Use Tapping (EFT) For Better Health

What is EFT, and How Does it Work?

by Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Energy Medicine

I had always been interested in the link between beliefs and health. But after my divorce, I learned —up close and personal—the link between finances and beliefs! In short, I realized that my attitude towards money was creating my financial reality.  You see, at that time, I held the limiting belief that my husband knew way more about finances than I did.

And, like so many women, I thought my marriage would last a lifetime. Boy, was I wrong! As it turned out, during the time when I was having my first hot flashes—first from a medication I took to shrink a fibroid tumor in my uterus—and later from the real thing—I was facing divorce! I was also facing putting both of my children through college.

I remember my mother calling me. Her advice? “Protect yourself.” I had to watch every cent. I was afraid I would lose my house. At one point I needed a new faucet in the bathroom. And I hired a plumber to come remove the old one and put in a new one. But when I saw the price on the new one — $350 — I had him go back to the recycling center and get the old one and re-install it!  To say that I was frightened was an understatement.  

Of course, my mid-life divorce turned out to be the financial wake-up call I needed. In fact, it is what prompted me to write The Wisdom of Menopause. But, at the time, it was like getting thrown into the deep end of the pool, and I had to learn how to swim fast.

In order to change my situation, I started doing heaps of affirmations.  And, as part of my “financial literacy fast track”, every night while walking on the treadmill, I read chapters of Think and Grow Rich, the classic text on prosperity thinking from Napolean Hill written in 1925.  I also read everything else I could get my hands on by Suze Orman and Robert Kiyosaki.    

Tapping and Your Belief

One thing I didn’t know about then, but am a huge fan of now is Tapping. I would rather use a technique that helps me to heal on all levels before agreeing to prescription drugs or medical or surgical treatments.  That’s why I like Tapping and encourage you to try it for just about everything

Tapping, or Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), is a scientifically proven and very practical way to decrease stress hormones in your body. Studies show that people who use Tapping recover very quickly from whatever ails them, often in just a few sessions.

Whether you use it to reduce physical symptoms or for changing limiting beliefs, Tapping has the effect of releasing the emotional memories associated with your symptoms or beliefs. This happens when you acknowledge your symptom or a traumatic event while accepting yourself completely and tapping your fingertips on a series of acupuncture points on your face and body. Tapping these points sends a calming signal to your brain reducing the stress response. When stress hormone levels are decreased, you have much more access to the part of yourself known as the “Wise Mind,” the part that can guide you to the right answers and allow you to heal.

How Tapping Works

There are 12 major energy meridians in your body that have been used in traditional acupuncture for more than 5,000 years.  When the healthy flow of energy becomes blocked in your meridians, it also becomes blocked in your physical body. Tapping uses these acupressure points, but instead of using needles, you use your fingertips to tap the energy points on your body. 

When you tap on the energy points linked to a specific organ or system, you input energy directly into that meridian. Tapping, while using a positive statement — such as, “I have everything I need within me to create the financial abundance I desire” — works to clear your meridians and any emotional blocks from your body’s bioenergy system, bringing it back into balance.

Here’s How To Perform EFT On Yourself:

While no technique or procedure works for everyone every time, studies show that people who use Tapping for a specific problem experience significant improvement.  Here’s how you can get started:

