04 May 2009

EFT - Emotional Freedom Techniques. What is It?

Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) are based upon the theory that negative emotions are caused by "disturbances" in the body's "energy field." EFT is derived from Thought Field Therapy (TFT) techniques and is based upon acupuncture. Proponents of EFT claim it relieves many psychological and physical conditions, including depression, anxiety, stress, addictions and phobias.

The basic EFT technique involves recalling a negative memory or emotion and simultaneously using one's fingers to tap on specific points on the body. This tapping alters the body's energy field, restoring it to a "balance."


1. A 2003 study, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology and financed by the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology, involved 35 patients with a phobia of small animals. Each patient received a single treatment with EFT. The authors stated that their results were "largely consistent" with the hypothesis that EFT can reduce phobias.

2. Another 2003 study, published in The Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice, was conducted by Waite and Holder on 119 University students who experienced specific fears or phobias. This study divided the students into four groups: Group A received a single round of EFT with tapping on the appropriate points; Group B received the same EFT treatment except that they tapped on points in the arm that are not the standard EFT recommendations; Group C received the same EFT treatment as Group A and tapped on a doll; and Group D was asked to make a toy only.

The students were asked to record their fears before and after treatment on a "SUDS" scale.
Groups A, B and C did better than Group D. There were no significant differences between the Groups A, B and C which implies that the tapping certain areas isn't necessary.

3. A 2005 study, published in Counseling and Clinical Psychology, used a symptom checklist to in 102 participants in an (EFT) workshop before their treatment, after their treatment, and six months later. There was no control group. The results of this study showed a significant decrease in psychological distress over time.

EFT has it's controversies. Some proponents are very conservative about their claims while others have gone beyond the scope of EFT's creator, claiming it can cure just about anything. EFT has it's roots in Eastern medicine so, of course, Western medicine is going to be skeptical.

EFT Video:

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