Posted: 23 May 2024 By:  Reading time: minutes remaining

How To Release Your Stress With EFT Therapy In 15 Min

Learn what EFT therapy is and how you can use it to release your emotional stress. Understand how the meridian system works and what happens in the body when you're under stress. And discover how to do EFT tapping in 8 simple steps.


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The information is presented for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, prescribe treat or cure cancer.This information is not intended as medical advice, please refer to a qualified healthcare professional.

The Ancient Meridian System

EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Technique. It is a method you can use to release your emotional stress by tapping on various points on your body. EFT therapy is a combination of modern psychology and ancient Chinese acupuncture.

Acupuncture is an ancient healing modality used for thousands of years in China. Chinese medicine has for thousands of years known that energy flows in channels called meridians.

The term "meridian" describes the overall energy distribution system of the body. Meridians are channels or vessels. They carry the vital life force, or qi, to the organs and other systems of the body.

Each meridian connects to a different organ and has an endpoint. It is a specific location on the surface of the body where you can access the energy channel. You can manipulate these points using needles or touch.

Chinese medicine meridians

There are several meridians that run through the body

As you stimulate these points, you can unblock the stagnated energy flow. Under normal conditions, the flow of energy in the body is smooth and even. All areas of the body receive plenty amounts of energy.

The trouble starts when negativity creeps in. Chinese physicians can detect imbalances in meridians by feeling the pulse. According to Chinese medicine, diseases manifest when there is an energy blockage. They also learned to fix them by stimulating the points with needles.

Another discovery they did was the mind and body connection.

Our Organs Create Our Emotions

Most meridians have a name after an organ that it controls. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, each organ is in charge of certain emotions. Organs and glands are frequency generators. They create our feelings.

Stomach that generates vibrations

Our organs generate our emotions

So when you feel a specific negative emotion, it is a gland or organ that produces that emotion. For example, if you feel anxious, it is either your spleen or stomach that emanate those emotions.

So how does acupuncture relate to EFT? To understand that you need to learn the history of EFT.

How EFT Was Discovered

Dr. Roger Callahan was a trained psychologist that worked on his client Mary. Mary struggled with a severe water phobia since her childhood. She was afraid of water in all forms, whether from bathtubs, rain, oceans or swimming pools.

Her level of fear was so extreme that even bathing her two children was stressful. This trauma had been going on for as long as she could remember. She then sought Dr. Callahan’s help.

water splashing

Mary had a severe water phobia

He treated Mary with all traditional psychotherapy techniques. Callahan tried cognitive therapy, hypnosis, relaxation therapy, rational-emotive therapy and more. Nothing worked.

This wasn’t the first time those techniques had failed. Dr. Callahan became disappointed with the lack of concrete results. He and Mary made minimal progress during the year they worked together. Mary still felt anxious when she put her feet in the water. Then one day everything changed.

How Mary Healed Her Water Phobia Within Minutes

Dr. Callahan had an interest in Chinese medicine and meridian points. Mary felt a knot in her stomach when she thought about water. Dr. Callahan remembered what he had learned about the meridian system.

He knew that the stomach meridian endpoint was below the eye. So he asked her to tap that spot with her fingertips. From that day forward, her water phobia vanished.

As a result of the experience with Mary, Dr. Callahan deepened his study of meridians. He developed a set of sequences of tapping, to address different issues.

If you had a phobia, such as a fear of heights, you would use one series of tapping points.


Dr. Callahan used tapping to free Mary from her water phobia

And if you were angry about something you’d use a different sequence. Callahan had a student called Gary Craig. After learning and using Callahan’s algorithms, he simplified the tapping sequence.

He later termed it EFT, short for “Emotional Freedom Techniques.” EFT hits all primary meridian endpoints, regardless of the issue. Gary not only simplified the process but also created a community around the technique.

Thousands of people around the globe are now aware of tapping and use it in their daily lives. So what is the difference between EFT and acupuncture?