  1. Remove Eyeglasses and Jewelry.  When possible, remove eyeglasses and jewelry that you cannot easily tap around. Also, jewelry, especially some gemstones, can interfere electromagnetically with your efforts.
  2. Assess Your Level of Physical or Emotional Discomfort. You can use a scale from 1-10. Be sure to assess your CURRENT level on the scale and not a past level. Don’t’ worry too much about your number. Use this as a way to compare how you feel before and after you tap.
  3. State Your Affirmation. Always begin your Tapping session by stating a positive affirmation to clear any subconscious negative thoughts. Use the following phrase: “Despite my Headache, (Fill in the blank with your condition or situation) I deeply and completely love and accept myself.” You could also use the phrase “I am OK.” You say, “Even though I didn’t get the promotion at work (Fill in the blank), I am OK.” This approach works well with children too. Be as specific as you can. Try naming the root cause of an emotion or the events that occurred.
  4. Use Your Fingertips. Your fingertips have a number of energy meridians. Typically, you use your index and middle finger. You can use one or both hands. Tap firmly between 5-9 times on each point, but don’t hurt yourself. While Tapping, repeat a reminder word or phrase. This may be your emotion or condition, such as “anger” for not getting that promotion or “headache.” Tap the basic sequence (below) for 2 rounds.
  5. Use This Basic Sequence. Tap the end point of each of the 12 main meridians. These are:
    1. EB = Eye Brow
    2. SE=Side of the Eye (also known as OE for Outer Eye)
    3. UE = Under the Eye
    4. UN = Under the Nose
    5. CH = Chin
    6. CB = Beginning of the Collar Bone
    7. UA = Under the Arm.

Sometimes its good to start tapping at the top of the head, then go through the rest of this sequence.  Also, it often helps to say a set-up statement while tapping the outside of your hand (along the pinky edge) with four fingers from your opposite hand.  It can be something like “Even though I am feeling a lot of fear, I love and accept myself.”  You do your set-up statement three times then start the tapping sequence. 

If you work with an EFT practitioner, you may be given a custom code. Sometimes these codes are for general clearing based on your personal situation or they may be for a specific symptom, condition or emotion.

How To Know If Tapping Is Working For You

  1. Reassess Your Level of Discomfort.  After Tapping for two rounds, check in with the number you gave yourself at the beginning for the level of discomfort you felt. If you only have partial relief, you will do more rounds of Tapping. Say, “even though I still have anger (fill in the blank), I deeply and completely love myself.” Or, you may need to adjust your focus if your emotion or pain has shifted. For example, you may notice that what you felt as anger before Tapping, is now sadness, or that your headache is relieved, but you now feel pain in your jaw.
  2. Listen and Notice. When you complete your Tapping session, sit quietly and listen. Often answers or resolutions begin to arise spontaneously from deep within you. This happens within a couple of minutes. Notice how you no longer feel stuck and powerless because Tapping gets you out of your intellect and into your own heart and your own wisdom.
  3. Google “Tapping” or “EFT.” There are many websites that show the major tapping points on your body. If you are interested in working one-on-one with an EFT professional, go to http://www.eftuniverse.com/certified-eft-practitioners. You may also want to check out YouTube.com to watch Tapping videos before you begin.

If you decide to use Tapping to clear up your issues around money, remember that financial freedom begins with your beliefs about money, but also your beliefs about your own worthiness. I have been there. I changed my beliefs — and my finances. You can do the same too. None of this happened overnight. But, as my fears of being destitute on the street arose, and as I loved myself anyway, my fears gradually gave way to inner confidence — and ultimately, financial literacy and financial freedom.

So—here I am—years later. I got my daughters through college. The Wisdom of Menopause turned out to be the biggest success of my career. I have paid off the house that I once was afraid of losing. And, where that old bathtub was, I now have an entirely new bathroom.

Tap Away Beliefs That Keep You Tied To Energy Vampires

No matter what the dilemma is in your life – whether illness, grief, pain, financial distress, excess weight, bad relationships – or if you just want to be more effective in stating and implementing your goals – Tapping really can help.

The reason Tapping works is because you are shifting and then releasing energy patterns that no longer serve you.  So, if you have what I call an Energy Vampire (or narcissist) in your life, Tapping can work to help you rid yourself of the beliefs that keep you stuck in your relationship and that can haunt you even after you have released an Energy Vampire from your life.

