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EFT Essentials

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I am so excited to welcome you to The Instant Stress Solution: 7 Steps to Immediate Peace And Freedom. The methods you will learn here changed my life completely. They have the potential to change yours!

How EFT Helped Change Every Part of My Life

In 2002 I made a commitment to meditating every day. I was overwhelmed. I was parenting two young children half-time, and focused on being a conscious and effective dad. I had a publishing business that was taking off, and I was working with best-selling authors as well as mentoring novice writers.

I had a second business, a small hotel in Guerneville, California. I’d bought an old 13 room resort and remodeled it a few years previously. After years of effort, it was doing well, but then Sept 11 happened. The next day, every guest we had lined up for our October to December season cancelled. But that didn’t cancel paying the mortgage and monthly expenses, and business started bleeding red ink. Money was a constant source of stress and struggle.

It was hard to set aside the time to meditate each day. I woke the kids to get them ready for school at 6:30 am, so it meant getting up at 5:30 am.

But I realized I had to do something to break the cycle of overwhelm in which I was stuck, so I persevered.

Later that year a psychotherapist friend told me about EFT or “tapping” and I found it reduced my stress immediately. The combination of meditation and tapping became a centerpiece of my life. I trained in EFT with many of the top practitioners, and developed a deep understanding of the method.

Slowly, as my inner world changed, my outer world began to change too. I began acting from my center rather than being driven by outside events. I sold the loss-making hotel and focused on my successful publishing business.

I began to plan my money more wisely, and save consistently. In a few years I was able to purchase 3 rental houses as well as a beautiful mountainside estate in Santa Rosa, California.

I began making better choices in the people I spent time with. I picked happier and more functional girlfriends, and then met my precious wife Christine. Tapping and meditation are central to our marriage, and we’ve even created an online course called Tapping Deep Intimacy.

My mind became focused. I finished writing a book that the publisher had been bugging me about for 10 years. I worked with Bruce Lipton on his hugely successful book The Biology of Belief. That gave me many ideas that went into my best-selling book on epigenetics, The Genie in Your Genes: Epigenetic Medicine and the New Biology of Intention.

I started doing scientific research on EFT, and completed my doctorate after having it “on pause” for 25 years!

Just as my whole world was improved by this work, I urge you to open your mind to a huge upgrade of every part of your life!

The way this course is structured makes it easy to learn EFT and apply it to every area of your life. It’s based on the third and fourth editions of The EFT Manual. It’s the authoritative guidebook on how to apply EFT, and the form of EFT it teaches, called “Clinical EFT,” has been validated in more than 100 scientific studies. I wrote the third edition of The EFT Manual in 2013, and the fourth edition in 2017.

As well as chapters from the manual, this mini-course gives you downloadable audios explaining the methods and videos illustrating key points.

The Seven Lessons

This mini-course is divided into seven modules called Lessons. They’re quick and easy to read, and the techniques are easy to apply. My colleagues and I have taught them to tens of thousands of people over the past 20 years and we know that if you follow these instructions, you’re highly likely to succeed. You’ll go through the course Lesson by Lesson, listening to the audios, and applying the techniques described in the text.

The Lessons build on each other sequentially. You’ll learn skills at the very beginning of the course that can make you feel better fast. You’ll then build on those skills in subsequent Lessons, and you’ll gain the ability to tackle tougher and tougher problems.

The Quick Start Guide

The first part of the course is this Quick Start Guide. We’ll learn EFT fast, and start applying it from the beginning of the course. In this first Lesson, we’ll cover the basic acupressure points, and how to formulate the language that works best with your unique brain. You’ll learn how to test your results so you use tapping most efficiently. You’ll tap on one of your actual issues to show you how effectively EFT can work for you from the moment you start!

You’ll go on to learn:

  • Where the key acupressure points are, and what makes the points used in EFT special.
  • The three part formula that automatically allows you to find the words with the most healing power.
  • The essential ingredients in using EFT correctly immediately.
  • How to test EFTs effects on your emotions and body.

How to Use the Quick Start Guide

There are two handouts and one video in this Lesson. Read the Introduction, called About EFT and The EFT Manual. Print the PDF of EFT on a Page, so you can start tapping right away. As you listen to the audios, that PDF printout will show you where the acupressure points are, so you can tap along with the audios in the course.

Watch the video called The Basic Recipe. It’s very short, less than 12 minutes. It’s called the Basic Recipe because like preparing a dish, you’re more likely to be successful if you follow a tried-and-true recipe. I’ll tap along with you in the video, and you’re likely to feel significant shifts in your body right away.

Once you’re done, move on to the next Lesson.

