How Does EFT Work?
by Kay Christopher, MA, EFTCert-II, Certified EFT Practitioner

Part I

People often ask me how Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) works. They ask because 1) they are skeptical that it works at all, 2) because they are open to the idea and are curious, or 3) because they have had a direct experience of the very positive shifts it can bring about and want a way to articulate what happened to them.
The "Discovery Statement" in EFT is: "The cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body's energy system." It is theorized that by tapping the acupuncture meridians these disruptions can be reduced or eliminated and that is what causes the positive shifts in emotions. Along with improvements in emotions it is common to also have positive shifts in thinking.
When you are working at the level of energy we apparently can affect body, mind, and emotions. EFT is holistic in this regard, and in fact I consider it to be spiritual in it's essence because its effect is so all-encompassing.
When EFT is applied and the disruption in the energy system is released there is generally an ease that comes along with the reduction of feelings of stress. These may be replaced with feelings of greater empowerment and confidence. With the release of negative emotions (brought about by dissolving the disruption) the person may be able to think new and clearer thoughts, thoughts that are more creative and optimistic. The tension in their body that was caused by the stress may also go away, and so they may feel better physically.

How Does EFT Work?
Part 2

Precisely how does EFT work? EFT uses tapping on acupuncture meridians to achieve its results. But how do the acupuncture meridians work? If we look to modern science to give us the answer we get stumped. None of the theories are complete enough to answer the question. For one thing, why does it work on resolving pain but also work for such a wide variety of issues?

The answer gets even harder to find if you add this to the equation (I'm going to have to ask you to be open minded here). A person can use EFT as a "surrogate" for someone else who has a need, and often there is a positive effect. An example of this is a parent doing EFT on their own body for the benefit of their child. Another example is using EFT on one's own body on an airplane to help a stranger that obviously is in a state of fear due to the flight. Another successful use of surrogate EFT is to help animals, who can't tap for themselves. Positive results occur with a frequency that defies the statistical odds for it being just a "coincidence". How can we explain that? The closest cousin to surrogate tapping is prayer, and it is theorized that the two have some things in common.

While there have been many insufficient attempts to explain both acupuncture and EFT using a model of the brain and biochemistry I think you have to go beyond that to find an answer to these questions. You have to enter the realm of spirituality and/or the realm of physics. You have to go beyond solid matter into the world of energy and information.

© Kay Christopher 2007 All rights reserved.