Solving the Mystery of Borrowing Benefits in EFT

By Dr. Patricia Carrington

I was recently reminded of the remarkable effects of the EFT tactic that Gary Craig calls "Borrowing Benefits". He was telling about an experience he recalled from an EFT conference in Chicago several years ago.

This was the first time Gary had introduced this technique to an audience so large, some 500 plus attendees, so he had been careful to give particularly detailed instructions to them.  One of the things he emphasized was that when they wrote down an issue that was concerning them, they were to make their EFT statements very specific.  For example, if they were afraid of driving over bridges, he told them they would probably derive much more benefit from the exercise if they were to think of a specific incident during which they had experienced anxiety when doing that.  For example, instead of the more general Reminder Phrase, "My fear of bridges", they might use a phrase such as, "Driving over the Golden Gate Bridge last January…", etc.

I was a member of that large audience and I remember how all of us watched attentively as Gary showed one of his Borrowing Benefits videos to us and we dutifully followed his instructions, and really were specific in our issues.  When he worked with the subject in the video we laid our paper (with our issue written on it) aside, concentrated on the demo, and tapped as instructed while repeating out loud the statements of the demo subject — we actually spoke with him or her in unison.

After playing the video, Gary asked how many of people in the audience had collapsed more than two specific events down to zero –– about 25% of the people in the auditorium raised their hands to show that they had (roughly 125 people).  He then asked for a show of hands to indicate how many people had collapsed at least one specific event and about 75% of the attendees raised their hands.  When he finally asked how many had a clearly noticeable improvement on at least one specific event, all but 1 hand out of the 500 went up. The power of this seemingly simple intervention was obvious. 

Some months later, I remember watching Borrowing Benefits demonstrated again at Gary's Second Flagstaff conference where its effect was being measured by researcher Jack Rowe, for a study being conducted on the premises.  Although the results this second time were highly significant statistically and about 90% of the people claimed improvement, Gary did not instruct on all the details by going through the audience and making sure they understood how important it was to be specific as he had in Chicago, and the results were not quite as dramatic. Specificity, as he points out, is one of the most important elements in effective tapping.

This brings us to the question of why  Borrowing Benefits has so profound an effect.  As I see

Borrow Power Resources to Change Your LifeHow to Borrow Resource States from Others

it, there may be several ingredients to this process.

First, an identification with the other person takes place on a profound level when we are tapping along with that person and repeating the words used by him or her.  It seems that stimulating the meridian points while we are observing the tapping person makes the process more powerful than our usual identification with or empathy with another person.  What is happening here?

One possibility is that our emotional "receptors" are opened up by the tapping in such a way that we experience a oneness with the other person that is unusually strong.  We seem to come into synch with that person in a profound way as our energy systems become entrained (a technical term that refers to synchronization of otherwise distinct processes) –– each person is now coming into harmony with the other.  This implies the ability of the human energy system to sense and  vibrate in synchrony with other energy systems, much as tones produced on one tuning fork can cause a sympathetic vibration in another tuning fork nearby, producing the same musical note in the other fork.

In Borrowing Benefits, as the observer shares an energy field with the other person who is tapping on their own issue, this seems to multiply the effects of tapping in somewhat the same way that a whole audience’s applause has a different effect on us from just hearing a single person clapping.  Simultaneity is powerful.

In addition, Gary points out (in a personal email communication to me) that he considers empathy to be a major contributor to the BB process. "Whenever we do a BB session, we are inevitably collapsing for the person on stage things like guilt, grief, fear, anxiety, trauma, anger and the like.  Everyone has collected these things throughout their lives and thus audience members draw their own parallels.  For example, they may not have had anger at an abusive father (like the person on stage) but they certainly have had anger over other things (bosses, romantic partners, etc.).  Anger is anger and, for BB purposes, it doesn’t matter where it comes from.  Our systems will draw the necessary empathic parallel."


Another important point which has been little noticed is that when we Borrow Benefits we allow the person who is actually saying the words and doing the tapping to take responsibility for these actions and so we are in a sense not responsible for them, we are only followers.  Consequently, when we are absorbed in the problems of another person and identifying on an energetic level with them, we seem to be not nearly as defended against insights or change in ourselves as ordinarily.  In a sense, Borrowing Benefits seems to "sneak" past our psychological barriers so that this technique can reach directly to the core of ourselves.

This reminds me of the deep effects I have seen occur in myself and others when working with the EFT therapeutic toy, Tappy Bear.  It is often possible when working with Tappy, to obtain results which would not be possible if the child or adult tapped on his or her own self.  A parent can say, for example, "Tappy Bear is worried about going to school this morning.  Can you help him by tapping on him?", and if the child taps on the stuffed bear instead of on him/herself the anxiety is usually quickly dispelled with no resistance.  Borrowing Benefits from Tappy is often more successful than having the child tap directly on themselves.

We can see, therefore, that much more is occurring when we Borrow Benefits than may be realized at first glance.  To understand this process we may have to reach beyond our ordinary way of viewing things and  "tap into" the laws of the universe which involve the sharing of energy fields.  This is an awe-inspiring thought.

Comments are closed