EFT tapping

How To TAP: The Basic Guide To EFT tapping

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Uncover a powerful self-help technique with this beginner’s guide to EFT Tapping! I explain the basics and provide step-by-step instructions that make sense even for first timers.

My name is Sina, I’m an EFT practitioner as well as a yoga teacher. I would like to give you a short introduction to EFT and talk you through a guided practice. 

In this video you’ll learn:

  • What is EFT tapping
  • How does EFT tapping work 
  • Benefits of EFT tapping
  • I guide you through a sequence on anxiety release
  • Practical tips for how to use it by yourself

What is EFT tapping? 

EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Techniques. It’s commonly also known as tapping, acupuncture without needles, or emotional acupuncture.

EFT tapping is a mind-body approach for emotional healing as well as personal and spiritual development. It can help people process, manage and heal from emotional pain and navigate through challenging experiences of life more easily. Challenges like stress, life changes, uncomfortable emotions, anxiety, sleep issues. 

All these things that are part of our human experiences and that make it challenging for us sometimes.

EFT tapping is rooted in ancient philosophies of energy healing and it’s based on acupuncture. Instead of using the needles, we use our fingertips to tap on certain acupressure points on the upper body. This approach is based on the understanding that there is an energy system that runs throughout our body and any kind of disruption in this energy can contribute to unhealthy emotions, behaviours, and physical conditions. 

By tapping and releasing these blocked energy pathways, people can experience relief from a wide range of issues such as for example depression and physical pain. 

Tapping on acupressure points, while focusing on what’s causing us distress, relaxes our body. It releases stuck emotions and balances our energy system.

This approach is a very gentle and non-invasive technique.  It has no side effects and it can really be used by anybody. 

This is one of the amazing things about it: it’s really accessible to people of all ages and all backgrounds. 

Nowadays, there are organizations that bring tapping into regions of crisis to help people process their trauma. 

Kids can use it.  A friend who has kids recently told me that she became aware of a few cases in her surroundings where EFT has been used in schools with kids. This is really amazing because it’s such an easy and helpful tool and as I said it’s beneficial for anybody.

How does EFT tapping work? 

EFT works by tapping with the fingers on specific meridian points on the upper body. 

While we tap, we focus on a specific issue or emotion that we would like to transform or release. By tapping on these points, energy blockages can be released. It stimulates the body’s energy pathways and sends signals to the brain. It regulates the nervous system and all this promotes feelings of relaxation and well-being. 

This focusing on a specific issue is mostly done by repeating a simple phrase or word out loud that acknowledges the issue and the corresponding emotions. It looks a little bit like self-talk just with the tapping on top. 

Another way to focus on the issue is by staying present with what you’re experiencing, e.g. physical sensation or pain.

When you do tapping the first time, it can feel a bit awkward to say out loud what’s distressing you. We are not used to do that and it can feel a bit strange in the beginning, as if we’re making it worse. 

To give you an example:  I want to release anger. 
I would tap and phrase my anger. I would say: I’m so angry. I’m experiencing anger. I feel this anger in my body. 

This is not to get us deeper into it, into the anger in this example. We want to release this emotion, anger. By phrasing it out loud and tapping, we’re creating a space where we allow all our emotions, feelings, and experiences to be there in a very gentle and non-judgmental way. 

We’re bringing it to light and take it out of hiding.

Tapping enables us to process and release these emotions and experiences instead of pushing them away or hiding them like we´re used to do it in our daily life. 

EFT tapping is like decluttering

Imagine you have a room in your apartment or in your house in which you put all the things that you don’t really like anymore. 

You don’t want to see these things anymore but there’s a part of you that doesn’t want to let them go, that is still attached to them. You put them in the room, then you close the door and you feel like now it’s solved because it’s out of sight, right?

But somehow it’s still in the background of your mind and of course all these things in the room take up space. Space, that you could use for other beautiful things that you like and that are beneficial to you. 

