What is EFT ~ EFT South UK Beginners' Guide Logo

Emotional Freedom Techniques ~ EFT ~ Tapping

A Beginners' Guide to Getting Started

What is EFT?

Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT),  is a modern innovative Energy Therapy Modality, based on the Pathways of Chi Energy known as Meridians, used in Traditional Chinese Acupuncture.

EFT has the ability to address core self-limiting beliefs and deep-seated negative emotions.

The ones that lie behind the fears that hold us back. 

The ones that deplete our energy, our self-esteem and our ability to act for positive change in our lives. 

It’s hard to understand why something as simple as EFT can address our negative beliefs. 

Much research into what’s really happening has already been done, and there’s much more to come. 

Nevertheless, it’s often possible to gain positive cognitive shifts and feel significantly better in a short time. 

Like so many things in life, it's easy to grasp the basics of EFT, and yet it takes a life-time's practice to become truly proficient.

Learning the EFT basics is straightforward.

Anyone, of any age, can easily learn and practice the basic technique.   It quickly becomes second nature.  It’s important to follow the method to begin with.  As you become truly familiar with the techniques involved, you’ll probably find that by using your own awareness and intuition it becomes possible to use it more freely and playfully. 

There are three main aspects to the Basic EFT Recipe: The Tapping Points,  The Spoken Words, and the SUDS scale.

All you have to do is Tap on each point several times in turn, repeating the phrases that keep you focused on the negative emotions and self-limiting beliefs.  You’ll find the details of the Basic Tapping Recipe set out below.

To begin with, it’s best to follow the Universal Tapping Instructions, which have simple spoken scripts (even when it feels repetitive). Until you get a real feel for it. 

There's a lot to understand about how EFT works, so keeping it basic at the beginning provides you with a much firmer foundation.

There follows below:
  •   A description of the most commonly used points.
  •   A very brief explanation of the nature of The Set-Up Statement, The Reminder Phrases, and the nature of a Round of Tapping. 
  • A quick explanation of the SUDS (Subjective Units of Distress Scale) scale, and a Sample Script.

 There’s much more to say about all these different elements, this is just enough to get you started!

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The Basic EFT ~ Tapping Recipe

And the Key Tapping Points

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The Meridian Points

 The nine points in the diagram opposite are the Meridian Points most commonly used in EFT. These are all points on different Meridians. Each point corresponds to a different Meridian. 

There are also lesser used but very important points near the finger tips close to the finger nails.

When Tapping, use two or three finger tips of one hand. (Or both hands where the points are mirrored).  

Tap gently and fairly rapidly on each point, 7- 12 times.

A diagram of the main Tapping Points

EFT Beginners' Guide ~ Tapping Points Diagram

The very first point used is always the side of the hand (SOH). This point is Tapped when speaking the Set-Up Statement (see below for more on this)

This point is found on the side of the hand, midway between the knuckle of the little finger and the wrist bone. There’s one on each hand.  People tend to use their dominant hand to Tap with, but you don’t have to.  You can also swap hands during a Round.  The side of the hand point is also called the karate chop point.

The remaining 8 points are Tapped on in a sequence.

Starting with the eyebrow point, then moving to the side of the eye, then under the eye, under the nose, the chin point, the collar bone, under the arm, and finally finishing on top of the head.

This sequence is called a Round. 

The Tapping Round Sequence of Points and their Positions.

The first point is the Eye Brow point. (EB).

This point lies at the inner tip of the eyebrow (one on each side) on the bony edge of the eye socket.

The second point is the Side of the Eye. (SE).

This point lies directly behind the side of the eye, where the eye tapers, in front of the temples, and just behind the edge of the bone of the eye socket.

The third point is the Under the Eye point (UE).

This point lies on the bony edge of the eye socket, at the lowest point of the curve of the eye socket, in a vertical line directly beneath the pupil of the eye.

(All of the eye points can be found on both sides of the face).

The fourth point is the Under the Nose point. (UN).

This point lies centrally directly beneath the nose, and just above the upper edge of the lips.  In the middle of the little vertical dip.

The fifth point is the Chin point. (CH).

This point lies on the central vertical axis, below the lower lip, in the dimple or crevice that is found above the bony prominence of the chin.

The sixth point is the Collar Bone point. (CB). 

There are two collar bone points, beneath the collar bones and above the first ribs on both sides.  Where the collar bones join the sternum, at the base of the throat, there is a little bony U-shape about the size of a finger-tip.  Drop below this U-shape with one finger, about 1cm. and then move horizontally outward about two or three fingertips.  You can feel a dip between the collar bone and the first rib.  The points are on both sides.  These are the collar bone points.

However, people often stimulate these points by Tapping centrally with a lightly curled fist on the upper half sternum. 

The seventh point is the Under Arm point. (UA).

This point lies half way between the front and back of the body. It lies about the width of your hand beneath the armpit. people often stimulate this point by Tapping with the flattened palm of the hand rather than fingertips. Found on both sides.

