Stories of Accupressure


Acupressure techniques, such as TFT(tm), EFT, or TAT, often involve the Apex effect. The Apex effect involves the client's disbelief that anything so simple could work so fast, or so completely.

For that reason, people often make excuses to say that it did not work, even though it has worked powerfully right in front of their eyes, so to speak. 

Quite often the response is, "you distracted me," or "it doesn't happen unless I'm there," or "it's a placebo effect." One person said, "Well, it was so long ago," when only a few minutes earlier he had been telling me how disturbing it was. So far as distraction is concerned, I repeat a reminder phrase over and over, so they will not be distracted.


For example, I once used EFT with a person who said that he trembled whenever he could hear a helicopter. He said that his feeling at the moment, just talking about it, was an 8 on a scale of 10.

A few moments later, he said the feeling was zero, but added, "I don't feel it unless it is really happening."

A few months later I saw him and asked him about it, and he said that no helicopters had flown near him. However, in that military town, that is a very frequent occurrence.



A client once told me that he had once witnessed a serious accident, that would not leave his mind. He also said he had been sexually molested as a child, and when he became an adult, the molester was in an authority relationship over him, from which he could not escape. He described his feelings of guilt, shame, and rage, at a 10 on a scale of 10.

A few minutes later, he said the feeling had reduced from a 10 to a zero. It was nearing the end of the session, and I told him that we could deal with some of the other problems in the next session.

His answer was, "there's a lot of difference between people dying, and a little bit of embarrassment." What had earlier been described as extreme, was now described as a little bit of embarrassment.

He could not see how such an easy technique could remove a major symptom in a single session, even though it had just done so, and he never returned.

Quite often an observer says that the apparent sudden improvement is simply due to a placebo effect. However, I have never seen any other therapy produce such a high rate of such complete and rapid placebo effects. A placebo effect is based on faith, and people are generally generally skeptical about these treatments (TAT, EFT, TFT [tm] ) when they see them. It's hard to see how so many placebo effects could come from disbelievers.

Clients using the treatment often say that they feel better "because you distracted me." However, I repeat a reminder phrase while they are doing the treatment, and are then asked to think about it after the treatment is finished. So how could they be distracted at that time?

One is naturally tempted to explain it away, because it certainly is hard to believe that such a simple treatment could possibly have such rapid and profound effects, even after seeing it. Often, compared to all other treatments, it simply seems impossible.


Sometimes a problem has a number of aspects to it. Consequently, a person may believe there is "no change," because other aspects of the problem also produce strong feeling.

Sometimes the person will admit that his attention is shifting from one aspect of the problem to another, so it is hard to know what has been treated. But if one will treat one aspect of the problem, and then another, eventually a person will be able to say the feeling is "zero" on a scale of one to 10.

For example, he may have been traumatized by an accident, and may say that the memory of the accident produces feelings of an 8 on a scale of 10. After treatment, his feeling may go down, but come back up later, when he thinks of somebody who was killed in the accident.

Treating that, his feeling may go down, but become strong again when he considers that he lost his leg as a result of the accident. Treating that, he may then think of the fact that he lost his leg, then his wife, then his business, then became involved with drugs and got arrested, sent to prison, and so on. He needs to treat each one of those before that scenario no longer distresses him.

If his feelings remain strong, he may give up after the first round, saying, "It doesn't work." However, nobody expects such instant results from any other therapy, such as talk therapy.

If he stays with it, and treats the second aspect, and then the third, and so on, then he can eventually cover all aspects of the problem, still succeeding in a fraction of the time that other methods may have taken.


Sometimes a person will admit that he was not thinking of the problem, but thinking something like, "this isn't going to work," or "this is stupid." And then, when he does that, it doesn't work. It isn't a faith cure, and it doesn't require that you believe in it. But it does require that you follow the procedure properly.


Likewise, a person, when asked to press his hand in back of his head in a certain way, may believe it isn't important, and lay the flat of his hand to one side of his head, not cupped and not centered. And because he wasn't doing what is needed, it doesn't work.


Sometimes people will ask, "how long does it last?" Oddly, people don't ask the same about other kinds of treatment.

However, where addictions are concerned, one will find that the treatment reduces craving to zero, and when it returns, it is weaker, and there is more time between cravings. If the treatment is repeated, this effect is increased, until eventually the craving is at zero, and the time between cravings is forever.

If we are speaking of tobacco, and a person has convinced himself that a smoke is a remedy for tension, then if something happens, such as his mother dying, he may reach for his cigarettes. He may reverse the effect of past treatment by smoking a pack or two a day before his next session, or not even return for more sessions because he believes his cigarettes benefit him.

He continued to smoke, not because the treatment is not effective, but because he chose to return to smoking in the belief that he had a good reason to do so. He could have returned, repeated the treatment, and perhaps dealt with the other problem, too. It isn't actually hopeless because a stressful situation has arisen.


Dr. Roger Callahan, developer of TFT (R), also discovered an effect he called "reversal." Sometimes a treatment did not work, until the reversal was treated.

The reversal is treated by tapping for a moment on the edge of your hand, near the little finger, called the "karate chop spot." Another spot on your chest also treats a "delayed reversal," in which a problem comes back later (assuming that was not due to a second aspect of the problem, of course.)

The spot for a delayed reversal can be found by starting at the bottom of your throat, just above the breastbone, go down three inches, and then to the side three inches. It will be along a horizontal line, which passes about an inch below a man's nipples.

Rub on the spot with four fingers, and it will be a little bit tender, or sore. Rub for two or three seconds as you think of the problem, and the delayed reversal is treated.

ALSO: Read the article below on the list on "Your unseen inner therapist."