To clean up that room, you open the door, then you take out piece by piece. You look at it, and then you decide, do I want to keep it or not.

Having done that with every piece, you have a room with lots of space and there are just beautiful things inside that you love.

What we're doing with EFT tapping is similar: we're decluttering our whole system from all the things that are not so beneficial to us, that are bothering us and that are causing us distress. 

We’re creating a space, a framework, where we can look at our emotional baggage and we’re phrasing it. We label it and then the tapping gives us a modality to release it, to really heal it and let it go on a deep level. 

It’s like lifting a heavy blanket. A blanket of all our anxieties, behaviors, conditioning. By lifting that blanket, our more natural qualities like joy, compassion, and love can emerge quite naturally

The benefits of EFT tapping

The goal of EFT is to work with the body’s energy system and help restore balance. It helps us to process and understand our emotions as well cultivating awareness and acceptance. 

We’re creating an inner environment of openness and acceptance towards the whole range of our emotions, not only the pleasant ones. 

We’re expanding our capacity to be with all of that and at the same time we’re releasing on a very deep level.  A level, where we cannot go with rational thinking and analysing. 

It’s a very profound way of healing and as such EFT has been shown to be very effective at treating a wide range of issues from physical to emotional.

For example: stress, anxiety, fears, overwhelm, insomnia. Chronic pain and symptoms, chronic fatigue syndrome, and back pain can be a starting point to apply EFT tapping.

It has also been used effectively to treat trauma and PTSD, phobias addictions, cravings. 

EFT tapping can enables individuals to free themselves from long-term issues which had previously felt unresolvable

EFT tapping creates safety within our body.  

We begin to feel more connected to our bodies and we feel safe in our body. This feeling of safety changes how we show up in the world. When we feel safe, we feel more peaceful, our well-being increases. This helps individuals to navigate through challenging times with more ease and resilience. 

It really helps us to get out of this state of urgency and stress that we´re in so often. By doing that, we find new and creative solutions to our issues. 

This is really fundamental when it comes to propelling change, not only for ourselves but for the world at large.

When we feel like we are in a state of urgency and stress, in this fight and flight, mode constantly, we need to create a sense of safety within ourselves. So that we are actually able to to come to new ways of approaching a situation or an issue.

Otherwise we just keep repeating the same patterns that already brought us into the situation.

Three types of settings for EFT Tapping application

1. EFT Tapping as self-care tool

EFT tapping is a very easy to apply self-care tool. It can help you process emotions with greater ease and confidence and it really helps you on the go whenever you need it. Just like your breath, it’s always available to you, it’s easy to apply and it has zero side effects.

EFT is non-invasive, it’s pain-free and it can be used by anybody. Nobody is excluded from using EFT.

2. EFT Tapping in a one-to-one setting

In this setting, EFT is a form of alternative therapy which can help people to resolve more complex issues like trauma or deep-seated patterns of behaviour.

For some issues, personalized support can be very beneficial. Maybe you feel more safe, maybe you need someone to guide you through your healing process and to hold space for you. A neutral outside perspective can be very helpful as well  and the practitioner has additional tools and modalities at hand, not just the tapping itself. 

3. EFT Tapping in a Group setting

In a group setting, EFT can provide a supportive and empowering environment for individuals to work through shared experiences.  

In this setting we’re working through our common human experiences. It helps us to gain a sense of community and also cultivate compassion because we realize that we’re going through the same stuff.

In all of the settings, EFT is a very effective way to support emotional well-being being and healing and it helps individuals to cultivate inner balance and peace. 

Which kind of setting is appropriate for you depends on your unique situation and what you prefer. Maybe you use it mainly as a self-care tool, maybe you want to use it in a group setting, or you do a combination of different settings.

Guided tapping sequence for anxiety release

The points on the upper body are the following:

  • inside of the eyebrow  
  • next to the eye
  • under the eye 
  • under the nose 
  • on the chin another 
  • collar bone
  • under the armpit 
  • on the head 

You can use both sides or just one side. Another point is on the side of the hand which is the one we’re going to start with.  