What Is EFT Therapy?

EFT is part of an emerging field known as energy psychology. It is acupuncture without needles. Chinese medicine requires years of practicing before you can excel at it.

The practitioner needs to learn how to diagnose the problem and where to put the needle in the body.vEFT and Chinese medicine share the same meridians. There’s nothing magical about the EFT points.

They are acupuncture points discovered by the Chinese thousands of years ago. If you put the meridians and EFT points together, you'll notice they overlap. EFT is the shotgun approach to acupuncture.

Instead of stimulating a particular point you tap on all meridians. You can get similar results by putting needles on a specific meridian. But it’s easier to touch the face, chest, and hands than learn the whole acupuncture system.

The diagram below illustrates the meridian points that we use with tapping. These are the same meridian points in traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture. Stimulating these points helps to restore the free flow of energy in the body. They can become stagnant due to persistent negative emotions and thoughts.

Eft merdian points

Meridian tapping points

Tapping point



EB: Eyebrow

Bladder Meridian

Trauma, Frustration, Restlessness

SE: Side of eye

Gall Bladder Meridian


UE: Under eye

Stomach Meridian

Anxiety, nervousness, phobias, addictive cravings

UN: Under nose

Governing Vessel

Embarrassment, deep-level psychological reversals

Ch: Chin

Central Vessel


SS: Sore spot

Neurolymphatic point

Physiological reversals

CB: Collarbone

Kidney Meridian

Anxiety, insecurity

BN: Below nipple

Liver Meridian

Unhappiness, anger

UA: Under arm

Spleen Meridian

Anxiety, nervousness, cravings, self-esteem

TH: Top of head

Governing Vessel

Trauma, anxiety, addiction, depression

Th: Thumb

Lung Meridian

Intolerance, arrogance

IF: Index finger

Large Intestine Meridian


MF: Middle finger

Pericardium (Heart Protector)

Jealousy, addictive cravings

BF: Baby finger

Heart Meridian


KC: Karate chop

Small Intestine Meridian

Sadness, psychological reversals

GP: Gamut point

Triple Warmer

Depression, loneliness, physical pain

If you use all points above, you’re hitting all major meridians. You will only use eight of these points when you learn how to tap later on.

Tapping gets to the root of what’s going on and balances the mind and body. It changes how we feel, and experience the world. To understand why EFT works you need to learn what happens when you're under stress.

What Happens When You're Under Stress

Science has established that the stress response begins in the amygdala. Amygdala comes from the Greek word for “almond.” It is one of the components of the limbic system or midbrain.

The midbrain sits between the frontal lobes and the hindbrain. Another name for it is the reptilian brain. It is the earliest, most primitive part of the brain. The limbic system is the source of emotions and long-term memory.

It is here where we encode our negative experiences. The amygdala is the body’s smoke detector. It identifies danger and signals to the brain to go into fight-or-flight mode.

Previous negative experiences can program the amygdala. The next time you experience something similar it will activate the alarm. If you almost drowned when you were four your body remembers the stressful event.


The amygdala is the body’s smoke detector

The subconscious mind then stores it as a memory. So the next time you get near water, the amygdala will warn you not to get near it. Your nervous system releases lots of stress hormones when you're under threat.

These stress hormones include adrenaline and cortisol. They prepare the body for an emergency. The heart beats faster, muscles tighten, and the blood pressure rises. Your senses become sharper, and your breath quickens.

These physical changes increase your strength and stamina. They also speed up your reaction time and enhance your focus. The stressors in ancient days were real threats to survival.

Today, however, the fight-or-flight response is seldom activated by a physical threat. Most of our reactions today are internal.

EFT Can Release Our Internal Stress

A negative memory or thought from the past can trigger stress responses in us. Your nervous system can't distinguish between emotional and physical threats. So it will react the same way.

