By: Anna Barbosa
Reprinted from FMOnline

Have you ever shuffled your feet across a carpet and then touched something and received a shock? Maybe you even saw a small spark at the point of contact. This interesting little phenomenon occurs because our bodies are electrical in nature. If you’ve ever had an electroencephalograph (EEG), you were witnessing the electrical activity of your brain. This electrical activity courses throughout our entire body by way of energy channels, or meridians. Ancient Chinese civilization discovered this energy channel thousands of years ago. In fact, these channels, or meridians, are the centerpiece of Eastern health practices and form the basis for acupuncture and acupressure. Our Western scientists and health practitioners are beginning to find ways to use this vital energy system to help physical and emotional healing.

Energy Therapy refers to a new class of techniques that works with this vital energy system. It is used as a treatment modality for emotional and physiological issues. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is one of these new energy therapies. EFT is built upon the premise that “the cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body’s energy system.” Gary Craig, the developer of EFT, defines this as the essence behind EFT. The purpose of EFT is to address the energy disruption and to balance the energy system. The method consists of tapping with the fingertips at the end points of the body’s energy meridians.

What Does the Energy System Have to Do with Fibromyalgia?

EFT has many applications and can be effective in dealing with physical and emotional pain. Physical pain is an obvious issue for those suffering with fibromyalgia. EFT can be directly applied to pain for physical relief. However, to discover the underlying cause of discomfort and pain, one must explore the emotional aspects of the pain.

There is an undeniable link between our emotions and our physical body. Dr. Bruce Lipton, a cellular biologist who performed pioneering studies at Stanford University’s School of Medicine, concluded that 95% of all disease is caused by stress. This determination underlies the significance that negative perceptions, thoughts and emotions are often the precursor to physical discord.

Often fibromyalgia sufferers tell me that before their illness, they had very active and full lives. There were many demands requiring their attention. Many times there are emotional traumas and difficulties that have contributed to shaping present perceptions. How significant is the contribution of stress to the onset of fibromyalgia? Does chronic stress response exacerbate the illness? Is it the stress event or the perception of the stress event? Does the person feel in control of life events, or has personal control been taken out of the equation? EFT is a gentle and noninvasive tool to address and mitigate perception of stress.

Using EFT for treatment of any negative disruption due to past events can begin to help balance the body’s energy system. When the body is in balance, healing can begin.

EFT can be applied to address any issue, pain or trauma. The protocol outlined below includes terms and definitions which will be helpful as you familiarize yourself with EFT. This is a basic strategy to help you begin applying the self-treatment technique.

EFT Basic Strategy

  1. Choose a specific issue or problem. For the purpose of this example, leg pain will be the point of focus.
  2. Determine the SUD’s rating. This is the Subjective Unit of Distress. Rate the level of pain on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 meaning no pain and 10 meaning severe pain. Determining the level of pain or distress will help to identify any change in intensity after you complete a round of tapping.
  3. The Setup The setup is used to correct any psychological reversal, which can inhibit effectiveness of the protocol. Psychological reversal is caused by negative thinking, which often occurs subconsciously. The setup lines up the body’s energy system so it is as receptive as possible to treatment. Performing the setup requires tapping on the fleshy side of the hand, the “karate chop point,” while stating the problem. The purpose of this statement is to acknowledge the problem and then also create self-acceptance despite the existence of the problem. This Affirmation Statement is repeated three times. An example of an affirmation statement to use would be “Even though I have the pain in my leg, I deeply and completely accept myself.” It is advisable to be specific in describing the pain. “Even though I have this stabbing pain in my thigh, I deeply and completely accept myself.”

  4. The Sequence

    Once the setup is completed, you begin to tap with the fingertips of your index and middle finger on the energy meridian points of the face as illustrated in the picture below. Either hand can be used. Tap about seven times on each of the tapping points while you repeat the reminder phrase, which for this example would be “this stabbing pain in my thigh.”

The tapping points include:

  • EB eyebrow
  • SE side of eye
  • UE under eye
  • UN under nose
  • CH not directly on the chip point but midway between the point of your chin and the bottom of your lower lip
  • CB collarbone or the beginning of the collarbone. This is the junction where the sternum (breastbone), the collarbone and the first rib meet. To locate it, first place your forefinger on the U-shaped notch at the top of the breastbone. From the bottom of the U, move your forefinger down toward the navel one inch and then go to the left or right one inch.
  • UA on the side of the body, about four inches below the armpit

After completing the sequence, check in with your body and evaluate the intensity of the pain. Where is the pain on the scale of 0 to 10? If the pain is persistent, continue with the sequence again, remain focused on the pain and be as specific as possible with regard to description of the pain, even emotions about the pain, e.g., “This pain makes me sad,” or “This pain scares me.”

Like any other treatment, EFT does not promise miracle cures. What it does offer is a level of control to be placed back in the hands of the fibromyalgia sufferer. Your body wants to heal; this is a way to help your body heal. Fibromyalgia is an intense and relentless illness. With the persistent use of EFT it is possible to find pockets of relief, if not a path to recovery.

Anna M. Barbosa, M.A., C.Ht. is owner of The Healing Nexus, a successful hypnotherapy practice in Houston, Texas. She received her Master’s degree in Psychology from the University of Houston and received an advanced hypnotherapy certification from the Hypnotherapy Training Institute in Corte Madera, California. Anna is an advanced EFT practitioner and is dedicated to assisting her clients explore their inner healing potential.For further information on EFT please visit