Using EFT with Kids by Dr. Laura Markham (


Parents often ask me how they can de-stress and stay calm with their kids.

I highly recommend the Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT. It couldn’t be simpler, and takes almost no time. There are no side effects. It becomes more effective over time.

What is it? EFT uses the energy meridians from traditional acupuncture to treat physical and emotional ailments, but instead of inserting needles, you simply tap the acupressure points with your fingertips. Research shows that tapping these acupressure points calms the nervous system.

So EFT is great to calm yourself, and becomes more effective the more often you use it. EFT is also a quick and effective way to release negative emotions, simply by tapping each meridian point and breathing deeply.

Because the subconscious is so linked to the body, EFT can even be used to “reprogram” your subconscious when you say a positive affirmation as you do the tapping. Try:

“Even though I’m anxious about ______, I know I can handle it.”

Even though I feel sad, I deeply love, accept and forgive myself.”

Every day I am more patient/grateful/happier.”

Once you see how effective EFT is in managing your moods, you’ll probably want to try it with your child. It’s a quick and effective way to calm kids when they’re upset, help them release stuck emotions or trauma, and help them relax to fall asleep at night. You can even use it to help them reframe things more positively, for instance,”Even though I’m scared, I am safe.”

You can tap on your child directly. (You might want to demonstrate first on yourself, or on a teddy bear.) Or you can teach them to tap on themselves.

Here’s how tapping works:

Firmly but gently tap either side of the body as outlined below, using the fingertips of either hand. Tap long enough so that you can take three complete breaths in and out. You can also simply massage these points. As you tap, you can use words to help you release stuck energy. For instance, “I am more than enough.”

You may find yourself yawning, which is one of the ways your body releases emotions.

1. Karate Chop area – outside edge of hand, below little finger)


2. Eyebrow – (either eyebrow, tap on end near bridge of nose)


3. Under the Eye (about 1′ below either eye, on bone)


4. Under the Nose (above upper lip)


5. Chin (below lower lip, crease where chin starts)


6. Beginning of Collar Bone (inside end of either CB, on end below the throat)


7. Four inches under Armpit (side on rib cage)


8. Side of Little Finger (side near ring finger, at base of nail)


9. Inside of wrist (pulse point area) – Where many people fasten their watch band.


12. Crown of Head – (Resting open hand, palm down on crown)


13. Tender Spot, Left Side of Chest – Locate a tender, or sensitive spot on left side of chest. For most of us it is beneath the collarbone and above the breast area on the left side. Find the spot on yourself by pressing, using one or two fingers, around this area until you find a spot that is more tender, or sensitive than the area around it. Rub that spot in a small circle.

Don’t worry about being exact. Tapping the general area will get the job done. And don’t worry about doing all the points, or about following a specific order. Do remove glasses, watch or bracelets before beginning because they can electromagnetically obstruct.

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