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Articles & Ideas

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Improve your EFT sessions by waking up your senses

EFt Tapping Outdated ImageNote: This is one of 3,000 articles written prior to the updated Gold Standard (Official) EFT Tapping Tutorial™. As a result, it is likely outdated. It provides practical uses for EFT Tapping but you should also explore our newest advancement, Optimal EFT, by reading our free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™, and/or get help from a Certified EFT Practitioner.

Hi Everyone,

In this 5 part series, EFT Master Dr. Carol Look gives us some invaluable methods to discover important issues. These ideas are useful across the board and are of particular interest for clients who have repressed their feelings.

Hugs, Gary

Part 1 of 5: Visual
Part 2 of 5: Auditory
Part 3 of 5: Tactile
Part 4 of 5: Taste and Smell
Part 5 of 5: Emotional Responses to the Media


By Carol Look, EFT Master

 Clients often state that they have difficulty tuning in to their feelings, or that they can’t get a charge or “zzzzzzzzt” in their bodies when they think of a specific event.  In this 5 part series, I recommend different techniques to help you and your clients tune in more deeply to emotions and memories to make EFT tapping sessions more effective.  I will be covering our 5 primary senses: visual, auditory, tactile, gustatory & olfactory, and finally, a segment on triggering your emotions through the media.

Part 1 of 5: Visual

Photo Tapping

When clients have difficulty tuning in to their feelings, or can’t feel the “zzzzzzzzt” in their bodies when they think of a memory or event for tapping, they often think EFT isn’t working, as there isn’t much of a “before and after” test with the 0-10 intensity scale.  Many of us need extra visual cues or stimulation to access this part of our memory, and family photographs are the perfect prop!

Take out old family photos and identify feelings, themes, incidents and thoughts that were going on when the pictures were taken.  You might even take out your high school year book (since High School seems to be so fraught with conflicted feelings for many people…) or your wedding album, and tap a few rounds while you are looking at yourself.  You may be shocked at how effective this is for bringing up emotions you thought had been “handled.”  Here are some options:

Look at yourself in the selected photo objectively, and use words as if you are treating someone else…

Karate chop point: Even though he was feeling so vulnerable back then, he has a good heart and meant well…Even though he was so scared back then, he’s a great person and has really matured.  Even though he was scared and insecure, I accept him and how he felt.

EyebrowHe looks scared

Side of EyeHe looks vulnerable

Under EyeHe looks frightened

Under NoseHe must have been feeling very insecure

Chin: He looks so vulnerable

CollarboneHe seems so scared

Under ArmHe wasn’t getting any guidance

Top of Head: He seems so scared

Then use EFT in the “first person singular” the way we usually use it:

Karate chop point: Even though I was miserable during this time because of that incident, I deeply and completely love and accept myself…Even though I was feeling so sad because of the rejection, I deeply and profoundly love and accept who I was back then…Even though I was confused and miserable because of what happened, I deeply and completely love and accept myself anyway.

Eyebrow: I look so confused

Side of Eye: I was so confused

Under Eye: I didn’t know what to do

Under Nose: I didn’t know how to behave

Chin: I didn’t know what to do next

CollarboneI can see it in my eyes

Under Arm: I look scared

Top of Head: I look frightened 

Notice your relatives in the photos and examine their facial expressions and body language.  This should trigger some strong feelings and memories as well. 

Karate chop point: Even though he was angry and insulted me, I deeply and completely love and accept myself…Even though he was drunk in that photo and I remember the fight we had, I choose to release the pain of it now and accept both of us…Even though I still feel hurt when I see this photo, I accept who I am and that he was doing the best he could at the time.

Eyebrow: I still feel hurt

Side of EyeI feel hurt when I see this photo

Under EyeI remember the feelings and the fight

Under NoseI accept who I am and what he said

ChinHe was drunk and didn’t mean it

CollarboneI accept my feelings

Under ArmI accept his feelings

Top of HeadIt was a long time ago and I accept my reactions

Tap for your family members when you see them looking unhappy in the photos:   

Karate chop pointEven though she took her anger out on me, I accept her and myself at the same time…Even though she and Dad just had a fight, I can see it in their eyes, I choose to feel calm and peaceful…Even though we all look tense in that photo, I accept who we are and how we felt.

Eyebrow: She looks so mad in that picture

Side of EyeShe was angry at me

Under EyeShe was angry at him

Under NoseI felt hurt that she took it out on me

ChinShe must have been hurt too

CollarboneShe looks terrible

Under ArmI accept what happened

Top of HeadI appreciate that she was trying to do the best she could…

Karate chop point: Even though he was trying to control me back then, I accept who I am and who he is…Even though he was trying to control me my whole life, I accept both of us…Even though he seems angry at me in the photo, I accept who I am and how I feel. 

