What is the Science behind EFT tapping and how it works


The science of Emotional Freedom Technique or short EFT is new in its approach but, the science behind it is actually the old knowledge of thousands of years. So, how does it work?

Some History about EFT

Gary Craig, a Stanford graduate, and an engineer was also interested in self-development methods. He met Dr. Roger Callahan, a clinical psychologist and the founder of “Thought Field Therapy”, or TFT, which will become later known as “Emotional Freedom Technique”, or EFT.


Craig was soon educated and trained by Dr. Callahan back in ’91. Callahan had dedicated his life for more than 40 years, to find solutions to heal his clients from their “unreal” phobias, fears, trauma and all kinds of stress.


Dr. Callahan had a specific “hard” case he was working on for more than a year. His client had an underlying fear of water and everything in accordance with water. She never learned to swim, she even had a hard time being outside when it was raining.

Dr. Roger Callahan

Callahan used every method he would have known but, the results were slim to none. Whatever he tried, his client couldn’t get rid of the fear of getting killed by water.

After Dr. Callahan had tried everything, he finally one day asked his client to tap on the Stomach Meridian and think of the subject water and the fear it represents for her. His client felt instant relief after tapping for a while on this specific meridian.

Face & Torso Stomach Meridian Points

Callahan wanted to make sure and asked her to walk down to the client’s swimming pool. So she did, without coming into any distress.

This was the moment of truth and the foundation where Dr. Callahan started to create TFT. He developed different sets of algorithms, tapping on different specific acupuncture points -Meridian Points-.

Each “tapping-set” was for specific ailments and other health problems. This is how Dr. Callahan started, not only by developing and improving TFT, no, he also started by teaching it to others.

Gary Craig was one of his students taking the training of TFT. Craig worked with this method for 5 years and also tried to simplify it. He came finally to the conclusion, that keeping a specific sequence of tapping the points, are actually of low importance.

Back in ’95, Craig released his first training video called “The EFT Course“, and a guide for the public “The EFT Manual“.


A Simple Daily Routine to Boost Your Energy

Besides Gary Craig, many others too, have taken Dr. Callahan’s training in TFT and since then have released their version of it, like Fred Gallo.

However, Gary Craig is still the “Father” of EFT as we know it today.

Another man by the name of Nick Ortner has, even more, spread the awareness of EFT in recent years. His bestselling book “The Tapping Solution” is a must-have and a must-read for everyone who is interested in getting better health-wise or, wants to progress in certain areas of their life like career, relationships, personal development, money, and finances, just to name a few.

Nick Ortner

Here is a great website to get a better understanding of The Meridian System

What is the Science behind EFT?

We all do know so far, due to our Biology class in High School, that the Brain does control every bodily function there is to keep up our overall health.

If we do acquire any injury, minor or major, our body, thanks to our Brain, will get into gear and will try anything to get us up and functioning again. In the old days when modern medicine wasn’t around yet, however, our body sometimes has reached a point where nothing could have been done, and we simply would have died.

Thanks to modern medicine, this fatal outcome has diminished and, after surgery and a certain time of recovery, we have made it back and can live our lives once again. Something we couldn’t have done so in the past.

Through EFT, we can literally “rewire” our Brain and will be able to even support conventional medicine and speed up recovery.

The biggest block in any recovery, may it be physical, emotional, or even mental/spiritual, is the belief that nothing won’t really work to get us back where we once have been.

The reason for this so-called “negative self-talk” which also creates “negative thoughts”, is a small almond-shaped structure called the Amygdala.

Location of the Amygdala

This structure, there are always two of them on each side of the brain, is responsible for the “Flight/Fight Response”, something our ancestors had to heavily rely on it to survive.

You can read more in detail about the Amygdala on Wikipedia.

The Tapping Sequence

The following picture shows how to get started and where to tap on the body.

The Tapping Sequence

Nowadays we don’t usually have to fight off a saber-toothed tiger on a daily basis, but instead, we are still under constant stress otherwise.

I.e., when you get sweaty hands, a dry mouth and, your heart rate is going up when you think of your Boss and the upcoming presentation you have to deliver during a meeting, then the Amygdala has certainly kicked in big time.

This structure doesn’t differentiate between older times and our modern world. The threat is the same and our body is reacting “still” the same.

With the concept and the use of EFT, however, we can calm down the response of the amygdala immediately. Scientific studies have been done which will prove this method.

