Does EFT Really Work?

Emotional Freedom Techniques, or EFT, is typically a process of physically tapping points along the body that are thought to correspond to physical energies. The EFT practice can be fairly described, I think, as an extension of traditional acupuncture. The thinking within both acupuncture and EFT is that bodily energies become blocked at certain points, resulting in physical or emotional imbalance.

Unblock these points and energies return to their normal flow, and balance within the body is restored. But is this thinking legitimate? To put it another way, considering EFT specifically, does it actually work to improve bodily function and overall well-being?

As unorthodox as it may seem, I believe EFT does show improvement results. I don’t think there’s any question about it, in fact. Having said that, I am not a complete advocate for EFT as it’s currently presented.

What do I mean by this?

In the introduction of this article you may have noticed that I said EFT ‘typically’ involves a process of physically tapping. If you consult EFT tutorials they uniformly prescribe tapping certain areas along the face, chest, and hands with the fingertips while simultaneously repeating (mentally, not aloud) healing expressions directed towards some problem or another.

My personal experience is that this finger tapping is physically uncomfortable, and the process of finger tapping various body parts while engaged in mental repetitions is not convenient. I’m not denying the positive potential outcomes of using EFT, but I believe the process has room for improvement.

There is actually a version that I find much preferable to traditional EFT, calledSimple Energy Techniques (SET). Instead of finger tapping SET advocates a rub or touch, and this can be done in an unobtrusive way by targeting points only on the hand. SET also allows for doing away with the healing expression mental repetitions. In summary SET is a far more convenient practice than traditional EFT — and even more importantly, it shows positive results.

Many advocates of EFT believe one must use finger tapping and must use healing expressions during the EFT practice. But the creators of SET, Steve Wells and Dr. David Lake, have conducted clinical research (putting technique into practice while working with clients, in other words) that found tapping and healing expression repetition were not necessary for beneficial outcomes.

I believe this represents a tremendous breakthrough insight: it demonstrates that the foundation of EFT can be effective without being cumbersome. It also widely opens the practice up because it’s so much easier to carry out using the SET approach. This insight as well is in line with a conviction I have developed over the years: genuine life improvement is not meant to be a difficult process.

It is supposed to be easy, and I believe this is by Divine will.

A final insight I’ll point out is the interconnectedness of EFT (or SET, my preference) and methods like conscious presence, zen, ho’oponopono, and other “spiritual” practices. There is a similar component amongst all of them, something that speaks to an inner presence of being where salvation can be found, of not denying or resisting outer circumstances, of being the watcher and being a sea where surface waves may rise but at its depth is absolutely peaceful and calm.

These are recurring themes, something I have come across repeatedly in my learnings even when the methods being discussed appeared outwardly different. Hearing these themes being spoken to within EFT / SET gave me a “wow” moment and crystallized an insight: there are many paths to an enlightened existence (these paths again, I believe, provided by Divine will) which speaks to our varying worldly preferences, but the core beliefs of these different paths are the same.

Or, as I heard spiritualist Eckhart Tolle say, there is only one truth.

So does EFT really work? Yes. And so does SET and conscious presence and ho’oponopono and other methods. Find the one that speaks to your preference, and then use it.

(Find additional information and insights about EFT and SET Here.)