What Is EFT Tapping? How to Use it for Anxiety Relief

What Is EFT Tapping? How to Use it for Anxiety Relief

EFT is an energy healing modality created by Gary Craig and it stands for “Emotional Freedom Techniques.”

Actually, EFT was created after something called TFT (Thought Field Therapy) which was created by a man named Dr. Roger Callahan. Dr. Callahan was a regular, western trained psychologist.

The story goes that years ago, Dr. Callahan had a patient who had a terrifying fear of water. This patient had extreme anxiety even washing her face, taking a bath, or standing near the ocean or a pool.

For two long years, Dr. Callahan tried to help her with traditional therapy, but nothing worked. Frustrated that he couldn’t help her, Dr. Callahan finally turned to eastern medicine and started to learn everything he could about Chinese methods like acupressure and acupuncture.

That was when he got an idea…

The next time his client came in for her session, he asked her if she would like to try something new. She agreed.

Dr. Callahan asked her to think about the water fear that she had, and then HAD HER TAP on different energy meridian points on her body.

Within just a few minutes of tapping, this patient jumped up, ran to a nearby sink, started to splash water on her face, and excitedly yelled, “I’m cured!”

That lead to the creation of TFT, Thought Field Therapy.

Dr. Callahan taught students of his how to do it. One of his students was a Personal Performance Coach, Stanford trained engineer named Gary Craig. Gary thought that TFT was too complicated because it involved memorizing all different kinds of patterns for different kinds of problems.

So, Gary simplified it and called it “Emotional Freedom Techniques” or EFT.

EFT is an amazing energy healing tool that anyone can learn very quickly in order to almost instantly alleviate all kinds of emotional and physical problems. Here is a short list:

  • Headaches
  • Back Pain
  • Fears and Phobias
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Performance Anxiety
  • Chronic Pain
  • And more!

How does it work?

Basically, all of us have energy, or chi running throughout our body which can become blocked when we have a negative thought or feeling. The block in the flow of energy can lead to emotional and even physical pain. If the physical pain is not addressed, then it can turn chronic. And if the chronic pain is not addressed, then it can turn into a dis-ease.

How do you clear a negative feeling? By tapping…

Where do you tap?

You tap on different energy meridian end-points on the body.

What’s a meridian?

A meridian is thought to be an end-point on the body that connects vertical energy flows. Think of it as if it is a hose of energy. When you have a negative thought, it’s almost like the hose gets a kink in it and it needs to be cleared. And by tapping on the meridian end-point, it clears it.

Or, another example of how to explain it is that it’s like the flow of electricity like a battery in a flashlight. A negative thought or feeling is like putting the batteries in backwards into the flashlight. The electricity cannot flow, and the light will not turn on.

All EFT does is it gets the energy to flow properly once again, so the energy will flow, like the electricity in the flashlight. But the results are nothing short of miraculous in many cases.

How to Use EFT for Anxiety

This is a very basic explanation of how to use EFT and we are going to focus on just anxiety. The good thing about it is that you can usually get excellent results with very little knowledge and experience with it. You just have to try.

Here’s how:

Step 1: Determine Why You are Anxious

A lot of EFT involves thinking of past events that caused the symptom that you are feeling now. So the question becomes, why are you anxious? What caused it? When did it start? Or, what is the most recent event that you think is causing you to be anxious or stressed?

In almost every case, you will know what caused you to be anxious.

For our example sake, let’s say that your boss yelled at you yesterday and now, you’re really feeling a lot of anxiety because of it.

Here are the steps:

Step 2: Rate Your Anxiety

Take a moment to think about your anxiety. What memories are popping into your head? And can you feel it in your body? If yes, where is it? Your stomach? Your solar plexus? Your heart, back or neck? Answer these questions so that you set up a baseline of where you are right now. After tapping, those physical sensations should be gone.

On a scale from 1 to 10 where 10 is the absolute worst anxiety you ever felt, rate your stress or anxiety level. This is called the SUDS scale or, “Standard Unit of Distress.” Doctors use it.

