Could EFT Therapy Be An Alternative Treatment For Pain And Anxiety?

F.J. Thomas

Sarasota, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) – As alternative therapies such as acupuncture become more commonplace for treatment of pain, one psychological acupressure technique shows some promise for not only pain management, but also as a treatment for anxiety and PTSD.

Emotional freedom technique (EFT), or “EFT Tapping” as it frequently is called, has been around since 1999, and is an alternative psychological treatment utilizing tapping on specific acupressure points on the body to reset the body’s energy flow. EFT Therapy combines both cognitive and somatic elements, and involves tapping on 8 specific spots on the body – the top of the head, eyebrow, side of the eye, under the eye, under the nose, chin, collarbone, and under the arm. While tapping on these areas, a prompt phrase is spoken. For example, “I am angry at what happened to me today but I completely accept myself.” The first half of the statement is a recognition of the issue while the second half of the statement views the event from a different perspective.

Activating the spots on the body while stating the reminder phrase helps to reset the body’s energy, thus resetting the brain as well. While those unfamiliar with eastern medicine techniques may think this is too far “out there” to be true, there are actually multiple studies showing decreased levels of pain and anxiety with regular use of the technique.

With over 100 studies published in peer reviewed journals, the technique is considered an evidence based therapy for pain and psychological disorders. A study published in February in the National Center for Biotechnology Information journal suggested that EFT Tapping improved multiple indicators of psychological health.

The study was done by researchers at the National Institute for Integrative Healthcare in Fulton Cal., Bond University in Australia, and by leading Clinical & Health Psychologist Peta Stapleton. The study included 6 EFT Tapping workshops taught by certified clinical EFT Instructors and included 203 participants. To gauge psychological change, the participants were given a series of medical tests, including blood pressure and heart rate monitoring, as well as monitoring of cortisol levels and immune function. Participants were also screened for depression and anxiety.

From pre-testing to post-testing, participants experienced a significant decrease in levels of anxiety, depression, pain, cravings, and PTSD. There was also a drastic increase in overall happiness. Medical metrics supported the results as well with improved immune SigA secretions, improved resting heart rates and blood pressure, and lower cortisol levels.

Another study by Peta Stapleton published in 2012 indicated a 43 percent drop in cortisol levels with EFT Tapping.

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