Tuesday, 11 December 2012

So what exactly is EFT anyway.

What is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) tapping and what happens at a session. In this article I try to clear up exactly what EFT is, what it does, why you would want to use it and how does a session work.

A few days ago a lady came for an EFT session and afterwards she said “I get it now, I know what EFT is”. This surprised me as we had talked a lot about EFT before she came and she had done a small amount of tapping as part of a group. We talked a little more about this and she said that it may be something that has to be experienced rather than talked about. This set me thinking, she may be right but it's not too helpful for anyone who is considering coming for a session. There must be a way to better describe what happens at an EFT session, and what to expect from it.

If you are reading this I'll assume that you know that EFT is about tapping on yourself and saying a word or phrase out loud as you do. If not, then check out my video on the About EFT page. http://www.eftforlife.net/about

So it's all about tapping then?
Well yes and no, I could make a video and write a set of instructions on how to ride a bike but that isn't the whole story. It wouldn't help you to understand the sense of freedom that you can get by riding, the feeling of exhilaration of the wind in your face as you free wheel down a hill. Of the feeling in your muscles as you pedal up a steep hill. Tapping is the mechanics of EFT, it isn't the purpose. So what exactly is the purpose? I can answer that very simply, the purpose of EFT is to make you feel better. It is a kind of therapy, although I am reluctant to use that word. For many the word therapy brings all kind of images to mind of lying on a couch in a dusty room talking about your relationship with your father and doing this three times a week for the next 5 years. EFT is so far removed from this, it's a very gentle therapy, even for very serious issues and can often times be fun too. Some people only come for one session, many will come for a few, from 3 to 5 while for others it may be beneficial to come for longer. One of the great things about EFT though, is that I teach it, I don't do EFT to you, you learn how to do this yourself and very quickly you can take it away with you and use it whenever you need to. You may feel that you would like to come back periodically if there is something you need help with but once you get EFT it's yours to keep.

How does EFT work with more specific issues.
So now you have watched my introductory video about stress and have hopefully have tapped along and have experienced it for yourself, how do we apply that. Here is a case story which documents what happened in a particular session. The lady's name has been changed and an hour session has been condensed into a few lines but it should give you an idea of how a session progresses.

A case story – period pains.
Julie, a lady in her late 30's has suffered from extreme period pains for all of her adult life. She has found it difficult to hold down a job as she often has to take 2 days off work each month because of the pain and many employers are not sympathetic to this level of sickness. In her words “It's like every single month I experience a mini death. My whole life is governed by my period.”

Many pains are made worse when there is an emotional element to them as well and there certainly was for Julie. She had her first period when she was 12 and didn't receive any support or even explanation from her mother, she just found herself all alone bleeding profusely and thinking she was dying.

We focused on the 12 year old girl (we call this a past aspect of Julie), and she could not only remember the details, she could once again feel the pain and the fear that her past aspect had experienced. When I asked her how the past aspect felt she said “absolutely petrified” and used phrases like “she thought she was dying” and “she thought her insides were coming out”.

After we performed a couple of rounds of EFT about the 12 year old aspect I asked Julie how we could help, what the past aspect needed. She replied “ just to be hugged and told her everything is OK and that it's normal and to explain that it's what happens to every woman” we tapped again on this I could see the relief on her face as we did, it was like a huge weight being lifted.

We continued along this vein, focusing on what that aspect needed and as we tapped a final round Julie explained in her mind to the little girl what was happening and gave her the hug that she needed all those years ago.

After this I asked Julie how she saw the 'aspect' now and she replied “ she's outside playing, feeling great and very grown up and happy to be a women, everything is perfect now” Julie was visibly more relaxed, open and happier as we finished the session. Julie has told me that since this session she hasn't experience the usual anxiety as her period approached and through it she was able to carry on living her life and only experienced what she described as a normal amount of pain.

With EFT we find again and again that unresolved issues from the past affect how we feel now. This is a good example of how changing how we feel about things that happened in the past can make us feel much better now. This is a pattern that repeats for many different presenting problems, for example confidence and phobias.

A typical session.
This was not a typical session, in fact there is no such thing in my EFT sessions. You can find all over the internet people have written EFT scripts that deal with everything from bereavement to fear of spiders, from improving your golf to confidence in public speaking. To me that is not what EFT is all about, what causes one persons anger is very different to what causes another's, so how can we possibly treat them in the same way. One person may be afraid of dogs because they saw their brother bitten by a dog when they were 5, and for another it may have come about when a dog snarled at them when they were out in the pushchair with their mother. Script based approaches such as “I choose to let go of anything that is causing me to be afraid of dogs” to me is simply skirting around the issue. If you come to me for an EFT treatment, we will find the exact moment that YOU became afraid of dogs and treat you for that as the individual that you are.


