My first experience with the new and exciting self-help modality called EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) came in the summer of 2007. I was working on the computer in the early evening, when I suddenly began to crave ice cream, particularly Bud’s San Francisco ice cream, vanilla flavor.
The craving grew stronger until I found myself thinking of going out for ice cream. I was willing to walk ten minutes to Rimping Supermarket, and back, all because I felt I must have vanilla ice cream. Instead, I “googled” ice cream; by that, I mean I typed the words “craving for ice cream” in my computer’s search engine. Immediately, a list of results appeared, most of them recipes for homemade ice cream.
But one stood out from all the rest: “How my ten year craving for ice cream disappeared in 45 minutes and never came back.” It was an article about how an EFT practitioner had helped her client vanquish a long-standing problem with cravings for ice cream. I was ready to give the technique a try. I found EFT (EmoFree.com) on the search engine, downloaded the instruction manual at no cost, and learned the technique. EFT is done by tapping on certain acupuncture points, from the top of the head to the side of the hand, while repeating a set-up phrase. I was asked to give a rating to my craving on a scale of 1-10, and it was a nine. I did the tapping and to my surprise, the craving diminished to 2, which was tolerable. I went to bed, greatly relieved that I hadn’t needed that furtive trip to the supermarket after all.
On a recent visit to New York, I had several opportunities to prove the efficacy of EFT for myself. My arrival at JFK Airport was four hours late due to an electrical storm, and I found all but one of the access doors to Delta Airlines closed for security reasons. This one open door was at the top of a long and steep ramp, and so I found myself climbing the ramp, pushing an airport cart with two heavy suitcases and a small dog. About halfway up, my knee popped. I could not put my weight on it without tremendous pain. I pushed the cart over to one side and began EFT. I felt some immediate relief and so I continued tapping. In less than ten minutes I was able to continue on to my destination. In the morning my knee was normal.
When I arrived at my daughter’s house in New York, she was suffering from a contact dermatitis caused by exposure to poison ivy. At bedtime, she found the itching intolerable and was scratching near the affected area. I said “Let’s try EFT.” I asked her to rate her level of discomfort on a scale of 1-10. She estimated it was a nine. I tapped a few rounds and asked again about her level of discomfort. This time she said, “A one. Thanks. I’m going to sleep”.
EFT is not new. It is related to acupuncture and involves the same meridians and energy lines as acupressure Ayurveda and traditional medicine from China and Japan. EFT was first developed by Dr. Callaghan for curing addictions and negative behaviors. In the seventies, Gary Craig experimented with Callaghan’s techniques and found that the tapping and vocal phrasing, which hail from acupressure and linguistic programming, respectively, were highly effective in many areas of human pain and suffering. EFT works by retraining the conscious mind and eliminating mental blocks. Resistance to change dissipates.
Jaz Goven is a successful EFT practitioner and trainer located in Bangkok. In a recent interview, Jaz told me about her first client and his fear of air travel. All he had to do was think about flying, imagine himself in an airplane, and he would be paralyzed with fear. Jaz helped him overcome his fear in less than twenty minutes and was as surprised as her client at how quickly the change took place. She is no longer surprised. She has helped people lose weight, stop smoking, and overcome fears and phobias such as fear of public speaking or a fear of dogs or thunderstorms. She also uses EFT to help people heal relationships, move beyond anger, deal with grief, and reduce stress. In addition to her in-person sessions, Jaz also offers appointments by telephone. I had two very successful sessions with her by phone. In one session, I was able to lower my blood pressure as we uncovered an emotional stressor I hadn’t known I had!
More than 75 percent of all health problems have an emotional component, and for this reason, EFT can be utilized for almost everything. Gary Craig likes to say, “Try it on anything!” EFT is not alone in the ever–expanding world of energy medicine. What EFT, Zone Therapy, Body Talk, Spinal Touch, N.O.T., Brainspotting and similar modalities have in common is that they treat problems at their cause: the vibratory imbalance within the invisible vibratory substructure of the human energy field.
Energy medicine and holistic healing are no longer arcane concepts but are rapidly taking their rightful place in the world of health and wellness. In the United States alone, 36 percent of adults use alternative healing methods and when spiritual exercise and prayer are factored in, the number rises to an impressive 62 percent. In Australia, the numbers are even higher: 65 percent of Australians choose to see a holistic practitioner before going to a hospital. In India, Ayurvedic medicine is practiced nationwide as part of the federal health system, often used alongside conventional medicine in the same hospital. In Japan, traditional herbal medicine, or Kampo, is covered by national health insurance. It is practiced by many conventional doctors as well as holistic practitioners.
These exciting modalities and many others will be presented at the 2nd Worldwide Holistic Healing Seminar, to be held in Chiangmai, Thailand, on February 20, 21 and 22, 2009. The WHHS will be held in the new Empress Convention Center in the heart of historic Chiangmai and features 40 speakers from fifteen countries. Speakers will include Mantak Chia of Tao Garden Healing Spa in Doi Saket, Dr. Kenneth Dobson of Payap University in Chiangmai, Drs. Rajeev and Suchada Marwah of International Research Center of Natural Sciences in Chiangmai, Dr. Shirley Jong of Kuala Lumpur, Jane Durst Pulkys of Toronto, Shulamit Lando of Israel, and Phil Morimitsu of Hongkong, as well as Jaz Goven of Bangkok, Dr. Philip Parry of Doi Saket, Victoria Vorreiter of Chicago, and Shari Brown of Mexico. For more information about the 2nd Worldwide Holistic Healing Seminar, and to register for the seminar, visit the International Research Center of Natural Sciences’ Website.