EFT Tapping Essentials

What is EFT Tapping? An Explanation (and a Disclaimer)

  • Emotional Freedom Technique also known as “EFT” or “EFT Tapping” or “tapping”
  • A gentle method of reducing or eliminating emotional and physical distress by stimulating relaxation of the body’s energy and autonomic response system
  • Tapping is done fully clothed and the client gently presses or taps on end points of the body’s meridian system to activate one’s own “energy” channels throughout the human body
  • Both a self-help tool and trauma processing & resolution tool
  • A means of reconstructing how we manage stress and regulate our body’s emotional and physiological response to a distressing memory, situation or experience
  • EFT’s self-acceptance relies on the premise that acceptance (vs. resistance) reduces suffering
  • A treatment modality based on the following well understood mechanisms in the fields of psychology, mental health, and trauma resolution:
    • Acupressure
    • Imaginal Exposure
    • Somatic, Emotional & Cognitive Activation
    • Nervous System Activation and Downward Regulation
    • Information Processing (new) & Reprocessing (old)
    • Cognitive Restructuring
    • Memory Reconsolidation  
    • Eye Movements, Trance and Sensory Integration
    • Grounding in the Present
  • Research has validated its effectiveness on relieving a large number of distressing symptoms
    • To help overcome anxiety, fear, guilt, shame, jealousy or anger
    • To change unwanted habits and behaviors
    • To replace negative thoughts with life enhancing ones
    • To relieve the emotional contributors to physical pain, thus reducing pain itself
    • To enhance the ability to love, succeed and enjoy life.
  • Issues I have helped clients with:
    • Averting panic attacks and overwhelming anxiety
    • Eliminating phobias (such as spiders, public speaking, driving, flying, social situations, and others)
    • Reducing and eliminating cravings (foods, alcohol, marijuana, hair pulling, cutting, skin picking)
    • Reducing negative body image perceptions and falsehoods about diet culture
    • Reducing or eliminating pain (somatic memories held in the body) (restless legs, gastrointestinal distress, migraines, tinnitus, joint pain, phantom pain and more)
    • Performance enhancement (athletics, academics and work)
    • Reducing PTSD and cortisol levels 25-50%
  • Proof it works must be experienced.

My Training and Experience

I am an Accredited Certified EFT Practitioner and working on becoming an Accredited Certified Advanced Practitioner with EFT International (formerly AAMET International). EFT tapping and other mind-body interventions have been a part of my practice over the last several years, and have proven to be one of my most useful and lasting therapeutic intervention methods in helping people change how their mind and body responds to past and present stressors. It is hard to understand until you try it.

Common Effects

When your body’s energy channels and nervous system are activated, you may experience or notice changes or shifts in your body. The shifts are processes known as a clearing or neutralizing sensations that may occur during or after tapping. You may notice some or none of the following:

DizzinessYawningSpontaneous Deep Breath
NauseaFlatulence (pass gas)Burping
Temporary numbness in body partsTingling SensationsTiredness/Sleepiness
ThirstRenewed Energy“Aha” moment
Common Effects of EFT Tapping

You May Also:

  • Feel better
  • Feel more relaxed
  • Notice no change
  • Notice an intensity rise before it falls.
  • Notice sensations move to different parts of the body
  • Release lactic acid from muscles/body parts
  • Notice when you clear one aspect, another may surface
  • Notice and attend to the new thoughts or feelings after first is neutralized
  • Have disbelief (and that too can be addressed)
  • Gain a new perspective or lens through which you see yourself, others and the world


Please refer to EFT International’s Science/Research page to review the large body of research evidence available. Trauma/ PTSD experts who recommend EFT Tapping include: R. Scaer, S. Porges, P. Levine, G. Turnbull, and B. Van der Kolk. Eric Leskowitz, MD, Harvard, has said, EFT is “the most impressive intervention I have encountered in 25 years of work as a psychiatrist.” There are other organizations and tapping resources available, but EFT International is based on the originating founders and remains in its truest form.

EFT as an Adjunct Technique

I am required by my profession’s ethical standards to advise you that EFT is considered an “adjunct technique” and the nature of its effectiveness, risks, and benefits are becoming increasingly better known and understood. Evidenced based research is providing support for its efficacy and it is becoming more widely used.

If you would like to incorporate EFT into your therapy with me, or use it outside of sessions without me, you agree to assume and accept full responsibility for any and all risks associated with this practice. Consent must be given freely, without any obligation and with understanding of how it works and known implications.

In using EFT, it is possible that unexpected emotional or physical sensations or unresolved memories may surface. In addition, emotional material may continue to surface after using EFT, indicating that other issues may also need to be addressed. You may also experience physical sensations like tingling or numbness that may be noticed in different parts of the body before they are resolved. You may also have physiological responses such as yawning, burping, flatulence, nausea, becoming thirsty or tired and in rare cases vomiting may occur.

Tapping on the body may also produce the release of lactic acid build up in muscles or body parts. It is necessary to be well hydrated when you tap and following a tapping session to ensure your system is properly flushed out. A usual sign of proper hydration is evident when your urine runs clear. An exception is if you take Vitamin B12 as this or other medications that may impact the color of your urine (consult your doctor for any concerns about your hydration.)

While I always use EFT in my practice in good faith and with good intentions, there may be times when EFT presents us with challenging, unforeseen situations such as the surfacing of significant memories, thoughts or emotions, or when EFT does not result in the desired positive outcome. 

It is strongly recommended you use EFT tapping for trauma related issues or those that cause significant distress strictly in the presence of a trained professional.

Can EFT Tapping Help You?

EFT has produced rapid life changing results for some people and may affect other people in your life. For example if you no longer hold on to certain “blocking beliefs,” you may respond or react differently with or toward other people in your life. Although it isn’t “magic,” for those who respond well to it, it can feel a little like it.

EFT is often used as a therapeutic technique in trauma recovery. EFT trauma work may alter your memory or recall of an experience and thus impact court proceedings or forensic matters. Be sure to communicate with me immediately if you choose not to do EFT tapping work as part of your treatment.  

EFT is not a substitute for medical treatment. You agree to consult with your medical provider for any specific medical or physical problems, symptoms or concerns.

EFT is self-regulated and still considered an “adjunct”  therapy according to Western academic, medical and psychological communities currently. All treatment modalities require a certain amount of research to back it up. Please reference EFT International for more information or search for “EFT tapping” for examples and videos.

When you are scheduled to meet with me, a copy of something similar to this document referenced as “Addendum A: EFT Tapping” will be included in my consent documents for you to sign. It is important you understand how this modality is used in my practice and its potential impact on you. If at anytime you have questions, please do not hesitate to ask me.

Thank you for choosing Essential Connections, Lisa Reid, LCSW. I look forward to working with you.