Let’s say that for you, it’s an 8 out of 10.

Step 3: The Setup Statement

Don’t start tapping yet. Let’s first create your setup statement…

The setup statement is meant to help you to dial into the anxiety, and also to counteract any “psychological reversal.” Psychological reversal is when a person says that they want to get over something, but subconsciously, they don’t. An example of this would be someone who wants to quit smoking, and wants to use EFT for it, but subconsciously, doesn’t want to because it might mean losing friends who smoke.

The more specific that you can get, the better. So, for example, thinking about your general anxiety and tapping for it is not nearly as good as tapping for a specific event, such as when your boss yelled at you yesterday, etc…

The structure for the setup statement is, “Even though I have this __(problem)__, I deeply and completely accept myself.”

You could say, “Even though I have this __anxiety__, I deeply and completely accept myself. But it’s better to be more specific…

So, let’s say that your boss did yell at you yesterday, and that your anxiety level is an 8. Your setup statement would then be, “Even though __my boss yelled at me yesterday at work__, I deeply and completely accept myself.”

Step 4: Start Tapping on Your Karate Chop Point

You karate chop point is on the side of your hand – in the middle of that meaty point that one uses in karate. It’s between your pinky finger knuckle and your wrist.

Step 5: Repeat the Setup Statement 3 Times

While tapping on your karate chop point, repeat the setup statement 3 times. In our example, that would be  “Even though __my boss yelled at me yesterday at work__, I deeply and completely accept myself.”

Setup 6: Tap on the Energy Meridian End-Points

Now, tap on the following energy meridian end-points while saying a reminder phrase in order to keep the event in your mind. Here’s how:

Tap on the top of your head and say, “when my boss yelled at me yesterday.”

Tap between your eyebrows and repeat it again, “when my boss yelled at me yesterday.”

Tap on the side of your eye and repeat it again, “when my boss yelled at me yesterday.”

Tap underneath your eye and repeat it again, “when my boss yelled at me yesterday.”

Tap underneath your nose and repeat it again, “when my boss yelled at me yesterday.”

Tap on your chin and repeat it again, “when my boss yelled at me yesterday.”

Tap on your collar bone and repeat it again, “when my boss yelled at me yesterday.”

Tap underneath your arm and repeat it again, “when my boss yelled at me yesterday.”

Your collar bone point is at the top or your sternum. It’s exact point is the highest point on just the left or right side where it feels like a “U”. You can tap all around there with multiple fingers if you want.

Now stop tapping.

Step 7: Access How You Are Feeling

Take a deep breath, let it out slowly, and re-check how you are feeling.

Do you feel relief? Is it better? Where are you now on a scale from 0 to 10 where 10 is the absolute worst anxiety you ever felt? Check your baseline again – remember how you felt it and where you felt it in your body before? How is it now?

Give it a new SUDS number. Typically, people go from an 8 to a 4 or so, or from 8 to 6, 8 to 2, etc. Sometimes it can even get worse! That usually happens when a person starts to think about a different event that they had not thought of yet.

That was one round of EFT! Congratulations if you actually did it!

Step 8: Repeat steps 3 through 6.

If you are not at a 0 on the SUDS level yet, repeat steps 3 to 6 until you are.

And that’s it!

Did you feel any relief? Most people do. Sometimes, all anxiety will go away instantly and that’s called a “one minute miracle.”

But usually, it takes a few rounds of EFT to get the SUDS level down to a 0.


That was a very, very basic explanation of how to do EFT! But that’s pretty much it. You can change up the wording that fits you better, and you can change every reminder phrase if you want.

The good thing is that with EFT, you really can’t hurt yourself with it. But as with anything, in the very, very rare case that you feel worse, STOP!

EFT is an amazing healing tool that everyone should know how to use. Once you get it to work, you’ll want to tap for other problems that you may have. It can be used for almost anything!

There are no limits. And you can tap for anxiety regarding school, test taking, first dates, social situations, and even before engaging in your favorite sport.

The use of it is only limited by your imagination!

Try it and see for yourself!