In 1991, Stanford-trained engineer and personal performance coach Gary Craig took a class that changed the world. The class, “Thought Field Therapy” was taught by Dr. Roger Callahan and was an offshoot of a training he had taken in “Touch for Health” which was devised by John Thie and George Goodheart. Each man learned from the other and built one upon the other. As Gary himself said, “I’m standing on the shoulders of giants.” Together they created the backbone of what would later be considered “Energy Healing or Energy Psychology.”
The story goes like this: Dr. Roger Callahan, a clinical psychologist having practiced for over 40 years, devoted his life to finding ways to heal people from unreasonable fears, phobias, trauma, stress disorders, etc. He probably had a strong motive to do this as he had been suffering himself from problems like these since his childhood. Legend goes that Dr. Callahan had a patient named Mary, who suffered from a severe water phobia, a water phobia so severe she couldn’t even bathe or go out in rainy conditions without experiencing distress. Like many practitioners before him, Callahan was having very little success in helping Mary even though he had used every trick in the proverbial book. After all of that, she continued having nightmares and being afraid that the water might kill her.
Upon returning from a training in Touch for Health, Dr. Callahan decided to try something new. Because Mary indicated that her distress was in her stomach, he guided her to tap on a meridian point under her eye which was related to the stomach meridian. Almost instantly, Mary experienced relief. Within minutes she was able to get into his swimming pool without any symptoms whatsoever. And thus Thought Field Therapy was born.
Over the course of the next decade, Callahan developed a set of “algorithms” for tapping on specific acupuncture points, with each specific algorithm being appropriate for specific ailments and dysfunctions. Even the same points could be used in a different order, thus creating many different algorithms which became the heart of TFT.
After completing the training himself in 1991, Gary did as so many others have done before and since, he began to examine, deconstruct, and reconstruct the process until he came up with a streamlined version which was soon to be called The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Through his research he found that the essence of Callahan’s work, the algorithms, was simply more complicated than it needed to be. Instead, Gary streamlined the process into a single algorithm that was used on every ailment. Ultimately results turned out to be equal or better, without the complications.
So in 1995, Gary assembled and released his first training. Over the course of the next 30 years, EFT spread across the planet like wildfire, largely due to its amazing efficacy. The obvious results in areas generally considered to be “incurable” was noted by many; especially considering the low cost, the lack of negative side effects, and the sheer speed and simplicity of the technique.
In March of 2010, Gary shocked the world by announcing his retirement. The stress of managing this fast-growing technique had taken its toll and his doctor announced that he had, quite surprisingly even to him, experienced a “small heart attack.” That in combination with his growing frustrations over events going on in the community that he could no longer manage or contain, and his desire to experiment with new ideas, led to his retirement. In an act as classy as the man himself, he “gifted EFT to the world.” It was a courageous act that trusted that somehow his precious EFT would be in the hands of a community who cared for it and would nurture it as much as he did. He will always be the heart and soul of EFT and we are infinitely grateful.
So when asking What is EFT, the answer could be that EFT Tapping is one of the world’s most important and intriguing developments in healing over the last 50 years toward truly healing and transforming the lives of millions of people.