The first time I tried EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique – was after a couple of years of coaxing by my best friend to join her for a session at Burning Man. The first time she asked, I told her I’d successfully buried my past trauma and I was happy to leave it there. What I didn’t know is that nothing is really buried and that it always plays itself out somehow, sometimes in the most insidious of ways. Finally, in an open-minded moment, I joined her and the session blew my mind.
It took about an hour of tapping on body meridians and saying our deepest fears out loud followed by, “I love and accept myself.” Though it felt pretty ‘woo woo’ to me at the time, I let myself go fully into it, tears and all. Now I practice EFT regularly, especially when I come up against a limiting belief.
It has helped me have healthier relationships, build a business I am proud of, and feel confidence in my message and my purpose. That’s a pretty powerful offering just from tapping on a few points of the body for an hour or so every few weeks.
In the past few months, I’ve seen women in my BMTM Solo Female Traveler Connect Facebook group express that sometimes they feel the blues when they travel, find things difficult, and wish it were the positive experience they’d expected and planned for. I know that feeling, and I have struggled, too. That’s why I need tools like this to help me see where these feelings are rooted so that I can clear them and move on. I love that I can do this practice from anywhere, without needing any equipment or anything but a quiet space like a bedroom. Curious what EFT is and what it can do for you? Let’s explore it:
What is EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique?
Note: one of my readers, GG, who has been incredibly helpful with research, found that “Emotional Freedom Techniques”, with an S, is how the therapy was named by the founder, Gary Craig. However, this article will use “Emotional Freedom Technique”, without an S, as it is what is currently widely used.
Emotional Freedom Technique is a self-administered therapy that draws on knowledge of acupuncture’s meridian points to release emotional blockages. It works for me by helping me get to the root of a problem in my life.
Tapping on the meridians is meant to move the energy blockages and at first I was like, “whatever, I’ll just do the motions,” but now even though I don’t understand why EFT works for me just like I don’t understand why acupuncture works for me, I’ve stopped asking questions because I simply know that it does help me.
Rather than providing a band-aid solution for problems like anxiety, this gets right to the root of the problem. I’ll be honest with you, like all growth work, it won’t always feel good, but if you let yourself cry and feel the emotion and release it, this work can be profound.
For example, before I announced my women’s adventure tours a year and a half ago I had feelings of imposter syndrome and unworthiness come up.
What if nobody signs up? Who am I to lead a tour? Why would anyone be motivated to come?
Why did I have these thoughts? What was at the root of them? Without understanding why I felt that way I couldn’t get over that stress and fear. It took a few sessions but I started with why these feelings of unworthiness came up. Was this lack of confidence modeled to me by someone at some point in my life? Where did this fear actually come from? Could I find the lack within me and give it love?
So I started with, “Even though I’m afraid my tours will be an utter failure, I love and accept myself.”
Followed by plenty of deep breaths and tapping on the following points:
- The crown of the head with the fingertips of both hands.
- Between my eyebrows.
- On the side of my eyes.
- Underneath both eyes.
- On the upper lip just under the nostrils.
- On the center of my chin.
- On the center of each collarbone.
- On the sides of both ribs about a fist distance under the armpits.
- On the side of my hand without the thumb.
- On the sides of each finger.
This video demonstrates it pretty well:
As I tapped on each part I’d go deeper into the fear, “It’s too hard! I’ll never be able to do this myself!” and all of the things I’m truly afraid of, followed by “I love and accept myself.” At some point, I’ll get to an ‘aha!’ moment and realize what the real, true fear is.
I can repeat this process for about 30 minutes before reevaluating how powerful the issue feels to me and replacing the fear with a positive affirmation.
From there I can instill positive thinking. This isn’t about filling myself up with unrealistic ideals or expectations, but rather focusing on what my strengths are and what I do have to offer.
For me going deeper and deeper into the fear and examining the reasons has helped me get to the root of trauma, understanding why I fear loss of love or crave approval so much, and helped me have healthier romantic relationships by examining my neediness.
How I Practice Emotional Freedom Technique
I usually tap when I have a problem arise, or feel a block somewhere. I usually tap every few months with the exception of before I started dating my current partner. I tapped every day for a week before he came to visit me early on in our relationship just so that I could clear the limiting beliefs that were detrimental in past relationships. It was incredible. I realized how much of my approach to relationships was rooted in my story of being cheated on, or lied to, or my sexual trauma, and how I carried that hurt and hesitation with me into every new experience. By letting it all go, I could start with a clean slate.
Before I start a session, I make sure that I can devote at least an hour to tapping it out. It’s possible to do mini-EFT sessions of course, but if I really want to dig deep I know it takes time.
It’s also essential to finish the session. I suggested EFT to a friend once who only went halfway through a session because she said it made her ‘feel worse.’
Well of course! If you dig up the issue and don’t clear it, you’re going to feel worse. Get all the way through it and be willing to go to the dark places. That’s how we heal and move on.
I also like to do guided taps. I’m the type who prefers guided exercise and sometimes guided meditations, too. It helps me stay focused. Here’s an example of a guided tap that you can also follow along with:
You can find plenty of free resources on YouTube like this, but my preferred practitioner is the original one I found at Burning Man – Sonya Sophia. Her approach is so gentle and I love that she dresses up like a beautiful fairy for each session. You can join a live weekly session that she holds or you can access the video library on your own time, which I find easier with my travel schedule.
Sonya’s sessions do cost money but I feel the price is a bargain for the benefits I’ve experienced. I also believe people should get paid for what they devote their lives to when they do it well, as she does. She explores topics like improving your relationship with money and abundance mindset, manifesting your purpose, making room for love, learning to let go, and following through. You can access her videos here.
I’m still deciding whether EFT makes sense for weekly or everyday use. If you’re going through a rough patch it could be incredibly healing to do it daily, however I find its problem-based nature to be useful for specific problems in my life rather than an everyday practice, like meditation.
While Emotional Freedom Technique is not a cure-all and the answer to all of life’s problems, nothing has brought me closer to understanding why I hold certain beliefs in my life, and in such an accessible, gentle, and easy-to-practice way.
This is just one of the things I’ve done over the years to help me build this brand into the six-figure company it is today, to believe in myself, to have healthier relationships, and to understand the parts of me I’d buried that still bubbled up in the worst of ways.
I’ve come to realize that traveling, especially solo, is multilayered and there’s a lot of bravery and self care that goes into it, too. So in the future, you can expect more posts like this that detail the spiritual practices I employ to be a stronger, braver, and more balanced woman.
I hope if you give EFT a try, you’ll let me know what you think in the comments!