EFT can help us to not only calm down the amygdala response but, in the long run, will also help us to change the way we think and approach certain situations in life and, who doesn’t want this kind of personal improvement?

What can be achieved by using EFT?


First, every healing modality I am writing about is a complementary healing tool everyone can use. It is safe, secure and won’t interfere in any negative way with any medical treatment prescribed by a licensed physician.

EFT has shown great improvement with the following:

  • Any sort of Phobia like:

Claustrophobia, Flight phobia, Height phobia, Water phobia, Germ phobia, Social phobia and much more

  • Any sort of Fear like:

Fear of Darkness, Fear of Animals, Fear of the Future, Fear of Death, Fear of becoming Sick, Fear of Failure, Fear of Poverty and other Money-related issues.

  • Any Physical issues like:

A headache and Migraine, Hyper-or Hypo-tension, Vision problems, all kind of Allergies, Chronic Disease, all sorts of physical Pain, Asthma, Premenstrual symptoms, Pre-and Menopause issues, and much more.

  • Any Personal issues like:

Sexual problems, PTSD, ADD, Dyslexia, Bulimia, Anorexia Nervosa, Cravings, Overeating, Learning problems, Low School Grades, Shyness, Public Speaking, Stage Fright and more.

  • Any Personal Improvement to achieve Success like:

Overcome Procrastination, Achieving the Goals once set, improve Self-Esteem, Self-Confidence and Self-Image, better Sport- and Work Performance and much more.

How to use EFT effectively

The following video, done by Nick Ortner, will show you exactly how to use EFT correctly.




EFT, in my opinion, is one of the easiest methods to understand and learn, as well as being one of the fastest too to show amazing results.

I am using EFT for years and I can say, it has helped me overcome many issues I once had to endure.

It is certainly not a one size fits all and yes, there are people they won’t respond to it in the same way as I do, or anyone else. However, that doesn’t mean they won’t see results at all. It just will take a bit longer for some people.

As a holistic energy practitioner, I know what I am talking about. I had once a Reiki client, who was coming to me for almost 2 years. She was giving herself the gift of seeing me, at least, twice a month.

One day we talked about EFT and I showed her how to use it. She was interested, and she also had a specific issue why she also came to me for Reiki. I had to go away for a couple months, and since she didn’t want to see another Reiki practitioner as I had suggested, I thought EFT would be a great tool for her to use until I was back.

When I saw her again, she felt more relaxed, and she said, that she also did it every day for at least 10 minutes. Nevertheless, she would prefer to use Reiki again.

I am honest when I write this. My client, back then, wasn’t against EFT, she even admitted that it helped her with the problem she was facing. However, she was more comfortable in receiving Reiki, and this too is perfectly normal.

We all have certain preferences, and we also should listen carefully to what our intuition has to say to us. Nothing works for everyone at every time 100%.

Again, I would highly suggest that you will, at least, try it out for 30 days. Watch the video, get comfortable with the method. YouTube has even more awesome videos to watch, some are for specific issues, let yourself be guided.

I also highly suggest that you read Nick Ortner’s book “The Tapping Solution“, it is written in layman’s term, easy to understand and to follow.

I hope you enjoyed this article and please leave a comment below. Perhaps you already have some experience to share, if so, I certainly like to hear (read) them.

Wishing you always an outstanding day

Author: Sylvia Kiliwia

Sylvia Mann has worked as a Geriatric Nurse and as a Nursing Instructor for many years. However, her passion also lies in holistic healing and seeking complementary healing modalities such as Reiki, Body Talk, EFT just to name a few. Spiritual topics about psychic abilities, the supernatural and more are also of interest to her. To be able to "heal yourself" is always the main focus to Sylvia when she writes an article to inform her readers.

16 thoughts on “What is the Science behind EFT tapping and how it works”

  1. Wow! I have never heard of this tapping method before. However, I am very familiar with acupuncture, has done it a few times for my allergies. Thank you for sharing this holistic approach. I am all for healing our body the natural ways anyday. I do not want to put this modern medicine in my body. Thanks for the youtube video, I am doing it now 🙂

    1. Thank you for commenting and sharing your opinion, appreciated.

      I am glad EFT has resonated with you and you are doing it. Let me know how did it help you. 🙂

  2. I had never heard of EFT Tapping before.  I see that it can help with a lot of different issues.  My son has pretty severe OCD. Do you think that this might help him?  It would sure be nice.  If when he is getting agitated over something not being just right, he could use this technique?  

