According to traditional chinese medicine (TCM), each side of your body has twelve energy channels, called meridians, running through it, as well as two “extraordinary” channels running down the center of it. The energy that flows through the channels is the pure life energy of the universe, called qi (pronounced chi) in China, ki in Japan, and prana in India. This energy may also be considered to be the manifestation of the tao or the flow of the holy spirit referred to in Christianity. TCM posits that an unbalanced or blocked flow of qi leads to various forms of ill health and that a free and balanced flow is necessary for health and wellbeing, both physically and psychologically. The core treatment in TCM is acupuncture, in which fine needles are inserted into various points, called acupoints, along the meridians.
Towards the end of the 20th century, people in the realm of psychology and self-help in the West, including Roger Callahan and Gary Crag, developed mental health treatments that combined concepts from TCM with concepts from clinical psychology. These treatments, Thought Field Therapy (TFT) and Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), respectively, are centered around the percussive stimulation of acupuncture points. Typically, a troubling thought is held in mind while a specific set of acupoints is stimulated in a given order, releasing the associated energy blockages and leading to an increased sense of wellbeing. Whereas in TFT the sequence of points is often determined by a skilled practitioner, in EFT the same set of points is stimulated every time the treatment is applied. This means that it can be easily used by people on themselves without the help of a skilled practitioner.
TFT and EFT are “meridian therapies” and are part of the field of energy psychology. To try EFT, see my article on the EFT basic recipe.