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The Emotional Freedom Technique

by Paul and Val Lynch(more info)

listed in eft, originally published in issue 48 - January 2000

Can you imagine what it would be like to be free of troubling negative emotions – permanently? Is it possible that fears, phobias, depression and traumatic memories can be healed within minutes?

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a powerful technology for quickly resolving emotional distress. It is even capable of relieving physical complaints such as chronic pain, allergic symptoms, and much more. When effective, not only does it do this quickly, but it works without forcing the recipient to repeatedly re-experience the negative emotional state. This treatment is generally permanent, relatively easy to apply, boasts a higher than 80% success rate and is free of negative side effects.

EFT is a wonderful tool that can be learned very easily. The technique has been described as a psychological form of acupuncture but without the needles. It has roots in ancient Chinese medicine and the modern day system of Applied Kinesiology.

The Emotional Freedom Technique was developed by Stanford Engineer Gary Craig. Through his life-long interest in helping people overcome their emotional limitations, he spent much of his time investigating various psychological treatments. He worked for many years with Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) until he discovered a technique known as 'Thought Field Therapy' (TFT), the product of many years of intensive research and study by psychologist Roger Callahan Ph.D. Gary Craig discovered that instead of using different energy points for different problems, if all of the major TFT positions were used every time, one simple formula could be applied to all complaints, thereby giving the energy system a complete overhaul. All that was necessary was for the recipient to focus on the distressing emotion or memory and tap the revised sequence of energy points. This method then became known as 'The Emotional Freedom Technique'.

When a person remembers a painful or traumatic incident it causes their energy system to disrupt. As the body recalls the memory, it also re-produces the original emotional state associated with that time. EFT works directly to re-balance the energy field; as a result, negative emotions are cleared and harmony is restored. The feelings connected to even the most intense memories or limitations are then dispelled. The negative emotions attached to an event whether past or future, can then no longer be accessed. Similarly, life-long phobias, compulsive behaviors and unhealthy patterns of belief can be eliminated.

The reason this treatment is so effective, is that it treats the problem directly by correcting imbalances in the body's system. Once the imbalance is corrected, the negative emotion quickly resolves, leaving the person free of troubling emotions that may have been limiting their lives.

How does EFT Work?

By stimulating certain acupressure points, neural receptors under the skin convert that pressure to an electrical impulse that is transmitted to the brain. The person is then asked to connect to the physical pain, unpleasant emotion or just simply "tune in" to the uncomfortable memory or future event, whilst these energy points are gently tapped. (Fig 1 & 2 below). This allows a release of physical and emotional trauma which is experienced as an unlocking of the negative feelings, and a release of the emotional intensity that has kept the person trapped. People often report a release of energy at this stage and describe feelings of light-headedness, yawning, sighing and a sense of freedom.

Tapping points on face and hands

One of the most miraculous aspects of this treatment is the confused relief that people experience when they are suddenly without the familiar response that may have plagued them for years.

When asked to recall the initial difficulty, most people are speechless, as they can no longer connect to the original feelings that it provoked.

The EFT process can take from five minutes to half an hour depending on the number of aspects surrounding a problem. For instance if a marriage breaks down a person can be left with varied emotions such as anger, jealously, resentment, grief, regret, and even sometimes a sense of failure. These are all different aspects to the same problem, which may need to be addressed individually.

Different aspects are possible with just about any problem. A phobia of spiders may have different elements, for instance a stationary spider and moving spider may have to be treated as separate fears.

We have observed many miraculous results using EFT personally and professionally, from giving up smoking to the release of intense long-standing emotional difficulties. We are excited by the future possibilities of this technique, which really needs to be experienced to appreciate the transformation that it can bring to your life.

The author tapping on the collarbone meridian

The author tapping on the collarbone meridian

The author tapping a meridian point beneath the eye

The author tapping a meridian point beneath the eye


EFT has shown successful results in such conditions as:

Phobias of all kinds
Fears and Anxieties
Depression and Sadness
Anger and Resentment
Compulsions and Obsessions
Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Negative Memories
Pain Management
Physical Healing
Peak Sports performance
Low Self-Esteem

Case Studies

Case 1: Migraine Headaches

     Mrs A came to see me because she was at her ‘wits’ end’ and had ‘tried everything’. She explained that she would experience a migraine approximately every 3 weeks. The symptoms included severe pain, vomiting, blurred vision and disorientation. This pattern had ruled her life for nearly 10 years.
     I only saw Mrs A once; this was the letter I received from her 3 months after her EFT session:
     I am pleased to report that my migraines have stopped! I wanted to leave some time before writing to you just in case I got the dreaded headache – but no, and I have given it every chance to manifest on a few occasions. I even dared it, I must admit! At first I just got the symptoms: aching eyes, disorientation, etc., but no pain or vomiting which means one can carry on with a normal day and use the tapping technique, which worked.
     It takes a while to realise how much these migraine attacks rule your life and what you do unconsciously to avoid situations which may bring one on. To realise that it would be no longer necessary to do so now – What Freedom! So I can’t thank you enough for giving me a normal existence with the EFT. I have no idea how it works, but I can tell you it does, so keep up the good work.
Case 2: Phobia of Public Toilets

     Miss C came to see me with a phobia connected to using any toilet other than her own; this problem had become steadily worse over the years. This posed many problems in her daily life. For instance, going out socially was restricted to only local venues that enabled her to come home to use her own bathroom. Staying out the night was out of the question, and whilst at work she would avoid drinking in order to get through the six-hour shift before going home to use her own toilet. She came to see me because she wanted to go on holiday and knew that this would be impossible given her circumstances.
     After her session of EFT Miss C was invited to test the effectiveness of the treatment by using our toilet. This she was able to achieve easily. She then wrote to me a few weeks later to report that she felt a lot more relaxed and confident about going to the toilet in public places. She had been to a couple of social occasions successfully and had even managed to stay away for a weekend for the first time in years.
Case 3: Deep Sadness

     Mrs M used EFT for emotional problem. This is what she had to say:
     ‘I came to realise that I had a sadness. I had no idea to what it was connected. The sadness kept occurring, I decided to see Val for some EFT. I put off going for a while because I didn’t know what to expect and I was worried about the emotions that could come up. But, I decided to go and I am so happy that I did. I found that some of the sadness was connected to a stage in my childhood when my parents divorced. I thought I had dealt with all the emotions at the time, but obviously I hadn’t because it was all there; the anger, the betrayal, the feeling of not being loved. As each emotion came up EFT took it away so easily. It wasn’t like going through an emotional turmoil, it just all disappeared, and it was like something had gone missing – in a nice way. It was so easy; I wondered why I hadn’t been a few weeks before. It has changed me, I am so much happier, I feel different and other people have noticed the change. I feel a lot more confident now and emotionally seem so much easier. I’m happy with life and with myself.



  1. Tera said..

    Are there Dr.'s in the U.S. that use this technique?

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About Paul and Val Lynch

Paul Lynch originally began work as a Holistic Counsellor, but quickly became frustrated by its limitations. He went on to study NLP and was then introduced to EFT by Silvia Kent. He was so impressed at the ease of losing his own fear of public speaking that he went on to train as an EFT practitioner and is currently one of the Directors of The Association of Meridian Therapies U.K. Paul has found the EFT on its own is an extremely powerful treatment, but when combined with NLP it's virtually unstoppable. Paul and his wife Val (also an EFT practitioner) run The Heart Centre in Eastbourne where they see clients, hold workshops, and offer practitioner training. Enquiries: The Heart Centre. Tel: 01323 505263. E-mail: The Association of Meridian Therapies UK Website :

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