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What’s EFT Tapping? Can it Help for Anxiety?

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Last updated on November 29, 2019

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In this article, we’ll take a look at what’s EFT Tapping and what positive effects this treatment has on anxiety.

One thing is certain, it is one of the best free treatment options  for anxiety available today.

Best of all, the treatment is not restricted to only helping for anxiety. Any other emotional or physical problem can be relieved or completely cured simply by applying EFT tapping techniques on a regular basis.

Think of EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) Tapping as a form of psychological acupuncture.
I.e. acupuncture without the needles.

It works by applying short impulses of pressure (tapping) on certain pressure points on your body that relates to your ailment.
By doing this, you clear energy blockages and improve energy flow, restoring harmony to your body’s energy levels.

EFT Tapping helps to treat both bodily pain and mental distress and is straightforward to self-administer.
Many have successfully applied the technique in the treatments for both anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

What’s EFT Tapping – A Short Introduction

Developed by Gary Craig and introduced in 1993, this technique is based on ancient Chinese medicine studies which comprise a range of healing techniques such as acupuncture and acupressure.

EFT Tapping was developed as a blend of acupuncture and mind-body medicine.

The technique is based on the suggestion that negative emotions are not generated by traumatic memories as many people may believe. Instead, negative emotions are caused by disturbances in the body’s natural energy system which, in turn, is caused by carrying around emotional baggage from traumatic encounters.

Therefore, the more emotional baggage you can get rid of, the less physical and emotional ailments you will present.

You apply EFT Tapping by tapping on the body’s energy points with the fingertips and you will experience no discomfort or pain whatsoever.

EFT Tapping Points

You may be familiar with the practice of acupuncture. This age-old Chinese practice work with over 300 energy points located throughout the body.

Energy points are also known as Meridians. Meridians create a pathway along which energy flows throughout the body.

Basic EFT Tapping zooms in on only several of these points – nine, to be exact.

You will locate the Karate Chop point in the center of the fleshy part on
the outside of your hand. It can be either hand.
You will only use this point at the very start of the process while
affirming the setup statement.

The other 8 points are located mostly on the upper part of your body – from the top of your head to just below your armpit.

These 9 points are not the only points used in EFT Tapping. More
advanced EFT methods also focus on points situated at the fingertips, below
the nipples, and on the wrists.

You can tap the points on either side of the body, or, if you
feel so, you could tap both sides at the same time or switch sides even. The
choice is yours.

EFT Tapping Karate Chop Energy Point

EFT Tapping Energy Points - What's EFT Tapping?

How to do EFT Tapping

EFT Tapping is an easy to memorize technique. You will probably make use of it quite a lot.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Identify your problem

This could be anything from a physical problem, such as joint pain, to an emotional problem, such as anxiety or negative thought patterns.

It is most likely that there will be more than one problem that you would want to deal with, but it is essential to only concentrate on one problem at a time.

Write the problem down on a piece of paper, or type it on your computer, or record a voice note. It doesn’t matter how you do it, just get it out there with any method you feel comfortable with.

Meditate on the problem as you do this.

So, for example, your problem might be that it terrifies you to have social interactions with other people, then put down “I am terrified of interacting with other people”.

If you suffer from headaches, put down, “I have intense headaches” or something similar.

2. Rate the severity of the problem

Determine the intensity of your problem on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being extremely intense and 0 having no intensity. Record this too, with any means you find convenient.

EFT Rating Scale

3. Identify where in your body you are holding this emotion

For example, do you experience this problem or emotion from your
heart, your chest, your head, etc. Take note of this too.

4. Insert your problem into the setup statement

The EFT setup statement is:

“Even though I [name problem], I deeply and completely love and accept myself,”

Now, using two or more fingertips, continuously tap on the Karate Chop point and recite the setup statement.

Do this several times.

A setup statement example would be, “Even though I experience a lot of negative thoughts, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”

You do this to set up the process so that the subconscious knows what the problem is that you want it to concentrate on.
It gives the tapping direction to neutralize the associated negative energy disturbances.

5. Do the sequence

Using two or more fingertips, tap between 3 and 7 times on the next 8 energy points as illustrated above. Use firm, yet gentle pressure. Just as if you’re drumming your fingertips on a counter or desk.

Be particularly careful to use your fingertips and not your fingernails.

Starting at the top of the head, work your way down through the various points to below the armpit.

As you’re tapping, you will repeat the same phrase which will consist of naming the problem. For example, “Negative thoughts”, over and over.
Do this until you have completed tapping a specific point 3-7 times while repeating the problem

Do this for all 8 of the remaining energy points.

6. Reassess the intensity rating

After completing the tapping sequence, rate your problem’s intensity level on a scale from 0 to 10 again.

It is very likely that your intensity level will have dropped.

If you want it to drop even more, simply rinse and repeat steps 4 & 5 until you reach a level you are comfortable with or even a state where you completely eliminate the intensity.

