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In the 1980s psychiatrist John Diamond M.D. wrote about his work with subtle energies (Life Energy: Using the Meridians to Unlock the Hidden Power of Your Emotions). Dr Diamond’s work was based on his discovery that each of the twelve acupuncture meridians relates to a specific emotional state. Using applied kinesiology muscle testing techniques Dr Diamond tested for emotional states at various points on the meridians. He then used a system of meditation and affirmation to balance both the emotion and meridian.
Fellow psychiatrist Dr Roger Callahan M.D., who was familiar with the meridian system and acupuncture points, brought John Diamond’s principles forward. One of Dr Callahan’s patients was Mary, a lady who had gone from therapist to therapist in an attempt to address her profound hydrophobia and its associated headaches and nightmares. During one significant session Mary complained of stomach discomfort which initiated Dr Callahan tapping under her eyes (an endpoint of the stomach meridian) with his fingertips.
Astonishingly Mary immediately announced that her phobia was gone and ran down to a nearby swimming pool where she began to splash water on her face. As a retrospective report, Mary’s phobia never returned; and her headaches and nightmares also disappeared. Another important factor is that whilst Mary’s phobia was neutralized, she maintained a healthy caution regarding water (i.e. she did not develop risk taking behaviour such as throwing herself into deep water without knowing how to swim).
So Dr Callahan developed this discovery, incorporating Dr Diamond’s work. He advanced the technique of muscle testing to determine which meridian is disrupted and used fingertips to tap on the meridian endpoint to balance the energy/chi flow. In 1991 Gary Craig, an NLP expert and performance coach, was introduced to Dr Callahan’s technique and subsequently trained in the technique (called Thought Field Therapy or TFT).
Gary Craig believed that the oftentimes laborious technique of muscle testing for each meridian was too lengthy and open to too many inaccuracies. Gary therefore took the tapping routine and created a Basic Recipe algorithm to be used in every instance. This took less time and yielded remarkable results. He termed the ‘over tapping’ of meridian endpoints the 100% Overhaul Concept; hence each endpoint would be covered whether the disruption was in that meridian or not. There has never been to date any adverse effect from tapping on endpoints of clearly flowing meridians.
Basically each of the 12 meridians and 2 vessels (1 governing, 1 conception) are covered in the sequence. The tapping points were chosen due to their proximity to the surface of the body. As EFT practitioners develop expertise and intuition other points are included and some are omitted; thus the points used can alter between clients, shift between sessions and even shift within one single session. As a rule of thumb the basic recipe sequence is adhered to for teaching and homework purposes.