The Origins of Tapping Therapy (EFT©)

How Tapping Therapy Began

In this video I share about the beginnings of Tapping Therapy from Dr. Callahan’s initial discovery to the streamlined version most of us use developed from Gary Craig’s EFT©.

Callahan intended to help a client who was anxious about her session she was about to embark on to desenitize her to water. She had a water phobia.

Her phobia proved resistant to Dr. Callahan conventional therapy but they were both willing to apply it again. About this time, Dr. Callahan was taking a course on acupuncture. Acupuncture teaches the student to insert needles in specific energy points on the body in order to balance it.

He thought manipulating the stomach meridian might relieve her anxiety about the session. So he was inspired to use his budding knowledge to gently “tap” beneath her eyes, at the cheekbone where one of the major meridian points corresponding to the stomach is located. The client immediately responded to this tapping and her anxiety and fear of water drained away.

During this amazing event, tapping therapy was born.

Gary Craig became a student of Dr. Callahans in order to learn his technique. He refined it and abbreviated it so that it was more convenient and easy for anyone to use by them self or with another.

Read transcript:

Show »

Hello. I’m Ellen Sutherland and we are Being Spiritual.

It is an exciting blog this week and next, because I am going to be demonstrating and sharing about one of the tools that is very helpful in getting us out of some extremely negative states such as phobias. (It addresses) being afraid of heights, afraid of public speaking and scared of spiders or bugs or whatever. It gets rid of it, you can literally erase fear and it is also a tool to get rid of other emotions that we run up against when we are doing spiritual practice for example, that generalized vague anxiety that comes up or fear that we are never going to “make it” or we will never get through this block or… whatever it happens to be (that is experienced as negative.) This tool is exciting and I hope it proves helpful I found it extremely helpful.

So lets do this blog as a history lesson. I have already laid out the chakra system and shown you a little bit of what the mapping of the meridian energy points look like. There is a system called Do-In, which I will talk to you about later, as well there is acupuncture and acupressure and shiatsu, all of those deal with the balancing out of the meridian system by rubbing, them tapping them, pummeling them, whatever it happens to need in order to release them so that they flow in their optimal manner – in the way they are supposed to flow.

10 or 15 years ago, I am not certain how long, but not very long ago, a psychologist was working with one of his clients, one of his patients and she had an extreme fear of water. She was water phobic. He was working with her for about a year with the similar result that we get in working with phobias is that not much change occurs. You do some desensitization, affirmations, all of that and still the fear seems to persist. This doctor was noticing that she was coming in with the same look on her face and asked her how she was doing and she shared that she was really anxious. She knew that they were going to the pool and going to get her to stick her foot in the water, which always gave her a headache. That was the most successful she’d managed to be (by sticking a foot in the pool), but she would always get a headache afterward. So the process was negative for her.

He had been learning about acupuncture, which is an (ancient) needling process where needles are placed on certain areas on the meridian points to help balance the body, shift disease; used for all sorts of things. Eastern medicine is the master at both mapping them and using these meridian points. So he was learning this and knew that the end of the stomach point was here (pointing to a spot under the eye.) She said she was anxious, so he suggested that if he manipulated the points, tap them a bit, the points, (they are paired and mirrored on the body) it would ease up her tummy upset and we can proceed with our work today. He tapped away at the little points, the beginning points of the stomach meridian and she said, “I don’t have any anxiety anymore. It is gone.”

She stood up and went to toward the swimming pool, at which point he became anxious because he knew she could not swim. He realized that something remarkable had happened.

What had happened was that this tapping therapy had been born. Tapping the stomach meridian had release the blocked emotional energy that sat (in those meridian points) from thinking about going into the pool. She no longer had the fear of water.

That is called a “one minute wonder.” It rarely happens but it is wonderful that it happened this time because it so intrigued Dr. Callahan that he worked with all of his patients to find out what meridian points were causing their negative feelings. He thought that maybe if they tapped them a bit in a certain way, in a certain manner, they would be free of this emotion. And so tapping therapy was born.

After his experience with Mary, Dr. Callahan reportedly tried tapping on all of his patients and developed all sorts of what he called protocols – different ways of tapping different meridian points on the head, hands, body which involved long elaborate formulas (and they worked) to release people from fear and guilt and all sorts of traumas. Then he started teaching people and one of the people that he taught was Gary Craig, a Stanford engineer, who looked at this formula and thought “Maybe I could synthesize it and make it a little more convenient.”

Callahan’s work involved muscle testing and Gary Craig thought the muscle testing could be accurate sometimes, but not others. By the time you muscle tested the 14 sites to see whether that was the one that was blocked, you could tap them all. And so that is what he did, that became his long formula for EFT©.

From there, Gary Craig opened his heart and he spread this process to everyone. For example, he made it financially easy for us to learn it. Many of his workshops were video taped and he sold us the video tapes, allowing us to copy them 100 times without any penalty and had a huge website set up where all of us could send in (and read about) our experiences of EFT© as well as our queries and our understandings, plus a free download of how to do it. It was an amazing time of learning. It spread like wildfire.

Tapping Therapy has become pretty common now and it makes me happy that it is not being kept from the public. It is a very simple thing to do – a simple thing to do. Most of us can release our self from quite intense and horrible traumas that we think we have to live with for the rest of our life or have to pay thousands of dollars to free ourselves from and is not guaranteed that it would work. This stuff works.

Peace to You.

About ellen

Ellen Sutherland shares her work through her sites:, and her book: "At Your Heart's Pace",
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One Response to The Origins of Tapping Therapy (EFT©)

  1. Rosie says:

    I found just what I was needed, and it was entertaining!

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