The eighth point is the Top Of the Head. (TOH).

The head has particular Meridians that run back and forth from the central line (from forehead backwards) in a zig-zag moving towards the side of the head. 

You can tap just about anywhere on top of the head and stimulate the meridians.  Tap the Top of the Head, mainly the crown.

EFT works by addressing negative beliefs and emotions that have become programmed into our systems throughout our lives.
By focusing on these negatively charged feelings that are bound up in specific episodes in our lives, and Tapping on the specific series of points described above, the negative feelings are cleared.
It's like pressing a reset button!

SUDS : The Subjective Units of Distress Scale

This is a very simple test, conducted by the person experiencing the emotional charge that is being focused on during the EFT Tapping Round. 

Simply measure the intensity of the emotional charge, where Zero is no intensity, and Ten is extremely intense.

It is hugely important to verify the results of each Tapping Round, rather than assume the EFT has worked (or not). 
EFT does work. 
If it hasn’t worked, then there is another issue that needs addressing before the negative feelings clear from your system.  The SUDS scale, is the simplest way to test each stage of an EFT session.
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The Set-Up Statement

The Purpose of the Set-Up Statement is two-fold:  to focus your mind on the negative issue and to help remove your own self-judgement about it.

To try out EFT right now, the first thing to do is focus on a recent episode, during which you experienced a negative emotion.  And when you focus on the incident, you still feel a negative emotional charge.

For example:  A recent irritable moment with someone.  Perhaps at work, perhaps at home. 

Focus on the moment you felt the burst of irritation.  Where were you?  What time of day was it?   Remember it vividly.  (You can choose an emotion and an episode more relevant to you, as long as it’s recent and fairly straightforward).

When first trying EFT it’s simpler to start with a recent and straightforward episode, even though it may be tempting to dive into deeper core issues

For the purposes of EFT, it’s important to focus on the negative emotion that is associated with the episode.

How strong was your feeling of irritability?  Rate the intensity of the feeling on the SUDS scale. 

(see above for an explanation of the SUDS scale)

Let’s say it’s a 6.

That’s all you need to begin with. A short description of the negative feeling, and a sense of how intense the feeling is.  And then to remain focused on the feeling.

The Set-Up Statement goes like this:

‘Even though I have this irritability with (name) the other day …. and it’s a 6.  I deeply and completely love and accept myself’.

Repeat the whole statement three times speaking out loud, while Tapping the point on the Side of the Hand. (SOH).

The Reminder Phrase

The repetition of the Reminder Phrase while Tapping keeps the mind focused on the negative emotion.

 Begin the Round of Tapping by Tapping the Eye Brow point (EB).

Tap lightly on the point 7-12 times and say the phrase :

‘This irritability’.

Then go to the Side of the Eye (SE) : ‘This irritability’.

Under the Eye (UE) : ‘This irritability’.

Under the Nose (UN): ‘This irritability’.

The Chin point (Ch): ‘This irritability’.

The Collar Bone points (CB): ‘This irritability’.

Under the Arm (UA): ‘This irritability’.

Finish with the Top of the Head (TOH): ‘This irritability’.

Take a deep breath in and slowly breathe out. 

Refocus on the specific episode and the feeling of irritability and give it a new number on the SUDS scale.  The likelihood is that the number has gone down. Maybe a 4?  Maybe zero.

Repeat the same round as necessary until the intensity of the feeling has reduced to a one or a zero.


The Set-Up Statement may go something like this for the second/third rounds.

‘Even though I have this remaining irritability, and it’s a 4.  I deeply and completely love and accept myself’.

If the intensity doesn’t seem to reduce, it means there is another underlying issue or aspect.

It could be that you’ve had several very similar episodes with the same person, in which case, focus and Tap on each individual episode that comes to mind until the feeling truly subsides.

The Words we use …….

 …. and the way we use them is really important  in EFT.  In this Beginners’ Guide, a simple short phrase is used, both during the Set-Up Statement, and the Reminder Phrase during the Round. The Reminder Phrase is repeated at each Tapping Point.  In this example the word Irritability is used.  However, if this word doesn’t resonate find another one.  For example:  Annoyance.  Or Fury. Or Anger.

As you gain practice and awareness, you can expand your word usage in a playful, meaningful and effective way.

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…….use your words. 

The words that resonate in you.

If you are trying EFT on your own, the best thing you can do is keep on trying until ... at some point ... you will feel a significant shift in your mood, for the better ... be patient and just experiment ...

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And these are the ingredients of EFT ~ The Basic Recipe, as developed by Gary Craig. Create a solid foundation on which to grow your EFT practice simply by familiarising yourself with each of these ingredients until you find yourself Tapping with ease and naturalness.
The rest will follow!

Please note, the script used above is a sample script to demonstrate the Basic EFT Recipe. 

This is just the beginning.

EFT is hugely versatile, and, with practice and perseverance will address your core negative beliefs and leave you free and unburdened by negative emotions.

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