A few basic principles of EFT
In order for anybody to apply EFT, or just simply understand it, the following principles should be read and understood first:
These principles are also presented in the
Gary Craig's free EFT Manual and at
Τhe EFT Course, the original basic
EFT distance video course from Gary Craig.
Energy disruptions: The Discovery Statement
The most fundamental theoretical base of EFT, the so called "Discovery Statement", follows:
The cause of all negative emotions
is a disruption in the body's energy system
Every negative emotion or complex of emotions (phobia, depression, traumatic memory, guilt, etc.) is generated by a disruption of a person's energy.
So, we have negative emotions that are caused by an energy disruption in our body, which in turn is triggered by external stimuli (facts and situations that we seem, hear, etc.) or by internal stimuli (facts and states that we bring back from our memory or create in our imagination).
We don't try to explain here how the disruption has been caused in the first place and we really don't care about it, when trying to dissolve it with EFT!
This principle leads to the thought that a negative emotion is never "stored" in a person's psycho-somatic system and that it is generated upon appropriate triggering, which fires an energy disruption.
It should be noted that EFT does not suppresses emotions! If something stops bothering the person after treating it with EFT, it's because it got energetically diffused and not because we "covered" it with something else or because we forced the logical reframing of it.
We should also stress that the energy disruption is an original concept and is not identical to any terms denoting psychological, emotional or mental disturbances or disorders. It is true that may of the latest can be explained in terms of energy disruptions, but they are not the same thing...
Balancing through the meridians
Restoration of an energy disruption can take place through the body's energy meridians, the ones that Traditional Chinese Medicine has located, described and uses for the last 2500 years. These meridians offer the means for direct access to the complicate human energy system (which is composed of several elements, interconnections and energy networks).
Instead of needles used by traditional Chinese acupuncture, the balancing can be achieved by repetitive tapping to a few important meridian points. The tapping triggers the energy flow in the meridians and, in combination with other elements of the Emotional Freedom Techniques, lead to dissolving the disruption.
This principle is applied not only to EFT, but to almost any Energy Psychology method in use these days.
So the logic is very simple:
Problem = disruption or complex of disruptions
Dissolving a disruption -> Solution to the problem or part of the problem
Lets see for example how EFT can act as a catalyst in the process of restoration, or even the full healing of a complex problem. Let's say that you are under depression, as a result of several factors (disposition, experiences, situations, thoughts, etc.). Whith EFT you can:
Attack to many or even all of the contributing factors (disruptions), thus shaking the substructure of the problem (dissolving the disruptions) and "pushing" the human organism to get into a more healthy self-balance (with energy flowing more freely).
Attack to the problem itself (that is, to the result of the effects of the subparts), thus "pushing" the energy system to try to balance the contributing disruptions in different locations and levels, so full restoration can be achieved. You can understand of course that this way is much less efficient than the first (slower and less effective), but even that way you can still have positive results in many situations, faster and better than other methods. Of course, even slow and partial results are usually better that no results, or than doing nothing about it!
How can one attack the specific, contributing disruptions? By being specific and precise, as you will read in the next section.
How can one discover the contributing disruptions? Either by other methods, or by applying EFT, as often the discharge of a component (aspect) permits of a different component to come to surface, and it goes on like this for component after component...
Being specific and precise
A very important principle of EFT is that
You have to be specific!
The more specific is what we handle with EFT, the most effective the intervention will be. This principle can be applied in three ways:
a) It is much more efficient to use EFT on specific problems, events, memories, etc. than to try to deal directly with a more general issue that comes out of them. For example, it's much more difficult to work with "depression", than to work with specific events in a person's past experience, that caused disappointment and contributed to the depression situation.
b) It is much more effective to use precise wording for a problem, instead of general wording, especially in psychosomatic issues. For example, it is much more probable that we'll have positive results by working with the phrase "this acute pain over my left eye" than the general phrase "headache".
c) It is better to deal with specific aspects of an issue (see also the above section) that with the problem in its general form, even the problem seems to be specific, especially on complex problems. For example, a traumatic incident during the childhood, where the father got mad and out of control, should better be dealt with at separate aspects, such as the angry face of the father, the high volume of his voice, specific words that hurt, etc.
According to Gary Craig, the creator of EFT, the breach of this principle is the most common mistake of EFT beginners and the most common reason for failure!
A fundamental idea behind EFT, especially for beginners, a basic difference from other methods of Energy Psychology and also a basic reason for its simplicity (which counts for its rapid expansion all over the planet), is the idea of "100% overhaul".
The idea can be summarized like this: even if we could find (through special diagnosis) the specific body meridians were the energy disruption occurs and work with them only, we bypass the diagnosis and apply the tapping on all meridians. That way, we cover both the ones that are directly related to the disruption, but also the ones that are not. The first ones get balanced by the tapping and the rest of the procedures, while treating the second ones do no harm!
The idea is based on the fact that it is usually quicker to treat all meridians at once, than to spot one by one the meridians that really need the treatment. In addition, this kind of diagnosis is often difficult and error-prone, especially when exercised by beginners. So, if we can bypass the diagnosis of the disruptions altogether, that's the best!
NOTE: By the word "diagnosis" we don't mean the medical type of diagnosis, but only spotting the energy disruptions and their nature.
It is a basic principle for EFT that we accept and love ourselves, despite our mistakes and weaknesses. This principle is so important, that it gets directly expressed in words during the application of Emotional Freedom Techniques.
Often, just expressing the self-acceptance is enough to solve an important problem! It is also often that we cannot say the words "I accept my self" or "I love my self" without bursting into tears, or that we cannot say them at all.
EFT allows, through its techniques, to quickly achieve self-acceptance for specific facts, mistakes and omissions that (we think that) we are responsible for and that (we think that) are causes for many of our problems and limitations.
Just imagine that you have a big wall in front of you (your current stressful or unhealthy situation) and that you are the operator of a big machine (EFT) that can pound the wall. By using it, some blocks (energy disruptions that contribute to your situation) fall down, thus weakening the wall's structure. At one point, a whole part of the wall may fall down and, at last, the whole wall may come trembling down!
We often find that by treating some traumatic incidents of our lives one by one with EFT, "automatically" other similar or related memories and thoughts loose their effect. This way, a chronic problem that has been built up from a series of events, can be totally eliminated by treating only a few of the events.
In a similar way, by treating a few aspects of a specific problem, often the problem dissolves without the need to treat every aspect of it (which we usually can't easily find).
This also has often a few positive, unexpected side-effects during a treatment. For example, we could apply EFT for a traumatic incident (e.g. a car accident) to discharge it from negative emotions, but at the same time find that physical annoyances (such as headache, muscle tension, etc.) also magically disappear!