The beliefs and feelings that keep you in relationships with Energy Vampires include: 

  1. Feeling responsible for other people’s feelings.  Most of us know that our feelings are our responsibility; others’ feelings are their responsibility.  However, empaths often find themselves taking on the feelings of others.  
  2. Thinking it’s your job to fix someone.  You feel you must rescue the other person and help them fit into an image of the way you believe things “should be.”  
  3. Having intense feelings of shame.  Typically, people who have narcissistic parents feel shame on a deep level and believe that they must serve their parents or suffer the consequences, including emotional and physical abuse.
  4. Needing to be perfect.  Having a narcissistic or mentally ill sibling or parent can leave you feeling like everything is your fault.  It’s common to beat yourself by working too hard, restricting food, or trying to be perfect in other ways and always feeling like you fall short.
  5. Blaming yourself for your good fortune.  Empaths who are involved with narcissists often think that blaming themselves and feeling guilty protects them somehow from the narcissist’s moods and bad behavior.
  6. Feeling you are not good enough.  Many empaths involved with narcissists feel that they are “not good enough” and that they have to earn love.  

If you have any of these feelings or emotional patterns, you are a target for Energy Vampires.  The good news is that Tapping on whatever you’re feeling helps to release those feelings and free yourself from the emotional patterns that keep you stuck in relationships with Energy Vampires.  For example, you can use the phrase “even though I feel that I am not good enough, I love and respect myself.”  Or, “Even though I punish myself by trying to be perfect, I love and respect myself.”  

Resources:

There are many resources to help you get started with Tapping. Here are a few that I find essential:

  1. The Tapping Solution: A Revolutionary System for Stress-Free Living, by Nick Ortner.
  2. The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss & Body Confidence: A Woman’s Guide to Stressing Less, Weighing Less, and Loving More, by Jessica Ortner.
  3. The Tapping Solution for Pain Relief: A Step-by-Step Guide to Reducing and Eliminating Chronic Pain, by Nick Ortner.
Last Updated: February 5, 2018

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D., is a visionary pioneer and a leading authority in the field of women’s health and wellness. Recognizing the unity of body, mind, and spirit, she empowers women to trust their inner wisdom, their connection with Source, and their ability to truly flourish.

Comments

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  1. Melinda
    2 weeks ago

    I have not seen improvement from tapping, and feel that I must not be doing it correctly. It all seems so negative to me. If I was to tap while saying anger, for example, by the end, I am REALLY ANGRY and have to add frustration and failure to the list. How does tapping a negative emotion bring about a positive change? I’ve read books and watched videos, but I always seem to feel worse after tapping. Sorry, I just don’t get this.

    1. Christiane Northrup
      5 days ago

      Generally speaking, you’ll find that when you get to a negative emotion, it begins to release as you say ” I love and accept myself”. What you’re doing with tapping is bringing understanding, forgiveness, and a free perspective to the beliefs behind the feeling. But first you have to truly FEEL it and then accept yourself while feeling it. See if that works for you.

  2. Torill Sørum
    2 weeks ago

    Thanks for the information,I do want to try it

  3. Laura
    11 months ago

    I’ve been told I can use ect to g back in time? is this true…if so, how

  4. Marie
    2 years ago

    I tapped a lot with eft and also faster eft. Both techniques are really good.
    Do you know this website? http://www.faster-eft.com

  5. Bernice
    2 years ago

    My sister-in-law is only 54 years old. She is showing signs of early dementia. After several tests, it shows she has white matter in her brain. Is there anyway taping could help her? We are being told they think it was underlying chronic stress that caused it from family matters

  6. Regina
    2 years ago

    I love you, Christiane! I have been following you since I saw you on an Oprah show years ago. With regards to your detailed tapping information — you explain the scientific reason for why it works and you give step by step instructions. After the 10 minutes that it took me to read and understand, I had that moment of, “Oh yeah, I get it now!” Truly wanting to help shows through in everything you do.

    1. Christiane Northrup
      5 days ago

      Bless you for this wonderful comment!

