Emotional Freedom Technique
Thoughtfield Therapy
Tapping Techniques and
Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprogramming

EFT, otherwise known as the Emotional Freedom Technique has rapidly built up an enviable reputation for resolving distressing stuck emotions and difficult problems very quickly, easily, comfortably and thoroughly. It is based on TFT or Thought Field Therapy, which is even quicker, but requires extensive and expensive training. Both of them incorporate the principles of EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprogramming, which is often used in the NHS to treat PSTD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Although EMDR was apparently developed separately, it is based on NLP principles.

I often use EFT in my work and I also teach it to my clients, as it is not only quick and highly effective, but it is free to learn and very easy to use and memorise. It also incorporates all the advantages of both TFT and EMDR.

What are they?

EFT and TFT, Sometimes known as Meridian Energy techniques or sometimes just as tapping techniques, both use acupuncture points and neurological stimulation to loosen up emotions and help them to resolve themselves. We never use any needles, you simply tap with your fingers on specific points to stimulate them. The neurological stimulation is done by moving your eyes in specific ways as is used in EMDR which is a technique used by the NHS and the military to help trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) victims. The stimulation is also done by alternately humming- which uses and stimulates the right side of the brain, and counting- which uses the left. By stimulating the two sides alternately, it seems to spread the problems out in a way that allows your brain to unravel them more easily.

TFT – Thought Field Therapy, was accidentally discovered by Dr. Roger Callahan, when he cured a woman of an intense water phobia, by getting her to tap an acupuncture point to relieve a stomach ache. This is the original version of the two main tapping techniques. It uses short sequences of places to tap, so it is very quick, but it is also complex to learn the right sequences for each situation. Because of this, the training is quite expensive. Paul McKenna uses this frequently on TV as it is so fast and effective.

EFT was developed by Gary Craig, an NLP Master Practitioner, who discovered that if you just tapped all the points in an easy to remember sequence, it covered every situation and was easy for anyone to learn and use on themselves. You can learn it easily for free! The only drawback is that it takes a bit longer… Just a little bit too long for television producers. I use EFT very extensively with my clients. It is easy, comfortable, very simple and yet very effective. Once I have used EFT with a client, it means they have already had a demonstration of how to do it for themselves and I give them a Cheat Sheet for them to practice it at home to resolve their own situations.

EMDR was accidentally discovered by Francine Shapiro who found that some distressing feelings disappeared when she was looking around while out on a walk. She went on to refine specific eye movements and other ways of getting the brain to alternate which side was most active. It was already known from NLP that different movements of our eyes could indicate thinking in different ways and so this technique uses the same principle in reverse. All the principles of EMDR are incorporated in the middle of both the TFT and EFT techniques.


All these techniques seem rather illogical. After all, why should your emotions resolve themselves from you tapping on various odd parts of your body, rolling your eyes and humming and counting? It seems very hocus-pocus. There have been many explanations as to how acupuncture works, though none that I know of show a fully logical medical explanation. The simple truth is that we do not really know how or why acupuncture works, we only know that it does work. We have some idea of how the eye movements and humming and counting work, as they seem to get more of the brain to be active to resolve the problems, but here again, the point is that they do work.

Nor do these techniques fudge any issues: The deeper part of the brain seems to automatically come up with practical solutions to the problems without us having to work them out consciously. Therefore the problems rarely recur, even when the person encounters similar situations that gave rise to them in the first place. So if someone like Paul McKenna is willing to stake his reputation on using them over and over again on TV, then I am certainly willing to use them and I encourage you to put aside any scepticism you may have had and find out what it can do for you.

Why I prefer EFT

I use EFT in particular as it incorporates all that is best from TFT and EMDR, seems to be quicker and more effective than EMDR alone, takes only moments longer than the hard to learn TFT patterns and is so simple, that once you have had me use it on you a few times, it is really easy for you to use it for yourself. It can be used for relieving and resolving a very wide range of problems, emotions and even some forms of pain and physical symptoms. See the list below of the sorts of things I can use it for.

Use it for yourself

EFT is so easy to use that you can use it by yourself. I have produced a ‘Cheat sheet’ in .pdf format for you to download and I have set out slightly expanded instructions at the end of this page. There is also a 13 minute video demonstration below, so you can see how quick, simple, easy and effective it is.

