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What is emotional freedom technique (EFT)?

translate emotional freedom technique, EFT audio

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), also commonly referred to as “tapping,” was introduced by Gary Craig in the 1990s. Emotional Freedom Technique has since been adapted by various others to be used in counseling and as a self-healing tool. Tapping involves using one’s fingertips to tap several times on each of the twelve main meridian points of the body. EFT is generally considered a part of “energy psychology.” Proponents of EFT argue strongly in favor of its benefits, whereas others in the science and mental health care communities view it as a pseudoscience lacking empirical support. Spiritually speaking, there are some serious concerns as well.

The tapping of the Emotional Freedom Technique is based on the Eastern concept of chi and meridians, or pathways of energy flow within the body. The foundational concept in EFT is that all negative emotions are caused by a disruption in the body’s energy system stemming from negative events. EFT seeks to rebalance the body’s energy system through physically tapping meridians. Rather than dredge up negative memories—further disrupting the body’s energy—EFT seeks to balance the energy and thus clear the negative emotion.

Proponents of Emotional Freedom Technique argue that tapping is no different from receiving acupuncture or a massage or even taking medications. However, the concept of meridians and chi is completely unbiblical.

It should be noted that Gary Craig has furthered his original “Gold Standard EFT” to create “Optimal EFT.” Optimal EFT does not employ tapping; rather, it is a type of “prayer” with an “Unseen Therapist.” Craig essentially claims that humans are all One but have separated themselves. He claims that reality is Love and everything else is an illusion. Optimal EFT is meant to help the “Guard at the Gate” (who keeps us separated) allow the “Unseen Therapist” in to bring healing. Craig goes so far as to claim that the “Unseen Therapist” goes by the names of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, among other things like Buddha, Love, and Peace. It is obvious that this a deception of Satan.

The Holy Spirit is not an “Unseen Therapist,” nor are all humans “one.” We are not God. He is completely separate and other from us. The physical world does exist; in fact, it was created by God in the beginning (Genesis 1). The answer to humanity’s problems is not some sort of pseudo-religious, mystical therapy program. The answer is salvation in Jesus Christ. When we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, He helps us to see truth, comforts us, brings healing to our wounds, and gives meaning to our suffering (John 14:6; 16:7–15; Romans 8:9–11). The spiritual armor of Ephesians 6, prayer, and God’s intervention on our behalf are what will win the day (Hebrews 7:25; Romans 8:26–27).

God does not tell us to tap away our negative emotions. Rather, we are to give our burdens to Him: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6–7). The book of Lamentations and many of the psalms are good examples of people doing just that. It is certainly acceptable for a believer to seek relief from negative emotions and emotional pain, but tapping or Emotional Freedom Technique is not a biblically sound method.

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This page last updated: March 8, 2024