You need to try EFT right now

By Kate Leddy

(Rod Sherwin/
(Rod Sherwin/

You might dismiss what I’m about to tell you as some weird hippy-voodoo junk, but read on because I promise this is at least worth trying.

I was skeptical of Emotional Freedom Tapping when I first heard about it too. The name makes me think of circle time in kindergarten where everyone talks about “just being yourself.” EFT did come with all those words like “self-love,” “inner peace,” “confidence” and “acceptance.” I was vaguely aware of how desperately I’ve needed all of that, but it seemed like it was too easy if EFT would bring me all of that.

My boyfriend told me about EFT weeks ago after he tried it to help him through a mountain of homework. Basically, it’s “an emotional version of acupuncture” that uses tapping points on the body combined with a short mantra that focuses the mind on whatever is causing stress.

There are about eight tapping points: the side of your hand (where you begin the tapping process) the top of your head, the side of your eye, underneath your eye, right above your lip, on your chin, beneath your collarbones and underneath your arm. I’d recommend watching a video demonstration on YouTube or Googling an image of the points.

The side of your hand is the setup point. While tapping two fingers against this point, you say the phrase “even though (insert stress/concern/ailment) I deeply and completely love and accept myself.” Then, you continue through the points with your focus on the stress and your mantra. That completes a round.

It sounds cheesy, I know. When my boyfriend asked me to try it, citing the hundreds of times I’ve felt overwhelmed and stressed this semester, I dismissed it in the same way I’ve dismissed all of those self-love articles telling me I need to call myself beautiful in the mirror every morning.

But then we started doing some research and came across story after story of people who have used tapping for everything from acne to anxiety. They talked about feeling relieved and even sleepy once they stopped, and then in the days afterward they almost immediately noticed a change.

The story that finally convinced me was from a woman’s blog about her experience using tapping for her eating disorder. It was uncanny how similar she sounded to me — about her lack of self-love, about feeling like she was going to be mentally ill forever and about the whole idea of EFT tapping before she tried it.

Apparently, this woman did a tapping mantra about every part of her body that she disliked and continued to focus on getting rid of her eating disorder. When she was done, she actually felt ill and vomited — not something I was hoping would happen in my experience — but from that day on she began to love herself and feel truly recovered.

I was convinced. At least, I figured there was no harm in trying. I tried tapping on March 28 in my dorm room. I wrote up a list of everything that was causing me stress and each body part that I disliked. Over and over I started repeating my mantra for each individual thing. I felt ridiculous at first, but as I started focusing on everything that was giving me stress I started getting tearful. Each “I love myself” felt like a desperate reach for a lifeboat. I wanted peace so badly.

I must have done at least 20 rounds before I began feeling overwhelmingly tired. I decided I needed to stop and lay down immediately, and as I turned to walk toward my bed my vision turned black and I felt myself losing track of the ground beneath my feet.

I fainted. Yes, I literally passed out. I came to just a moment later, but it takes a lot to make me faint, and I was freaked.

As I sat there sipping water, I realized I really didn’t feel different mentally. I was disappointed — I knew this seemed too good to be true and I couldn’t cure anxiety and disordered eating by hitting my fingers against my temple, but a part of me was hoping I was wrong.

The next day I went to my classes and as lunchtime rolled around I started to feel extremely hungry. Because of a bad habit from my days with an eating disorder, I usually skip lunch and ignore the small pangs of hunger. But that day I felt famished and I didn’t want to skip, so I ate lunch. And then I ate lunch the next day. And the next day. That little voice of protest just didn’t seem so loud anymore.

In fact, anything that had been causing me stress didn’t seem so loud anymore. I found myself accepting workloads with more confidence, dealing with club conflicts with more patience and remaining dry-eyed and collected when an overwhelming amount of responsibilities hit (that one is a huge deal—I’m notoriously overemotional and it doesn’t take much to make me cry).

When I start to feel stressed about something, I take just about 30 seconds to tap on it and I feel OK again.

Whether it has been a placebo or not, I don’t care. Something has changed since I tried EFT and I can’t describe how incredible it is to realize that I’m finally starting to get the peace that I’ve been struggling over for years.

If you’ve never heard of tapping, I really recommend you look up how to do it and try. If worse comes to worst, you waste half a minute. But I think if you really take it seriously and try, you could be surprised with what it can do for you.

Kate Leddy is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at [email protected]