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The Evolution of EFT Tapping


Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) tapping is a therapeutic approach that has gained widespread recognition for its effectiveness in addressing emotional, psychological, and physical issues.

The history of EFT tapping is rooted in traditional Chinese medicine’s use of energy meridians and acupuncture. This millennia of tradition was the starting point for what we today know at clinical eft. Here I explore the evolution of EFT tapping through the pivotal work of Dr. George Goodheart, Dr. John Diamond, Dr. Roger Callahan, Gary Craig, and Dawson Church, each of whom left an indelible mark on the field.

I. The Foundations of EFT Tapping: Dr. George Goodheart

The roots of EFT tapping can be traced back to the field of Applied Kinesiology, which Dr. George Goodheart pioneered. In the 1960s, Goodheart developed this holistic approach to health, blending elements of chiropractic care with insights from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Applied Kinesiology focuses on the concept of muscle testing to identify and treat physical and psychological imbalances in the body.

Goodheart’s work laid the foundation for the connection between muscle groups and the body’s energy meridians, a key component of EFT tapping. By identifying specific muscles associated with various energy meridians, Goodheart provided a crucial link between physical and psychological well-being, setting the stage for further advancements in tapping therapies.

II. Dr. John Diamond: The Link Between Meridians and Emotions

Dr. John Diamond, a prominent psychiatrist and author, contributed to the evolution of EFT tapping by exploring the relationship between energy meridians and emotions. Diamond recognized that physical and emotional health were deeply interconnected, and he introduced the idea of “psychological reversal.” This concept suggested that unresolved emotional issues could block the body’s natural healing processes.

Diamond’s work contributed to the understanding that unresolved emotional issues could manifest as physical discomfort or disease, emphasizing the importance of addressing emotional health to achieve overall well-being. His insights provided a stepping stone toward the development of tapping techniques that directly targeted emotional issues.

III. Thought Field Therapy (TFT): Dr. Roger Callahan

Dr. Roger Callahan, a clinical psychologist, introduced a breakthrough technique called Thought Field Therapy (TFT) in the 1980s, which is considered the precursor to modern EFT tapping. TFT focuses on tapping specific meridian points on the body to address emotional and psychological issues, drawing from the principles of Applied Kinesiology and TCM.

One of Callahan’s key contributions was the concept of “thought fields.” He proposed that negative emotions were associated with specific thought fields or energy imbalances within the body. By tapping on specific acupressure points while focusing on the issue, individuals could theoretically reprogram their thought fields, alleviating emotional distress.

However, TFT had limitations, as it required complex algorithms to determine which meridian points to tap. This made it less accessible to the general public and led to the development of a more user-friendly and simplified approach—Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT).

IV. Gary Craig and the Transformation of EFT Tapping

The modern history of EFT tapping, as we know it today, is primarily attributed to Gary Craig. Craig, an engineer and personal performance coach, was introduced to TFT and recognized its potential for personal transformation. He began experimenting with the technique, eventually simplifying it to create a systematic and accessible method.

Craig’s pivotal contributions to EFT included the development of a standardized set of meridian points for tapping, as opposed to the complex algorithms used in TFT. He also emphasized the importance of verbal affirmations during the tapping process, recognizing the critical role of language in addressing emotional issues.

Gary Craig’s efforts made EFT tapping accessible to a global audience. He shared his discoveries through workshops, publications, and online resources, including the first EFT course and the EFT manual. This propelled EFT into the mainstream and made it a valuable tool for addressing emotional and psychological issues.

V. Dawson Church and Scientific Validation

As EFT tapping gained popularity, it garnered the attention of researchers and healthcare practitioners, leading to scientific studies assessing its effectiveness. Dawson Church, a key figure in the EFT community, has played a crucial role in promoting research and scientific validation of EFT techniques.

Church’s work as a researcher and writer has helped establish EFT as a credible therapeutic approach. He has authored books, conducted studies, and played a prominent role in creating awareness of EFT’s potential in healing emotional trauma and reducing stress and anxiety. When Craig retired in 2010, Church created eftuniverse and took over as author of the new edition of the EFT manual.

EFT has demonstrated positive results in clinical trials and research studies, although the precise mechanisms behind its effectiveness are still not fully understood. Tapping on meridian points may help regulate the body’s stress response, reducing the production of stress hormones and promoting relaxation and emotional release.

VI. EFT Tapping Today

These pioneers have made tapping available to a global audience. EFT tapping has gained recognition in therapeutic, and medical communities, validation through research, and has also made its way into popular culture. Several public figures and celebrities have openly endorsed the practice, further raising its profile. EFT tapping is promoted through various online communities, forums, and social media channels, making it readily accessible to individuals seeking to improve their emotional well-being.

In recent years, EFT tapping has found its place in trauma recovery programs, pain management strategies, and mental health interventions in healthcare settings. Therapists and psychologists incorporate EFT as a complementary tool alongside traditional talk therapy.

Image by Okan Caliskan from Pixabay