When doing Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) tapping you generally follow these steps:
- Focus on a specific problem and assess your intensity on a scale of 1-10.
- Perform “the Set-Up” which involves tapping the center of side of your palm while saying your Set-Up Phrase three times.
- Perform “the Sequence” which involves tapping on various acupressure points on the top your head, on your face, your collarbone and the side of your body, while you repeat a Reminder Phrase that helps you stay focused on your problem.
- Re-assess the intensity level of the original problem.
- Repeat the Set-Up and Sequence, adjust wording accordingly.
In many cases, the most effective part of the EFT tapping process is a properly worded Set-Up Phrase. The classic EFT Set-Up Phrase involves two parts:
- Acknowledging the problem: “Even though I have this problem.”
- While affirming self-acceptance:“I deeply & completely love & accept myself”.
A typical Set-Up Phrase uses the following format:
“Even though I have (this problem, uncomfortable emotion or physical sensation), I deeply & completely love & accept myself.”
Examples of Set-Up Phrases:
- “Even though I’m very angry at myself for having this silly problem, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”
- “Even though my fear of spiders gives me sweaty palms, I deeply and completely love and accept myself anyway.”
- “Even though I feel nauseous and all I want to do is vomit, I deeply and completely accept myself anyway.”
When To Say the Set-Up Phrase
Say your Set-Up Phrase out loud (or to yourself) three times as you tap on the Karate Chop Point during the start of the EFT tapping, this is known as performing the Set-Up. Generally speaking, it is more effective to say it out loud, but if aren’t by yourself and want to keep your issue private, it’s okay to say the Set-Up quietly to yourself and still get great results.
Why We Perform The Set-Up
We do the Set-Up because it prepares our system for change and softens any internal resistance we may have. We acknowledge the problem at hand while creating an atmosphere of positivity, self- acceptance and compassion. The Set-Up is a safe way to acknowledge and express the uncomfortable feelings we are experiencing; it allows us to acknowledge our emotions and symptoms. Doing the Set-Up is way to give yourself permission to release your discomfort.
The Set-Up can effectively get rid of internal resistance to change – originally called Psychological Reversal. This has the effect of opening your energy system to healing and positive change. The standard wording of “Even though I have this problem, I deeply & completely love & accept myself” may feel weird and uncomfortable to you. You might not want to use certain words, like love and accept, right away and so the standard Set-Up Phrase may not feel like it a good fit. There are many variations that work equally well, or even better:
- “Even though ______, I’m okay anyway.”
- “Even though ______, I want to accept myself.”
- “Even though ______, I can choose to forgive myself.”
- “Even though ______, I love and accept my young self.”
- “Even though ______, I choose to accept myself with compassion.”
- “Even though ______, I can choose to be a little kinder to myself.”
- “Even though ______, I accept all my feelings without judgment.”
- “Even though ______, I acknowledge my feelings.”
- “Even though ______, that’s just how I feel right now.”
- “Even though ______, I choose to allow this to change.”
- “Even though ______, I can let these feelings go if I want to.”
- “Even though ______, I’m open to the possibility of healing and change.”
- “Even though ______, I honor myself for how hard it has been for me.”
- “Even though ______, I’m willing to heal this as much as possible.”
When Addressing Physical Problems
If you are working with a physical discomfort ask yourself a few questions, and use your answers to create an effective Set-Up Phrase.
What does it feel like to have this problem? Describe the way it feels.
“Even though this pain feels like a hot knife stabbing me, I accept myself”
If my physical pain had a color, what would it be?
“Even though my pain is red and hot, I accept myself.”
If there were an emotional contributor to this issue, what might it be?
“Even though my anger may be contributing to my skin condition, I accept myself.”
What was going on in my life emotionally when this physical problem started?
“Even though I started getting headaches when I got fired from my job, I accept myself.”
A truly effective Set-Up phrase has the power to create an openness and readiness in your system which allows EFT to transform the energy of your emotions. Use a Set-Up Phrase that feels respectful of your true feelings. It is important to allow your healing process to unfold at whatever pace you are most comfortable with.