used on virtually anyone (including pets) with good results. For babies, pets, the elderly, and those unable to tap themselves, you can use surrogate tapping, which is tapping on yourself, for them. To learn more about this phenomenon, search for articles on this site: (www.eftfree.net).
Q. I’ve tried EFT, but it’s just not working for ME. What now?
A. When people try EFT for “old” problems or complex issues and aren’t getting the results they want, they may think EFT just isn’t working for them. Others think that maybe the testimonials they’ve heard or read aren’t real. Actually, neither is true.
As wonderful as EFT is, there are several impediments that can get in the way of its success. For one, beginners should only try using EFT on “simple” issues, leaving more complex problems to experienced practitioners.
Please read the article about the 9 Stumbling Blocks of EFT, available on my site under “Free Stuff.” If, after reading the article, you are still having problems, you may need assistance. Sometimes you just need the eyes, ears, and intuition of an experienced EFT practitioner to get to the heart of the matter…especially for complex issues.
1) You may be regretting the previous choices you’ve made in life (or things that have happened to you) and “opportunities wasted” in your life due to the issue you just worked on. These feelings are not usually at a conscious level, however, until EFT is introduced and stirs things up. It’s as if one part of you is blaming yourself for an unfulfilled, or less-than-satisfying life, and another part is eager to step into a new role. So two or more elements of you may be battling or even raging against each other.
2) The “new you” feels out-of-sorts because “it” doesn’t know how to behave in this new paradigm, with a different identity. Some people who have been victimized, for instance, may blame others for their crummy life or bad choices, and not know how to live an accountable life. Once the curtain has lifted using EFT, however, they might feel angry, or fearful, like a fish-out-of-water as they begin to see life from a more accountable, optimistic perspective.
3) There’s still a part of you resisting change. After clearing major traumas or blocks with EFT, you see the possibility of living life with a different set of rules. This might mean risking rejection rather than living behind a wall of protection (the previous excuse for your challenges.) Therefore you feel a bit unsafe or on unfamiliar ground.
4) There may be a payoff for having your issue (I’m not suggesting that you would choose to have your problems.) However, some people are financially compensated for a disability, may get attention, sympathy, or special favors as a result of their issues, so a part of them is reluctant to change. Don’t get mad at me here for suggesting this. I’m not saying you’re consciously choosing to stay ill, or in pain or whatever, only that a part of you may have latched on to some secondary benefits of your issues.
5) A part of you is grieving the “old” identity you’re striving to leave behind. Just as people stay in bad marriages because it’s at least familiar, we sometimes want to stay with what we perceive as a safe place, habit, or personality. To change what’s become so familiar is disconcerting to some, while exciting and uplifting for others.
6) And most likely…you’re simply not done yet! You’re only partially into your issues and are stirring things up. Often people feel they should be “fixed” after one or two sessions, and that doesn’t always happen. Confusion, “foggy-headedness,” anxiety, headaches, anger, or sadness simply means you’re not done!
If you’re experiencing any of the above problems, it’s highly likely you are working on issues far too complex for you to handle alone. EFT is magical and extremely effective in the right hands. Beginners, however, should stay with simple, rather than complex issues. One of the ways you’ll know if your issue is over your head is if you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms. If so, find a competent practitioner to help you out.
Q. What’s the best way to learn EFT?
A. EFT is elegant in its simplicity, however, there is SO much more to it than meets the eye. EFT is effective for hundreds of simple issues and can be self-applied, however, for more complex issues you should see an experienced practitioner.
• Start the learning process by downloading the free 79-page manual at www.eftfree.net or from my “Free Stuff” section.
• Another way to learn EFT is by seeing a practitioner for your own issues and learn as you go.
• There are also a number of good books on the subject, a couple of movies, and lots of examples on www.YouTube.com.
The following FAQs are republished with permission from EFT Founder Gary Craig’s EFT manual. All references to “I” or “me” in the FAQs that follow refer to Gary Craig and not to me personally. If you have any questions about my personal experience with EFT or specific conditions I have treated with EFT, please contact me directly.
Q. Does it last?
A. EFT’s results are usually permanent. The case histories are filled with people who have had lasting results…even though the problem was relieved in moments. This is still more evidence that EFT is addressing the true cause of the problem. Otherwise, the remedy would not be so long-lasting.
Please remember, however, that EFT doesn’t do everything for everyone. Some problems seem to reappear and that is usually caused by different aspects of the original problem showing up at a later time. The experienced student of EFT will recognize this and simply reapply EFT for this new aspect. The experienced student will also break the problem down into specific events and apply EFT to those underlying causes. In time, after all aspects and specific events have been addressed, the problem usually goes away completely and does not return.
Q. How does EFT handle emotional problems that are very intense and/or have been with a person for a very long time?
A. The same way it handles every other emotional problem. To EFT, the intensity of a problem or how long it has been around is immaterial. The cause is always a disruption in the body’s energy system and using EFT to balance it gives relief…regardless of its severity.
When EFT requires persistence it is NOT because of the intensity or resident length of a problem. It is usually because of a problem’s complexity. Complexity, to EFT, means the existence of several aspects to a problem, each of which must be relieved before total relief is felt.
Q. How does EFT help with sports performance?
A. Ask any accomplished athlete and they will tell you emphatically that their state of mind is critical to their performance. The difference between good days and bad days for the athlete is almost always due to emotional causes. Barring sickness, the athlete always brings the same highly skilled body into the field of battle. The only thing that changes is the effect that emotions have on the body.
Everyone, including athletes, has their share of negative thoughts and self-doubt. By now you are quite familiar with the fact that those negative states of mind disrupt the body’s energy system and cause negative emotions. These negative emotions show up in the body in a variety of ways (pounding heart, tears, sweat, etc.) and this includes some tension in the muscles.
In athletics, timing is everything and even the slightest tension in the muscles affects it. Athletes are well aware of this problem and many hire sports psychologists to help them in this regard. Any negative emotion…even the mild ones and the subconscious ones…can be critical to an athlete’s performance.
EFT provides a remarkably effective solution to this problem. One of the most common responses to it is that people feel relaxed which, by the way, is another way of saying that the tension has left their muscles. This is ideal for the athlete because it neutralizes any unnecessary emotional tension in the muscles without affecting the rest of their athletic ability. It allows their potential to flow through without being hindered by any resistance in the muscles.
Q. Why does EFT give surprisingly good relief from physical problems?
A. This is easy to understand in light of the emerging attitudes toward the existence of the mind-body connection. EFT provides striking evidence of this connection. What more obvious proof could one want than to watch changes in both mind and body occur as a result of tapping on the body’s energy system?
But the evidence goes even deeper than this. Applying EFT for emotional issues often brings on the cessation of physical problems. The logical inference from this is that EFT effectively addresses any emotional contributors to one’s physical symptoms. Once the emotional contributors are out of the way the symptom subsides.
There are those, of course, who believe that one’s emotions or mental processes are the only cause of their physical diseases. I don’t know how to prove or disprove that notion but I offer here the rather obvious fact that emotions, at the very least, substantially contribute to one’s physical health. And EFT is an efficient tool for relief in this regard.