In the video and in the instructions, you will see that there are four parts to the technique: The set up, the first round of tapping, the neurological stimulation- also known as the ‘Nine gamut sequence’ and then a second round of tapping. Additionally there is the ‘Eye raise technique’ which can be used to dissipate the last traces of stuck emotion, once the intensity has reduced enough.

The most important part is to clarify what you are using the technique for. This is where it is most useful to have professional help to start with. You want to identify the core of the problem as briefly and accurately as possible and then to identify the main emotion you have about it. It is as if you want to fell the biggest tree in the wood, which will usually then knock over the smaller ones.

The video

In the video, Alex, a second year university student, had self doubt and was nervous about the intensity of his next year’s study. This takes a full round, plus the eye raise technique. The problem goes away so thoroughly that he is then worried that he will be too relaxed and not study properly. At this stage we just used the set up and the eye raise as a shortcut to quickly and completely eradicate the new problem. In this way, Alex was completely confident that he would and could easily handle his course work.

You can find this and other videos on YouTube at http://youtu.be/8M8iU9eX9Ms


EFT Instructions

These are an expanded version of the EFT Cheat sheet mentioned above.

EFT is like working down through the layers of a cake.Four Parts

There are Four Parts to the sequence, like a layer cake. We work our way Down through the layers of the cake

  1. The set up is equivalent to the icing on top
  2. The first round of tapping is the top layer of sponge
  3. The ‘Nine Gamut sequence’ is the filling in the middle
  4. The second round of tapping is equivalent to the base layer of sponge

Additionally, The Eye Raise technique is a shortcut you can use if you have got the intensity fairly low, in order to bring it more quickly down to zero.

1 The Setup

Firstly, define your problem and how you feel about it. In Alex’s case, he was nervous as to whether he would be able to deal with the intensity of his next year’s study.

From this you can come up with a ‘Set up phrase’ to say during the set up itself and and a ‘Reminder phrase’ to use as a reminder during the main tapping sequences. The set up phrase consists of the name of the emotion, plus the problem, in the form:

“Even though I feel (emotion) about (problem), I deeply and truly love and accept myself.”
– In Alex’s case:
“Even though I feel nervous about next year’s study, I deeply and truly love and accept myself.”

Calibrate the intensity of your feelings on a scale of 0 to 10. Just guess… Zero is obviously none at all, ten is the worst you have ever experienced.

Now, tap firmly on the side of one hand with the ends of your fingers, just back from your little finger, where you would do a Karate Chop – We call it the Karate Chop point or KC for short.

Say your set up phrase three times as you keep tapping.

“Even though I feel (emotion) about (problem), I deeply and truly love and accept myself.”
“Even though I feel (emotion) about (problem), I deeply and truly love and accept myself.”
“Even though I feel (emotion) about (problem), I deeply and truly love and accept myself.”

This seems to have the effect of unlocking any unconscious barrier to resolving the problem. Sometimes when we are being too hard on ourselves or punishing ourselves, it makes it difficult for the emotions to resolve themselves. By even just saying that you love and accept yourself, even if it is through gritted teeth, while tapping on this particular point, it seems to get the deeper part to allow

2 The First Round of Tapping

Notice that the sequence of points goes down your body. This makes it easy to remember.

Tap each of the points listed below, quite firmly, 7 or 8 times. Each point has an abbreviation to make it easier to see where it is on the illustrations.

While you are tapping each point, think of the problem and also name the problem out loud with your reminder phrase. The reminder phrase is usually a one or two word reminder of the emotion associated with the problem. So for Alex it would be “This nervousness” or “Feeling nervous” or even The Mona Lisa shows you the EFT points on her face.just “Nervous.” Sometimes I get my clients to remind themselves of the whole problem, just to make sure they are keeping it in mind while they tap. So for Alex, it would be “Nervous about next year’s study.”

