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Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT): Tap Into Empowerment

Every individual is unique and the variations in their lives and life choices are physical manifestations of the distinctive energy, essence, and disposition they possess. When an individual is searching for mental and emotional healing modalities, there is a need for therapy that is personal, effective, cost efficient, and uplifting so the person can move forward with their life in a positive way; emotional freedom techniques (EFT) surpass those expectations.

WHAT IS EFT?

EFT is rooted in energy psychology, applying Ancient Chinese medicine theology, which focuses on the body’s energy grid. The energy grid utilizes pathways and nodal points through which your chi, or life force, flows. This theory states a traumatic event, negative psychological conditioning, or other experiences can cause a disruption in your energy flow through a blockage or imbalance, prohibiting the proper flow of chi; when your chi is imbalanced or blocked, mental and emotional illnesses, disorders, and issues will arise.

Gary Craig, the founder of the EFT technique, discovered by employing these medicinal philosophies, you would be able to tap specific acupressure points, the meridian or nodal points on the body’s energy grid, releasing the blockage and bringing your body’s energy flow back into a state of homeostasis.

However, EFT doesn’t just make use of acupressure point stimulation; this technique incorporates other psychotherapies already being used in conventional cognitive behavioral therapies, such as relaxation and memory recall, causing a long term cognitive restructuring within the brain.

When your brain reconstructs its cognitive processes, you no longer process thoughts or emotions the way you did before, meaning you can nullify the negative feelings or reactions you currently have, or have had for years, resulting in a neutral reaction to the same memory or situation when successfully employing EFT.


WHAT RESEARCH SAYS

EFT has proven to be a useful technique for a wide variety of disorders or illnesses; in various studies, EFT has successfully treated anxiety disorders, depression, hostility, aggression, posttraumatic stress disorder, addictions, phobias, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorders, panic, attention deficit disorder, hypertension, social anxiety, career issues, and somatoform disorders. EFT also has improved colds, headaches, joint pains, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, rashes, lower cortisol levels, irritable bowel syndrome, and fibromyalgia. Let’s take a look at some of these studies and experiments a little closer.

In a case study cited by Feinstein (2010), a 52 year old woman with stage IV breast cancer decided against conventional medicine interventions and instead used EFT on numerous personal issues that surfaced after she was diagnosed. The patient received six clinical EFT tapping sessions, lasting 60 to 90 minutes in length, then continued to use the methods daily until a follow up examination eight months after the diagnosis; the appointment revealed no trace of cancer, but some scar tissue where the cancer had been (Feinstein et al., 2010).

Stapleton, Sheldon, Porter, and Whitty (2011) conducted a randomized clinical trial on the effects EFT exerted over food cravings, the perceived power of food, psychological symptoms, and will power of 96 overweight and obese adults. When the researchers initially retested the participants, immediately after receiving their EFT treatment, the participants had significant reductions in food cravings, food wielded less power over the participants, and will power was improved. The improvements in cravings and the power of food were maintained at the six month follow-up.

Another randomized controlled study performed by Church, Brooks, and DeAsis (2012) with 30 first-year psychology students scoring in the moderate to severely depressed ranges on the Beck Depression Inventory. The participants in the experimental group received four EFT sessions of 90 minutes; the treatment proved to be both clinically and statistically significant, as the average post treatment depression score of the EFT condition group resulted in not depressed.

In a controlled pilot study by Benor, Ledger, Toussaint, and Hett (2009) with Canadian college students with severe to moderate test anxiety, EFT accomplished benefits equal to that of five cognitive behavioral therapy sessions.

Click here for images of brain scans from an experiment by Andrade and Feinstein (2004) using EFT treatments for participants with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD); these scans show the average brain scan procession over a course of four weeks with twelve sessions of EFT. The first scan is what an ideal brain scan looks like and the second scan is the average scan of the participants with (GAD) before they began EFT sessions; the brain scans progress toward their natural or ideal homeostasis state through EFT, reducing dysfunctional brain wave frequencies.

This study contrasted EFT with cognitive behavioral therapy, combined with medication when necessary, as a control mechanism. The EFT participants were more likely to maintain their new functional brain wave patterns compared to the cognitive behavioral group. Moreover, Andrade and Feinstein (2004) noted people treated with antianxiety medications did reduce their anxiety symptoms, but their brain scans maintained brain wave frequency dysfunction, implying the medication acts as a cosmetic layer without actually addressing the real issue(s).

Source: Polly Anna Rice