After a while you’ll get very familiar with the routine, and be able to do EFT anywhere, any time. But for the first few times, give yourself enough time to try it out thoroughly.
Before you even start, completely read through this page, tapping on the points as you go, so you become familiar with where they are.
The first time, you’ll want to try something fairly small – feeling angry or upset because of something that just happened, or some minor pain or discomfort in your body. (Don’t try something big till you’re more familiar with the process. And with serious issues, please consult a therapist for expert help.)
Find a place you can sit quietly without being disturbed.
For now, you’re just going to use the Shortcut sequence, which goes:
- Identify the feeling
- Rate the SUDS
- The Setup (#1)
- The Sequence (#2)
- Take a deep breath in, and release it while relaxing
- Re-evaluate the SUDS on that feeling
- If it hasn’t gone, do another round on the remaining feeling (#3)
- If it has gone, tap on any other aspects (#4)
- Keep going till all aspects are totally clear
Identify the feeling
Close your eyes and become aware of how you’re feeling – this may be an emotion or a physical feeling. Write down the feeling – “anger” or “sadness” or “pain in my right temple”.
Rate the SUDS
Get a sense of the intensity – we call this the SUDS rating – subjective units of distress scale. If 10 is the worst it could be, and 0 is no distress at all, where would you lie on the scale? Write it down. (If you can’t put a number on it, use your own method of measuring eg. big, medium or small; or holding your hands apart to indicate how big, which is especially helpful for children.)
The Setup (#1)
While tapping, it works best if you say your phrases out loud, at least while you’re learning.
You’ll notice that there are two parts to the setup – the first defines the problem, and the second is a self-acceptance phrase. This acknowledges the problem, but states that the problem is NOT you, you are OK. Different therapists use different versions of the self-acceptance phrase, and you might find yourself using something different again. Whatever feels right for you is just fine. Some examples:
- I fully and deeply accept myself (which we’ll use for now)
- I deeply and completely accept myself
- I deeply and profoundly love and accept myself
- I’m a good girl and Mummy loves me (for children)
- I’m a cool dude (for adolescents)
The setup sequence is an opportunity to voice the problem out loud and see whether it sums up the feeling accurately. If it doesn’t feel quite right, try rewording it. (If you can’t get it right, but don’t know why, don’t worry, you can change it in the next round to be more specific.) For now, just get started.
Tapping this point can sometimes temporarily corrects for psychological reversal (PR), which is when consciously you want one thing, but your subconscious wants the opposite. Since we don’t know whether we’re affected by PR or not, we correct for it as part of the sequence.
The Karate Chop Point (KC) is located on the fleshy part of the outside of your hand (either hand) between the top of the wrist and the base of the little finger ie. the part of your hand you would use to deliver a karate chop. If you slap the whole side of the hand with an open palm or the flat of your fingers, you’ll get it.
While tapping on the Karate Chop point, repeat your setup phrase 3 times – eg. “Even though I have this angry feeling, I fully and deeply accept myself.”
The Sequence (#2)
In this section, you use what we call the reminder phrase. This is the definition of the problem from the setup phrase. This time, we tap with the index and second fingers, instead of the flat of the hand.
The points we tap on in this section are:
- EB = Beginning of the Eye Brow (By the bridge of the nose)
- SE = Side of the Eye (On the bone bordering the outside corner of the eye)
- UE = Under the Eye (On the bone under the eye, directly below your pupil.)
- UN = Under the Nose (On the small area between the bottom of your nose and the top of your upper lip)
- Ch = Chin (Between the point of your chin and the bottom of your lower lip, on the crease)
- CB = Beginning of the Collar Bone (The junction where the breastbone, collarbone and the first rib meet. Follow your collarbone along from the outside edge till you get to the knob on the inside end).
- UA = Under the Arm (On the side of the body, at a point even with the nipple (for men) or in the middle of the bra strap (for women). It is about 4 inches below the armpit.)
Using your index and second fingers, tap gently about 7-9 times (don’t worry about counting, just as long as it takes to say your reminder phrase) on each of the tapping points, while repeating the reminder phrase eg “angry feeling”
You may have noticed changes in your breathing as you tapped through the points. Or you may have sighed at some stage. This is a sign that energy is shifting.
When you’ve finished tapping, take a deep breath in, and let it go, releasing any tension in your body. (Repeat this after each round of tapping.)
Re-evaluate the SUDS
Re-rate the SUDS on that specific feeling, and compare it to the SUDS you wrote down. Write down the new SUDS.
If it has gone down but not completely gone, move onto the next step (#3).
If it’s completely gone, check to see if there are other aspects and tap on those (#4).
If it seems the same, or has got worse, check to see if the feeling is now a different one, eg. anger has changed to sadness, or the pain has moved to another part of the body (see Chasing the pain). This is what is called Changing Aspects.
Write down the new feeling, so you can come back to it later, then focus back on the original feeling. If that has gone, start work on the new feeling (#4). If it’s still there, keep repeating #3 till it’s completely clear, then start on the new feeling.
If the feeling isn’t completely gone (#3)
Now we want to work on what’s left of the feeling. So we add the words “still have some” to the setup, and “remaining” to the reminder phrase.
Repeat the whole shortcut again, using the slightly modified setup and reminder phrase. Eg.
- Setup: “Even though I still have some of this angry feeling, I fully and deeply accept myself.”
- Reminder Phrase: “Remaining angry feeling”
If the feeling still isn’t completely gone (#4)
Check in with the feeling again, and see if the setup and reminder phrase are still accurate. If the original phrase is still accurate, repeat #3.
If you go through Steps 1-3 several times with no change, check out the If EFT Doesn’t Work page.
Check for other aspects
If the feeling has shifted (eg. from anger to sadness), or the feeling is the same, but about something different, adjust the phrase.
Repeat the whole shortcut again, using the new setup and reminder phrase. Eg.
- Setup: “Even though I have this sad feeling, I fully and deeply accept myself.”
- Reminder Phrase: “Sad feeling”
Make sure all aspects are clear
It’s important to continue till the feeling has completely eased – ie. down to zero intensity. For best results, make sure every feeling that has come up is down to zero.
Once you get familiar with the routine, I suggest you go to Gary Craig’s website
and watch the free tutorial, so you can become more proficient.
(Images on this page are from Gary’s original manual)
While EFT has produced remarkable clinical results, it is still be considered to be in the experimental stage and each user must take complete responsibility for their own use of it.