Simply put, EFT is a great tool to relieve STRESS of any kind. It is a technique that integrates body and mind by using tapping on acupressure points that are based on the Chinese meridian system, while tuning into an emotional or physical issue. Energy medicine recognizes the cause of negative emotions, and physical pain, especially chronic pain, as a disruption in the body’s energy system. By tapping on acupressure points these blockages get cleared and emotional balance and pain release is experienced.
When you first learn about EFT, you think this is absolutely ridiculous, it looks stupid, and there is no way that this technique can be taken seriously . At least that was my response and, as I know, the response of many of my colleagues. I quickly changed my mind once tried EFT myself and saw studies with hundreds and thousands of war veterans suffering from PTSD and other issues (for a comprehensive review please go to the link at the bottom of this page).
In the late 70’s, psychologist Dr. Roger Callahan worked with a client who presented with an extreme water phobia that had a horrendous effect on her life. Working with his client for years, and even trying different modalities like hypnosis did not bring any improvement to her situation. Around that time, Dr. Callahan studied with Dr. Diamond, a physician who understood health and wellbeing as an integration of body and mind, using the energy meridian system that as been practiced in Chinese medicine for more than 5000 years.
One day Dr. Callahan asked his client where she felt the fear of water in her body. She answered that she felt it in her stomach. He recalled that the endpoint of the stomach meridian is under the eye, and therefore asked her to gently tap with her fingers on that spot. It is reported, that she got up from her chair only minutes after she started tapping and ran to the edge of his pool saying: “It is gone!”.
Dr. Callahan was amazed and deepened his study of integration of “meridian endpoint tapping” and traditional psychotherapy. He developed a series of “tapping algorithms” for certain issues. A new therapy was born: Thought Field Therapy (TFT).
Gary Craig was one of Dr. Callahan first TFT students. He was fascinated by the fast release of negative emotions through the integration of tapping on acupressure points and he, being an engineer was all about efficiency. He determined that the sequence of tapping doesn’t matter but more the tapping itself. And instead of spending a lot of time on figuring out which meridian to tap on to release the blockage, he developed a sequence of tapping points that simply covered all meridians in the body. Emotional Freedom Techniques was born.
Since then there have been many studies about EFT and PTSD, anxiety, phobia, pain, addiction and more. Even though we don’t know the mechanism of how tapping reduces stress and leads to emotional balance, as of 2016 there have been 82 peer reviewed articles about energy psychology (the term that is used where the body’s “energy field” is influenced by acupressure or related techniques), with 43 of these being randomized control trials (RCT), with 98% of those showing that energy psychology techniques are highly effective. For more information and the studies done visit the website of the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology (ACEP).
The most comprehensive review, summarizing the increasing amount of research supporting EFT, is an article by Dr. David Feinstein. This article is from 2012 and many new studies have been published since then. Please check out the ACEP website for an update on research studies. Dr. Feinstein’s article can be downloaded here: Acupoint Stimulation in Treating Psychological Disorders: Evidence of Efficacy.
Nick Ortner – The Tapping Solution (ISBN 9781401939410).
This book is an easy read to learn about EFT and it has some tapping scripts for all kinds of issues like weight loss, pain, etc..
Dr. David Feinstein – The Promise of Energy Psychology (ISBN 9781585424429).
This book is more comprehensive and a great read! Dr. Feinstein is a psychologist who is really thorough and very familiar with all the research about EFT.