What is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)?

EFT (also known as ‘tapping’) combines Eastern and Western Medicine. From Western Psychological Techniques, one identifies a negative emotion, such as a fear or anxiety, an upsetting memory or unresolved problem, or anything that is bothering you. From Eastern Medicine, one taps five to seven times on specific points of various meridians, while maintaining mental focus on the identified issue. Tapping on meridian points, while concentrating on accepting and resolving the negative emotion can help individuals with physical pain, emotional problems, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), injuries, and diseases. Like acupuncture and acupressure, tapping activates a person’s energy systems, while their speaking and interacting with a trained practitioner helps them to ‘unwrap’ and address their identified problems.

EFT can also be used to advance achievement-oriented goals, helping one to work at their highest potential.

Physical issues (pain, injury, disease, illness) can have associated negative emotions. Negative emotions can also have physical effects on the body. EFT addresses both, helping individuals align and harmonize ones’ physical and emotional troubles by treating the person as a whole.

Philosophy of EFT

Everything is composed of energy. Negative emotions and physical ailments can yield (and are influenced by) an imbalance of a person’s energy.  By restoring the body’s energy, the parts of the body and mind that are effected by the energy disruption can begin to heal.

The meridians are a network of energy channels that flow through the body and one can tap into this energy at many points along the system. Traditional Chinese medicine refers to the body’s energy as “ch’i.” These ancient techniques, including stimulating meridian points, can strengthen and restore the body’s energy and positively influence mental and physical health. Acupuncture, like EFT, activates the body’s meridians and energy flow to help restore well-being. However, acupuncture involves needles, while EFT does not! Energy Medicine also uses the meridians, as one of nine energy systems they utilize to impact health. However, both Acupuncture and Energy Medicine can take years to master, while EFT can be learned relatively quickly.

EFT is straightforward, painless, and the techniques can be learned by anyone. While you can work with a trained and certified practitioner, you can apply it to yourself, whenever you want, wherever you are. It can be used with specific emotional intent toward your own unique life challenges. How wonderful to be able to influence your own health, putting your future and present health back into your own hands.

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Benefits of EFT

EFT Benefits: Please note that only research conducted with both a treatment/intervention group and a control group, showing statistical (at p = .05), practical (such as a 20% reduction) or clinical significance (individuals no longer display a clinical level of a diagnosis are included. Other research may be promising, but it does not sufficiently show the effectiveness of EFT as an intervention.

 

Decreased Anxiety

Clond, M. (2016). Emotional Freedom Techniques for AnxietyA Systematic Review With Meta-analysism. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease.

Abstract: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26894319 

Article based on the research: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/research-review-shows-eft-emotional-freedom-techniques_us_592ef89ae4b0d80e3a8a3270

 

Decreased Stress

Rogers, R. and Sears, S. Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) for Stress in Students: A Randomized Controlled Dismantling Study, Energy Psychology, 7(2), 26-32

http://www.focusedhealthykids.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/College-Student-EFT-Study.pdf

Promote Health. Health Science Journal [serial online]. April 2011;5(2):74-89. Available from: CINAHL Plus with Full Text, Ipswich, MA. Accessed September 1, 2017. 

The Science behind EFT

Healing arts that engage ancient traditions met with skepticism. Many doctors and psychologists believe it is “woo woo”, as much of the early information involved anecdotal evidence from practitioners and people who have used EFT. However, there is a growing pool of research showing that EFT produces real, lasting breakthroughs, sometimes eliminating phobias, habits, and conditions that traditional interventions have failed to adequately change. As an example, one of my clients had been biting his nails for over 35 years, and totally eliminated the habit after one 40-minute tapping session!

Researchers at Harvard have shown that the brain’s stress and fear responses, which are controlled by a part of the brain called the amygdala, can be decreased by stimulating meridian points used in acupuncture, acupressure, energy medicine, and EFT. While the initial studies focused on acupuncture and used needles in a double-blind research protocol, later studies revealed that stimulating the same points through pressure yielded in a similar response!

Dr. Dawson Church has conducted numerous studies on EFT. In one of his studies he used a randomized controlled trial to study how an hour-long tapping session would impact the stress levels of 83 subjects. They measured the research volunteers’ levels of cortisol, a hormone secreted by the body when it undergoes stress, before and after the tapping session. Cortisol levels were reduced 24%, and some volunteers showed nearly a 50% reduction. In comparison, there were no significant cortisol reductions for volunteers who underwent an hour of traditional talk therapy. The Stress Project was also created by Dr. Dawson Church. This project teaches tapping to war veterans who have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The veterans have experienced an average 63% decrease in PTSD symptoms after six rounds of tapping. These are excellent results!

The History of Tapping

An Accidental Discovery Leads to a Healing Revolution

In 1980, Roger Callahan (a psychologist) was working with a patient who had an extreme fear of water. She was unable to drive near the ocean, take her children swimming, could not look at water shown on TV, had nightmares about water, and was afraid when it rained. Her name was Mary.

Dr. Callahan worked with Mary for over a year, after which she was able to sit within sight of a pool at Dr. Callahan’s home, but still feeling extreme distress. She experienced stomach pains as a result of her fear and distress. Dr. Callahan recalled acupuncture points for the stomach meridian that were located on the cheekbone and asked her to tap there. Her stomach problems disappeared, as did her phobia of water!

Following this insightful treatment result, Dr. Callahan began a series of investigations to develop and refine this technique, which he termed Thought Field Therapy. Gary Craig trained under Dr. Callahan’s tutelage in the 1990’s, learning the procedures for TFT. As time passed, Craig began to simplify the technique, calling it EFT. EFT has one basic, simple sequence of points to tap, no matter what the situation.

Researchers at Harvard have shown that the brain’s stress and fear responses, which are controlled by a part of the brain called the amygdala, can be decreased by stimulating meridian points used in acupuncture, acupressure, energy medicine, and EFT. While the initial studies focused on acupuncture and used needles in a double-blind research protocol, later studies revealed that stimulating the same points through pressure yielded in a similar response!

Dr. Dawson Church has conducted numerous studies on EFT. In one of his studies he used a randomized controlled trial to study how an hour-long tapping session would impact the stress levels of 83 subjects. They measured the research volunteers’ levels of cortisol, a hormone secreted by the body when it undergoes stress, before and after the tapping session. Cortisol levels were reduced 24%, and some volunteers showed nearly a 50% reduction. In comparison, there were no significant cortisol reductions for volunteers who underwent an hour of traditional talk therapy. The Stress Project was also created by Dr. Dawson Church. This project teaches tapping to war veterans who have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The veterans have experienced an average 63% decrease in PTSD symptoms after six rounds of tapping. These are excellent results!

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