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Refers to the press for emotional release

Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT Tapping, combines cognitive (mind) and somatic (body) techniques to address physical and mental health challenges. It involves tapping traditional Chinese medicine acupressure points with the fingertips and is believed to stimulate and balance energy.

Many studies have been conducted on this method since it was founded by Gary Craig in 1995, and it has been found to improve mental and physical health conditions such as depression and chronic pain.

Learn about EFT tapping points, possible benefits, how to do it, and more.

Illustrations by Mira Norian for Verywell Health

What are the EFT touch points?

There are nine different EFT points to tap on the body. These points are aligned with the meridians traditional Chinese medicine. Six are on the head and face, two on the torso and one on the arm. Here are the nine EFT tapping points and their locations, listed in the order they are tapped:

Point of contact Rental
Karate chop (KC) On the side of each hand, between the little finger and the wrist
Top of head (TOH) Upper and central part of the head
eyebrow (EB) Above the nose, where the eyebrow begins on each side
Eye side (SE) A bone at the outer corner of each eye
Under the Eye (EU) An inch below the pupil on the bone below each eye
Under the nose (UN) Between the bottom of the nose and the tip of the upper lip.
China (CH) Between the chin and lower lip
Clavicle (CB) Below each collarbone, a centimeter to the left or right of the center of the body
Under hand (UA) Four inches below the armpit on each side of the body

Additional EFT tapping points on the fingers, wrists and hands are used for more advanced tapping techniques.

The Potential Value of EFT Tapping

There are many potential benefits of EFT tapping, including physical, mental or emotional well-being and performance or life benefits. Research has shown that this practice has the following advantages:

It has also been found to reduce stress and prevent and reduce burnout without drugs or invasive treatments, which often cause unwanted side effects.

EFT Tapping Exercise

An EFT practitioner will guide you through a series of steps during a typical EFT practice. They will begin by talking to you about the underlying emotional problem you would like to address using this technique and ask you to rate its severity on a scale of zero (no problem) to 10 (extreme problem).

You will then work with your practitioner to develop an “attunement statement” that you will repeat throughout the practice as you tap EFT tapping points to connect the body and mind to the desired improvement. A common statement used in EFT is, “Even though I have (a problem), I deeply and completely accept myself.”

After tapping each of the nine EFT tapping points while repeating this statement, your practitioner will ask you to reassess the severity of your problem and compare your answer to the severity of the problem you reported before beginning the practice.

How do you feel after EFT tapping?

How you feel after EFT tapping can vary. Generally, people feel relief from their symptoms, feel energized and refreshed, or feel like a weight has been lifted off them. It is common for us to feel less stressed, which research shows is associated with reduced cortisol levels.

However, some people may feel worse or tired if they have previously been suppressed emotions or the symptoms are brought to the surface. Everyone experiences EFT tapping differently; how you feel after a session does not indicate how well it worked.

Alternatives to EFT tapping

Many alternatives to EFT tapping focus on the mind-body connection.

  • Acupuncture uses the foundations of traditional Chinese medicine, meridians and acupressure points to balance the flow of energy (“chi”) throughout the body.
  • Massage therapysuch as acupressure massage, also focuses on acupressure points.
  • Tai chi and yoga are specific practices that focus on meridians and energy balancing.
  • Hypnosis gold hypnotherapy uses the mind-body connection and a focused state of mind to access parts of the brain to make changes that can positively impact physical, mental or emotional well-being and performance.


EFT Tapping is a mind-body practice that you can do at home or on the go to reduce physical and mental challenges. It is based on the acupressure points of traditional Chinese medicine and involves the use of fingers to tap specific points on the body. Research has shown that it can reduce stress, relieve pain and anxiety, and more. If you or someone you know could benefit from EFT tapping, contact a professional, such as a complementary and alternative care provider, for support.

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to back up the facts in our articles. Read ours editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.

  1. Blacher S. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT): Tap to relieve stress and exhaustion. J Interprof Educ Prakt. 2023;30:100599. doi:10.1016/j.xjep.2023.100599

  2. Bach D, Groesbeck G, Stapleton P, Sims R, Blickheuser K, Church D. Clinical EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) improves multiple physiological indicators of health. J Evid Based Integr Med. 2019;24:2515690X18823691. doi:10.1177/2515690X18823691

  3. Stapleton P, Crighton G, Sabot D, O’Neill HM. Re-examining the effect of emotional freedom technique on the biochemistry of stress: a randomized controlled trial. Psychological trauma. 2020;12(8):869-877. doi:10.1037/tra0000563

  4. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Acupuncture.

  5. American Massage Therapy Association. Research: Is acupressure an effective form of self-care??

  6. Johns Hopkins Medicine. 9 benefits of yoga.

  7. Harvard Health Publishing. Health Benefits of Tai Chi.

  8. Williamson A. What is hypnosis and how could it work?. Palliat Care. 2019;12:1178224219826581. doi:10.1177/1178224219826581

Per Ashley Olivine, Ph.D., MPH

dr. Ashley Olivine is a health psychologist and public health professional with over a decade of experience serving clients in clinical settings and private practice. She has also researched a wide range of psychology and public health topics such as health risk factor management, chronic disease, maternal and child well-being, and child development.

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