  7. Larry Burk, MD, CEHP
    2 years ago

    I love that you did a blog on tapping. I consider it the “Swiss Army knife” of trauma treatment, and financial issues are certainly a big source of stress. If your followers want to learn my approach which is derived from Carol Look – Attracting Abundance they can find a link to a 9 minute video at the bottom of this article. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/eft-tapping_b_3269995.html

  8. Mary
    2 years ago

    I am taking a leap of faith for my future and investing in myself. Was just accepted to a BSN program and just turned 50 . I thinking must be crazy at times too. Divorced after 20 yrs, oldest daughter in her freshman yr of college, youngest a jr in hight school. I’m just going in with the thought of learning to take care of myself while helping others see themselves through the healing process. As well as possibly making a living wage above 12.00/hr till I’m 70… so I can at least realize a life for myself and daughters too. I have no idea where this journey will take me but I have hope it will be a better place

    1. Christiane Northrup
      2 years ago

      You are really just beginning. And investing in yourself is the smartest move you’ll ever make! Bravo!!

  9. Monika
    2 years ago

    Thank you Dr. Northrup. I had purchased a video on tapping previously and it simply did not resonate with me because they spent so much time focusing on people going into therapy to determine old, underlying issues and did not spend enough time simply explaining the tapping technique. After reading your article it makes much more sense and I look forward to using this technique again with what I am certain will be much better results. Bless you for all you do.

  10. Margaret
    2 years ago

    I can’t retire because I went through a divorce that ruined me financially and the ex was abusive so I have ptsd. I am 75 and creative so I am surviving but want to retire and practice my spiritual practice, relax and travel. I have done affirmations but get discouraged .

  11. D'TaRelle F. Tullis
    2 years ago

    YYYYYYEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!FOR YOU DR. CHRISTIANE NORTHRUP!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love your story!!!!! You are so beautiful inside and out from what I have gathered. You are also such an inspiration!!!! You are teaching us that we don’t have to just shrivel up and die. We are and can be vibrant! beautiful! happy! glamorous and having it going on fly and fabulous!!!!!! at any age. YYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!! YIPPPPPPEEEEEEEE!!!!! YIPPPPPEEEEEEE!!!!!!THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR WHO YOU ARE AND ALL THAT YOU DO!!!!!!

    1. Christiane Northrup
      2 years ago

      Now THAT is a most exhilarating comment!! Thank you SO much. I really appreciate it!! And– it’s true– I have never felt more alive or happy in my life!!

  12. Antoinette
    2 years ago

    Thank you Christiane!
    I have read about EFT for several years and receive emails from Nick Ottner, but your very straight forward description finally makes sense to me. Especially explaining the energy points.

  13. Jean S.
    2 years ago

    Tapping works! I have had great success with it as have some of my friends. I have had 2 siblings highly betray me. My anger was massive and ongoing. A friend suggested the Tapping and it worked! I had to set up my statements ahead of time. It is just amazing! Thank you Dr. Northrup for bringing this wonderful (and free of cost) technique to your loyal readers! Yes, lots of good information on the internet regarding Tapping.

  14. Nadia
    2 years ago

    Dear Dr. Northrup,

    First of all, please allow me to express my sincere gratitude for truly empowering me at the time when it was so desperately needed. It’s a long story!

    Secondly, I have been Tapping the 12 main Meridians for a few years now but not for a specific purpose. I began tapping after cleansing and putting on my moisturizer for common sense told me that I would be waking up the blood and it would flow better, making my skin a better receiver for the moisturizer. But as I was doing this, I noticed something completely different. I am 57 years young and after the shower, I would feel very hot and flushed, and when I would tap the 12 Meridans , I noticed a calming effect, like mind over matter, for I would float away from the uncomfortable feeling and then start to cool down. And as the Tapping would continue down my neck and towards my collar bone and above my breasts, the flushed symptoms would disappear. And I would be totally relaxed. I would have this sensation which is indescribable.

    This ritual of Tapping every morning has become part of my routine and now to read your article, I am blown away. I start at the 3rd eye, using my middle and index fingers, I Tap for the count of 30 on each Meridian, then move to my temples, them to the outer eyes, then in the inner corners of my eyes on the nose, then under my eyes, below my nose on the upper lip, then the bone below the inner cheeks by the nose, then on the chin, then on the bones on the outer cheeks below the ears. I then Tap below the jaws, then move to my collar bones and finally above my breast bones.

