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Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) & Tapping for Acupuncturists

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) or tapping is a valuable skill for acupuncturists to include in their practice, as it can greatly assist us in solving many challenges we experience in clinic. For instance, tapping is extremely useful for shen disturbance, emotional suffering, anxiety, PTSD, depression, addictions, pain, and more.

EFT also helps to prevent patients from dropping out of care prematurely, and it can assist in promoting stronger doctor - patient relations. This is because tapping helps to establish powerful therapeutic communication with patients, while also giving clients the tools they need to alleviate many of their health problems. 

Enjoying the Nature

While acupuncturists may easily over look and underestimate tapping, because we are highly trained in using acupuncture needles, EFT can fill many therapeutic gaps that acupuncture and herbs are not able to address. 

Additionally, tapping is very useful for ​many conditions we see in our clinics that are related to lifestyle, habits, and behaviors. If you think about it, many of the most common health problems in today's world are related to making poor lifestyle choices. 

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What is EFT or Tapping?

Acupuncture and the trigeminal nerve, the three zones of the trigeminal nerve

EFT is a powerful system that uses tapping on acupuncture points as a way to establish mind-body connections. When points are being tapped on, statements are made about the problem they seek to address, along with what are called acceptance statements.

 

The sequence of tapping on points starts with SI 3 and proceeds through a series of acupuncture points on the face, collar bone, ribs, and head. The exact series in one of the most commonly used systems progresses through the points in this order: SI 3, UB 2, Tai Yang, ST 3, DU 26, CV 24, ST 11, GB 22, and finishes at DU 20.    


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Tapping may be considered a type of somatic therapy that works on both the mind and body. Some research suggests that tapping works on various parts of the nervous system including the ANS, hormonal system, limbic system, and amygdala. It also appears to benefit the immune system.

Additionally, tapping uses a kind of exposure therapy in the form of what is known as a setup statement. This statement directly acknowledges the problem the person has by clearing stating, "even though I have this problem." Rather than using the word problem in the setup statement, the client uses whatever condition they have that they want help with. The problem may be a disease, symptom, feeling, emotion, thought, belief, or behavior. Examples of common setup statements I use in my acupuncture practice include:

 

"Even though I am overweight,"

"Even though I have headaches,"

"Even though I am addicted to cigarettes,"

"Even though I feel anxiety,"
 

How does Tapping Work?

​After the setup statement is made, it is immediately followed with the acceptance statement. The standard acceptance statement is, "I deeply and completely accept myself." This acceptance statement can also change as the process of tapping is occurring, and it will often be stated as an affirmation or positive statement about what healthy changes the patient wants. 

The standard acceptance statement of "I deeply and completely accept myself," is more powerful than it may initially appear. This is because acceptance of reality and our current situations is a key to overcoming many of our problems. Acceptance is also a key component of healing many conditions like grief, PTSD, anxiety, addictions, and more.

To understand this more readily, let's consider the two parts of how statements are used in EFT and tapping. The first part is the setup statement, which acknowledges the problem, and this is followed by the acceptance statement.​​ 
 

Tapping Uses Acknowledgement & acceptance
as a Means for Healing

When we acknowledge our problems it allows us to confront them directly. However, patients often deny or avoid their health problems, and this can add to the disease process and increase pain and suffering. 

 

As the old saying goes, "What we resist persists."

For health problems related to bad habits and poor lifestyle, tapping is especially important, because the patient acknowledges their condition while accepting it and affirming their motivation for change. 

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Image by Darius Bashar

A major challenge for acupuncturists is keeping their clients motivated to follow through with the treatment course for the very things they come in to see us for. 

While we may be good at getting people out of pain quickly, many conditions like chronic problems, obesity, smoking addictions, digestive problems, anxiety, and other disorders often require more longterm approaches. Learning to keep clients motivated, while giving them tools that help with their conditions is essential for helping to ensure that patients follow through with care.  

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Tapping, Habits, and lifestyle
Psychologist's Office

Many of the most common health problems in the Western world such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, obesity, and digestive problems relate to habits and lifestyle choices.

 

For instance, heart disease is related to high fat diets, too much sodium, stress, obesity, and lack of exercise. The same can be said for HTN and diabetes, and lifestyle factors like poor diet and smoking contribute to cancer.

 

While our patients already know much of this, the question is how can we get them to make healthy changes and choices, especially when they come to our clinic looking for relief and guidance for their problems.

 

You may have noticed that simply giving advice doesn't work very well, and for many conditions the patients need to play a more active role in their own healing process.

Learn more about how to integrate EFT and tapping into your practice and life. 

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Learn Tapping & How to Use it for Shen Disturbance Patterns,
Cravings, Addictions, Habits and 
Changing Unhealthy Lifestyles  

This class will teach you a variety of skills for treating conditions that are difficult to address with only acupuncture and herbs. Shen disturbance, depression, anxiety, emotional problems, and addictions have multifactorial components.

 

While acupuncture and herbs can play a role in treating these conditions, they are usually not enough to get to the deeper issues that are present with shen disturbance. 

EFT and tapping are unique because of the way they can help to resolve many of the deeper emotional and psychological patterns that present with shen disturbance. ​​​

Acupuncture and fascia online classes

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Many psychologists are currently using EFT and tapping because research shows that it can give comparable results to CBT and other traditional counseling methods.

Acupuncturists can also leverage the benefits of tapping because it is an acupressure technique that can help clients to make better lifestyle choices. It is also useful for pain, anxiety, trauma, depression, and other common things we see in clinic. 

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