Thursday, 29 November 2012

Have a happy stress free Christmas!

We live in a fast paced world and for many that creates stress – especially at Christmas. Extra shopping, extra expense, cards to write, presents to wrap and the expectation that everything should be perfect. It’s very easy for things to build up and turn what should be a happy, joyous occasion into a time of stress, tension and frayed tempers.

However, learning to manage stress is not just for Christmas – it’s a valuable life skill at any time of year! Try it – it only takes a couple of minutes here and there and it could help make your Christmas a very happy one.

How can you manage stress?
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a modern form of therapy that has been around since the 1990s and has proved to be very helpful for a variety of problems – from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to anxiety, panic attacks to phobias, lack of confidence to stopping smoking, and many more. It has been featured on BBC News, Richard and Judy and is beginning to be used in some areas of the NHS.

Here is a very simple EFT exercise to help you anytime you are feeling stressed:

As part of the exercise we are going to tap, with our index finger, on certain parts of the body (similar to the meridian points used in acupuncture) and at the same time, breathe deeply and make affirmations or statements.

Firstly take note of how you feel right now, rate yourself on a scale of 0 to 10, 0 is feeling very stressed, 10 is feeling really good. Now cross your hands across the centre of your chest and breathe deeply 3 times. Gently tap on the very top of your head, gently with your index finger, either one will work. Take another deep breath, and while still tapping say out loud “I’m letting go of any stress”. Tap lightly and rhythmically, as if you were tapping along to Jingle Bells. Now repeat the same procedure, tap, deep breath and repeat the affirmation on the following points in order.

Centre of the forehead.
The end of the eyebrow just above the nose – either side.
The outside of the eye, in line with the centre of the pupil.
Underneath the eye.
Underneath the nose.
Underneath the bottom lip, half way between the lip and the chin.
Around the collar bone – or in that general area if you cannot locate it.

Then, hold out your hand as if you were about to shake somebody’s hand and tap on the thumb and each finger in turn at the base of the nail – the part that is facing the ceiling.

Finish with your hands crossed once again over the centre of your chest and 3 deep breaths. Take note again of how you feel and give yourself a score. For many people this simple exercise at times of stress will help them to feel better and their score will have gone up.

The actual words you use are not important – “Letting go of stress”, “Releasing stress”, “Feeling better” or simply "Relax" – you can say whatever comes to mind, these are just some to get you started, and you can change it at each tapping point if you want to. Once you begin to feel better, why not change it to something positive. You could say “Feeling happy” or “Feeling great”, “feeling energized”, again the words can be your own as you become inspired.

If you do not have time to do the whole thing, simply crossing your hands over your chest, 3 deep breaths and say out loud “Letting go of stress” a few times can help.

Managing stress is a bit like brushing your teeth, it is most effective if you do it often, and it’s a fantastic way to begin the day – leaving you feeling great and ready for anything – then as soon as you begin to feel a little stressed, go somewhere quite and re-charge.

Try it you may be surprised how something so simple can make you feel more energized and happier. Tap away that stress and have a very happy Christmas.

For further information please visit my website  at http://www.eftforlife.net

Monday, 10 September 2012

Personal Development and tapping. The beginning.

Even a journey of 1000 miles begins with one step, or so the old saying goes, so here is my first step. I have a direction but not a road map so I cannot tell you in detail what my blog will be about but I can try to give you the birds eye view.

Firstly who am I, well my name will most likely not be familiar to you but so that we are on friendly terms, it is Tony Leake. What do I do and why am I writing this would be a reasonable next couple of questions. Well currently (but not for long) I am a software developer and a Director of a smallish company that sells 'stuff' on the internet. We do pretty well and I'd always wanted to be a Director of something so this all fitted very well for me. It was great, being a Director made me feel very important until the day that I realized the only thing that it really meant for me was that it was now mandatory for me to complete a tax return.

About 18 months ago now I was introduced to personal development by a very good friend. That day changed my life (as have many things since) but I didn't realize it at the time. I guess it was true to say that I wasn't feeling like I was getting much out of life. Oh don't get me wrong I had nothing to complain about, a wonderful wife, 2 amazing children who I love very much and they love and support me too, while not being what I would call wealthy we did not have money worries and live in a nice house with 2 cars and got away on a couple of holidays a year. I know there are many people in the world who would feel amazingly blessed to have my life but for some reason, I didn't.

I never knew really that there was such a thing as personal development, reading inspirational and motivational books, many many audios teaching enlightenment and goals, seminars to go to and new friends to make. And there it was, goal setting was my first huge discovery. I wasn't enjoying life because I didn't know what I wanted from it. Every day was the same get up, go to work and see what happens. Suddenly I could choose what I wanted to do, even things that I didn't think possible before and live once again began to have purpose.

