Stress and anxiety is a global issue that tends to go unnoticed and mismanaged. We assume that as adults, it’s “normal” to be stressed out with high anxiety levels but just because something is common doesn’t mean it’s normal or healthy.
Juliana Alves is an EFT practitioner who uses this modality to aid people in their healing journey in order to regulate their own nervous systems as well as combat anxiety and extreme fear. Learn more about Juliana and her work here:
I’m a Level 2 EFT Practitioner with almost 5 years of experience in helping people to improve their mental health. I specialize in Stress, Complex Issues, and Trauma. I run my private practice at the moment. I previously trained as a lawyer, working in Family and Civil Law for several years until I moved to the UK in 2008.
I’m originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil and I have a passion for helping people to become happier and empowered. At the moment I’m also working on a couple of different projects as well.
When I was a lawyer it didn’t feel like I was truly helping people. There were times when I questioned myself whether I was on the right path with the work I was doing or not. During that period I was training to become a judge, as I thought that by doing so I wouldn’t have to be biased in my work. I would simply be able to apply the Law to whichever case would fall onto my desk. As a result, I wouldn’t have to feel personally dragged into people’s misuse of the Law anymore as I had been feeling.
At some point, I was so lost and so dissatisfied with the system that I decided to leave my birth country and pursue my teenage dream of coming to England.
And so it happened. Two years after I arrived in the UK, my son was born and my whole world changed once I had him in my arms. My routine, my mindset, and my priorities took a completely different perspective and I decided I wanted a career that would fit within my new life, allowing me to be present in my son’s development, as well as helping people in need.
My favorite aspect of my work as an EFT Practitioner is being able to see how people’s perspectives of their problems and their negative emotions will rapidly shift as the sessions progress. EFT is a powerful therapeutic tool, as it works much faster than regular talking therapy, enabling the client to achieve rapid results rather than spending years talking about their issues and going through the typical ups and downs of talking therapy. Having freedom from pain and trauma and being able to move on is a priceless gift.
EFT – Emotional Freedom Techniques is a powerful stress management resource, which can either be taught to people, so they can self-apply and therefore self-regulate their nervous system on a daily basis, or it can be used in 1-2-1 sessions with clients, which is what I do in my private practice. EFT can also be used as an intervention tool for moments of anxiety crisis or extreme fear. EFT is scientifically proven to reduce the levels of Cortisol in the bloodstream, and increase the levels of feel-good hormones. EFT completely changes the neural pathways in the brain connected to negative memories, allowing the client to achieve a state of emotional peace.
A typical EFT session starts with the Practitioner accessing the client’s goal as well as their background, establishing a rapport. Once we know what we are going to work on, I proceed to measure my client’s level of emotional intensity regarding the issue.
So let’s say my client had an argument at work with a very difficult colleague and they feel bad about it, so that’s what they choose to focus on during our session.
It might be that the argument was a long event with different layers of frustration and misunderstandings which culminated in a big fallout. EFT works best with specifics, so it’s very important to determine exactly why my client feels how they feel. E.g. My client feels sad because of the argument itself as they don’t like confrontation, or do they feel sad because of something else that happened previously which led to the argument? Was there any previous betrayal, gossip, or favoritism? Once the exact reason why my client feels how they feel is determined, then we move on.
Next, I ask them to tune in with their emotions and tell me how they feel. Is it anger, sadness, or frustration? Let’s say my client feels sad about the argument, as they don’t like confrontation (the fact that my client doesn’t like confrontation is another avenue to be explored and have Eft applied to).
I ask where in their body do they feel that sadness? Is it in the chest, the shoulders, the gut, or the hips? In this example, we choose the chest as the location.
Then we measure, from zero to ten, the intensity of the emotion at that point. So let’s say my client feels their intensity is up to a 7 (seven).
Next, we proceed on to apply EFT Tapping, always with the aim of bringing the emotional intensity down to zero. Zero intensity means that the client feels neutral about the issue and a 10 (ten) means the highest level of intensity.
There might be that other layers of negative emotions and other events come up and so we proceed the same way, always checking the intensity, location, and the kind of emotion we pick up on, always being as specific as we can. Once all the negative aspects regarding the issue (or at least the framed aspects we choose to work on that session) are neutralized and the client feels regulated, lighter, relaxed, and calm, we finish the session.
Every EFT session must finish with the client feeling better than in the beginning. Even if we only manage to work on small aspects of one big issue, the client will always feel better towards the end.