Eyebrow: He was controlling me

Side of EyeI resent that he was trying to control me

Under EyeHe was angry and trying to control me

Under NoseHe couldn’t control himself

ChinSo he tried to control me instead

CollarboneHe looks frustrated

Under ArmI look frustrated

Top of HeadWe both look unhappy

Stay tuned for part 2 of this series focusing on auditory sensations.

Carol Look, EFT Master


Part 2 of 5: Auditory

Using Music: Music can certainly lift your mood instantly, but it can also remind you of times that weren’t very pleasant.  For instance, let’s say you had a tumultuous relationship with your father, and he listened to jazz music all the time.  Try listening to jazz music now and notice what feelings surface. 

Gary Craig’s favorite question is“What does this remind you of?” 

Karate chop point: Even though this music reminds me of ____________, I deeply and completely love and accept who I am anyway…Even though this music reminds me of my alcoholic relative, I choose to feel calm and peaceful anyway...Even though hearing the music makes me feel uneasy, I choose to accept who I am and how I feel. 

Eyebrow: The music reminds me of __________________

Side of EyeI feel uneasy in my body

Under EyeI feel uncomfortable when I hear this music

Under NoseIt reminds me of that person

ChinI don’t feel good about these feelings

CollarboneI feel so uneasy when I hear this music

Under ArmI remember what he/she was like

Top of HeadI don’t feel settled at all 

Many people remember what songs were on the radio during times of hardship in a relationship.  Most people who have had an intimate relationship have feelings about “our song” which can bring back painful memories if the partner has left or died.  So listen to the songs, and ask yourself what feelings surface.  Is it deep grief?  Anger?  Unresolved resentment?

Karate chop pointEven though this song reminds me of when he dumped me, I choose to accept who I am and how I am reacting…Even though this music reminds me of that break-up, I choose to accept who I am and how I feel…Even though this song reminds me of all that hurt and break-up pain, I accept who I am and how I feel.

Eyebrow: I feel so sad hearing this song

Side of EyeI feel such pain when I hear it

Under EyeI feel as if it just happened

Under NoseThis grief about that time in my life

ChinI feel the grief in my body

CollarboneI feel so sad hearing this song

Under ArmI feel grief about that relationship

Top of HeadI’m still mourning that relationship 

Karate chop point:  Even though I feel resentful when I hear this song because it reminds me of _________, I accept who I am and how I feel…Even though I’m still not over that relationship, I deeply and completely love and accept myself anyway…Even though I feel resentful and am not over this relationship YET, I deeply and completely love and accept myself. 

Eyebrow: I’m feeling grief about that relationship

Side of EyeI don’t want to hear that song

Under EyeIt reminds me of so much pain

Under NoseI feel so much pain about that relationship

ChinWhat if I could resolve it now?

CollarboneWhat if I could get over it?

Under ArmWhat if I could feel good instead?

Top of HeadI choose to feel calm and peaceful.

Stay tuned for part 3 of this series focusing on tactile sensations.

Carol Look, EFT Master


Part 3 of 5: Tactile

 TOUCH/PHYSICAL SENSATIONS 

Many of our memories are tied to physical sensations.  Cold or hot, rough or smooth, comfortable or uncomfortable feelings in our bodies.  Traumas such as car accidents, attacks, or incidents of abuse become lodged in the body, or  our cellular memory.  If there is a chance that there are repressed memories regarding your childhood, or that entering through this door might cause too much discomfort, I recommend you consult a qualified EFT Practitioner to lead you through the following exercises (using a car accident as an example).

  • Does the summer remind you of sad times?
  • Does the cold weather remind you of a particular event?
  • Do certain body parts seem over sensitive?
  • Does the car seatbelt feel too constrictive?

Karate chop point: Even though I don’t feel comfortable with the seatbelt around my chest, I deeply and completely love and accept myself anyway…Even though the tight belt reminds me of ____________, I choose to feel alive and free…Even though the seatbelt is too tight and I can’t breathe deeply enough, I accept myself anyway.

Eyebrow: I feel restricted by the seatbelt

Side of EyeI feel anxious feeling the seatbelt

Under EyeI feel uptight about putting the seatbelt on

Under NoseI don’t want to be restricted

ChinI feel trapped under the seatbelt

CollarboneI feel anxious because it’s too tight

Under ArmI feel short of breath

Top of HeadI feel anxious about feeling trapped

Karate chop point: Even though this physical sensation reminds me of _____________, I deeply and completely love and accept myself…Even though being in the car reminds me of the accident, I accept myself and how I feel…Even though sitting in the car is bringing back frightening memories, I accept who I am and how I feel right now.