Bookmark the Log In Page

Please bookmark the home page where you log in. Keep a record of your password and username. You need to log in to get access to the course, and it’s annoying to be unable to log in because you’ve lost your password or username. Adjust your browser settings so that they autofill your username and password on the log in page.

If you have more than one email address, also write down the address you used to register for the course. Obviously the system will not recognize you if you try and log in using a different email address.

Always log in first. If you click on a saved, cached, or bookmarked page without logging in, you will receive an error message, so always log in first.

If you run into problems, such as getting a video to play, or a lost password, you can find the solutions on our “Help“ page, including customer service.

Join the Community

During the course, your experience will be enriched if you interact with faculty and other participants. Please join the Facebook group here. Post your insights, share your epiphanies, and be inspired by the wonderful people in our supportive community.

Your Learning Style

Lessons contain material in a variety of formats: video, audio, and text. The reason for the variety of formats is that people have different learning styles. Some are primarily visual learners and prefer video. Others are auditory learners and get the most from the audios. Yet others are verbal learners and like the text instructions.

I encourage you to read the text even if you’re not a verbal learner, and listen to the audios even if you’re not an auditory learner. They reinforce each other, and this enables you to get the most benefit from the course. Watching the two videos is essential whatever your learning style.

You cannot download the videos but If you want to watch a video on your mobile device, simply log onto the web site and watch it that way.

Help and Support

If you run into problems, such as getting an audio or video to play, or a lost password, you can find the solutions on our “Questions & Contacts” page, including customer service.

My Wish for You

I’m passionate about these methods, and I know they can make a huge difference in your life. I’m so glad you’ve made a commitment to your well-being by taking this course. It’s launched you on a course of thought and feeling that can change every aspect of your life. We’ll be connecting all through the course, and I look forward to hearing about the changes you experience.

To your best possible life!


Learn how to do the Basic Recipe

Scroll down to start your next lesson

About EFT and The EFT Manual

Welcome to the world of EFT and to The EFT Manual. You’re about to go on a grand adventure with a technique that has helped millions of people worldwide. Just how many millions? A review of Google Analytics showed that in June of 2013 there were 9,143,000 searches worldwide for terms such as “EFT tapping, EFT therapy,” and related terms (Google Trends, 2013). Analysis of traffic to the five most-visited EFT websites showed 6,965,000 unique visitors that month (Traffic Estimate, 2013). Over a million people suffering through natural or human-caused disasters have been treated with EFT, according to charities that offer aid to these victims (Capacitar, 2013; TREST, 2010; Veterans Stress Project, 2013).

All this activity involves grassroots connection, with people telling other people about EFT. There’s no government organization dedicating to delivering EFT, no corporate promotional department advertising EFT, no brilliant social media guru creating buzz about EFT, and no drug company pushing EFT. Those millions of people tell their friends each month for one simple reason: EFT works. This manual exists to show you the many ways in which EFT helps those millions of people, tell a few of their stories, show you how EFT can help you, andtrain you in the basics of Clinical EFT, the science-based EFT method that has been validated by dozens of clinical trials.

As you discover EFT, and how it can benefit you and everyone around you, you’re likely to have questions about where EFT came from and why it’s set up the way it is. This first section of The EFT Manual addresses those questions. If you’d like to dive straight into using EFT, start with Chapter 3, EFT’s Basic Recipe, which gives you step-by-step instructions in how to use EFT.

Roots in Modern Psychology

EFT has deep roots in modern psychology as well as the ancient science of acupuncture. The two approaches from psychotherapy from which EFT draws most are cognitive therapy and exposure therapy. Cognitive therapies address how we see the world through thoughts or “cognitions” that also shape our behavior. Exposure therapies focus on the therapeutic value of remembering traumatic life events. Chapter 2, “The Science of EFT,” covers in detail the contribution of cognitive and exposure therapies to EFT.

Acupoint Tapping

EFT is often called “tapping” because a central feature of EFT involves tapping with your fingertips on acupuncture points on your body. These acupuncture points are usually referred to as “acupoints.” Research has shown that pressure on acupoints, or “acupressure,” can be as effective as acupuncture itself (Cherkin, Sherman, & Avins, 2009). Acupuncture theory teaches that energy flows through our body through pathways called meridians. Disease can be caused by a blockage or interruption of that flow, and acupuncture or acupressure can be used to remove those blockages. Chapter 2 has more information on how and why acupressure can be so helpful in healing.

The idea that stimulation of the physical body (also called “somatic stimulation”) could play a role in psychological healing arose gradually in the second half of the 20th century. In the 1920s, a colleague of Sigmund Freud, psychiatrist Wilhelm Reich, coined the term “muscular armour” based on his observations that emotional trauma can result in rigidity in certain regions of the body (Reich, 1927). A pioneering psychiatrist named Joseph Wolpe (1958) treated veterans of WWII who had posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), searching for a cure. He tried various forms of physical stimulation and eventually found that diaphragmatic breathing (breathing deeply using the diaphragm muscle below your lungs) while recalling a traumatic memory such as a combat experience (exposure) could remove the emotional content from the memory. You still have the memory, but it no longer triggers a big emotional reaction.

