Many people diagnosed with substance use disorder (SUD) struggle to manage anxiety and stress during the initial stages of recovery. Holistic and evidence-based therapeutic methods, including neural tapping and emotion regulation techniques, help people process their circumstances differently. According to the Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine, “Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a novel therapy that combines cognitive and somatic elements.” Exclusive Hawaii Rehab uses EFT and neural tapping to help clients heal from the effects of substance abuse.

What Is the Emotional Freedom Technique?

EFT is a technique for reducing the effects of physical or emotional stress on the body. According to the Journal of Interprofessional Education and Practice, EFT “is an evidenced-based practice which is grounded in the integrative field of energy psychology (EP) and integrates components of cognitive behavioral therapies, exposure therapy and body stimulation of acupressure points on the face and body.” During EFT sessions, a person taps acupressure points on their face, hands, and other areas of their bodies while focusing on overwriting uncomfortable thoughts or feelings.

EFT is used alongside other treatments and services, including psychotherapy, peer support, and prescription medications. Neural tapping and other forms of energy psychology are used to direct the “life force” inside a person to help them manage their condition. Physical stimulation helps people remain focused in the moment and reduces stress while they process uncomfortable memories, thoughts, or beliefs.

What to Expect During Neural Tapping Sessions

A neural tapping session is tailored to the preferences and needs of the individual. People are encouraged to relax and find a pose that keeps them feeling comfortable. Clients gently tap specific acupuncture points on the body under the guidance of a therapist.

Although the steps may vary, most people who participate in neural tapping and EFT gently tap a specific number of times on certain points of the body while verbally or mentally repeating a phrase related to emotionally painful thoughts or beliefs.

Below is an example of distinct steps a person may follow during EFT:

#1. Think of an idea, belief, or situation that causes anxiety or sadness.

#2. Measure how bad the thought, situation, or belief feels on a scale of 1 to 10.

#3. Create a statement that describes the issue and combine it with a statement focused on self-acceptance. For example, someone may say, “Even though I am afraid of making a mistake, I accept myself and will continue to heal.”

#4. Tap specific areas of the body three times while repeating the chosen phrase.

#5. Generally, people tap in the following order: palm below the little finger, top center of the head, outside edge of the eye, the bone under the eye, between nose and mouth, between mouth and chin, beneath the collarbone, several inches below the armpit.

#6. Measure how bad the thought, situation, or belief feels on a scale of 1 to 10. Repeat steps 4 through 6 as needed.

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How Does Neural Tapping Improve Recovery?

Like other forms of energy psychology, neural tapping helps people balance their internal and external experiences. Stimulating various energy pathways while focusing on self-acceptance helps people practice mindfulness.

EFT reduces the physical symptoms of stress and anxiety during treatment, including:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Panic attacks
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Body discomfort or pain

Identifying, addressing, and releasing emotional blocks using EFT improves overall emotional well-being and resilience. Many people with SUD struggle with chronic pain and other co-occurring health conditions. Emotions are often connected to chronic pain. Establishing better emotional control can reduce chronic pain and other underlying issues.

The Importance of Emotional Stability During Treatment

Emotional stability reduces the symptoms of SUD and co-occurring mental health disorders. People who feel more emotionally stable experience less stress and may heal more quickly during treatment and ongoing recovery. EFT is one tool used to help people gain a sense of balance during the initial stages of recovery. The care team guides clients through using EFT and other methods to improve overall wellness and health.

Some of the primary benefits of EFT include:

  • Increased self-awareness
  • A stronger mind-body connection
  • Better stress management

Many substances have an adverse effect on emotion regulation, making it more difficult for people in early recovery to find an emotional equilibrium. Using EFT and other holistic techniques decreases some of the symptoms and side effects of SUD. According to Addiction and Health, “Clinical findings have shown personality traits, social relations, attitudes and values, along with emotional intelligence factors such as emotions, feelings, emotions management, challenging with problems, problem solving, tolerating psychological pressure, impulse control, self esteem and interpersonal relations, to affect substance dependence.” EFT helps people regulate emotions and improve the outcomes of treatment.

Experience True Healing

Our deeply-caring staff and the surrounding natural beauty offer an unparalleled healing experience.

Using Holistic Therapies to Guide Emotional Healing and Treat Dual Diagnosis

Holistic therapies like neural tapping fill the gap in treatment for individuals who may not respond as well to traditional evidence-based therapy options, including psychotherapy and psychiatry. In addition, EFT and other therapeutic techniques help people manage co-occurring mental health disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), by reducing anxiety. According to Healthcare, “Meta-analyses of EFT for anxiety, depression, and PTSD indicate treatment effects that exceed those of both psychopharmacology and conventional psychotherapy.” Exclusive Hawaii Rehab collaborates with clients to ensure they have access to the treatments and services they need to successfully heal from substance abuse.