Chronic stress disrupts nearly every system in your body. It can suppress your immune system or upset your digestive and reproductive systems. It can even rewire the brain and make you more vulnerable to anxiety and depression.

stressed out woman

EFT can release our emotional stress

Tapping can turn off the amygdala’s alarm and deactivate the brain’s arousal pathways. Touching the meridian endpoints sends a calming response to the body. Tapping increases the body’s endorphin levels. Endorphin is the “feel-good” neurotransmitters.

Retraining the limbic system in this way alters the neural pathways in your brain. After you do some tapping, you lose the emotional attachment to the memory. The brain’s routes are not permanent.

You can always modify them. You can develop new ways of thinking and perceiving the world. Like Mary, you, too, can release debilitating fears, thoughts, and memories. So let's learn how to do that with EFT.

The 8 Step EFT Formula

You can learn to do EFT within minutes. In the following section, you will discover the 8 step EFT formula.

In short, these steps are:

  1. Choose your Most Pressing Issue (MPI).
  2. Rate your MPI between 0-10.
  3. Create a setup statement, using your MPI to fill in the blank:                                                                                                                     Even though __________________, I deeply and completely accept myself
  4. Speak your setup statement three times while tapping on the karate chop point.
  5. Make a reminder phrase.
  6. Tap through the eight points in the EFT sequence while saying your reminder phrase out loud. Tap five to seven times at each location, starting with the eyebrow and finishing at the top of the head.
  7. Take a deep breath and rate the intensity of your MPI using the 0-10 scale.
  8. Repeat, or move on to a different MPI. Now that you have a sense of what you’re diving into, let's learn how to do EFT.

Now that you have a sense of what you’re diving into, let's learn how to do EFT.

1. Choose Your “Most Pressing Issue”

The first step in the EFT process is to start focusing on your Most Pressing Issue. It’s the most troublesome issue that dominates your mental and emotional space in the present.

What’s bothering you most right now? What are you most stressed or worried about? Some common MPIs include work, diseases, or relationships. Take a moment and think about what's bothering you right now and write it down. Or, you can also do it in your head. 

Tapping on a more general issue can improve your mood and make you feel better. But adding details that create specificity draws the focus more on that issue. Pinpoint what happened, people involved, what you felt in your body, and so on.

Stressed out woman

Choose your most pressing issue

As a result, you’ll have a better ability to rewire the brain’s response to it. Maybe the issue you came up with is your fear or cancer. This is a rather broad statement, so think about the specifics behind the situation.

For example, rather than saying, “I’m afraid of cancer” you might say, “I’m afraid that cancer will kill me and stop me from seeing my kids.”If you ever get stuck on the exact language, focus on the feeling.

Or visualize a picture of what happened and then describe it. Do whatever it takes to get a clear memory or feeling, and that will do the job.

2. Rate Your MPI From 0-10

Now that you know your MPI, rate the intensity on a 0-to-10 scale. This is called the SUDS, or Subjective Units of Distress Scale. Think about your MPI.


Rate your stress level between 0-10

What level of distress does it bring up for you? Ten is the most distress you can imagine. Zero means no discomfort at all. Don’t worry about getting the SUDS level exact.

Follow your gut instinct. To see a significant shift in an issue, start with something you can rate at 5 or higher.

3. Create Your Setup Statement

Now that you know your SUDS level, the next step is to craft what’s called the “setup statement.” Once you know your setup statement, you can start tapping.The basic setup statement goes like this:

Even though ____________________ [fill in the blank with your MPI], I deeply and completely accept myself.

So you might say, “Even though I’m afraid that cancer will kill me and stop me from seeing my kids, I deeply and completely accept myself.”

Go on and try to create a setup statement for your current most pressing issue. Don’t worry about getting the wording right. Write anything that comes to mind.

