Effective Use of EFT – by Ann Adams

Perhaps you are on this page because you are new to EFT or just heard about it. Even if you are an experienced practitioner you will find the approach used in the User’s Guide to Effective Use of EFT useful.

On this page and in your free downloadable guidebook you will be shown the way I’ve found to be the most  quickly understood, easily used, and with the shortest learning curve so you can begin immediately to apply EFT to whatever is bothering you.

I often say that EFT “…calms you down so you can think more clearly about your problem.” EFT has been shown many times to reduce emotional upsets and physical pain by decreasing or eliminating negative emotions. Benefits of EFT include: calmness, clarity, choice, courage, and confidence. We all would like more of those!

EFT is the most powerful thing I have ever used in my 35+ years as a social worker to reduce:

  • anxiety – and it really is all about anxiety
  • phobias – those irrational fears that just won’t seem to go away
  • cravings – for anything
  • physical discomfort – what is uncomfortable or painful for you now?
  • lingering effects of any traumatic event – however long ago it happened

My friend, Denise, introduces EFT to her private practice clients as a technique that is “faster than a speeding Valium.” Since all emotions boil down to being rooted in anxiety/fear it is indeed all about relaxation.

Sign up here for my Free GIFT to you! User’s Guide to Effective Use of EFT – a 60+ page Manual – full of great suggestions.
Head in hands
EFT uses points on our body that we naturally use to comfort ourselves.Next time you are in  a group of people look around and note how many are:

  • rubbing their temples or head or under their eyes?
  • holding their hands on their chest or rubbing in that area?
  • having their hand under their arm?
  • biting or massaging their fingers or finger nails?
  • rubbing their hands together?
  • placing their index finger under nose or under the lower lip?

All of these points are on the acupuncturist’s chart of meridian points.
We all have used these points on our body – we do it often unconsciously.

What if, you could use these points in a purposeful way, focusing on your issue – whatever it may be – and quickly calm yourself and the impact of the issue?

Let’s learn the steps:

Acupressure Points

1. Clarify the impact of the issue you wish to work on. 

To get in touch with what is bothering you close your eyes and pay close attention to where in your body you are feeling upset or uncomfortable.

Is it in your stomach, your chest, your throat (all very common places) or in your arm or back or foot or head – or where?  In other words, how do you know you are upset? After all, it is not possible to have any emotion without a corresponding physical response. The way (how and where) our emotion shows up in our body is how we interpret we are upset.

2. Describe this physical feeling.

“I have this tightness in my throat.”  or “I feel like I am going to explode.” or ” I have a sharp stabbing sensation in my lower abdomen.” or “Every time I am in the dentist’s office my feet won’t stay still.”  or “I feel a weight on my chest and am starting to sweat.”  or “I am having trouble swallowing.” or “My lower back just above the right hip is very sore.”

You can also simply name the emotion you think is behind that physical feeling, “I am terrified.” or “I am extremely anxious.” or “I hate his guts down to my toes.” or “I can’t breathe deeply whenever I think about this.” *   Whatever description that fits what you’re feeling is just fine.

3. Assess intensity.

0 to 10 Ruler

Using a 0 to 10 scale decide how much this feeling is bothering you right now at this moment in time.
It is helpful to write down both the number and your description of the feeling. This will help you track your progress.

4. Come up with some positive statement about yourself.

Yes, I know; when you are really down on yourself that can be hard. This process is only asking that, right now, for this moment in time, you can accept yourself at least some. Let me give you a default statement: “I accept myself anyway.”  or it could be, “I am OK.” or “I am still a decent person.” or “I have other strengths.” or “I accept how I feel.” or “I handle other things well.”

If you can’t say anything positive about yourself,  just admit it. Add in a yet or a now.  “I do not accept myself, YET, but, maybe later I’ll think about accepting something about myself.”  “I don’t accept myself, NOW, but maybe someday.” Or, try for a percentage, “I am able to accept 20% of myself for NOW.”

5. Joining the problem description and the positive statement – putting the two together.

One way to join the two together is by saying: “Even though I feel [description], I deeply and completely accept myself.”  This is the default EFT Setup prior to tapping the points. Many people, however, find it easier to put the two together in a conversational way in a sentence separated by AND.  “I feel [this] AND I am OK,”

  • “I have this choking, tight, band around my throat AND I am glad to finally find a way to address this feeling.”
  • “My heart feels like it is breaking and I can remember
  • “I feel shaky all over AND I accept myself anyway.”
  • “There is a heavy weight on my chest AND I have survived the dentist before even though I am afraid.”
  • “I feel heat in my gut because I hate his guts for good reasons AND I accept how I feel.”
  • My back feels like a hot sharp stabbing knife is in it AND I accept myself anyway.

