There’s a popular saying that perhaps you’ve heard before: “Your issues are in your tissues.” What a beautifully concise way to describe the human condition. All of us, through no fault of our own, are carrying the past around inside our bodies. Painful things happen throughout our lives, and these events leave imprints in our body-minds, and from then on coloring the way we see the world and everything we do, in both conscious and unconscious ways. This ‘stuff’ that we carry around goes by many names: baggage, conditioning, history, issues. Regardless of what one chooses to call it, it affects our self-esteem, our emotions, our relationships, our ability to achieve goals, and our health.
One of the fastest, most effective ways to release the past is a relatively new healing modality called EFT.
If you’re not already familiar with it, EFT (which stands for Emotional Freedom Techniques) is a safe and gentle form of energy medicine that is now being recommended by the American Psychiatric Association, and is widely used in VA hospitals in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Like acupuncture, EFT is a meridian-based therapy, but with EFT, no needles are used. Instead, the EFT practitioner (or the client) taps on various acupuncture points on the client’s face, body, and hands, while the client focuses on the issue that needs to be healed by repeating phrases about it, for example: “Heartbroken because my husband passed away.” The combination of focusing on the issue while tapping releases it from the body-mind spontaneously and permanently.
EFT has been successfully used to treat dozens of issues and conditions, including grief, trauma (including PTSD), fears and phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder, insomnia, anxiety, depression, migraines, chronic pain, and more. Sound too good to be true? When I first heard about EFT, I certainly thought so. And then I tried it. The results I got were so powerful that within a week, I had dropped the other healing techniques I’d been using in my private practice for four years and was exclusively using EFT. Since then, I’ve used it to help my clients heal myriad issues, including everything listed above. The EFT motto is: “Try it on everything.” The reason for this is that no matter what the problem is, if you do EFT on it, more often than not, you’re going to see improvements, and usually dramatic ones.
Developed in 1993 by Gary Craig, EFT has been rapidly gaining worldwide popularity ever since. Do an internet search for “Emotional Freedom Techniques” and you’ll get over four and a half million hits. Enter the same phrase into the Amazon search bar, and you’ll have your choice of over 200 books. It’s being used by physicians, psychotherapists, nurses, chiropractors, coaches, sports psychologists, and teachers all over the world, on everything from PTSD to sports performance. Psychiatrist Curtis Steele has said “EFT is the single most effective tool I’ve learned in forty years of being a therapist,” and Candace Pert, PhD, former Chief of Brain Biochemistry at the National Institutes of Health, says, “EFT is the most important development in medicine since antibiotics.”
The reason EFT is such an effective tool for healing is because it unlocks the body, where the pain is stored, and clears it out, permanently. With each tapping session, more and more of these energetic imprints from the past are released, setting us free from the suffering that they cause. Whereas psychotherapy can give people tools and insights for coping with their issues more effectively, and can sometimes provide temporary relief from emotional pain, with EFT, the issues are permanently healed, so that we don’t have to cope with them, because they’re gone. As long as we’re carrying the past around inside us, it will continue to affect our present day lives — the choices we make, how we see the world, and the extent to which we’re able to realize our potential. EFT offers a way to systematically release the past from our bodies, setting us free from suffering, and allowing us to blossom in ways that were never possible before.
Heather Ambler, MA, CBP, uses EFT to help people heal from grief and trauma.