AN INTRODUCTION TO EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUE, MORE COMMONLY KNOWN AS TAPPING
EFT or tapping is a simple healing technique which is a combination between Ancient Chinese Acupressure and Modern Psychology. With two fingers we lightly tap on points on the face and body between 5 and 7 times, illustrated below. In doing so the tapping gets the energy in the meridians flowing while sending a message to our amygdala in the brain. This lets our body and mind know that it’s safe, and both begin to relax.
The amygdala is the primitive part of our brain where the flight, fight, freeze response is held. This part of our brain still believes that we need to be on guard all the time, in survival mode, watching out for threats and predators; it doesn’t know that there aren’t any wild animals threating us anymore.
This is the part of me which I have named the monkey mind, the monkey mind likes to chatter, a lot, and only knows, fear, separation, judgment, pain, guilt, shame, criticism, jealousy, feelings of better and less than. It is the part of us that controls those habits that we don’t understand, and for me I think of tapping as the teacher of the chattering monkey helping it to evolve and grow, helping it to learn to let go and trust, teaching it that we are safe, and supported, and that it is ok to let go and be happy. Through tapping we are teaching the monkey a new emotional intelligence, and when we do so the old dog learns new habits.
When I first discovered EFT through the World Annual Tapping Summit, which is a free event, I was looking for a way to live and not go insane, and it was through this technique I finally understood that insanity, and nervous breakdowns were not in my genes, but in fact were symptoms of my beliefs, the beliefs I had picked up mostly as a child. It was while working with this technique that I finally understood that it was what I needed to unlearn and let go of from the past which was holding me back. And when I did that, I made space to learn something better.
After many years of suffering from depression, and suicidal thoughts, which was a pattern that ran in my family, I knew in my heart that if I didn’t find another way, then I would not be able to continue living. I was lost, sad, and full of fear. I always feared the worst, and judged myself. Life was scary, or so I believed. I had grown up seeing what mental illness does to people, and often questioned what it meant to be mad, or go mad. I was prescribed anti-depressants, and talked to a counsellor. The problem was the tablets just masked the pain and I felt that this was not a long term solution.
I started on an obsessive journey, reading, researching, all things self-help, and the techniques I first discovered helped for a while, and then life would happen, and once again I would spiral back into the depths of despair. I spent a lot of my life scared to live, scared of people and the environment, trying so hard to control everything, which just doesn’t work.
Life will always push our buttons, things change, people come and go, and it was through tapping that I finally managed to clear out all the old emotions that were stored in my body. Our bodies are like an external hard drive for the subconscious and all those old feelings and memories are always there unless we work through them.
With tapping we can speak about the truth no matter how painful it was and retrain our mind and body to know that we are safe, and after a while we can then tap in the new, the choice tapping, of how we want to feel. While I was working through my old stuff, I was feeling better, and one day the voice of doom and gloom said: ‘I’m depressed’, I laughed so hard, because for the first time in my life I knew that I wasn’t. It was because of my new knowledge that I finally understood that the voices in our head don’t always speak the truth. There would be times when feelings of fear would come out of nowhere from my body, and because of my new understanding and knowledge I could let the feeling go and pass through me.
It is like when we are giving up an addiction, when the craving comes up it just means that the body is detoxing. I truly believe that our emotions and especially fear based emotions are the biggest addiction of all. For me EFT, saved me from insanity.
Joleen Eide-Johansen was born in Scotland, and now lives in Ibiza. She is an artist, a practitioner of EFT, and a self-published author of both fiction and non-fiction books which are available on Amazon in the Kindle store. It is her mission to use her own life experiences to help inspire others to help themselves. She believes that in order to have world peace that we all have to learn to love ourselves, because happy people don’t hurt others, themselves included.