Emotional Freedom Technique
What Is E.F.T.?
Emotional freedom technique (EFT) is an alternative acupuncture therapy treatment used to restore balance to your disrupted energy field and for physical pain and emotional distress. It’s also referred to as tapping or psychological acupressure.
People who use this technique believe tapping the body can create a balance in your energy system and treat pain. According to its developer, Gary Craig, a disruption in energy is the cause of all negative emotions and pain. EFT tapping has been used to treat people with anxiety and people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It's been an authorized treatment for war veterans with PTSD, and it has demonstrated some benefits as a treatment for anxiety, depression, physical pain, and insomnia.
How does Tapping Work?
Similar to acupuncture. EFT focuses on the meridian points, or energy hot spots, to restore balance to your body’s energy. It’s believed that restoring this energy balance can relieve symptoms a negative experience or emotion may have caused.
Based on Chinese medicine, meridian points are thought of as areas of the body energy flows through. These pathways help balance energy flow to maintain your health. Any imbalance can influence disease or sickness.
Acupuncture uses needles to apply pressure to these energy points. EFT uses fingertip tapping to apply pressure.
Proponents say the tapping helps you access your body’s energy and send signals to the part of the brain that controls stress. They claim that stimulating the meridian points through EFT tapping can reduce the stress or negative emotions that you feel from your issues, ultimately restoring balance to your disrupted energy.
Does EFT Tapping Work?
EFT has been used to effectively treat war veterans and active military with PTSD. In a 2013 study, researchers studied the impact of EFT tapping on veterans with PTSD against those receiving standard care. Within a month, participants receiving EFT coaching sessions had significantly reduced their psychological stress. In addition, more than half of the EFT test group no longer fit the criteria for PTSD.
There are also some success stories from people with anxiety using EFT tapping as an alternative treatment. A 2016 study compared the effectiveness of using EFT tapping over standard care options for anxiety symptoms. The study concluded there was a significant decrease in anxiety scores compared to participants receiving other care. However, further research is needed to compare EFT treatment with other cognitive therapy techniques.