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EFT Tapping and Electromagnetic Energy:
Understanding How it May Work

Marilyn Gordon, BCH, CI
       EFT, Emotional Freedom Techniques, involves tapping on various points on the body while using specific verbalizations to eliminate or reduce all kinds of pain and suffering. It's amazingly simple and easy to learn, and yet its results are phenomenal. The techniques can be combined with deep inner healing. They can also be used on their own or in combination with many other modalities.

       The technique works with the human energy system, which circulates through our bodymind in channels or meridians. You tap on specific points to stimulate the free flow of energy through the meridians. As you tap on a point, neuro-receptors under the skin convert the pressure to an electrical impulse that is transmitted to the brain. This is combined with the power of mind or intention. As you focus on a specific problem, you send out your intention for healing it. At the same time, you create a physiological response by tapping on the points. This process has its roots in ancient Chinese medical understanding of meridians and energy systems: in acupressure, in acupuncture, in meditation, in prayer, in the great healing modalities of the world.

       In the same way that a computer responds by having a human being tap on its keys, or a television responds to remote control, so too can signals be given to the energy system of the human organism.

The Energy of the Universe

        The entire universe is made of energy. It is the basis of all that is. This energy exists as the substrata of all existence. It is electromagnetic and intelligent, and we can experience how it is organized into systems by looking at all the forms around us - especially human systems. Tapping on gateways to the channels in which energy flows is a key to allowing energy to flow more freely, to create healing and open the gateways of human consciousness.

       Everything can benefit from an increased flow of healing energy and from the intention of the mind to heal. Here are some of the human issues that have been positively influenced by working with energy: addictive cravings (food, cigarettes, alcohol, drugs), allergies, anxiety and panic attacks, anger, compulsions, depression and sadness, dyslexia, self image and self esteem. Other issues are: fears and phobias, grief and loss, guilt, insomnia, negative memories, nightmares, pain, physical symptoms (fibromyalgia, arthritis, back & neck pain) and other physical healing. Other situations helped with tapping are: peak performance (golf, public speaking, performing in public), post-traumatic stress disorder, sexual abuse issues, all kinds of fears and phobias (bridges, being alone, claustrophobia, computers, dentists, flying, driving, elevators, heights, needles, public speaking, fear of snakes or spiders) and many more.

       You could speculate at length as to how and why this special tapping technique works. One important explanation is that it works to create a free flow of "chi" or energy in the body's energy system. Energy is the life force of the universe. It's the electromagnetic field that underlies all that is, the vitality in all creation. We are working with this energy field when we use this technique.

       The human energy field is similar to other kinds of electrical systems. When there is a disruption in a mechanism, you notice static or noise. In the case of humans, you notice various kinds of impediments or problems. When you are able to dissolve the static or noise, you can help the mechanism to run smoothly, with fewer disruptions. Your TV or computer, for example, runs more smoothly by making some adjustments. So, too, does the human energy system. Almost as if you had a remote control or a keyboard, you can "tap in" the appropriate code, which will create more peace in the system, help the energy to smooth out and work optimally.

Brain Signals, Words and the Bodymind
       There may also be a biological component to the success with tapping techniques. By tapping on acupressure points, you are stimulating and releasing endorphins, the pleasure chemicals that send well-being signals to your brain. There is the additional component of language in the tapping process. You don't simply tap; you talk, as well. You talk about the original dilemmas, and your phrasing focuses the healing process.

       Now this is very interesting, as you would think that tapping alone could put the bioelectrical system back into alignment. But there is another component. When we verbally state the problems, we are speaking to the consciousness in the specific areas or issues of our bodymind. Combined with tapping, there a powerful healing response created by the synergy of both the words and the tapping.
Many metaphysicians and yogis have spoken about consciousness in the organ systems and in the entire human system. They have talked about the consciousness in all organ systems that responds to a mind/body approach to healing.