    I would very much like to share with you some ways which I brought myself out of the emotional and mental”coma” I was in 8 years ago, when my life was spiraling out of control. I have to write this book and your advice /help would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Christiane Northrup
      2 years ago

      This is a most amazing and inspiring story!! Thank you SO much. Now I will tap more because of this!! Really. The first place to go when you want to write a book is one of the Hay House writer’s workshops. BEcause they tell you EXACTLY what is required and how to go about it. Check out http://www.hayhouse.com

    2. Bianca
      12 months ago

      Nadia, this sounds so interesting! Did you write the book? Or is there another way I can receive more info? (Like a picture of the specific points you tap + you tap 30 times on every point? Saying/stating something? Thank you! Kind regards, Bianca

  15. Jamila
    2 years ago

    Dr. Northrup,

    I needed to read this blog post today!

  16. Brigit
    2 years ago

    Thank you so much for your EFT reminder. 20 years ago I took the course after I returned to Victoria Canada after crashing hard while working on a Ph.D program in Australia. I was so stressed out, collapsing and here is the reason leading up to this state. I had done several months of writing and three years of research in Vietnam and SE Asia on the subject what we call emotional intelligence….my work or fascination was in the way the people in non white or developing countries deal with we more aggressive nations …from the developed world …and these are particularly Americans, Canadian and northern European with very dominant and aggressive basis to business attitudes… to the “other” including their support staff and clerks in Embassies and businesses. My cross cultural issues in living and working in the male dominated Australia…and the old boys club in the university particularly gave me the impetus to such a topic, as well as working as a project developer in Vietnam (Tourism school upgrade for personnel in all levels of the school system). What came through time and again the hurtful nature of aggressive interaction caused trauma to the being and yes, often soul of the workers. It was so like the “battered syndrome” impact I knew of the early days in a very dysfunctional even dangerous marriage years ago. After I “dropped out” of the program I was now over 50 years old and really worn down…very much on a downward slope into multiple autoimmune illnesses ….. which took ten years to clear up with diet ( I have a serious casine or dairy alleregy that caused leaky gut syndrome hence the autoimmune disease crash) and finally diagnose of ADHD (combined) which however was buried behind a high IQ and determined spirit. Crashing ment searching for help. Tapping was part of my own effort in treatment…but not until later, much later, when I was able to really allow the healing to take place. I say allow because there were so many obstacles to work though. The psychology of healing must be in place to allow the pathway to follow through. Like all healing the time and place must be made ready…allowed
    You book was a life saver which set up my healing journey, as did other contributors like Wayne Dyer, Carolyne Myss and other Hay House contributors. Now at the age of 64 and finding my way with what may be called Grace. Life long answers: I found the diagnosis of ADHD after trying to go back and finish the degree 7 years ago… which was great to help find the pieces of the puzzle but too I realised by now I was though getting well finally, no longer needed to prove anything. Also time and money had run out. lol Yet today I recognise there is so much more we need in the way to support seniors with ADHD….too many of us do not know or have no or very few supports …including from doctors and research to support healthy aging. Women suffer the most I do believe perhaps are slipping into dementia due to this lack? I recall a tape I hear with you and Dr. Lisa Schultz regarding ADHD and women or adults? Could you tell me if there is any further research or support in this area that is really perhaps in the area of ADHD and Aging? So much is still about little boys and school age children. By the way I am on HRT too and need to be cognizant of new knowledge in this area as so many medical doctors do not recognize this in womens health. We are the captains of our ships. We also really need and honour the pilots we take on board to help us between destinations….in life. Thank you so much Dr. Northrup. Any advise would be so well received.
    Warmest regards and thank you for all you do.

