In the late '80s, a partner and I led fire walks.

We made some observations regarding the emotional states of the participants as they were stepping onto the hot coals.

We observed that some states were safe to be in while on the coals while others were not.

Arrogance, for example, often led to blisters, whereas a calm center allowed others to walk many times without a single burn. We could sense that each emotion, such as fear, anger or joy, has specific frequencies or vibrations, and that there is also a specific biochemistry involved with each emotion.

Have you ever noticed that our society has focused on the mind to the extent that the emotions are looked upon as less important than the intellect or, even worse, as a necessary evil to be dealt with and controlled?

While I was growing up, the prevailing wisdom was that women had permission to express their emotions but men, real men that is, shouldn't. It certainly left me feeling, at least, a little out of step, and sparked my curiosity about emotions. I became interested in what they really are, how they may be useful, and how I can be in touch with them--without being ruled by them.

My father was a psychiatric nurse for thirty years. When I was six years old, I started setting pins in the bowling alley and later ran a booth at summer fairs on the grounds of the huge institution where he worked. I believe that this experience, with the extremes that I experienced, piqued my interest in the mental and emotional states that drive people. Later in life, I experimented with a number of energy therapies, such as Reiki and Therapeutic Touch. I eventually created a style of my own that I coined Breakthrough Bodywork, which combines skills from several schools of energy work as well as soft-tissue massage.

Many people say that we cannot separate the mind from the body or the emotions, which I believe is true. Thought is creative; it is an electrical impulse that has an effect on the physical body. However, the real fuel for creating our reality is emotion. For instance, the thought, "Oh look, it is three o'clock" is a neutral thought, which will have little or no effect. But a thought with an emotion attached becomes powerful, such as "It is three o'clock and my mommy was supposed to pick me up at one o'clock!" and can have a lasting effect if that child buries the emotion inside, or makes a decision about the event, such as "No one really loves me" or "I can't trust anyone." Sometimes these decisions are filed away from conscious awareness, yet affect our decisions for the rest of our lives.

In the late '90s, I became acquainted with the concept of "Emotional Intelligence." I was intrigued by the name and read as much as I could on the topic. I eventually became certified to present a tool for assessing the level of one's emotional maturity, a tool called the "Eqi." The self-administered questionnaire was created by Dr. Reuven Baron, and was taught to me by David Cory. I found that the process was a very good method of assessing my emotional maturity in a detached, intellectual manner. It was a way to observe myself in a cool, impartial way, and set me on the path to gaining control of my emotions. As a result, I began to harness the power of this fuel to create a life that I am now proud and happy to be living.

It's clear to me that if we use our thoughts and our emotions as tools, we can create anything we want. Whereas, if we are at the mercy of our thoughts and emotions, we are blown about life like boats without rudders, suffering the consequences of any passing wind rather than creating the circumstances we desire.

The bottom line is that emotions are the fuel we use to empower our thoughts and dreams. We can become true magicians if we gain the ability to understand and direct our thoughts with the power that emotions like joy, hope and determination supply, rather than being tossed about by random bouts of fear or anger.

The most powerful tool that I have discovered for gaining control of emotional states is called the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), created by Gary Craig. I have found EFT to be the most potent tool for healing old issues like phobias, and for managing pain. It's especially effective in releasing the emotional baggage that keeps us from living fully. I have used EFT to identify and release many of my old fears and doubts. It has been instrumental in my creation of a life that is balanced and exciting. I now use EFT as a part of my coaching to help people create the life they have dreamed of but not yet realized.

EFT combines some of the principles of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, known as NLP, and acupuncture. The acupuncture aspect avoids the use of needles and substitutes tapping on the end points of the meridians. The technique was originally used for phobias and other emotional issues but has evolved into a tool that has a multitude of applications, from pain management to releasing emotional trauma to encoding powerful new choices that affect every area of life you can imagine.

While the basics of EFT are simple and easy-to-learn techniques that have little chance for negative side effects, I encourage interested readers to check out Gary Craig's website, or my website,, to learn EFT properly. The following description is for your information and not intended to represent the full range of EFT components.

To begin a session of EFT, we use a setup phrase, which is used to focus on the issue and has the added benefit of ending with a positive affirmation. For a headache, one might say, while tapping on the edge of the hand, the part we call the "karate chop point" (the part that you would use in a karate chop), "Even though I have this terrible headache, I deeply and completely accept myself."

We incorporate a reminder phrase or word that is used to keep the focus on the specific issue being worked on, in combination with a gentle tapping motion on the end points of the main acupuncture meridians. The tapping sequence consists of eight main points, beginning at the top of the head and progressing down to the three eye points, at the inner end of the eyebrow, beside and under the eye. The next two points are under the nose on the upper lip, and on the chin at the base of the teeth. The next is a point at the collarbone and the last one for the basic round is in the armpit, an inch or two below the joint.

The word "round" is used to describe the series of tapping points, from the top of the head to the armpit, or more in the case of more involved tapping sequences. After tapping through one cycle or round you reassess the pain, and if it is still present you do more rounds until it clears or is sufficiently reduced.

EFT can indeed bring freedom - freedom from painful memories such as posttraumatic stress disorder, as demonstrated by Gary Craig with a number of Vietnam vets, or even physical pain from injury or illness. I have a damaged knee that flares up now and then. My GP suggested that I take up to a dozen painkillers a day to control the pain. In a few minutes with EFT, I am pain-free again. It has been a very satisfying time teaching people this technique, because the results can be so immediate and gratifying. I really enjoy working with people who are ready to create change, and helping them get rid of the emotional blocks that may have been holding them back is my great privilege.

The EFT "Discovery Statement" captures the essence: "The cause of all negative emotion is the disruption of the body's energy system." EFT effectively restores the natural flow of the body's energy for general and also very specific disruptions.

In closing, I would like to add that all emotions have value. They keep us in touch with life, and to do so they must flow like water or electricity. Whenever we block the flow, we risk negative results. While it is important that we not be ruled by emotions, it is vital to our well-being to be in touch with and aware of them. The most powerful way to live is to be in an aware and balanced state, one in which you can harness your imagination and fuel your ideas with the power of emotional intensity.

We make all our choices out of fear or positive desire - so why not make all your choices count?

I welcome the opportunity to answer any questions you may have and I am excited to share my experience with interested individuals or groups by phone, e-mail or in person.

By Andrew Bryce EFT Master

Author's Bio: 

Andy Bryce is a Reiki Master and EFT Master. He has been coaching and mentoring clients for over twenty years. In 1988 he created Breakthrough Bodywork to assist in the clearing of stuck emotional energies. Andy has lectured and taught EFT and Spiritual healing on four continents, in seven countries as well as eight US states and Canada. He resides in a suburb of Vancouver BC, and is one of 29 EFT Master Practitioners in the world. He does telephone sessions with clients around the world, from Thailand to Norway.