Tap on:

  1. EB. Inner end of one of your Eyebrows (either side)
  2. SE. The Side of one of your Eye sockets,
    on the edge of the bony bit
  3. UE. Under one of your Eyes, again on the edge of the socket
  4. UN. Under your Nose, just above your lip
  5. EFT points on the Torso.Ch. Chin, or actually in the crease
    between your lower lip and your chin
  6. CB. Is 1 inch below the notch of your throat and 1 inch to one side. Just below the inner end of your Collar Bone
  7. UA. Under one of your Arms, about 4 inches below your armpit.
    I use four fingers for this
  8. BN. 1 inch Below one of your Nipples for a man.
    In the crease below your breast for a woman
  9. Th. On the palm side of the base of your Thumb nail
    (on either hand)
  10. IF. On the thumb side of the base of your Index Finger nail
  11. EFT points on the sides of the thumb and finger nails and on the side of the hand.MF. On the thumb side of the base of your Middle Finger nail.
    (Miss the next nail)
  12. LF. On the thumb side of the base of your Little Finger nail
  13. KC. Back to the Karate Chop point on the little finger side of your hand.

This is the end of the first round of tapping.

3 The Nine Gamut Sequence

So called because you do a ‘gamut’ (a lot) of 9 things while you are tapping on a point in the groove between the tendons from your little finger and ring finger in a dip about an inch back from the knuckles.

The 9 Gamut point on the back of the hand.Tap on the Gamut point on the back of one of your hands, think of the problem and say your full reminder phrase. eg. “Nervous about next year’s study.” You only need to say this once in this sequence. Then keep tapping, with your head level and facing forward, for 7 or 8 taps each:

  1. Close your eyes
  2. Open them again
  3. Put your eyes hard down to your right (keep your head still)
  4. Put them hard down left
  5. Roll your eyes clockwise over the top to ‘down right’ (Keep tapping)
  6. Roll them back over the top again to ‘down left’ and then let them go straight ahead
  7. Hum a tune for a few seconds (eg. Happy Birthday: “Hm hm hmm hmm, hmm hmmmm”)
  8. Quickly count from 1 to 5 “OneTwoThreeFourFive”
  9. More humming Happy Birthday.

4 Last Round of Tapping

Carry straight on to tapping each of the points 7 or 8 times again, thinking of the problem and repeating your reminder phrase each time.

  1. EB. Inner end of one of your eyebrows (either side)
  2. SE. The side of one of your eye sockets, on the edge of the bony bit
  3. UE. Under one of your eyes, again on the edge of the socket
  4. UN. Under your nose, just above your lip
  5. Ch. In the crease between your lower lip and your chin
  6. CB. 1 inch below the notch of your throat and 1 inch to one side. Just below the inner end of your collar bone
  7. UA. Under one of your arms, about 4 inches below your armpit. I use four fingers for this
  8. BN. 1 inch below one of your nipples for a man. In the crease below your breast for a woman
  9. Th. On the palm side of the base of your thumb nail (either hand)
  10. IF. On the thumb side of the base of your index finger nail
  11. MF. On the thumb side of the base of your middle finger nail. (Miss the next nail)
  12. LF. On the thumb side of the base of your little finger nail
  13. KC. Back to the karate chop point on the little finger side of your hand.
  14. Finish off by tapping the gamut point on the back of your hand again for 7 or 8 taps.


Notice if the feeling has gone down and if so to what number. If it is 4 or above, do another full sequence. If it is zero, you can stop. If it is 1, 2 or 3, use the eye raise technique.

Eye raise

  1. Keep your head level and pointing straight ahead
  2. Tap and keep tapping your gamut point on the back of your hand
  3. Say out loud “The last little bit of (the name of your problem.)”
  4. Starting with your eyes looking hard down at the floor, directly in front of you, raise them smoothly up as high as possible so you are looking at the ceiling. Do this to the count of 7 to 8 taps. Keep your head still as you do this.
  5. Then bring your eyes down suddenly
  6. Raise your eyes smoothly and slowly a second time and eyes down suddenly
  7. Raise your eyes smoothly and slowly a third time and eyes down suddenly
  8. then stop and recalibrate.

If it is still not zero, then do the eye raises again. If it is zero, then Stop! That’s It!


The main website for EFT is at www.emofree.com This includes a full set of free tutorials and accompanying videos, as well as a full, flexibly priced video series of how to use it in practice as a therapist.

The main site for TFT in the UK is www.thoughtfieldtherapy.co.uk By clicking on the picture of a page under the Feeling Stressed heading in the top box on the right side of the page, you can get a download of part of Dr. Roger Callahan’s book for free. Alternatively, you can get Tapping the Healer Within at www.amazon.co.uk

(Cake image courtesy of nuttakit at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)