    1. Thanks for commenting and asking.

      Yes, EFT certainly can help with your son’s issue, There might be even videos available on YouTube addressing OCD and how to use this technique.

      The beauty of EFT is that children easily will pick up how to work with it. I would like to hear from you in how EFT has worked for your son. 

      Feel free to share your experience in the future.

  3. I really enjoyed reading your article about the EFT Tapping technique. I am dyslexic and every now and then get really dark thoughts about the future, especially regarding my children and sometimes that feeling of fear creeps in spinning me into terrible thoughts. I am going to look more into EFT and how this can help a few phobias that I have, namely catterpillars they freak me out and get all crazy if I even look at it from a distance. The funny thing is I used to love them as a child and often played until my cousin three them in my hair. From that day on, I had a phobia. Thank you for the researched information about EFT, it gives me hope that I may be able to finally find some healing.

    1. Thank you for your comment and sharing your experience, appreciated.

      Yes, please use EFT against the caterpillar phobia and see what it can do for you.

      Feel free to come back and share your honest opinion I certainly would love it. 🙂

  4. I am a big beiver of the benefits of EFT. my husband introduced it to me yeasr ago and if I am honest at the beginning I thought he looked just silly tapping around vairuos part of the body like it would make a difference. To my surprise it did. Especially whne I had big attacks of migraine that no pain killer woul work, the EFT was a great and harmless solution indeed.

    1. Thank you, Barbara, for leaving a comment and sharing your experience with EFT.

      I am happy to hear that you had good results against the migraine attacks.

      Keep tapping 🙂

  5. Hi Sylvia,
    Great post, very very interesting. I suffer from PTSD so obviously this article piques my interest. To be honest I don’t know much about EFT tapping but I’ve heard from some people that they do help with PTSD.
    Right now I’m undergoing talk therapy and it’s a long and difficult process. Is this something that I can learn to do by myself or would you recommend finding a licensed EFT practitioner?

    1. Hi Ian,

      Thanks for your comment and request.

      First, YES, EFT can be used by anyone on its own and there are lots of good and helpful videos on YouTube as well, who will show you how it is done.

      However, it certainly would be beneficial to you when you could find a certified EFT practitioner in your area to help you get started.

      You also can buy or go to your local Library and get the book, written my Nick Ortner, “The Tapping Solution”, which is easy to read and to follow too.

      Would like to hear from you again if possible, how EFT has worked out for you or not. Which I actually will doubt right on the spot 🙂

      All the best to you


  6. Well, an interesting post, I have never come across the EFT techniques before, but now that I have read your page I defiantly have more interest in learning how to acquire these skills and take more control of my life and behaviour.

    The resources are great, do you know of any good blogs or Forums that I could read to increase my knowledge on this topic. I think it has many possibilities and am interested in self improvement always.

    Thanks, JS

    1. Hi JS,

      thanks for your comment and interest in learning more about EFT.

      The one person I mentioned in my post, Nick Ortner, has a website which you can learn a lot more about EFT and how and where it can be applied.

      Another good source is You tube, there are tons of videos (as always be cautious and select wisely) you can choose from.

      Hope that helped.


  7. Hi Sylvia, great post and well written in plain easy to read text. I have to say my cure for my fear of snakes and leaches would definitely come in bottle (probably Scotch). Do you think the tapping works because it is done on pressure points or is it more related to clearing the pathway of our Lymph Nodes? I have seen amazing results of clearing fluid from the arm of a lady whose Lymph Nodes had been removed because of breast cancer. By lightly tapping the aim was to redirect the fluid so it didn’t build up in her arm and it did work.

    1. Hi Margret,

      I hope to cure your fears of snakes and leaches doesn’t come in a bottle 🙂 However, tapping on the Meridian points also is including everything our body is made of, meaning, every body system and function will be benefit from tapping.

      I am not surprised to hear that the woman you mentioned in your comment had success by clearing out the pathway of her lymph Nodes.

      So, the answer is YES, tapping can help to improve any condition for the better.


  8. Great post. I never heard about EFT before. It is really interesting. Really, really great read. I’ve read before Amygdala, and even though it’s not as important to us today, it’s fascinating how the two of them make us think. Video was also interesting. I will think about trying this stuff.

    1. Hi Alex,

      Great to hear that you liked it and that you will try it out.

      Would be great if you could leave another comment about how your experience was with EFT.



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