Eyebrow: I’m afraid to be in the back seat

Side of EyeIt’s bringing back bad memories

Under EyeI feel uptight back here

Under NoseI feel scared and trapped again

ChinI remember feeling trapped

CollarboneI don’t want to feel the seats back here

Under ArmI’m afraid again

Top of HeadI want to get over this association with the accident

Weather changes and temperatures are also instant triggers for memories.

Karate chop pointEven though the cold air reminds me of the winter my mother died, I deeply and completely love and accept myself anyway…Even though I feel depressed every winter because it reminds me of grief, I deeply and completely love and accept who I am and how I feel…Even though I feel deep sadness when the seasons change, I choose to feel loving and accepting of myself. 

Eyebrow: I feel so sad when the cold weather comes

Side of EyeI feel grief when I feel cold

Under EyeMy sadness gets worse in the winter

Under NoseI feel so sad when it’s cold out

ChinIt reminds me of her funeral

CollarboneIt reminds me of how much I miss her

Under ArmI feel so much grief every winter

Top of Head: The cold weather makes me sad… 

For people who have been attacked physically, there are obvious sensations that will trigger negative and frightening memories.  This might be a time when readers consult a qualified EFT practitioner to lead them through these exercises.  Of course you may substitute any body part for “neck” from the following exercise.

Karate chop point: Even though I can’t stand it when someone touches my neck, it reminds me of the attack, I deeply and completely love and accept myself anyway…Even though I don’t want anyone going near my neck, I accept who I am and what happened…Even though I still blame myself for the attack, I accept my feelings right now. 

Eyebrow: I don’t want anyone to touch my neck

Side of EyeI don’t want anyone to come near me

Under EyeIt scares me when someone touches my body

Under NoseI don’t want to feel these feelings

ChinStay away from my neck

CollarboneI’m afraid I will be attacked again

Under ArmI don’t want to be touched there again

Top of HeadI don’t feel safe 

Stay tuned for part 4 of this series on activating your memories through the “doors” of taste and smell (gustatory and olfactory.) 

Carol Look, EFT Master


Part 4 of 5: Taste and Smell

 Maybe you experienced heavy family fighting during the dinner hour and at the dining room table --- this will certainly affect your taste buds! 

  • Are there any foods that you are repulsed by? 
  • What does the disgusting taste remind you of?
  • What were you eating when you heard bad news?
  • What restaurants do you avoid because of painful memories?
  • When did your allergies start?

Also, many families control their children with punishments and rewards involving foods…if you’re good you get an ice cream cone, eat your vegetables or you won’t be healthy, no dessert until you finish your beans…

Karate chop pointEven though I feel repulsed by vegetables, and they remind me of ______________, I deeply and completely love and accept who I am…Even though the taste of _________ is disgusting to me, I choose to accept the associated memories, and I accept who I am and what memories come up for me…Even though the taste of ______________ reminds me of bad times, I choose to accept my emotions connected with these tastes.

Eyebrow: I’m repulsed by this taste

Side of EyeIt tastes disgusting to me

Under EyeIt’s leaving a bad taste in my mouth

Under NoseIt reminds me of someone I know

ChinThis bad taste in my mouth

CollarboneI remember what I was eating when I heard the bad news

Under ArmI can’t eat that food because it reminds me of ___________

Top of HeadMy body is rejecting this food because of my feelings 

Karate chop point: Even though I don’t like the taste in my mouth, I choose to accept my emotions behind this reaction…Even though this leaves a bad taste in my mouth, I accept who I am and how I feel…Even though I don’t want to eat what I don’t want to eat, and don’t make me!!! I deeply and completely love and accept myself. 

Eyebrow: I don’t want to eat it

Side of EyeDon’t make me eat this

Under EyeI don’t want to eat it

Under NoseLeave me alone

ChinI want to eat what I choose

CollarboneI have this bad taste in my mouth

Under ArmI don’t like the taste in my mouth

Top of HeadI have this terrible taste in my mouth

SMELL:  Our olfactory memory is critical to our lives, and whether you encounter perfumes, shampoos, old houses or some other strong smell, odors may unearth memories that can then be targeted with EFT.

  • Does the smell of someone’s perfume remind you of someone who died or someone you do or don’t love?
  • Does her shampoo remind you of a time long ago?
  • Does that stranger’s cologne remind you of anything bad?
  • Does walking into the old house remind you of a relative?

Karate chop point: Even though the smell reminds me of a bad time in my life, I deeply and completely love and accept myself anyway…Even though his cologne gives me the creeps, I accept and respect who I am and how I feel…Even though the aromas are reminding me of my past, I choose to feel present and calm. 