7. Establish new positivity

After dispelling your negative blockages, you can now retrain your body’s energy flow to be more positive.

Repeating step 5 above, now use statements such as, “I enjoy being calm and relaxed” or “I am happy about these positive changes,”.

For best results, each tapping session should last for at least 15 minutes each.

EFT Tapping misconceptions to avoid

As with most things, there are some typical mistakes to avoid whilst on your tapping journey.

#1. You’re not tapping enough, or long enough

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one who might be prone to this mistake.

Many people have been accustomed to the immediate effectiveness of modern medication.

Natural healing is just as effective, if not more, as any medication, but it’s important to allow the procedure enough time to work.
In some rare instances, tapping may work after the first session.

Mostly, this is not the case, however, and a few tapping sessions will have to be performed in order to attain ultimate effectiveness.

Also, remember that you can’t expect a tapping session to work after just 2 or 3 minutes of tapping. Try tapping for at least 15 minutes per session.

#2. You’re not recording what you’re working on

It’s more important than you might realize to write down or record on the computer what the things are that you’re working on with EFT tapping.

Keep an EFT diary. You can keep record of your intensity scale ratings, note any new feelings or stresses that you identify as you’re tapping on certain matters and so forth. Perhaps you wish to work on these later. (Remember to only focus on one problem at a time.)

Recording everything will just make it a lot simpler for you to keep track of your progress and any future problems you might wish to focus on and treat.

#3. You’re not specific enough

It’s okay to start off with a broad statement such as, “Even though I experience a lot of negative thoughts…”.

After a few rounds of using the broader statement, now concentrate more on the specifics of the problem.

You’re having negative thoughts, but what are these negative thoughts about?

An example would now be, “Even though I experience a lot of negative thoughts about people judging me…”

Now, repeat this for a few rounds.

You can even take it up another notch. “Even though I don’t like the way people look at me when I talk to them…”, or, “Even though it feels like I have nothing valuable to say…”

You will find that doing this will cause you to uncover many other issues you might not even have known of.

Remember to write them down so that you can work on them later.

#4. You’re only thinking about the problem

It’s important to not merely think about the problem but also immerse yourself and tune yourself in to the emotions that you are feeling.

Remember, EFT Tapping helps to clear blocked emotional energy from your system, and simply thinking about them will not be enough to activate the clearing process.

Again, this might also help expose additional blockages you where not aware of before.

What to expect from an EFT Tapping session

You can self-administer EFT tapping, or you may choose to work with and EFT Tapping professional.

If you choose to work with someone, you will find many methods in which these sessions may take place – face-to-face, over the phone, via Skype, to name just a few.

Your first session with a professional will consist of them working with you to determine what your most critical issue is.

This will be brought about by the professional asking you a series of questions which you will answer in order to determine the most urgent problem to deal with.

Once the problem is determined, the practitioner will ask and guide you to tune in to your feelings while you think about the problem at hand.
The practitioner will then ask you to rate the severity of the emotion on a scale of 0 – 10 (0 – no emotion, 10 – extreme emotion).

Next, you will tap along with the practitioner. They will tap themselves, and you will tap yourself.

After a few rounds, the practitioner will again ask you to tune in and rate your emotion. The practitioner will record the change of the number.

This will determine if the tapping session should continue, or if it can end. Ultimately, you want to achieve a rating of 0.

In follow-up sessions, the practitioner may now hone in on more specific aspects of your problem.

The practitioner will help you pinpoint specific experiences or challenges that caused you to experience the feelings you are having now.

You will then proceed to work and clear each of these further obstacles until all issues have been resolved.

The number of sessions you require will differ from person to person. Best is to adhere to the guidance of your EFT practitioner.

Studies on EFT Tapping for Anxiety

A study by Ben Gurion University, Medical School for International Health, in Israel, was inconclusive but determined a noteworthy decrease in anxiety levels after applying the EFT technique.
There were, unfortunately, too little data available, and they decided that they will need further studies to establish solid proof.

A Skills Lab study, using social services work students.
The participants reported experiencing considerably less distress and anxiety after applying EFT Tapping.

The International Journal of Emergency Mental Health published a study on Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Emotional Freedom Techniques in reducing anxiety and depression in Indian adults.
It was concluded that both techniques caused exceptional reductions in anxiety and depression levels.

There are many more study results available pertaining to Anxiety and EFT Tapping.
For a comprehensive list, CLICK HERE.

Save the Date – World Online Tapping Seminar – FREE

Now that you have a better understanding of what’s EFT tapping and how it can help Anxiety, AnxietyPanda has some exciting information for you.

Coming soon on 24 February 2020 is the 2020 Annual World Tapping Summit!
The summit will be held online for 10 days, and you are welcome to attend the live classes completely free of charge.
There will be a seminar available twice a day for you to participate in.
As pointed out, these sessions will be totally free if you attend them live.
If you want to own any of the content or transcripts, they will be available for purchase. Under no circumstance will you be obligated to buy anything.
These high-quality sessions will walk you through the fundamentals of EFT Tapping and teach you how to incorporate these techniques into your everyday life.

