Emotional Freedom Technique
Emotional Freedom Technique is also known as EFT
and Acupressure Tapping, and is referred to as an Energy
Psychology because we work with the body's energy
Meridian channels and our thoughts and feelings, combining
psychology with energy therapy. It works with nature's
healing system to re-balance the body's energy system.
EFT originated in the USA in 1995 by Stanford graduate Gary Craig following his collaboration with Clinical Psychologist Dr. Roger Callaghan.
It is a modern emotional healing therapy developed from ancient Chinese acupuncture but instead of using needles it involves tapping with the fingertips on a small number of key acupressure points on the hands, head and chest whilst focusing the mind on a troubling emotional, personal or health issue. This literally taps into our body's own energy and healing power by sending an electromagnetic impulse to the amygdala in our brain which is the centre responsible for our emotional response. Tapping sends a calming sensation to the amygdala which de-activates the stress response and reduces the level of cortisol (the stress hormone) in the brain. This then releases the emotional charge connected to the problem at hand. Tapping breaks down the energy blocks that prevents energy from flowing freely and breaks down our negative emotions and feelings. It is scientifically proven to lead to physiological balancing in the body leading to significant improvements in physical and emotional well-being.
EFT enables us to re-programme our brain so that the damaging effects of our negative emotions, feelings, memories and trauma are eliminated. The memories themselves are not eliminated but the pain and negative effects attached to them are. It enables us to let go of disabling beliefs about ourselves and the way people treat us, and how the world is. This leads to life-changing effects and personal transformation.
Tapping is very gentle and easy to learn. Not only is it very effective in the therapeutic situation but it is also highly effective and safe as a self-help technique for managing daily stresses, anxieties and difficult situations.
EFT with Children and Young People
EFT Tapping works wonderfully with children and
young people. They absorb it so easily and find it fun!
It is gentle, quick and light-hearted. For younger
children I use Tappy Bear. I show them how to tap on the
bear to get the same positive effects as tapping on
themselves. I work with children from six years of age and young people who
have a range of worries and concerns, such as anxiety,
school worries, phobias, bullying, friendships issues,
and behaviour issues. I have significant experience of
working with young people with troubled behaviour and
those in the criminal justice system. I teach children
and young people how to tap on themselves to tap away
stress and anxiety, for self-regulation of behaviour, for
calming and managing daily anxieties and worries such as
exams, friendship and family issues. If you would like to
know more about how I might be able to help your child,
please phone or email me. I have a current DBS
Enhanced Certificate which permits me to work with
children, young people and vulnerable adults.
EFT with Medical Problems
EFT helps with many medical problems. Clients
have found it a useful complement to conventional
treatment. As a complementary therapy, however, it does
not replace seeking qualified medical advice when needed.
I advise you to seek your GP's advice if you have any
concerns about trying EFT for a specific medical problem.
You should not discontinue any prescribed medication
without prior consultation with your GP.
Is EFT Safe?
EFT is completely safe.
Does EFT have any negative side effects?
Because we are working with the body's energy system, EFT can sometimes lead to temporary burping or passing wind, and yawning during and after a session. It may also lead to a mild tingling sensation in the fingers following tapping. On occasions Clients' emotional responses may be heightened during EFT. However as a qualified EFT Practitioner I am able to reduce these effects so that by the end of the session Clients feel calm and relaxed.
The Scientific Evidence for EFT
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a relatively new therapy, which involves working with the body, emotions and thoughts in a unique and novel way.
In Western culture there is a strong belief in pharmaceutical therapies, so it is quite difficult to receive funding for research into non-drug treatments. Once results are available, it can be equally hard to publish the outcomes relating to new therapies in reputable journals.
Despite these limitations good scientific evidence in favour of these new approaches is emerging.
Evidence for EFT
A large number of scientific studies and publications are already providing much evidence in support of beneficial effects for treating physical and emotional conditions with EFT. Many more laboratory tests and clinical trials are currently being conducted by international research teams with the help of scientists, medical doctors and psychologists, to enable us to develop a better understanding of the modes of action and the exact therapeutic effects of EFT.
Here are some of the latest results:
Sandwell EFT service evaluation
This UK research demonstrated significant improvements with Emotional Freedom Technique offered through an NHS-based service for a range of psychological conditions, including anxiety, insomnia, depression, low self-esteem, anger, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic, phobia, bereavement, sadness, eating disorders, and problems following sexual abuse:
Stewart, A., Boath, E., Carryer, A., Walton, I., Hill, L. (2013) Can Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) be effective in the treatment of emotional conditions? Results of a Service Evaluation in Sandwell. Journal of Psychological Therapies in Primary Care, 2, 71-84.
2012 Systematic review of the effectiveness of EFT
This publication shows that EFT may be an efficient and effective treatment for a number of conditions such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Fibromyalgia, Phobias, test anxiety and athletic performance:
Boath E, Stewart A, Carryer A. A narrative systematic review of the effectiveness of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). Staffordshire University, CPSI Monograph, Centre for Practice and Service Improvement, Staffordshire University 2012.
Critical evaluation of 18 randomised controlled trials regarding efficacy of acupoint stimulation
This evaluation concluded that therapies involving the tapping of acupuncture points demonstrated statistically signficant strong effect size in relatively few treatment sessions:
Feinstein D (2012). Acupoint stimulation in treating psychological disorders: Evidence of efficacy. Review of General Psychology. doi:10.1037/a0028602.
Other scientific publications supporting Emotional Freedom Technique
Please have a look at the website, where a large number of scientific studies on Emotional Freedom Technique are listed systematically and updated regularly: