By Alicia Doyle

The Writer
Specializing in Good News
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Mind & Spirit

Free Your Emotions with New Technique


Your Health Connection Magazine

November, 2008 Issue Integrative Medicine

IN A TIME WHEN MORE AMERICANS ARE SEEKING NATURAL HEALING MODALITIES OVER WESTERN PRACTICES, A PSYCHOTHERAPEUTIC ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE TOOL CALLED EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUE IS GROWING IN POPULARITY AS PROPONENTS CLAIM IT RELIEVES AILMENTS FROM DEPRESSION TO POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER.

But what exactly is this method more commonly known as EFT? Where did it come from? And how does it work?

According to Gary Craig, EFT founder, this common-sense approach borrows from not only the well-established mind-body field, but also combines it with acupuncture concepts.

“It's an emotional version of Chinese acupuncture—no needles necessary,” said Craig.

EFT also draws its power from time-honored Eastern discoveries that have been around for thousands of years, and Albert Einstein, who professed in the 1920s that everything—including our bodies—is composed of energy.

“These ideas have been largely ignored by Western healing practices and that is why EFT can work where nothing else does,” said Craig, who created EFT in the 1990s and whose method has been endorsed by Deepak Chopra, among other supporters of mind-body medicine.

Said to relieve psychological and physical conditions including anxiety, general stress, addictions and phobias—with more extreme claims such as multiple sclerosis—EFT is based on a new discovery regarding the body's subtle energies. The basic EFT technique involves holding a disturbing memory or emotion in mind and simultaneously using the fingers to tap on a series of 12 specific points on the body that correspond to meridians used in Chinese medicine. The theory behind EFT, based on an ancient theory of acupuncture, is that negative emotions are caused by disturbances in the body's energy field and that tapping on the meridians while thinking of a negative emotion or event alters the body's energy field, restoring it to balance.

“Simply stated, it is an emotional version of acupuncture, except needles aren't necessary,” Craig said. “Instead, you stimulate well-established energy meridian points on your body by tapping on them with your fingertips.”

Interested in personal improvement through psychology since he was young, Craig was 13 years old when he recognized that the quality of his thoughts mirrored the quality of his life. Ever since, he has only sought procedures that he believes produce results. “EFT is my latest finding, the core of which I learned from Dr. Roger Callahan,” said Craig in reference to Callahan's Thought Field Therapy that involves specialized tapping with the fingers at meridian points on the upper body and hands.

EFT is meant to be a simplification and improvement of Callahan's techniques.

“The process is easy to memorize and is portable so you can do it anywhere,” said Craig, who emphasized he is neither a psychologist nor a licensed therapist. “Rather, I am a Stanford engineering graduate and an ordained minister and, although we don't pound the table for God here, I do come at this procedure from a decidedly spiritual perspective.”

With that, he offers full, free details on how to do EFT at www.emofree.com. All the basics are also provided in a free EFT manual that can be downloaded from his website.

Whether you are a professional or a client, “you can make enormous strides by introducing EFT into your emotional therapy process,” Craig said. “Instead of taking months or years using conventional talk therapy, EFT often does the job for you cleanly and thoroughly in one or two sessions, and we often achieve noticeable results in a few brief rounds of EFT. We label these near-instant results as ‘one-minute wonders.’ Do EFT properly and these one-minute wonders can happen with some frequency.”

Enter RayNelle Williams, who had her first experience with EFT in Tucson, Arizona, “…although I didn't know what it was. At the time, I was desperate, simply aching, because nothing in my life was working.” After 23 years of marriage—and 24 years as a professional in the health and human services field—“I didn’t recognize myself anymore, I was extremely unhappy and consistently depressed and in denial. I was living out of a suitcase as a consultant commuting weekly from Tucson to Los Angeles; my two youngest kids were in their junior and senior year of high school, respectively, and I felt enormous guilt for having moved them and my then husband around the country all for my career aspirations.”

Praying for strength and guidance, Williams came across an advertisement: Phyllis Winslow—Energy Healing & Energy Psychology; Negative Emotions ~ Physical Pain ~ Allergies ~ Past-Life Regressions.

“I arrived at her home-office; she asked how she could help me and I instantly melted into a flood of emotions, outpouring...‘I’m confused, I’m so lost, I’m a terrible mother, why can’t I be happy, I’m so alone, I can’t make decisions, everything is out-of-control, I want my kids to love me, I want me to love me.’”

With that, Winslow told Williams to relax, and began tapping.

“What the heck is she doing—this stuff is weird,” Williams thought to herself as her MBA mind told her to leave. But then she experienced the unexpected. “I felt the most pure, complete sense of calm I have ever felt in my life.”

A few years later, Williams came across an article about EFT on a metaphysical website.

“I immediately downloaded the free manual...as I read and then began to tap the energy centers as instructed, there was a deja vu feeling, something very familiar.” That's when she realized the technique was the same one she experienced a few years prior in Tucson—the same technique that had given her so much clarity on her issue at the time. “From that point on, I was all in.”

There is only one way to become officially certified in EFT: studying the DVD materials developed by Craig. There are three levels of certification: foundational, intermediate and honors.

“I do hope to bring EFT into the corporate world where stress and anxiety are commonplace due to restructuring, downsizing and uncertainty about the future, and there is great opportunity to address workplace conflicts such as communication barriers between departments,” she said. “In fact, I would like to conduct a study of my own on reducing the incidence of workers’ compensation claims, a huge financial drain on small and large enterprises—it is well known that high stress levels can lead to increased workplace accidents.”

Today her practice, Be Who You Are, is based in Camarillo, California.

“EFT is now worldwide—literally,” Williams said. “It is being used by doctors and nurses who use it for pain management with their patients. Psychotherapists, psychologists, licensed clinical social workers and counselors are using it with their clients; teachers are learning it for their students; coaches use it for their athletes; parents learn it for use with their children; and chiropractors, acupuncturists and homeopathy practitioners are augmenting their practices and teaching it to patients for self use. It’s everywhere.”

One study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology in 2003 and funded by the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology, involved 35 patients with a phobia of small animals receiving a single EFT treatment. The authors concluded that their findings were “largely consistent” with the hypothesis that EFT can reduce phobias of small animals in a single treatment session, but that methodological limitations in the study prevented any firm conclusions from being drawn.

While EFT has produced remarkable clinical results, it must still be considered to be in the experimental stage; thus practitioners and the public must take complete responsibility for their use of it.

“A small percentage of our population...has serious emotional and physical disabilities and thus newcomers to EFT are advised to exercise commonsense in this regard,” Craig said. “While you can use EFT to generate impressive relief for many people, please consult qualified health practitioners where appropriate and don't go where you aren't qualified.”

Read more about EFT on Gary Craig's website at www.emofree.com. For more information about RayNelle Williams and her EFT Practice, “Be Who You Are,” go online at www.bewhoyouare.US or send an email to raynellew@gmail.com.

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