A Brief History of EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques)

I’ve been an EFT practitioner using this technique for years both personally and with clients to effectively treat a wide array of issues, from insomnia to fear of heights to back problems to writer’s block to creative anxiety to financial issues. I wanted to share a brief history of the evolution of this remarkable healing modality that combines western psychology with the principles of Chinese acupuncture. I love that in a short amount of time you can learn to do it for yourself making it very self empowering.

About thirty years ago, Dr. Roger Callahan, a clinical psychologist practicing in southern California had been working with a client who suffered from a severe phobia of water, so much so taking a shower gave her a headache. At the same time Callahan had been reading about the subtle energy flows in the body described in Chinese acupressure.

One day in a session she complained of a knot in her stomach when she thought of water. Frustrated by the lack of any real progress with helping this client relieve the phobia through conventional therapy, Callahan had the intuition to tap lightly with his fingers on the acupressure point for the stomach meridian. After a couple of minutes of tapping, the client got a surprised look on her face and said, “it’s gone” and went racing out to the swimming pool that was part of the office complex and Callahan went after her asking, “the knot is your stomach is gone?” No the client replied, the fear of water is gone as she bent down to splash water on her face much to Callahan’s amazement.

That experience gave rise to Thought Field Therapy (TFT) which works to provide information in the form of a healing code that balances the body’s energy system allowing the quick release of negative emotions and promotes the body’s own healing ability.

Gary Craig, who trained as an engineer and had a passion for personal development, studied with Dr. Callahan and greatly simplified the process. He realized that you didn’t need to figure out the exact meridian to tap on. Tapping on the twelve main acupressure meridians for stress relief while focusing on the feeling of the problem in your body would provide the relief. He called his process EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques).

Craig trained a number of EFT Masters and was very generously provided free and low cost training materials that really helped spread the word about this simple yet powerful technique. The free access combined with the ease with which you can learn EFT has lead to a tremendous amount to anecdotal evidence from thousands of people around the world about its effectiveness in a wide range of concerns from phobias to physical health to finances to sports performance. Craig’s motto was “try it on everything” and he considered EFT to be more an art than a science in that the use of intuition really helps it’s effectiveness.

More recently there have been over 20 clinical trials published in peer-reviewed medical and psychology journals have demonstrated that EFT is effective for phobias, anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress disorder, pain, and other problems. There is evidence to suggest that use of EFT actually rewires our brain to allow fast and lasting relief.

If you have any questions about EFT please feel free to contact me at creativitygoeswild@gmail.com.

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