Emotional Freedom Technique


Sometime back in the mid to late 80s, a Psychologist name Roger Callahan was working with a woman who had an extreme fear (phobia) of water. He had worked with her over countless sessions with no real help as is usually the case with traditional cognitive methods of psychotherapy. One day Roger asked this patient if she would be willing to go sit out by the pool and dangle her legs over the side of the pool. She agreed but quickly grabbed her stomach and stated she just got a major stomach ache just thinking about it.

Dr. Callahan knew some acupuncture theory and knew where the stomach meridian began, so he reach over and began tapping under her eye. After a few seconds of tapping, the patient exclaimed “ Dr. Callahan, the pain is gone.” But not only that, she said her fear of water was also gone. She then proceeded to run to the pool even though she could not swim and actually got into the shallow end of the pool. It would appear that her phobia had vanished, but how?

Dr. Callahan tried to figure out what had changed. How could this be? The only thing he did different was tap on the acupuncture point for the stomach meridian. Could this have done something to eliminate the phobia? The change was so sudden and complete that he couldn’t ignore the possibility. He began to experiment with other acupuncture points on patients and found that he could take all types of fears, phobias, and emotional issues, making profound and dramatic changes in moments instead of months and years. Instead of feeling 23% better after 40 visits he found people were completely cured in only two or three visits.

Roger developed multiple algorithms for each specific problem; one for fears and phobias, another one for addictive cravings, another one for poor self-esteem, another one for post traumatic stress, etc. And, he began to teach these techniques to others for $10,000.00 a pop!

A Stanford engineer named Gary Craig took Roger’s course and believed it was unnecessarily complicated. That the points were the most important thing and you should, in theory be able to tap on all the points without learning special sequences and do just as well. That premise turned out to be true and Gary developed the technique of the millennium; EFT which stands for Emotional Freedom Technique. And, by the way, I am not the only one who thinks it is the technique of the millennium.

If you were going to define the technique of the Millennium how would you start? In order to fit that great build up it would have to:

  • Be easy to learn and do.
  • Be learned and used by anyone with a minimal (20 minutes) training / practice.
  • Requires no special license or certification to do.
  • Cannot harm or do damage.
  • Costs you nothing to learn.
  • So easy it can be done over the phone.
  • Effective 85-95% of the time in three or less visits.
  • Corrects all types of resistant emotional issues regardless of cause.
  • Works whether the patient can remember the original event or not.
  • Would not require the patient to even tell the therapist the painful event.

How are you doing? Would those things convince you that this is truly the technique of the millennium? How about if I added one more item to the list. Are you ready?

It works on chronic pain issues of all types.

Chronic pain? You’re joking right? No I am not joking! I am dead serious.

Since learning and implementing these techniques into my practice I have been able to correct some of the most stubborn and persistent pain issues that I have ever seen!

How does it work on chronic pain?

Remember, pain is emotion and emotion is pain. The brain does not look at pain as pain. It recognizes pain as a threat or danger. As you continue to have pain the brain assumes you are not quite aware that it is a threat to your safety and well-being. So your brain “turns up the volume,” hoping that you’ll “hear it and take appropriate action,” to get away from the danger. If you do nothing or your attempts to eliminate the pain are ineffective (Our healthcare system ineffective? How dare you!), it again turns up the volume making the once tolerable pain an annoyance with words like stabbing, burning, deep, searing, crushing unbearable creeping into your brain’s description of what once was a mild discomfort. So, if the emotional response to the pain can be neutralized with EFT, much of the pain and the driving force behind it can also be neutralized.

I have to tell you that six months ago, before I discovered EFT, I was as skeptical as you might be right now. I frankly thought it was a bunch of B—S—. All my training as a traditional P.T. went down the drain (and good riddance I might add.) My training as an alternative PT was not so shaken though. I had learned years ago to try and open my mind to other possibilities and this was certainly one albeit a big stretch of the belief system on my part.

My discovery of EFT was born out of my search to find a “cure” for all of my issues. It is said that all of us who go into the healing professions do so to find answers to our problems. 27 and ½ years of cognitive therapy, thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours spent talking to psychologists, reading self-help books, 9 years on anti-depressants all trying to find an answer to the things that have haunted me from the time I can remember. Nothing! No help. I still had no answer to my problems. Oh, I learned some stuff and it was helpful to know how things got messed up but the bottom line was there was no improvement in my PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Syndrome). I still had panic attacks; still had some OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder.) Still had great deal of anxiety and several nasty phobias.

So while at a course on guided imagery, I stumbled across a reference to the EFT website; and I decided to take a look. As I read the brief description I thought this looks like a bunch of you know what but I pressed on thinking well, what have I got to lose.

I remember (and will remember for the rest of my life) the next morning in my shower when I decided to try tapping on a BIG issue. The one that had been tying me up in knots for years and a real source of panic.