In the early 1960s, an American chiropractor named George Goodheart was introduced to acupuncture. He discovered that he could treat physical conditions successfully by tapping on acupuncture points or stimulating them manually, without the use of needles (Adams & Davidson, 2011). He called his method “Applied Kinesiology” (Goodheart, 1991).

Combining Acupoint Tapping with Exposure

A breakthrough occurred when a clinical psychologist called Roger Callahan combined tapping on acupoints with exposure. Callahan studied Applied Kinesiology, and along with other pioneers such as psychiatrist John Diamond, began to apply acupoint tapping to psychological problems. Callahan first discovered that it could cure phobias. Later, he applied it to other psychological conditions including anxiety, depression, and PTSD. His method is called Thought Field Therapy or TFT (Callahan, 2000). Other therapists also experimented with the stimulation of acupressure points and developed various methods. Clinical psychologist Fred Gallo, PhD, made a notable contribution with his method EDxTm (Gallo, 2000). He coined the term “energy psychology” to describe all the modalities that use acupressure and similar techniques to correct energy imbalances in order to treat psychological disorders.

One of Callahan’s students, an engineer and performance coach named Gary Craig, simplified Callahan’s TFT method and called it Emotional Freedom Techniques or simply EFT. While TFT uses elaborate diagnostic methods to determine which acupoints to tap and in which order, EFT simply taps on 12 points in any order. It dispenses with the diagnostic part of TFT. In collaboration with colleague Adrienne Fowlie, Craig published an online manual from which increasing numbers of people learned EFT. This was the first edition of The EFT Manual (Craig & Fowlie, 1995). It was later published in book form (Craig, 2008/2010). After Craig announced his retirement in 2009, the same configuration of EFT became available as a free online download in the form of The EFT Mini-Manual (Church, 2009/2013).

Between the first online publication of the manual (1995) and the first book edition of the manual (2008), an abbreviated form of EFT’s Basic Recipe came into widespread use by practitioners. The second edition of the manual (2010) reflected this change. The Full Basic Recipe appeared as Appendix A in the second edition, with the abbreviated Basic Recipe the primary method taught. Many practitioners find the original Full Basic Recipe very useful, especially for treatment-resistant conditions like PTSD, so it continues to appear as Appendix A of this third edition of the manual.

This current edition also incorporates a number of EFT techniques previously described only curriculum for Level 1, 2 and 3 workshops, and in the Tutorial section of the online EFT archives. The first of these four chapters focuses on psychological trauma. It describes three methods called the Gentle Techniques that are useful when working with memories that are too traumatic to recall directly. These are described in Chapter 6. Chapter 7 shows how to apply EFT to common personal challenges, like identifying your core issues, interrupting your habitual patterns, and counteracting the self-sabotage that gets in the way of your best intentions. Chapter 8 summarizes professional techniques used with special populations such as children, athletes, and addicts. Chapter 9 covers techniques useful for the experienced practitioner such as reframing, insight, different methods for testing your results, and guidelines for working with clients with serious diseases. Packaging these techniques in this manual rather than in the supplementary materials brings them all together in a single handy reference guide.

Clinical EFT

As EFT became more popular in therapy and coaching circles, it attracted the attention of researchers. They conducted studies of EFT and found that it was extremely effective for mental health problems such as phobias, depression, anxiety, and PTSD (Lane, 2009). Because the manual was freely available, all this research was conducted using a uniform version of EFT, which we call Clinical EFT. This is the form of EFT taught in this manual.

The use of a manual is necessary to ensure that a treatment is applied uniformly from study to study. The Clinical Psychology division of the American Psychological Association (APA) has published guidelines for research. These guidelines determine whether or not a therapy is “empirically validated” (Chambless & Hollon, 1998). There are seven “essential” criteria that are required in order for a study to be considered valid, and one of these is the use of a written manual. This ensures that when a scientific study is replicated, researchers are comparing apples to apples. Studies usually contain a sentence similar to this: “The EFT protocol is described in The EFT Manual (Craig, 2008); fidelity to the method was assessed by means of written check- lists submitted by coaches to investigators” (Hartung & Stein, 2012). In this way, researchers confirm that they are using the same manualized form of the method that has been tested in other studies.