  17. Anne
    2 years ago

    Hi Christiane it is great to see your article on EFT. A tiny detail is that the “T” is plural eg techniques. I am an EFT practitioner in Ireland and have personally benefited beyond belief from EFT. Likewise I have seen amazing shifts in clients sometimes quickly and other times gradually. The key for me is that it is always gentle, deep and really gets to the root of issues presuming it is done well and thoroughly.

    Again and again I have found that while it is an amazing self help tool, working with another brings it to another level completely. The other is usually in an more objective space and can really help with our blind spots. I see it as a dance between two people, one in the role as practitioner and the other as client. An equal partnership with both playing a key role. As Gary Craig often quotes “where two or more are gathered in my name….”

    Sometimes people try EFT and say it did not work for them and this is usually down to not being specific enough. I think it really valuable in an article like yours to put the thought out there that for deeper issues or if tapping by oneself is not working then working with a practitioner can be invaluable. It is so well known as a self help tool that some times people do not think of this route.

    Warmest blessings, Anne Ryan

    1. Christiane Northrup
      2 years ago

      I would start by taking a webinar with Robert Fritchie http://www.worldserviceinstitute.org

      Divine Love will help heal this. Right at the causal level. Blessings to you.

    2. Christiane Northrup
      2 years ago

      Hi Anne- I completely agree with you on everything you’ve said in your comment. There is no substitute for working with another human being who can point out our blind spots!! There is no substitute for good clinical skills!! Thanks so much.

  18. Rose
    2 years ago

    Have tried tapping but this time it was so clear and effective. …relief flooded my body. . thank you. ..just when I needed it most, your email came.

    1. Christiane Northrup
      2 years ago

      Well this makes my day!! thank you so much for this feedback!!

  19. Jerry
    2 years ago

    I am ever excited when I see someone with a lot of reach talk about EFT!! I have been a practicing now for 4 years. I learned EFT back in the late 90’s but back then it was more complicated. Then Gary Craig changed things up and now it is so much more usable. In our city we have a wonderful woman who has led us all into so many changes and bettered our lives by using EFT. We meet in support groups and tap together which just increases the energy of healing for everyone. I have passed my knowing on to others over the years and no one who has ever learned it can ever say it didn’t work. Our teacher has now brought EFT into our local medical and therapeutic community. Because of her we now have 4 certified practitioners in our group and trained 6 more for future certification in the last training she had. It’s very exciting time right now….change and boundless abundance is right at our fingertips!

  20. ANGELA DIANNE
    2 years ago

    YOU ARE SUCH AN INSPIRATION TO ME AND HAVE BEEN FROM THE VERY BEGINNING OF YOUR WRITINGS AND SHARING. I HAVE CONTINUED TO FOLLOW CLOSELY ALL YOUR ADVICE AND
    GUIDANCE OVER THE YEARS WHICH HAS HELPED TREMENDOUSLY AND GIVEN ME THE COURAGE
    TO CONTINUE. I CANNOT THANK YOU ENOUGH FOR YOUR WISDOM AND INSIGHT AND WISH YOU ONLY PEACE & LOVE. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

    1. Christiane Northrup
      2 years ago

      thank YOU for letting me know. I truly appreciate it!!

  21. Gretchen
    2 years ago

    That’s very interesting …. I use some of the facial points you mentioned, for relaxation and/or clearing sinus headaches, combined with the residuals of a number of past whiplash and shoulder injuries. Reaching the points under my arms is currently physically almost impossible, and I certainly would not be able to carry out the manouevre without considerable pain and discomfort. Should I experiment with some of the other facial points such is that at the top of my nose between my eyes, those just above my ears beneath my temples, those between the ears and jaw, or the outer corners of my lips.

    I’ll certainly check the therapy websites recommended by you! My two loyal and unconditionally loving companion Labradors deserve a better quality of life than that with which I am currently providing them … and I,m sure that would have a flow-on effect.

    Regards,

    G.

    1. Christiane Northrup
      2 years ago

      Just use the points you can easily reach. Your body will respond!!!

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