The Science of EFT Therapy
Despite the fact that EFT Therapy has been met with skepticism (and criticism), there is science to back it up.
While some psychologists and doctors are quick to write it off, there is evidence from both patients and practitioners of EFT Therapy who say otherwise.
While it’s easy to write off anecdotal evidence (even if there is a lot of it), it isn’t quite as simple to ignore the scientific research that supports EFT Therapy.
Yes, in the last decade there has been an increase in research into the subject and it’s undeniable at this point.
With EFT Therapy, you can achieve significant improvement and lasting and real healing.
Harvard Medical School is just one institution to have researched the therapy technique. What they found was that by stimulating those meridian points you can relieve the fear and stress response from the brain.
This particular study:
(The salient characteristics of the central effects of acupuncture needling: limbic-paralimbic-neocortical network modulation; Fang et al)
dealt specifically with acupuncture, but as we know, EFT Therapy is acupuncture, but without the needles. The point is that tapping provides a similar response as acupuncture.
Other studies have completed double-blind research that stimulated the points without the use of needles and got similar results. A study from Corpus Christ Independent School District found that EFT Therapy is effective in treating phobias (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21571234).
According to a study from the National Institute For Integrative Healthcare, EFT Therapy is effective for treating PTSD
(The Manual Stimulation of Acupuncture Points in the Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Review of Clinical Emotional Freedom Techniques; Church, et al).
This team carried out a controlled trial to discover how 83 subjects would respond to hour-long EFT Therapy sessions.
The researchers measured cortisol (the stress hormone) levels and found that on average, cortisol levels dropped 24%.
Some subjects, though, experienced a dip of as much as 50%. For the control group who instead enjoyed an hour-long talk therapy session, there was no significant change in cortisol levels.
Additionally, Dr. Church created a project to teach PTSD sufferers how to tap for themselves. For these war veterans, it took just six sessions to decrease their symptoms by 63% (on average).
This research is incredibly exciting and shows that science backs up EFT therapy.
The History of EFT Therapy
The year was 1980, and psychologist Roger Callahan was treating a patient with a phobia of water. The patient, Mary, had an extreme fear. She couldn’t go to the beach with her children or even drive close to the ocean.
She felt anxious when it was raining, couldn’t look at water on the television, and had nightmares about water.
Dr. Callahan had been working with Mary for over a year and eventually, Mary was able to sit within view of Dr. Callahan’s pool.
However, it still left her extremely distressed. While she found different ways to cope with the fear, she was unable to overcome the phobia itself. They discussed the problem at length but could not overcome it.
The fear that she experienced manifested in physical symptoms like stomach pains. Meanwhile, Dr. Callahan had discovered meridians as he had been looking into Traditional Chinese Medicine.
This inspired him to look into the different meridians and he encouraged Mary to tap on the stomach meridian (which is on the cheekbone).
He thought that this might help to relieve the stomach pains that she was experiencing.
So, she did and not only did her stomach pains disappear, so did the water phobia. Immediately, she was able to go to the pool and splash water on herself.
This is where it all started, Dr. Callahan termed it as Thought Field Therapy. It was Gary Craig, who trained under Dr. Callahan during the 1990s, that took the practice, evolved it, and renamed it as EFT Therapy.
The reason for this is that Craig found a variety of issues with TFT. For example, practitioners had to tap meridians in a specific sequence for different problems.
Additionally, to diagnose the issue something called muscle testing was required. The practitioner would measure muscle strength as the patient cycled through various statements and thoughts.
As Craig noted, this led to many incorrect diagnoses which meant the wrong sequence of tapping would be used. Yet, it still worked. This made Craig realize that the sequence didn’t matter.
Ultimately, EFT Therapy is a simplified version of TFT. It is this that has allowed so many more people to enjoy the relief that comes with tapping.