Tapping World Summit
Click to enlarge

To take part in this amazing seminar, that’s been around for longer than a
decade, be sure to SUBSCRIBE to AnxietyPanda. You can do this by leaving your
email and name in the box provided in the side-bar of this site, or in the
box below the event calendar. 🙂

On set dates, AnxietyPanda will send you emails with links to the
pre-launch and registration events.
You will receive emails on the following dates, so be sure to subscribe before

EFT World Summit Calendar

Learn all you need to know about what’s EFT tapping at this world summit.
See you there! 😉

N.B If you Subscribe, you will also be subscribed to the AnxietyPanda post updates 🙂

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  1. Jay Jay

    The feeling of anxiety can only be really understood by those that go through it and most people that don’t go through it won’t really understand how it feels. This EFT Tapping technique in relieving anxiety is one I have never tried. Anything that can help with my anxiety would really be great and I don’t mind giving it a try. I hope it works for me. Thanks for sharing this post.

  2. Mary Mary

    Thanks for a wonderful article on EFT tapping. I have used this technique myself. A friend once gave me a little wallet card and it had all the pressure points on it for doing EFT Tapping. I personally found it great as I was having some anxiety issues at the time. I still have the little card in my wallet and it reminds me of a way that I can easily help myself if I need to.  I love love love the use of a positive statement of love and acceptance to oneself, I will have to try this next time the words “….I deeply and completely love and accept myself,” are so powerful. I have used the words “I am calm, I am at ease” repeated to myself throughout my day which helps me. I have signed up for the world Summit of EFT taping. I am so grateful, Mary

  3. Strahinja Strahinja

    Hello there and thank you for this informative and interesting article. I had an amazing time reading it. EFT Tapping looks really easy and I will definitely try it as a way for dealing with my emotional stress and anxiety. Never tried anything simlair. I usually do affirmations and workout to deal with stress.

    However, this technique is clearly supported by medical studies and has proven results as you said. I hope it does not have any side effects? Have you used this technique and did it help you?

    Thank you.


    • AnxietyPanda AnxietyPanda

      Hi Strahinja,

      Thanks for commenting 🙂

      I am actively using this technique and it is working for me. It helps to diffuse a situation after a few sessions. It becomes more and more effective as you use it, so it’s important to not give up if it doesn’t work the first time.

      It has no known side effects 😉

  4. Hollie Rose Hollie Rose

    I only recently heard about EFT Tapping. My friend who had cancer was using it as a way to help her deal with everything, especially with being patient with her kids when she was in a low mood and in pain. It helped her really well. She told me it made all the difference between coping and not coping. She keeps telling me I should try it out! Honestly I am very tempted to:)

  5. Rudolph Rudolph

    Thanks for this post and explaining the technique as well. Sometime last year, I came across this technique through Nick Ortner and have been following him as well. I have used this technique and it surely does help. And you are right, initially it’s a little difficult to follow as we focus only on the problems and not the underlying emotions. But with practise, we can actually peel off layers after layers of the actual emotional problem that’s causing the discomfort. Thanks for writing about this and letting more people know about it on this forum.

  6. cjciganotto cjciganotto


    Always listen to acupuncture with needles. Now I know that there is an acupuncture by pressure.

    I love everything that helps us reduce our levels of anxiety, anguish, negative thoughts, etc. 

    Personally I consider it very interesting to be able to work with a professional answering your questions.

    I will try to subscribe to Anxiety Panda for next February 2019. Any questions I will contact again. 

    Thank you so much! Claudio

  7. Vanessa Vanessa

    Hi. Introduction of EFT is great with the visuals :). Some details to include could be how much does 1 session for EFT cost, typically how many sessions a week/month do people regularly go, directory for EFT practitioners? Maybe recommend some good places for EFT would be good too. The article is quite detailed on the whole. 

    • AnxietyPanda AnxietyPanda

      Hi Vanessa,

      Thanks for commenting 🙂
      You have some great ideas there. AnxietyPanda will do a follow up article on EFT Tapping soon and will be sure to address the topics you have mentioned here!

  8. Laris Laris

    My mom experiences extreme anxiety when driving, it has become so hectic that my dad has to drive her around everywhere which is inconvenient for him. It is the first time I am reading about EFT Tapping – super interesting! Amazing to know that you do not need to drink all kinds of pills you can rather do something as simple as EFT Tapping! My mom is going to try it out and I am excited to see how it will help her with her anxiety. Thanks for the great read!

  9. Dianne Dianne

    I love reading anything that can help with anxiety because my daughter suffers with it.

    Having read the instruction you have given on tapping I shall forward this article onto my daughter and I am quite sure she will see the benefits to signing up for the free seminar, thanks for sharing this!

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