Eyebrow: I don’t like this smell

Side of EyeI’m having a reaction to that smell

Under EyeI feel odd when I smell this scent

Under NoseI don’t like this smell at all

ChinIt reminds me of a bad time

CollarboneI’m afraid of the memories

Under ArmI don’t want to remember right now

Top of HeadI don’t like what this reminds me of 

Karate chop point: Even though her perfume reminds me of a lot of negative memories, I deeply and completely love and accept my reactions…Even though I’m so sensitive to those odors, I choose to calm down my reactions...Even though I’ve always been over sensitive, and I wonder what started this reaction, I accept and respect myself anyway. 

Eyebrow: Her perfume reminds me of bad times

Side of EyeI’m so sensitive to chemical odors

Under EyeI’ve always been “over sensitive”

Under NoseMaybe I could get over this reaction

Chin:  I feel sick when I smell these odors

CollarboneI choose to calm down my energy system

Under ArmI accept who I am and how I feel

Top of HeadI accept who I am and how I am reacting

Stay tuned for the final installment on Emotional Responses to the Media.

Carol Look, EFT Master


Part 5 of 5: Emotional Responses to the Media 

EMOTIONS: Of course seeing the news, television shows or movies provide very sharp triggers for your emotions and interpersonal conflicts.  I remember coming home for lunch one afternoon this summer and watching the television as they videotaped an airplane that had lost control of its landing gear and was running out of fuel.  They kept focusing on photos of the trapped passengers and speculating on how they must be feeling.  It ended well, but watching of course ruined my day.  (While finishing this article, a small plane crashed into a building in New York City…) When I insist on watching, I find it very effective to tap on myself in front of the news.

While this is mostly a visual trigger, movies and news programs do a good job of engaging all your “channels” so don’t be surprised if you find other pathways for memories to surface when watching the television.  There are always loud sound effects, images that make us “feel” something in our guts, and of course, the basic visual stimulation through color, lights and images.

Karate chop point: Even though the news is so agitating to me, I deeply and completely love and accept who I am…Even though I feel so anxious whenever I watch the news, I deeply and completely love and accept myself and my reactions…Even though I feel this anxiety whenever I hear the negative stories, I choose to feel calm and peaceful.

Eyebrow: I feel so helpless

Side of EyeI feel so out of control

Under EyeThe news makes me angry

Under NoseThe news makes me afraid

ChinThis anxiety in my stomach

CollarboneThis tension in my neck

Under ArmI don’t want to watch it anymore

Top of HeadI’m afraid of all that I see and hear 

I know that many of us are troubled by the war images and ongoing loss of life. Between newspapers, televisions and conversations, we can’t get away from it all.  Definitely use the tapping as a way to soothe yourself if you can’t seem to get away from the images. 

Karate chop point: Even though the images of the war make me angry, I deeply and completely love and accept who I am…Even though I can’t take the stories anymore, I choose to feel calm and peaceful…Even though I feel helpless and powerless, I choose to accept who I am and how I feel. 

Eyebrow: I feel angry when I watch the news

Side of EyeI feel scared when I see what’s happening

Under EyeI feel upset when I hear what’s going on

Under NoseThese images are upsetting me

ChinWhy do I keep watching?

CollarboneI have to know what’s going on

Under ArmMaybe I don’t

Top of HeadI’m not helping anyone…

There are musicals, tragedies, comedies and shoot-em-ups.  Choose a genre and watch it on television or rent a movie depicting something you could tap on.  Use EFT to collapse the fears and associations.  These movies are full of scenes and feelings that will help you cut down more “trees in your forest” as Gary would say.  There is always the typical suspense feeling from chase scenes in movies that could be very useful as a trigger for people who lived in the midst of chronic stress when they were growing up.

Karate chop point: Even though watching the chase scene scared me, I accept who I am and how I feel…Even though I can relate to that character, I deeply and completely love and accept myself…Even though I feel exactly what he feels, I accept who I am and how I feel right now.

Eyebrow: I feel what he is feeling

Side of EyeI don’t like these feelings

Under EyeI feel afraid of what’s coming next

Under NoseI know something bad is about to happen

ChinI can’t stand the tension

CollarboneI can feel the tension

Under ArmI don’t want to see what happens

Top of HeadI know something bad will happen

Karate chop pointEven though the tension reminds me of my childhood, I choose to feel calm and peaceful right now…Even though I feel the way I did as a child, I accept who I am and how I am reacting…Even though the tension makes me feel powerless, I deeply and completely love and accept myself anyway. 

Eyebrow: I don’t want to see how this turns out

Side of EyeI’m afraid of what is going to happen next

Under EyeI hate this feeling in my stomach

Under NoseI feel queasy deep inside

ChinI hate the suspense of this

CollarboneI want to feel calm and peaceful

Under ArmI want to feel back in control

Top of HeadI choose to feel back in control

While there are many more ways to trigger your feelings from old memories or events, this is a good start!  I hope this helps,

Carol Look, EFT Master

FOR MORE EFT HELP ...

Explore our newest advancement, Optimal EFT™, by reading our free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™