6. Say your sentence as you tap the fatty side of your hand.

I call this fatty part of the hand the “friendly spot”because it is where our hands/fingers touch when we shake hands. The habit of shaking hands began as a way of showing a stranger that we were not holding a weapon – sort of the first step toward becoming “friends.”  Think of this spot as the first step towards “making friends” with this part of yourself that, at least for now, you have to live with. You are accepting it for now, whether we like it or not – sort of like an assigned dorm mate. What you are really accepting is reality – this is how you feel. All too often we try to block what we are feeling especially if it is unpleasant. Acceptance of a problem is the first step of resolving it.

Start tapping with your fingers on the fatty part of the little finger side of the hand (the part that would hit a karate board) as you repeat the two part statement three times that you created, “Even though I have [this feeling], I am an OK person.”  Or the conversational sentence,” I have [this feeling] AND I’ve always survived before.”  “I have [this feeling] BUT I accept how I feel.”

7. Pick out a key word or phrase in your sentence.

Examples: Terrified, want to run, anxious, tightness, stabbing pain, heavy weight, etc.

Girl with points marked8.  Tapping the EFT points.

The EFT points are based on 8 acupuncture points.
State your key word or phrase as you tap each point.
Tap about 7 times on each point before moving on.
If you prefer you can rub or massage the points instead of tapping.

  • Top of your head between your ears – use all finger tips.
  • Nose side of your eyebrow – easy way is to take 4 fingers and tap at the bridge of the nose between the eyebrows.
  • Side of your eye – use two fingers on the boney part right next to your eye.
  • Under your eye – two fingers on the edge of the bone under the eye.
  • Under your nose – tap between the bottom of your nose and your upper lip.
  • Chin – actually not on the chin but in the indentation below you bottom lip.
  • Collarbone – trace the “V” as it comes to the chest then go an inch over (either side). Easy way is to tap with all fingers below the V.
  • Under your arm – about where the bra strap comes on women (about level with nipple for men).

Most people tap each point about 7 times before moving to another point.
It may take several rounds to notice a change.

9. Measure intensity again.

After one or more rounds stop to close your eyes and assess if the “feeling” you described earlier has changed either in intensity or shifted to another feeling. For instance, if your chest felt tight and suffocating when you began and after tapping you feel that the sensation has moved to a restricted feeling in your throat. The 8 intensity of your chest feeling is gone but you now would give the restriction in your throat a 6.

10. Go back to step 4 and repeat until calm.

The amount of time it takes to go to zero intensity can vary widely between the user and his or her underlying issue. For most people using this process there is a very high probability that you will noticeably reduce, or even eliminate, your physical sensation and the emotion behind it.

Complex issues can take a lot of perseverance and the user may need more information about other EFT techniques to be maximally effective.  It may also be helpful to schedule a session with an EFT practitioner to help you learn and use the method in the most effective way for you.

As you continue in your search for information about EFT you will run across many generic scripts on the internet for “what to say” while tapping. These can be helpful for some people as it is possible to “borrow benefits”*** while tapping along with others or using a generic script. To maximize your experience before tapping along take just a few seconds to close your eyes and identify where in your own body you feel the issue or discomfort you wish to address. Write it down, then tap along.

Download a free manual with more detailed information covering effective ways to use EFT by entering your email address in the box.

Yes, I’ll occasionally send you information about EFT but usually no more than twice per month.


Learn EFT at a live workshop: EFTWorkshops.com
Want individual help? Contact Ann for an appointment.
Want to plan an EFT class in your area? Contact Ann.


DISCLAIMER: EFT is still considered experimental. Its risk, side effects and benefits are not fully known. EFT is not a substitute for medical or psychological care; consult your physician.  This information is intended to be educational and should not be considered as any type of professional advice. You are expected to assume and take full responsibility for your use of these techniques.

*Some people are not readily in touch with the feelings in their body.  Some find it easier to take a deep breath and assess what percentage of a maximum full “normal” breath they are taking. You can then use a statement such as, “I am not breathing as fully as I can AND I accept that is where I am NOW.”

There are many other ways to clarify getting to a specific that are listed in the EFT Level 1 Comprehensive Training Resource course book.  available for purchase on line from my store.

** More points are also described in the downloadable free manual and in the  EFT Level 1 Comprehensive Training Resource course book

***Borrowing Benefits was the term Gary Craig, founder of EFT, used when describing the frequent phenomena of one person gaining some relief, or resolution, while tapping along with another person’s issue. This also applies to generic scripts.