Meridian Energy Therapies (METs)
by Barry Cooper
METs are mind/body healing techniques which work on the body’s energy system. The term “Energy Psychology” is also used to refer to the use of METs for psychological problems such as fears and anxieties.
The basis of meridian therapies can be traced back several thousand years to the use of acupuncture in the Neolithic period. While acupuncture, acupressure and shiatsu have continued from ancient China and Japan, modern energy therapies began in 1964 with the development of applied kinesiology by Dr George Goodheart which introduced the use of muscle-testing for diagnosis. A self-help version of these techniques, Touch for Health, was introduced in 1974 by John Thie.
In the mid-1970s, psychiatrist John Diamond developed Behavioural Kinesiology, integrating Goodheart’s principles with psychotherapy to produce techniques combining affirmations and tapping. In 1979, after studying applied kinesiology and Diamond’s techniques, Dr Roger Callahan further developed these techniques into TFT – Thought Field Therapy, introducing the concept of, and treatment for, “Psychological Reversal”.
The complex protocols of TFT were simplified by Gary Craig, who introduced EFT – Emotional Freedom Techniques – in 1995. Other meridian therapies have since been developed, perhaps the best known of which are TAT (Tapas Fleming) and BSFF (Larry Nims).
The most popular MET is EFT, which involves gently tapping on, holding or massaging the major meridian points while focusing on the problem.
Gary Craig’s original Discovery Statement is as follows: “The cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body’s energy system”. The theory behind classic EFT is that all unwanted emotions are caused by disruptions or imbalances in the body’s energy meridians, and that those disruptions can be cleared by tapping while focusing on the particular issue. Therefore a traumatic memory, for example, may cause energy disruptions leading to a phobia, but the memory itself is not the direct cause of the phobia. So it is often unnecessary to uncover the original memory, because the phobia can be treated by clearing the energy disruption.
In 2011, Silvia Hartmann, Founder and Chair of the Association for Meridian & Energy Therapies, introduced a new EFT Master Practitioner training, based on a revised form of classic EFT which she termed “Energy EFT”. This emphasises the energy body basis of EFT and, among other innovations and extensions, introduces the concept of tapping to increase positive emotions as well as to reduce negative ones.
EFT can help with a wide range of issues, including stress, self-confidence, pain, cravings and phobias. It can also help with many physical problems that have an emotional component. It is intended to be a simple self-help system, and a trained therapist will give clients thorough instruction in its use so that they can practise and help themselves between sessions.