EFT and Hypnosis
Just Another Form of Trance?
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In its original expression, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), a mind-body interaction, is portrayed as a Meridian Tapping Technique similar in nature to acupuncture, but without the needles. Simply put, because of some physical and/or emotional distress, the smooth flow of the body’s Chi (life-force) becomes stuck as it moves along a series of vessels called meridians. In order to move this Chi along, one is asked to tap on various spots on the face, torso and fingers, to clear the passage ways and free up the meridians, resulting in a smooth energy flow and restored emotional and physical health.
What is interesting about this process is that we are asked to tap on designated boney areas. We learned that tapping this way caused an infinitesimal electric response within these boney areas that helped to move the Chi along. Even more interesting is that we learned you do not even have to physically tap if you were in a position where physical tapping would have caused unwanted attention or questions. All you had to do was think about tapping and a process that started out requiring a physical tap, was just as effective with a mental tap.
As an EFT practitioner and a hypnotherapist, this really got my attention. Once I started using it this way and asked my clients and students to do the same when circumstances merited it, I began to realize that not only is EFT an energy healing, mechanical process, but if a change can be affected merely through thought, it is also a hypnotic trance.
In my classes, I emphasize to my students that hypnosis is characterized by the acronym R I S E: Relaxation, Imagination, Suggestibility and Empowerment and EFT satisfies all four: Relaxation is noticeable through the release of muscle tension during the process. You can actually see the client “settle down”; Imagination is automatic. While tapping, the client is asked to become aware of any images or thoughts that may come into their mind; Suggestibility is, of course, what the process is about. When the client comes in, he feels one way, but through the process, when he leaves, he feels exactly the positive opposite; Empowerment is the result of the process. When the client leaves, he feels not only encouraged, but confident that what he has just experienced has helped to change his behavior or negative response in a profoundly positive way.
This debate as to whether EFT is a form of hypnotic trance as well as an energy healing process, has been raging for some time. In an article written for the AMT in March of 2002, Dr. Silvia Hartmann, who denies that EFT is hypnosis, says EFT “….is a physiological (my emphasis) process, based on the meridian system, and it's (sic) effect lies in stimulating important junction points of main body meridians - the 'EFT Tapping Points' “.
Under the heading Human Physiology, Wikipedia says “Human physiology is the science of the mechanical, physical, bioelectrical, and biochemical functions of humans….Their organs and their cells…..” It also states that Physiology focuses on the organs and the functions thereof, which seems to prove Dr. Hartmann’s implied point that EFT is a mechanical process. However, the “mind” is not mechanical, nor does it function in a physical way that we can point to. It has no working parts. We are not even sure exactly where it resides. We are aware of how the brain works with its neurotransmitters and its synapses…but, is the mind a part of the physical brain? Or does it arise elsewhere? We do not yet know the answer to that.
EFT is a mind-body process and though there may be changes to the brain due to its response to EFT therapy, it is not a brain-body process. My contention is that if the changes that occur in our physiology and our brains first originated in our mind, which is susceptible to R I S E, as suggested above, then we are dealing with both a mechanical process as well as a hypno-therapeutic one. Time and again, it’s been proven that EFT works, and often permanently so. In my mind, the hypnotic trance has a lot to do with its therapeutic success.
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Carolyn Rigiero, CCHt, received her EFT-ADV certificate in 2007. Since then she has been teaching EFT both beginning and advanced classes, at HCH in Lafayette, CA. She also uses EFT in her practice, often coupling it with a hypnotic journey. To reach Carolyn, please call 925-408-8644 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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founder of EFT, Gary Craig, nor the owner of this web site, Stefan Gonick.