How To Tap

Image of finger on one hand tapping on side of opposite hand

The first thing you probably want to know about EFT is how to tap.

It's important to remember that EFT can be used as part of a self care routine, or it can be used by a therapist in the treatment of complex issues.

If you only want to use EFT as a self-help tool for simple issues, you just need a good understanding of how to use the EFT Basic Recipe.

The Basic Recipe is the general formula for EFT Tapping.  It's a streamlined set of instructions ("tap-here-and-say-this") that anyone can use.

Believe it or not, it's actually possible to get rapid relief from all sorts of simple problems just by following the instructions and sticking to the formula.

What if I'm dealing with a really complex problem?

I know EFT tapping looks daft, and it's hard to imagine that it could make a real difference to any kind of issue, but it does work extremely well on all sorts of things if it is applied correctly.

However, not every problem is a suitable candidate for self-help.

If an issue is potentially complex, like depression or anxiety, or has become a recurring theme in your life, like anger problems or low self-esteem, please consult with a suitably qualified and experienced tapping practitioner.

Trying to tackle big issues with only a basic understanding of the EFT Basic Recipe is a bit like trying to chop down a tree with a herring, i.e. unlikely to succeed.

I want you to get great results with EFT every time you tap, so please only use self-help EFT on 'minor' problems at first.

If you try to use it on complex stuff without adequate training, or without support from a therapist, you may not get much relief and, in some cases, may even start to feel worse.

So, with that said.........

How to tap using the EFT Basic Recipe

There are four key steps in knowing how to tap.

  1. Identify the problem
  2. Rate the intensity of the problem
  3. Use the EFT Basic Recipe
  4. Rate the intensity of the problem

1. Identify the problem

If you're working on your own, make sure you only try this on a minor problem!

Minor problems are issues that are unlikely to snowball into something more significant when you focus on them.  An example of a minor problem might be "anger at the bus driver for not stopping this morning". 

By way of contrast, "anger at my partner for hurting my feelings" may be part of a much bigger issue and is therefore the kind of problem that is best dealt with by a qualified practitioner.

Name the issue that you want to address using language that is as specific as possible.

For example, you will have more success tapping on the specific phrase, "dull ache on the outside of my right knee" than you will have tapping on the non-specific phrase, "chronic pain". 

(Also, a statement like "chronic pain" may trigger the dreaded snowball effect if you focus on it.)

Learning how to tap on the right phrase will significantly improve your progress with EFT.

2. Rate the intensity of the problem

Using a 0-10 scale, give the problem an intensity rating.  This is purely subjective so there is no right or wrong.  You simply want to be able to compare how you felt before and after tapping. 

If 0 represents no pain/distress/discomfort, and 10 represents the worst or most intense feeling you can imagine, how would you rate your current intensity? 

Note that you're paying attention to how you feel now, and not how you felt at the time of the original event.

3.  Use the EFT Basic Recipe

(You can find out how to locate each EFT tapping point here.)

We begin by tapping on the acupuncture point on the side of the hand and saying the following phrase (known as the Setup):

"Even though I (...state the problem...), I accept that this is how I feel right now."

  • Even though I'm angry at the bus driver for not stopping this morning, I accept that this is how I feel right now.
  • Even though I have this dull ache on the outside of my right knee, I accept that this is how I feel right now.

Then we tap each of the remaining EFT tapping points (following the Sequence), and repeat a reminder of the problem (known as the Reminder Phrase) at each point.  This serves to keep our focus on the issue we're addressing.

  • Top of Head (TOH) - angry at the bus driver for not stopping this morning
  • Eyebrow (EB) - angry at the bus driver for not stopping this morning
  • Side of Eye (SE) - angry at the bus driver for not stopping this morning
  • Under Eye (UE) - angry at the bus driver for not stopping this morning
  • Under Nose (UN) - angry at the bus driver for not stopping this morning
  • Chin Point (Ch) - angry at the bus driver for not stopping this morning
  • Collarbone Point (CP) - angry at the bus driver for not stopping this morning
  • Under Arm (UA) - angry at the bus driver for not stopping this morning


4. Rate the intensity of the problem

Using a 0-10 scale, give the problem an intensity rating paying attention to how you feel now. 

If the intensity has gone down, keep going!  Repeat the entire Basic Recipe again and see if you can get your score down to a zero.

The aim is to be able to focus on the original problem and to be unaffected by it.

If the intensity has stayed the same or gone up, try adjusting the language you used when you identified the problem to more accurately reflect how you feel in the present moment.

For example,

  • "Even though I'm raging mad at the bus driver for not stopping this morning...."
  • "Even though I want to curse and swear at the bus driver for not stopping this morning...."

Once you've decided on your new choice of words, repeat the Basic Recipe again, and pay close attention to see if anything has changed.

Congratulations!  You've just learned how to tap 😀


Tips on how to tap

  • Tap using two or more fingers using either hand (most people use their dominant hand)
  • If there is a choice, tap on either side of the body, or use both hands and tap both sides at the same time if you wish!  You can also switch sides during tapping if it is more comfortable to do so
  • You do not need to tap the points in the order given although it is probably easier to do so.  We do, however, always start with the side of the hand while doing the Setup
  • You can tap on each point as many times as you wish, but normally each point is tapped approximately 5-7 times.  The exception again is at the beginning where you tap the hand continuously while saying the Setup

Click this link to see the EFT tapping points.

What if it doesn't work?

When newbies don't see any change or improvement, I've often heard them say that they must be doing it all wrong, or that they don't know how to tap on their own.

If you are having no success with tapping, it is unlikely to be because you don't know how to tap. 

It is more likely that you need some additional help to understand the process, or it may be that you need to work with an experienced practitioner.


"For resolving your issues with individual sessions or learning EFT as a professional in a workshop, Helen comes with my highest recommendation."

Tina Craig

Co-Author - Official EFT Tutorial

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