How to Do EFT:
The Basic Recipe

Please note: the best way to learn basic EFT is to download the free manual, available

We offer the description below both to give you a condensed reference guide to the tapping process and to give you some idea of what goes on in a counseling session.

The example used is a headache.

Preliminary step: Assess the level of pain by picking a number from 0 - 10. 0 represents no pain, and 10 is very painful. Guess as well you can. This isn't science.

Write the number down in order to see how far the number drops after doing a few rounds of EFT.

The Tapping Steps

Tap on the Karate Chop point or sore spot and say your focus phrase, which might be "Even though I have this headache."

You can also be more specific (more specific is better) by saying,

"This pain in my temple"
"This stabbing pain in my forehead"
"This dull ache above my nose"
"This throbbing pain at the back of my head."

The affirmation follows the focus phrase. The traditional formula is "I deeply and completely accept myself."

This phrase becomes a problem when it reminds people that they don't deeply and completely accept themselves. (Self-acceptance issues often surface in the course of an EFT session and will need to be addressed, sooner or later.)

You can say, instead:

"I want to accept myself."
"I claim my right to feel good."
"I call on my body's healing energies."

or some variation of the above.

Repeat your chosen setup statement two more times and continue to tap on the Karate Chop point.

Proceed to the head and body tapping points. Tap 4 to 7 times on each point, repeating a reminder phrase such as "This headache" or a specific variation of that phrase.

Do one or two rounds.

Take another reading of the headache pain on a scale of 0-10 and compare this to the reading prior to tapping. If it's lower, repeat the steps 1-4 until the number is at zero. If it doesn't go to zero, explore the following options:

Sometimes the pain moves. A headache can shift from the back of the head to the temple or become a stomachache. Shifting pain means the stress/tension center is moving. More importantly, it means that energy is moving, too. This is good.

Make up a new focusing phrase to describe the new feeling and where it's moved, such as "This ache in my temple" and repeat the above steps.

If the pain hasn't moved, and the number is stuck, go to the next step.

Identifying Core Issues

Pain that is temporary and recently arrived is most likely to get eliminated by the basic method tapping. However, long-held pain is usually glued to the spot by emotional pain. Pain that moves around is especially likely to have emotional roots.

For example, I first developed back pain when my father died of cancer of the spine. Without going into details, I found many aspects to tap on.

You can find your own answers if you ask yourself what was going in your life when the pain first started.

It could involve someone dying or an accident, a physical attack, or any dramatic incident.

It could be a persistent problem or anger.

Sometimes you'll find that an emotional upset preceded a physical event. For example, you had a fight with your beloved, stormed out of the house, and slipped on the ice. When you get an emotional reminder of that fight, your back may start to hurt again.

From the above, you could use the phrase, "This argument back pain" or "This anger back pain."

Follow the above tapping stages with this phrase. Do several rounds, and assign a number to your level of intensity.

Be aware that new aspects may emerge, like "She said she was taking the kids," "She called me an idiot." Tap for whatever arises.

If you are still having difficulty getting the number down, you can do one or more of the following:

  1. Read the EFT manual thoroughly. You may find an answer there.
  2. Consult a practitioner. Although EFT is a highly effective form of self-treatment, often it helps to have trained assistance. See the Consultations section for more information.


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