A few years ago, I could relate to this wholeheartedly. Here’s the situation. I received an award for a book of my poems, and as part of it, was required to participate in a poetry reading.
You think this would be an exciting, happy occasion, yet every time I even thought about the reading, I would have a feeling of deep dread in my stomach and I would literally want to throw up. Dramatic response, eh?
Maybe you can relate?
I see a lot of clients with a fear of public speaking–whether it’s giving presentations at work, performing in front of a large audience, giving a wedding toast, or simply being articulate in a small group setting–this is a common issue. (And it can be quite intense for people: one client was almost hyperventilating in my office!)
How did I overcome this deep fear?
EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique): This is one of the most powerful techniques I teach.
EFT involves tapping on powerful acupressure points while repeating a phrase about what you want to clear or release. It’s based on the premise that every emotional upset causes an imbalance in the body. EFT is able to quickly reduce the emotional charge, allowing the body to rebalance and promote healing.
I’ve talked about this in previous posts and it’s still my #1 favorite way to make quick and easy changes.
So how did I use EFT? Every time I thought about the upcoming reading and felt that deep dread in the pit of my stomach I did a round or two of EFT/tapping. I tapped on everything I was worried about–fear of being judged, fear of failure, fear of not being good enough, fear of freezing up, fear of stumbling over my words.
Finally it was the night of the reading and it was my turn. I approached the podium, adjusted the microphone, and looked at the audience. Then the weirdest thing happened.
I realized I was savoring and enjoying the moment: I saw the well-known poet who had selected my work for the award, noticed some friends and family sitting in the back of the room, saw one of my favorite professors. I felt incredibly grateful for the opportunity, and was actually enjoying getting to read my poems and share my work.
It was bizarre–I had a thought that perhaps I wasn’t in the right body, as this was such an unusual feeling for me!
Rather than racing through the reading, I read through my poems in an expressive and animated way. I felt like I was really able to give it my all, and that I did my best. In my wildest dreams, I never thought I would actually enjoy the reading.
And I’ve had clients share similar dramatic experiences:
I continued to use the EFT tapping and find it to be extremely helpful. I feel less anxious, more motivated and am sleeping much better. –Laura L.
I had a total of 4 sessions over two months which included EFT, hypnosis, and Reiki, and I feel I am in a much better place than I was when I first met with her. Even my friends have seen the difference. During the sessions, I was filled with emotion and Deborah made me feel safe and comfortable as I expressed everything that came up.
One of the things I really liked is that she showed me techniques, such as EFT, I could do on my own when I began to feel anxious or blocked. In-between our sessions I would continue to work through issues that came up from my past (childhood and break ups) and when I saw her I would tell her about my progress and we would then work on a deeper layer to get to the root of what was causing those particular issues. I would most definitely recommend trying it! –Karen B.
I’ve been using the EFT method and all in all I’m feeling much more relaxed about everything, which is great. There are still some anxious days, but fewer and further between! I’m actually amazed at how much better and more “accepting” I feel – I’ve made more progress in the 3 months since I’ve seen you than in all the time before that. So thank you very much for all your help! I’ll definitely spread the word about the effectiveness of it! —Maggie V.
Now this is something you can do on your own (EFT is easy to learn), though sometimes people need extra support and come for hypnosis sessions. I show you EFT, we work though the things that trigger you, and you learn other self-hypnosis techniques to help you become a successful and eloquent public speaker.
And here’s some FAQ’s from clients about how to fine tune your tapping technique. Let me know how it goes!
A couple months ago I wrote about my all-time #1 stress relief technique: EFT (or Emotional Freedom Technique). Here’s the article in case you missed it.
Frequently Asked Questions
At the end of that article, I promised to address specific questions about EFT from clients. Thanks very much to those of you who participated (and keep them coming!).
Read the FAQs to find out about using EFT with your kids, how to use it with meditation, if the effects wear off, and more…..
Is it normal for people to get very emotional during tapping? Perhaps it’s a good sign as it shows that you’re dealing with the issue?
Yes, it’s very common to get emotional while tapping (it’s a concrete way you can tell you’re releasing the negative emotion that you’re tapping for). Some people yawn, take a really deep breath, laugh, sneeze, cough—it really varies, but tears are probably the most common way of releasing the emotion.
Do you have to say the phrases out loud? Or can you think them? Are they more effective out loud?
For EFT, you don’t have to say the phrases out loud—sometimes this helps you connect to your intuition and the negative feeling a little more, but if you were in the middle of a panic attack, for example, you’re already feeling it intensely so you don’t need the phrases.
Do you have to tap each of the spots in a very specific order?
Yes, tap in the specific order.
I’m worried that the effects of EFT therapy wear off over time – or if I keep tapping will I be able to continue with this success?
Yes, keep tapping (and tap on the concern that it will wear off). EFT is a great way to empty the little and big stresses that occur throughout the day. Issues can be resolved permanently. If you feel like the issue returns it’s usually just an unresolved aspect of the issue, so you can tap on the new aspect. (After all, it only takes a minute!)
Does EFT work with kids?
Yes, this is a wonderful tool for kids. Kids in general are much more in touch with themselves than adults, and so it’s often easier to access the negative feeling. I’ve had clients use it in the classroom with their students in elementary and high school, as well as moms use it with their own kids.
Here’s an example from one client:
“My 5-year-old was having *extreme* anxiety about losing her baby teeth (she has a wiggly one so it’s going to start soon) so she joined me a few times in the AM and I used words like “even though I’m going to lose my baby teeth…etc”. After we did EFT, she closed her eyes and imagined a positive way for her tooth to fall out. She came up with it falling into her suitcase when we are unpacking in CA. Pretty specific. She was smiling and happy. This morning at breakfast she told me she’s looking forward to losing them now. Pretty amazing! –Danielle M.
Is EFT like meditation?
One client loves to spend 10 minutes each morning doing EFT and tuning it to herself. It’s a way to listen to herself, which is what mediation is all about. So yes, I would say EFT can be used as a kind of meditation.
Your Next Session
At your next session, ask me to show you Faster EFT (if you can believe it, it’s even faster than the “regular” version). And in the meantime, happy tapping!
Over the years, I’ve tried so many different kinds of bodywork, meditation, and other stress relief techniques. As you know, I’m totally into all this stuff!
But hands down, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is the most effective–not to mention the fastest and easiest–way I know to get rid of any negative feeling (whether it’s in your head or in your body–and of course, we know they’re connected!)
What’s With All the Tapping?
EFT Reduces Your Stress Hormones
A milestone study in the prestigious and oldest peer-reviewed psychiatry journal, Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, has found that EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) significantly reduces levels of cortisol (your major stress hormone). Cortisol regulates a cascade of other biochemicals that affect everything from your digestive system to your musculoskeletal system. The study examined 83 people who received a single session of either talk therapy or EFT, and a third group that just rested. The study found that cortisol declined 24% in the EFT group, compared to 14% in the other two groups. People in the EFT group also had much greater reductions in anxiety, depression and other psychological problems.
You can read more about the study, which will come out in the October issue, here.