I’m  going to give you some phrases and words that you can repeat while we’re tapping.  The phrases center around anxiety. If there’s anything that I’m saying that does not resonate with you at all, but you feel it creates resistance, then just leave it out and just keep tapping. 

Tapping to release anxiety

To begin with, find yourself a comfortable seated position. If you wish, you can close your eyes for a moment.

Bring your awareness to your body, the whole field of your body and just notice what’s present for you right now.

What kind of sensations can you observe?

Try to be with that, to note it without judging it and without wanting to change it. Just look.

Maybe you’ll notice your breathing let your breathing be as it is right now observe it, no need to change anything.

From here, take a deep breath in through your nose and while you exhale through your open mouth, you can open your eyes. 

We’ll start tapping on the side of the hand point.

Repeat after me: 
Even though there is so much anxiety and tension. I choose to laugh and accept myself anyway. 

Even though I’m experiencing anxiety, I feel out of control, and it’s showing up in my body, I choose to be gentle with myself and accept all of my feelings. 

Even though, I’m overwhelmed, my mind is racing, I’m feeling anxious and it feels uncomfortable, I choose to love and accept myself as I am right here and right now. 

We move to the inside of the eyebrow. You can do both sides or just one side.

This feels uncomfortable 
This anxiety
Showing up in my body
There’s all this tension
I want it to go away
I don’t like it
Just the word anxiety
brings so much discomfort

I’d rather not experience it
but I am I am experiencing it
It’s here
I can feel it in my body
This tension
This flutter in my chest
My body is expressing anxiety
It feels uncomfortable but it’s okay to feel what I’m feeling

Instead of trying to fix it
or manage it
Maybe it’s okay to just sense it
Even if I don’t like the sensation
or understand where it’s coming from
I drop into my body and keep breathing
Breathing through this anxiety
This tension and all of these uncomfortable sensations

This tightness in my mind
That feels so debilitating
It’s restricting me
In my decision making
and how I show up
In my capacity to relax and be kind
This is not how I want to be
and this is not who I really am.

Pause for a moment, if you wish you can close your eyes. Drop into your body and become aware of what’s present for you now. 

Has anything shifted?
Is anything different? 
What’s present for you now?

With that awareness, we go into another round of tapping. Again by the side of the hand.

Even though I experience some remaining anxiety it’s okay. I am okay and I choose to hold myself in compassion. 

Even though I sense some remaining tension in my body, I know this is changing and I choose to love and accept myself fully and completely. 

Even though maybe there is some remaining anxiety, I know it’s coming and going and I can always choose to love myself more.

It’s okay to feel what I’m feeling
Even if part of this anxiety is still there
It’s still bothering me
I can be with it
I just acknowledge it’s there
and I don’t have to fix anything right now
What if I just allow it to be there?
Let it flow through

While I tap
and breathe
and observe what’s happening
I can soften
open my awareness
and be curious to what’s there
I just keep breathing

Silent round of tapping:

I’m not going to give you any phrases anymore but please just keep tapping and stay with what’s present for you. This could be a sensation, a thought, or maybe you just would like to focus on your breathing or on the tapping itself.

Just sense what’s beneficial for you now and keep tapping for a few more rounds.

Then pause again and take a moment. Bring one hand on your heart and note what’s present for you now. 

Now take a deep breath in through your nose, exhale through your mouth and open your eyes. 

Maybe you want to stretch a little bit, stretch it out, maybe you feel like rolling your shoulders or just shake it all out to bring some more movement in the body 

You could repeat the sequence and repeat the words and phrases that I gave you. You could also adapt it to your own needs and make it more specific, for example by including where in your body do you feel the tension, where does the anxiety show up, if you are aware of it. That would be a way to make it more specific to your situation. 

How to do EFT by yourself

How to begin?