Benefits of EFT:
EFT is widely used in the US to heal veterans from PTSD, but it also works wonders for grief, anxiety, depression, fear, phobia, addictions, improving self-esteem, shifting negative emotions, as well as aiding the immune system, etc. EFT works fast and effectively because it changes the brain chemistry of the client, inhibiting the brain’s amygdala (stress response) and enabling the frontal cortex (rational decisions) at the same time. As a result of using EFT to treat negative events, the client becomes emotionally neutral and they’re able to move on and make life decisions based on what’s best for them and not on fear.
Apart from being great on a daily basis to improve our breathing, focus, productivity, and overall relaxation, recent research has shown that EFT also works on physical aspects of our body. Through conducting randomized controlled trials, Dr. Peta Stapleton, PhD., has found out that the clinical practice of EFT can actually improve multiple physiological markers of health, such as Cortisol (hormone stress) – down by 37%; Pain – down by 57%; Anxiety – down by 40%; Depression symptoms – down by 35%; PTSD symptoms – down by 32%; Blood Pressure – down by 8%; Food Cravings – down by 74%; Immune System markers – up by 113%; Happiness – up by 31%.
I mostly work with EFT Tapping and one of its wonders is the possibility of treating trauma without the need to trigger my clients as it would happen if they were attending talking therapy sessions. EFT allows trauma to be treated through the dissociation of the client from the traumatic events. As a result, their trauma-related memories become neutral and emotionally distant and they’re able to move on.
I also like to use a few Mindful techniques to help my clients with their grounding. And reframing, which is an NLP technique, also comes in very handy when clients keep very negative ideas in their minds about who they are or about things that happened to them. Asking them questions and allowing them to engage in self-reflection promote a better flow of ideas aiming to identify the core issue of what they want to heal from in the first place.
EFT means freedom from trauma, painful memories, forgiveness, and self-forgiveness. EFT gives the client the ability to take back control of their own personal power and personal peace. I know that because during my EFT training I was able to experience healing from something that had happened to me over thirty years ago but still brought me to tears whenever I had to speak about it. For years I had grieved the loss of my sister who had passed away from a brain tumor when we were children. I could never get over the fact that everyone hid it from me even though I was only four years old at the time. So during our second day of training, I volunteered to be the client for a demo session. My then EFT trainer applied one of EFT’s various techniques to treat trauma. Fifteen minutes later, the anger and the sorrow I had held on to for the past three decades were gone forever. My wounds were healed.
EFT is science evidence-based so I always back up my approach with scientific research links and books written by Doctors whenever I speak of EFT.
Juliana’s universal health and wellbeing tips:
Apart from self-applying EFT on a regular basis, I also like to practice Ho’ponopono, which is a forgiveness and self-forgiveness mantra that helps us release negative emotions and feelings. Once you get the hang of it, it becomes part of your personal peace routine. If you wish to practice it, just say your name plus the four Ho’ponopono sentences. So, for example, if I’m practicing for myself I’ll say:
“Juliana, I’m Sorry.
Please, Forgive Me.
I Love You.”
Repeat it as many times as you like, until you feel peaceful. I like to use a 108 bead Japamala for my repetitions. You can also practice it for somebody you wish to help or a situation you wish to heal. Ho’ponopono makes me feel calm and peaceful.
Ask for help, even if you think help is beyond your situation. There are people out there waiting for your call and if you can’t afford to pay for mental health treatment, there are lots of professionals and organizations who specialize in helping people on a low income.
Juliana’s suggested resources:
I’m always available to answer people’s questions if they wish to know more about EFT here.
I have my own podcast, where I record some guided meditation practices and reflections:
I’m always educating people about EFT on my Instagram @eftpractitioner
The following books are excellent if you wish to learn how to do EFT and how it works in your body from a scientific point of view.
The Healing Power of EFT and Energy Psychology – Tap into your body’s energy to change your life for the better. David Feinstein, Donna Eden & Gary Craig. Piatkus, 2014.
The Genie In Your Genes – Epigenetic Medicine and the New Biology of Intention. Dawson Church, PhD. Energy Psychology Press, 2014.
The Science Behind Tapping – A Proven Stress Management Technique For the Mind and Body. Peta Stapleton, PhD. Hay House Inc., 2019.
The EFT International website is a great resource to learning and research.
I’m always available to answer people’s questions if they wish to know more about EFT here.
Managing your emotions and internal dialogue is just as important to your health as nutrition, exercise, and vitamin D. When internal issues are ignored, this can escalate to more serious health issues so it’s integral to your overall health to not push these feelings to the side. Learn more about healing with EFT and Juliana’s work here:
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