       Yogi Ramacharacka, in his book, The Science of Psychic Healing, has said: "…the organs, parts, and even cells of the body have 'mind' in them…. This 'mind' in the cells, cell-groups, nerve centres, ganglia, etc., responds to a strong thought impression from outside…." What the yogi is saying is that there are communities of cells in each organ system that have their own collective consciousness. So the liver may have its own consciousness, as may the heart and lungs. One may feel sluggish and need to "awaken." Another may feel congested or may be carrying stresses and hurts from onslaughts of the past.
This is very significant, as there is a potent mind/body connection at work in the human organism. Still even more significant is that these systems respond powerfully to "thought impressions" and prompting from both within and without.

       Many healers have seen over and over the power of verbal suggestions on the cells of the physical body and on the emotions. In addition, the practice of mindfulness, in which we pay attention to whatever is at hand, brings a powerful awareness to the issue and creates significant change through that attention.

Electrical Pathways

       We combine this verbal attention with a natural physiological response, which comes from tapping on energy points. What we get is a combination of electricity, biology and consciousness. The smoothing out of the electrical pathways, combined with the biochemical production of endorphins and other biochemical elements, combined with our connection with consciousness - all create a powerful healing response. We're working here with specific acupuncture points and the ancient healing pathways called meridians. We are also contacting the consciousness of the bodymind with our words and with our intention.

       You might even say that each time we state the issue, it is like a tiny "prayer" sent in the direction of the distress. And the tap is like a knock on the door of the bodymind. Whatever may be the explanation for how it works, it works.

Intention and Mind Power

        Many people have asked whether their own intention or that of the practitioner plays a role in this process. And the answer is most definitely: "Yes." Intention in the world of healing means that the mind or consciousness is clearly focused upon the work being done. This flow of consciousness gives direction to the healing power. When mind and the healing power are in alignment and are focused upon something, the healing power goes to work in a natural even stream of healing that flows from the unseen Source. The one who is focusing the conscious power is then a vehicle for the universal energy to flow through.

       In this work with energy therapy, the power of the healing mind is of great importance. It is not simply that the acupressure meridians are tapped or that you are saying the appropriate words. It is that you are connected with the source of healing, and this becomes an intentional process.

       Experiments have been done to show the contribution of the energized healing mind. One of the most noted is with the pendulum. The mind can tell it to move a certain way to indicate either "yes" or "no." Amazingly, the pendulum feels the urgings of this charged consciousness and sways to the left, to the right, up and down or in a circle. This is known as "ideomotor action."

       In the field of healing, there is always the use of mind power. The everyday mind and ego get out of the way, and the power is turned on enough so that it communicates vibrationally to the recipient. The recipient can be your own self or another. In the tapping, the vibration of the words and the energy in the fingertips or simply in the mental attention can move matter and form in the direction of healing.

       This is an important part of the process. It involves bringing one's self into a high state of faith, focusing the mind intently, and getting the ego out of the way to set free a flowing steam of healing energy.

Healing and Prayer

        This leads us naturally to the important topic of prayer. It too requires that the conscious mind or ego be moved aside for the moment, and another level of thought that is infused with spirit remains.
In a way, the tapping process, itself, can be seen as a form of prayer. While tapping, you are, in a way, knocking at the doors of consciousness, "asking" that life situations be released and relieved. These prayers often bring rapid results. In a way, the process can be seen as a form of supplication to the universe. It is a way of bringing focused consciousness to bear upon the difficulties of life. The verbalizations can be seen as requests for results, entreaties to the Self to bring release.
        To manifest prayer, we become aligned or harmonized with the universal flow from which the fruits of all requests are received. We need to balance and open the energy pathways, eliminating any constrictions in our self-worth that could keep the flow from coming. Priests, and others in prayer, by the way, often tap on themselves as they pray: third eye, two collarbone points and heart center.

