A woman taps on a highlighted spot on her face with her finger.

Emotional Freedom for Eczema

EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) or Tapping is a mind/body self-supportive method. Bringing together Eastern and Western healing modalities, EFT is rooted in the ancient principles of acupuncture and incorporates contemporary cognitive psychology and leading-edge brain science.

What does EFT do?

EFT allows us to release and transform the uncomfortable or painful feelings like hurt, guilt, fear, anger, anxiety, judgment, self-doubt, overwhelm, procrastination, and physical pain. Its effectiveness enables the ability to restore a sense of mind-body balance by releasing energy that has become trapped in the body due to suppressed emotions. When the energy of these stuck emotions is freed up, the brain and body can communicate, and healing takes place. Tapping acknowledges the mind-body connection and recognizes that our mental and physical well-being are intimately linked to our emotional states.

How does EFT work?

The core idea behind EFT is that the cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body’s energy system. When the energy gets stuck in the body, symptoms appear. Moving the energy through the body’s meridian system by tapping gently with your fingertips on the endpoints of the meridians while tuning into the source of the blockage, the symptoms (focusing on the emotional upset, blocking beliefs, or physical pain, for example), are neutralized, and the intense charge greatly diminishes or disappears. EFT is transformative by shifting the thoughts and beliefs behind our emotional experiences, including trauma and PTSD, physical symptoms, anxiety, fear, phobias.

What happens when tapping?

When we tap, we are accessing 2 systems in the body: what Traditional Chinese Medicine termed “meridians,” the invisible energy pathways through which life-energy flows, and the brain. So, while tapping, 2 things happen:

  1. We gain direct access to our energy system. By focusing on specific negative emotions (believed to cause “stagnation” in the energy system) and bodily sensations associated with these emotions, the stagnant energy can be released, and a normal energy flow can be reestablished.
  2. We engage the brain’s natural “relaxation response.” EFT appears to affect the amygdala, the brain’s stress center, and the hippocampus, the memory center, both of which contribute to evaluating whether something is a threat.

How can EFT Tapping support the eczema journey?

We have the ability to tap into our own body's calming response. This calming signal is initiated by tapping on meridian endpoints, which interrupts the fight, flight, freeze response and turns on the relaxation response, promoting healing within. Emotional states of fear, self-doubt, and limiting thoughts and beliefs create negative responses in the body. We can often disassociate from our body and bodily sensations because these experiences might be too painful to feel. In the long run, they become good at self-numbing, using food, exercise, work or and even the emotional attachment to our symptoms, a pattern to divert ourselves from physical discomfort. EFT Tapping is an extremely efficient and effective way to address what is happening in your mind and body so that you can empower yourself with greater ease and intention and cultivate your own resourcefulness.

How do I tap?

In the basic tapping technique, you focus on what is distressing you – the negative emotion – a fear, a memory, an event, a symptom. Then, while “tuning into” your specific issue, you use your fingertips to lightly tap 5-7 times on each of the 9 specific meridian points of the head and body. As you tap on each point, state in a single sentence or phrase what the issue is. For example, “My frustration with this flare,” “My fear of this not ending,” or “This itching is driving me crazy!”

Tapping on the meridian points in sequence while focusing on the negative emotion will access the body’s energy system and engage the brain’s emotional system. Scientific studies have suggested that this precise pairing of mental and physical activity sends a calming signal to the amygdala, reduces the hyperarousal that accompanies negative or unwanted emotions, and instills a sense of safety in the body itself.

Why focus on the negative?

NOTE: A very common question and fear when people learn or begin tap is, “Why would I want to tap on something negative?” “Won't that be instilling the negativity of how I feel?” The truth is that we are giving ourselves permission to voice and express what is true for us. It is a way to honor the inner dialogue of our subconscious mind. Quite often, my clients feel much after tapping on these negative statements. While it might seem counterintuitive, they neutralize any negative charge that these statements hold inside of us.

Stay tuned for an EFT tap-along video!

For more information about EFT Tapping, including current research, visit www.thescienceoftapping.org.

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