4. Tap On The Karate Chop Point

Once you have your setup statement, the tapping can begin. You’ll start by saying your setup statement three times while tapping on the karate chop point. You can tap with whichever hand feels most comfortable to you.

karate chop point

Tap on the karate chop point while saying your setup statement

Tap at a pace and force that feels right. You can’t get it wrong. After you’ve said the setup statement three times, you’ll move on to the next stage. You'll start tapping through the eight EFT points while saying the reminder phrase.

5. Choose a Reminder Phrase

The reminder phrase is a short version of your MPI. It's a couple of words that bring to mind your MPI. You will speak this phrase out loud at each of the eight points in the EFT sequence.

For example, if your MPI is:

"Even though I’m afraid that cancer will kill me and stop me from seeing my kids, I deeply and completely accept myself"

It becomes:

"lose my kids"


"cancer kills"

Repeat this phrase while you tap on different acupuncture points. You do this to remind yourself of what you want to focus on. It is far easier to repeat a shorter phrase than saying the setup statement.

6. Tap Through The Points

Once you have your reminder phrase, you are ready to start tapping through the eight EFT points. These points are:

  1. Eyebrow (EB)
  2. Side of eye (SE)
  3. Under eye (UE)
  4. Under nose (UN)
  5. Chin (Ch)
  6. Collarbone (CB)
  7. Under arm (UA)
  8. Top of head (Th)
EFT 8 tapping points

Say your reminder phrase while tapping on these points. You can tap with either hand, on any side of the body you want. Tap five to seven times at each point as you work through the sequence.

This doesn’t have to be an exact count. If it feels right to tap 20, 12, or six times on one point, then do it! The idea is to spend enough time at that point to speak your reminder phrase and let it sink in. Don’t worry about getting it perfect the first time, just try your best.

7. Rate Your MPI Again

Take a deep breath after you have finished your first round. Feel your body and notice what’s happening inside you. How do you feel on a scale from zero to ten?


Check how you feel and rate your SUD

Go back and think about your problem and check how it feels now. Keep tapping until your Most Pressing Issue finds enough relief that you feel okay about it. This may mean getting the SUDS level down to a 2 or 3.

Or it may mean clearing it, so it’s at 0. Tap long enough to release your pain. Do five to ten rounds. Commit yourself to get the relief you need.

8. Repeat The Process

Once you’ve cleared your MPI, move on to the next issue you want to release. As you tap, different layers or aspects of that issue will arise. Often you start with one target and then find something else underneath it.

repeat circle

Move on to the next issue you want to release

For example, your problem might be the anxiety you feel as you tap on that emotion. It may reveal another layer such as sadness. And so it continues, until you clear an issue. Emotional problems are often multilayered. You need to face every layer and clear it until you feel relief.


EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Technique.

It is a combination of modern psychology and ancient Chinese acupuncture.

Meridians are channels or vessels.

Each meridian connects to a different organ and has an endpoint.

The amygdala is the body’s smoke detector.

Touching the meridian endpoints sends a calming response to the body and alters the neural pathways in your brain.

How To Start Doing EFT Therapy

1. Choose your Most Pressing Issue (MPI)

2. Rate your MPI between 0-10

3. Create a setup statement

4. Speak your setup statement and tap on karate chop point

5. Make a reminder phrase

6. Tap through 8 EFT points

7. Rate your MPI again

8. Repeat process

Action Steps

Follow the eight steps above to release your emotional stress with EFT. Think about a topic you want to tap on and start the whole process. You learn best by trying.

It may take some time to learn the tapping sequence and points. But the more you practice the quicker it goes.

Download our EFT Therapy For Cancer e-book to learn how to do EFT at home. You will also get bonus exercises that help you find your stressors and release them.

>>Download EFT Therapy For Cancer here.<<


About the author 

Simon Persson

Simon Persson is a holistic cancer blogger passionate about natural health remedies. When he is not blogging, he enjoys nature, cooking, sports, and learning about the latest gadgets on the market.

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