I proceeded to follow the basic recipe as it is called that I learned from the free manual that I downloaded. This took all of 3 minutes until I had no emotional upset or discomfort from trying to think of the issue. Three minutes. I stood there in the shower and said. Hey, where did it go? I tried as hard as I could to imagine a situation that previously would have made me a panicked and anxious bundle of quivering flesh and it was gone. No matter what I did I simply could not get it to return. And to this day it has not.

OK, I said, beginners luck! Let’s try it on another issue. Same result. Complete resolution with no remnant or ghost of an anxiety or panic attack. Not even a feeling that there had ever been one before. I had complete memory of the events and the triggering situations but the negative emotions that usually accompanied them had simply vanished.

And then, I had one of those rare energetic moments of brilliance that lit me up like a Christmas tree. A thought that made me shout out as thought there was someone there listening to me.

Do you know how many people I could help with this stuff?

Millions, trillions! A whole bunch!

Mind you, this was before I knew it could be used on pain. The very next day, as luck would have it, I was treating a Physician and friend for a back injury. I told him about this experience as he is one of those rare doctors who’s into anything no matter how weird it was as long as it helped people. He asked, “Do you think it would work on fear of public speaking?” I said “I think it would work on anything. I asked him to briefly tell me about what had happened to make him upset or fearful of public speaking and he was unable to remember any childhood event. All he could tell me was that whenever he has to talk at the medical society meetings or give a presentation, he is a basket case for weeks ahead of time.

We proceeded with the basic recipe and within two minutes, he was laughing out loud! (Note: This is a frequent response and a very good indicator that the EFT has worked.) He stopped and tried to think of his upcoming speech and waited for any negative reaction and started to laugh again. Then he did something that resonated with me in a very big way. He leaned forward, grabbed my shoulders and shouted; “Do you know how many people we could help with this?” Gee why didn’t I think of that?

Any way, from that day on I studied, took certifications and practiced with my patients. I even brought it up and introduced it to my students in my Muscle Energy courses that I was teaching. Some thought I was crazy and some wanted me to try it on them.

By the way, I stopped taking all of my anti-depressants and anti-anxiety pills too.

Why don’t you hear more about EFT? Why don’t Psychologists drop their cognitive therapy practices and begin using EFT? MONEY! Yes money. You see, if you can treat a very resistant patient who has tried everything and everyone and completely cure them, collapsing all of their issues in 3 visits tops you’ll lose a bunch of income. I mean think about it. If you can treat someone for 40 visits at $90-$125 bucks a pop why would you chose to use a technique that requires only 3 visits. Income is more important than outcome, we’ve discussed this before.

However, many very honest and ethical practitioners are starting to realize, (just as I did when I began my practice using very unusual and effective Manual Therapy Techniques) that once word gets out you can take the most difficult cases and permanently cure them in a ridiculously short time, you will have ample income and tremendous turnover with constant new patients.

For over a decade, people of all professional levels and of no professional level have been using EFT with nothing short of spectacular outcomes yet there is was little research available until just recently. Dr. David Feinstein, a practicing psychologist who bucked the trend and began using EFT exclusively in his practice, has recently reported some very promising studies. In one study, 700 patients with diagnosis of anxiety, fears phobias and PTSD were randomly divided into two treatment categories. 350 were placed with traditional cognitive therapists and 350 were placed with EFT practitioners. The results were more than outstanding

The average number of visits in the cognitive therapy group was 35 and the average percentage of improvement reported was 25%. In stark contrast, the average number of visits for the EFT group was 3 and the average percentage of improvement was 78%.

As this exciting research grows, more and more studies are being done. Information about the research and outcomes can be found at:

According the Dr. Feinstein, the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology’s 700 plus members reported over 5,000 strikingly effective cases with more rapid and more favorable outcomes than would have been previously predicted using traditional therapeutic intervention modalities.

Even though the current limited number of studies show dramatically positive outcomes, the scientific community must scrutinize the research so as to be absolutely certain that it stands up to examination. Studies and research will continue to be run and this is always a good thing. It’s just too ironic that the research being done on pharmaceuticals and operative procedures is not so diligent. Why? Because there is money to be gained by pushing drugs on our population. And, the faster the better. However, when a technique that:

  • Does not require the use of drugs.
  • Takes a tiny fraction of the time.
  • Produces dramatically positive results in 80% of the cases even when done by a novice.
  • Causes no harm.
  • Can be taught to the individual to do themselves.
  • Is held to a higher scrutiny than the current traditional medical and pharmaceutical companies and modalities, you can bet the bank that money will be lost if this technique turns out to be “the real deal.”

Millions of dollars lost to the Psychology profession.

Millions of dollars lost to the Pharmaceutical profession.

Personally, I can’t wait! Fortunately, I don’t have to wait to use it on my patients, friends and family. I know it worked on me and I was a very tough case. I have used it with a 95% success in my clinic and I’m still a novice. And fortunately you don’t have to wait.

Watch:  EFT Tutorial Video


Internationally Recognized Physical Therapist, Teacher and Author Tom Ockler, P.T. Tom Ockler, P.T. is a highly sought after international presenter who gives continuing education courses demonstrating his techniques to eliminate musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction.


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