Uniformity is particularly important in the case of EFT. As it has become more popular, and because the basics are so easy to use, hundreds of websites have sprung up and thousands of YouTube videos have been posted demonstrating EFT. A few use EFT as described in the manual, but most introduce variations and innovations developed by those who created them. Some of these EFT variants are probably as effective as the original method while others may not be. Few of them have been tested in research studies, so it is difficult to determine their effectiveness.

It is possible, however, to assess the effectiveness of Clinical EFT, the method taught in this manual, because it carefully adheres to the same version of EFT that has been used in the studies that validate the method. When you use this manual to learn EFT, you can rest assured that you are learning a tried and true technique that dozens of scientific studies have shown to be effective. You’re not using a variant that may or may not be effective. There are 48 techniques described in Clinical EFT. This manual gives you a basic understanding of all 48. More detailed descriptions can be found in The Clinical EFT Handbook, Volume 1 (Church & Marohn, 2013).

To ensure that users always get the same proven EFT formula validated in research, all EFT books in this series have the same “common chapter” on how to perform EFT’s Basic Recipe, found here in Chapter 3. Whether you’re a fibromyalgia patient reading EFT for Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue (Church, 2013b) or a dieter reading EFT for Weight Loss (Church, 2013d), you’re guaranteed to get the same successful formula demonstrated in all those studies.

APA Standards for Evidence-Based Treatment

All the books in the EFT Series embrace the evidence-based standards defined by the American Psychological Association Division 12 (Clinical Psychology) Task Force (“APA standards” for short). These define an “empirically validated treatment” as one for which two controlled trials have been conducted by independent research teams. For a treatment to be designated as “efficacious,” the studies must demonstrate that the treatment is better than a placebo or an established efficacious treatment.

To be designated as “probably efficacious,” a treatment must meet these criteria in one study, have been shown to be better than a wait list in two studies, or meet these criteria in two studies that were conducted by the same research team rather than two independent teams. The APA standards advocate that studies contain sufficient subjects to achieve a level of statistical significance of p < .05 or greater, which means that there is only one possibility in 20 that the results are due to chance. This threshold is the level of proof most commonly accepted in the scientific community.

The current status of EFT as an “evidence-based” practice is summarized in this statement published in the APA journal Review of General Psychology:

A literature search identified 51 peer-reviewed papers that report or investigate clinical outcomes following the tapping of acupuncture points to address psychological issues. The 18 randomized controlled trials in this sample were critically evaluated for design quality, leading to the conclusion that they consistently demonstrated strong effect sizes and other positive statistical results that far exceed chance after relatively few treatment sessions. Criteria for evidence-based treatments proposed by Division 12 of the American Psychological Association were also applied and found to be met for a number of conditions, including PTSD. (Feinstein, 2012)

This manual and other Energy Psychology Press publications use the APA’s style guidelines (American Psychological Association, 2009).

Listing Statistical Significance

Each chapter quotes the scientific studies on the material that is the subject of that chapter, with references listed at the end. Often, the percentage of change in a symptom is listed, as in “pain dropped by an average of 68%.” Every percentage quoted in this manual is “statistically significant” at the level of p < .05 or better.

I do not, however, quote the degree of statistical significance in the text. The reason for this omission is that this manual is intended primarily as an introduction to EFT, rather than a professional textbook. So while it is based on sound science, technical details such as p values are omitted. They can be found in professional publications such as The Clinical EFT Handbook, Volume 1 (Church & Marohn, 2013).

Developing EFT

EFT continues to grow and evolve. Over the past decade, thousands of users have reported their experiences with EFT, contributing to a large archive of case histories and stories. Some 5,000 in the English language are posted on the user archive at EFT Universe (EFTUniverse.com), and thousands have been translated into other languages, including French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Bulgarian, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Dutch, Hebrew, Korean, Polish, Turkish, and Italian. An online conference called the Tapping World Summit (https://www.tappingworldsummit.com) attracts over half a million participants each year. Over two million people have downloaded The EFT Manual (Craig & Fowlie, 1995) or The EFT Mini-Manual (Church, 2009/2013). The numbers continue to grow.

On the solid foundation of Clinical EFT, EFT is now being extended to other areas of psychology such as marriage and family therapy, dreamwork, and organizational development. It is making its way into primary care facilities such as hospitals and veterans centers. It is likely to have a major impact on health care as the 21st century progresses. It is so proving to be so effective in treating emotional and physical disorders that it promises to make a large difference in health care costs (Church, 2010a).

Now that you understand where EFT and this manual came from, let’s get started with EFT itself. First we’ll explain the scientific underpinnings of Clinical EFT, showing that it’s a stable and reliable method grounded in solid science. Then we’ll clearly explain how to do EFT yourself. We’ll then show you how it is applied to various problems, and how you can get the most out of it in your own life. We hope you’ll experience the same health and performance benefits as the millions of others who have used EFT as their gateway to emotional freedom.


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