You would start out by sensing into yourself and becoming aware of what’s present for you now.

Is there any issue you would like to tap on?  Any issue (e.g. anxiety) that you would like to release?  

Rate the intensity

Then you could rate the intensity of your issue or emotion on a scale between 0 and 10, where 0 is the lowest and 10 is the highest intensity. 

For example anxiety could be a level five. Then you would start tapping and after a few rounds of tapping, you would check in with the intensity and see if it has changed. 

This is optional, you don’t have to do the rating. It’s just sometimes nice to have a reference point and for our rational mind it’s sometimes more easy to have a number to compare with to see if anything has changed or shifted. 

Just try for yourself if it works for you, if not then you just leave it aside.

Another way to do EFT, if you don’t know what your issue is, or if it just feels too heavy to phrase it, then you just start tapping.

You focus on sensations, on your breathing, or even just the tapping. 

You do a few rounds,  then you check in and do a few more rounds.

Creating a setup phrase

We begin by tapping on the side of the hand and repeat a specific phrase three times. This is called a set-up phrase.

When you create your own setup phrase, the first part of the phrase states the issue. For example: I experience this anxiety

The second part of the phrase focuses on what we would like to cultivate or feel instead. For example: I love myself fully and completely

When you create your set-up  phrase I really would like to ask you to be honest with yourself. If saying for “I love myself fully” doesn’t resonate with you but creates resistance, then please rephrase this part.

You could make it more gentle by saying: 

May I love myself fully
I choose to be open to loving myself 
I would like to I would like to love myself fully 

It’s really important that this part of the phrase resonates with you. If you sense some kind of resistance, adapt it to your unique situation. This may of course change over time so it’s it’s good to check in every time you do tapping which phrase resonates with you in that very moment. 

Once you have the setup phrase, you start tapping

You just do the phrasing as we did before and then you do a few rounds of tapping. Then check in again and notice if anything changed. 

Are there any new sensations? 
Any thoughts, emotions that have shifted? 
Maybe anxiety was in your chest and now you feel it in your belly. 

Become aware of what’s present for you and then you integrate that into the next rounds of tapping. Keep going for a certain amount of time. 

This is when you have an issue, or a seated practice: 

  • you become aware of the issue and focus on that while tapping
  • you create your setup phrase 
  • you do do a few rounds of tapping 
  • you check in and do a few more rounds of tapping
There are also situations, where we need it more urgently.  

Then you don’t need to do all the procedure, like doing a setup phrase, checking in, you just start tapping.  When you have really intense emotions that you would like to process immediately, the main goal is to bring us into a state of more calm and regulation. 

You tap for a few minutes or until you notice a difference.

Regular tapping

It is really beneficial to do tapping regularly.  

This doesn’t have to be 30 or 60 Minutes every day, just be gentle with yourself and make it doable. You could start out with five to ten minutes daily. Do this for a few weeks and see how that feels for you.  

Do you notice a difference and what kind of difference do you notice?  

You could set your timer for 10 minutes, sit down, do a few rounds of tapping and when the timer is over you stop. Then you will see over time shifts happening.

If daily practice doesn’t feel so good for you, then you just do it on occasion.  

For example, if you wake up anxious or you’re stressed before a meeting, any occasion that brings up intense emotional reactions is a good starting point to do EFT.

That’s it from my side. If there’s any questions regarding EFT and the application, please feel free to contact me.  

I’m really happy to help you out and get you tapping.

I wish you happy tapping and thanks for listening.

For additional information, head over here:

Paula Chichester: Enjoy with Compassion
In this video, Paula shares insights, inspiration and practical tips on how to cultivate our inner landscape so that we can actually connect to our deepest joy and love.
Along with a beautiful meditation, she gives an introduction to EFT tapping and guides a short session.

EFT International
EFT International™ is a unique, not-for-profit global association ensuring the highest level of training within the field of Emotional Freedom Techniques.

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