• Mary Kalbach

What is EFT Tapping?


Tapping has become a popular buzzword ever since Nick Ortner’s documentary The Tapping Solution was released a few years ago.


Tapping, though, does not mean the same to everybody. As I move about the holistic health world, I often have people say to me that they have “tapped” before. I’ve found that this could mean…

…tapping on knees during an EMDR session

….tapping wrists together when stressed or frustrated

….tapping on sides of knees or ankles to soothe frazzled nerves

….tapping on head, ears or finger points to relieve headaches

All of these are fabulous ways to “tap” but none of them are what I’m talking about as a Clinical EFT Practitioner.


Clinical EFT - Emotional Freedom Techniques - was created several decades ago by a man named Gary Craig. He was a student of Thought Field Therapy and Gary’s method represents a simplified version of that therapeutic method.


Clinical EFT involves tapping on acupressure points on the side of the hand, the head, and the torso while reciting a simple script. The tapping piece of the method was developed from Chinese acupressure points and the scripting piece has its origins in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (using intentional language to reprogram the brain’s unproductive “scripts”).


When using the tapping and scripting in tandem, it is possible to soothe and calm the body’s natural physiological danger-stress response, while helping the brain get “unstuck” from repetitive and unproductive thoughts.


The result is usually feelings of calm, relaxation and often there are shifts in perception that help the tapper to have a broader, more productive viewpoint of stressful situations.


Clinical EFT is a self-care tool. Anyone can learn it with a bit of simple instruction and implement it immediately. It is designed - as the name implies - to free people from emotional upset.

Gary Craig believes that even many physical problems have their root in emotional issues. By rooting out the emotions associated with a physical symptom, we can clear problems from both our psyches and our physical bodies.


The basic protocol for Clinical EFT has a few simple steps.  Keep in mind that you can tap with either hand on either side of your body.  Use the hand on the same side of the body you are tapping.  Use two fingers to tap gently on each point.  Here are the basic steps to tapping success:

1.  Identify the issue you'll be addressing.  Make it super specific.  Some good examples are:

this stabbing pain in the right side of my left knee, this swirling ball of black guilt in my gut, the tone of voice when my boss yelled at me yesterday, this feeling of overwhelm like a weight on my chest

2.  Assign a SUD number to your issue.  That stands for Subjective Units of Distress and indicates how upset or activated you are by the issue you've chosen.  Rate your issue on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being a low level of activation/upset and 10 being the highest level of activation/upset.  Jot this number down.

3.  Begin the Set-Up.  While tapping on the side of your hand underneath the bottom of your pinky finger, recite the following script 3 times:

Even though I have this (state your problem from step #1) I deeply and completely love and accept myself.

OR say

Even though I have this (state your problem from step #1) I accept myself and how I feel.

Really try to zero in on the problem as you recite this script.  

4. Tap through the head and torso points.   I begin at the top of the head point but you can start anywhere you're comfortable!  Tap on each point about 5-7 times and repeat a reminder phrase each time you move to a new tapping point. The reminder phrase is a simplified version of your set-up statement so it might be something like:

this pain in my knee, this guilt in my gut, my boss' voice, this overwhelm...


Tap through the following points on your body - remember tap gently with two fingers.  Gentle self-touch is your goal!


TH - Top of Head - tap gently on the very top of the head, some people use the flat of the hand to tap on this point

EB - Eyebrow - tap at end of your eyebrow at the top of the bridge of your nose.  At least one finger should be touching the end of your eyebrow

SE - Side of Eye - tap  in the corner of your eye between your temple and eyeball.  One finger should be on the edge of the eye socket bone

UE - Under the Eye - tap under the eye on the bone ridge over your sinuses

UN- Under the Nose - tap in the space under your nose and above your top lip.  You might want to switch to one finger here.

C - Chin - tap on the ridge on your chin that juts out a bit under your bottom lip.  You might want to use one finger on this point as well

CB - Collar Bone - the collar bone point is not actually on the collar bone.  Find the collar bone and then move to the outside of it.  There is an indentation there that should hurt a wee bit if you press it too hard.  Tap gently in that spot

UA - Under the Arm - this point is about 4 inches straight down from your armpit.  For ladies it may be right on your bra strap under your arm.  You can tap this point with the same side hand or cross your body with the opposite hand.

Tap through all the head and torso points 1-3 times.  Pay attention to shifts in your energy, SUD level, memories, or thoughts.

5.  Take a deep breath and relax into the work you've done in your body.  

6.  Re-assess the SUD - Pay attention to how your body has responded to the tapping.  See if you can identify a new SUD number (see #1).  Compare this number to the number you wrote down in step #1.  If you are still activated, repeat the process as many times as needed until your SUD reaches 0-1.  


That's it!  Be sure to drink lots of water before and after you tap.  You're moving a lot of energy around your body! 


Clinical EFT is a wonderful way to systematically tap through emotional upset and help get your feelings settled and grounded.  If you are tapping with this protocol and seeing little to no results check out this blog post on Trouble Shooting Your Tapping.  


Sometimes you may need to go deeper into your scripting in order to see results.  This can be particularly true for complex issues that may have many aspects to tap through.  If you feel like you need more help, feel free to reach out to me at support@marykalbach.com!


 I am here to help you and you are so darn worth it!

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