Then the blocks, the brick walls, the ceiling crashing down and I remembered why I had stopped having goals. I simply wasn't very good at achieving them. Oh I'd had lots of goals in the past but not many reached, somehow I would always fall over at the finish line, or get halfway through a goal and get distracted by something else. Nothing wrong with changing your mind but when it's every time you begin to achieve anything something is wrong.

So the personal development had taken me to a place where I had goals again, I had a purpose in life and a bleief that I could  achieve anything that I want. So why doesn't it work, it works for others, I've seen it. I have a pretty good IQ, I've always been pretty lucky, being in the right place at the right time, and now I've changed my thinking from being mostly negative to being positive most of the time. So why could I not achieve my goals?

This is where the real journey begins, the one of self discovery. Why do I get close to a goal and then begin to doubt myself, why do I start a project with gusto and then suddenly lose motivation and convince myself that I didn't really want to do that in the first place. Why do I find myself suddenly getting frustrated or angry for no reason. Why do seem to get more stressed than other people, why do I (secretly) feel inferior in many ways to other people. Why can I (in my mind) make a fantastic speech in front of a group of people, and even come up with the words, I can be interesting, engaging, charming and the words just flow to me. Then when I try to do it for real I just fall flat. Why can other people improve at golf and I stay at the same beginners level that I have been at for the last 10 years. Well there is no physical reasons for any of these things but they are very real and not only that, they repeat over and over again. Different places and people, same situation, same feelings. So it's time for me to discover the answers to these Why's.

As part of my journey I had been introduced to TFT (Thought Field Therapy) a tapping therapy that had it's roots in the Eastern philosophy of Energy Systems and Meridian points which is where the familiar acupuncture also stems from. TFT was evolved into EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) at the end of the 1980's and for me was more of a natural fit, I don't know why, it just felt better. EFT could go under a very broad umbrella of 'Energy Work' as could many other healing modalities, I had come across energy work through my sister who is a Transformational Breathing practitioner (or facilitator I think may be more correct) and my friend Andrew who also introduced me to the personal development who is versed in several healing techniques. Both of which I found highly beneficial and kind of spooky the way that they brought up, or rather let me release emotions and feeling that somehow seemed to be trapped inside, but to me EFT was better. It's so simple, so quick and so easy to use in self help, not needed to work with a practitioner and I made lots of head way. I discovered a 'new' form of EFT, new because it had slightly evolved from traditional EFT though many many hours and thousands of clients helped. I discovers it through a book called Energy EFT by Dr Silvia Hartman which I thoroughly recommend, if EFT was a big cake, then for me Energy EFT is the cherry on the top and it took my self help to a new level. So much so that by the time I was half way through it I had made the decision to take a training course to become a practitioner, so that I could take my self help to a deeper level of understanding. I was answering my Why's and learning so much about myself, it literally felt like I was unlocking my past and reconnecting with parts of my life that had been long forgotten, and in many cases, not just forgotten but swept under the carpet because I preferred not to remember them. I was making friends with my ghosts from the past and even after 20, sometimes 30 or more years was learning from them right here right now.

I began to realize what I had known for a while, software development no longer interested me. Oh it did in the beginning, I used to wake up in the middle of the night with an answer to a problem I had been working on, so excited I would have to get up and either write it down or even fix it them. I used to love to read about and keep up with the latest technologies, I loved to work on and solve problems. But no longer, in fact it had all become a little tedious, and I knew that if I stuck with it I was heading right back to where I began feeling unfulfilled. What I really liked was energy work, and I knew I could be good at it. As part of my course I was working with practice partners, the definition of a practice partner is a client who doesn't pay you. I was helping people find their Why's, and at every single session bar none, the person left feeling better than when they had arrived. I felt worthwhile, I felt like I was doing something useful in the world and realized that for many many years that is what I have been looking for.

So a month ago with the amazing support of my wife, I took the step and resigned from my position, and in 6-8 weeks from now I will be starting a new life as an Energist, helping people with any issues that have where energy or stress plays a part, I will initially be doing this using EFT as my chosen modality.

So back to the original question, what is this blog going to be about. There may be a little about documenting my progress and transition, but mostly I want it to be about passing on the wisdom that I learn to anyone who is interested in hearing it, if you use EFT as a self help tool I will give you tips and insights. I will tell you about people that I have helped to try to inspire you to use EFT on anything and everything in your life by showing you again and again how it can effectively help people. I may from time to time venture into personal development territory but really its all the same thing.

Its all about getting the most from life.