Origins of the Energy Therapies

        A Stanford engineer named Gary Craig developed EFT, Emotional Freedom Techniques. He had a lifelong interest in helping people overcome their emotional limitations. For years, he worked with NLP, Neurolinguistic Programming. Then he discovered the Callahan Techniques, which were later named Thought Field Therapy, the product of many years of intensive research by psychologist Roger Callahan, Ph.D.
In the late 1980's, Dr. Callahan had combined elements of quantum theory, kinesiology and acupressure and had discovered how to apply them to the treatment of emotional disturbance in which he could bring rapid relief for trauma, addiction and phobic disorders.

        His first treatment was with a woman who had a severe phobia of water. One day, after a year and a half of conventional treatment, out of curiosity, Dr. Callahan decided to tap her on one of her acupressure points. He'd been studying the body's energy system, and he tapped her on the bone under the eye, a point for stomach distress, as she'd been complaining about discomfort in her stomach.
He was astonished to find that she immediately told him her phobia was gone. She had run to a nearby swimming pool and had begun to splash her face with water. She then ran to the deep end of the pool, and Dr. Callahan stayed close by her for safety. She was able to go into the water, and her phobia was completely gone. It never returned.

        Dr. Callahan found that he could create these amazing results with many of his patients. He began to develop and refine his notable discoveries. He created a number of different formulas or algorithms to apply to various issues. The algorithms were quite complex.

        In the late 1990's, Gary Craig found that certain meridian spots had been identified as "shortcut" tapping spots, and his work with many people confirmed for him that you didn't need so many algorithms. In fact, he found that a simple method of tapping for everything would be just as good and often, for him, better. He found that the method often works in minutes and can be applied to a wide variety of people, such as children and others who may not want to talk about their issues.

        According to Gary, EFT covers "a wide variety of problems with one elegant routine." He feels that all the energy meridians are connected and intertwined so that tapping a few of them sends balanced energy down all of them. He says, "Tapping on the energy system while being tuned to an emotional problem is an extraordinary healing technique that is deserving of the Nobel Prize. Its impact on the healing sciences is bound to be enormous." Gary Craig's web site,, contains his writings and other information about EFT.

        Though they differ on how to do the work, both Gary Craig and Roger Callahan have a similar philosophy on the causes of emotional distress. They believe that thoughts are constantly creating patterns of electrical energy that result in emotional experiences through the release of hormones, neurotransmitters and other chemicals in the body. Thoughts change the body's electrical state. When there is a disruption in the body's electrical flow, we feel it. When the electrochemical disruption is removed, the distress stops. The tapping processes neutralize disruptions in the body's electrical system, which then stops the chemical chain reaction and frees you from emotional and physical discomforts. Gary Craig believes that "the cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body's electrical system."

        Since these discoveries, others have made their contributions to the field of energy therapy. The variations are numerous (including the combination of hypnotherapy with energy therapy). Some of the other variations are included here as well. It remains to be seen how the work will evolve. Suffice it to say that the contribution is an enormous breakthrough in the field of human transformation.

Combining EFT with Hypnotherapy

        EFT techniques can be used before and during hypnotherapy. When done during hypnotherapy, it is often used as a release technique for emotions and other issues that may come up. If you're interested in knowing more about this, the book Extraordinary Healing will answer many of your questions. Many practitioners of various persuasions are adding EFT to their work, as it adds deeper dimensions and creates more profound results in the great healing work they do.

Marilyn Gordon
        Marilyn Gordon, BCH, CI is a hypnotherapist, teacher, speaker, healer, school director and author with thirty years of experience and a diverse and expansive background in teaching and healing. She is the award-winning founder and director of the Center for Hypnotherapy Certification in Oakland, California, has been recognized in 14 Who's Whos, appears on radio and television, and gives numerous workshops. She is the author of her newest book, Extraordinary Healing: Transforming Your Consciousness, Your Energy System and Your Life. She works in the area of profound mental-emotional-spiritual transformation. She does her best to bring compassion, inspiration and love to all she does. Her purpose is to work with love to amplify the good and talents in others and to help them heal mind and body, and to uplift people in all ways.

©2006 Marilyn Gordon, BCH, CI
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