Emotional Freedom Technique

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), often described as ‘energetic acupuncture’, is one of the better known therapies in the emerging field of Energy Psychology. EFT alleviates emotional and psychological distress by combining elements of exposure and cognitive therapy with the stimulation of acupressure points.

The EFT protocol is based on the principle that psychological distress is the result of a disruption in the body’s meridian system.  By tapping on a series of acupuncture points whilst focusing on the issue or concern you would like to address, the protocol allows the meridian system to clear the disruption, leading to an immediate shift. Often in my experience, this shift is accompanied by increased self-awareness and insight.

Research has shown that EFT ‘tapping’ reduces cortisol levels in the blood [1], helping to reduce physical pain, anxiety and symptoms of depression as well as improve heart rate variability (HRV). It is thought that one of the mechanisms through which EFT works is through inducing a mini-REM state through increasing theta EEG frequencies in the brain, helping it re-organise the way it stores and processes information. EFT has been shown to be particularly effective when working with anxiety and phobias [2] and in reducing the intensity of symptoms related to traumatic experiences such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) [3].

EFT is a practice that integrates well with traditional psychotherapy. In my experience the use of EFT alongside talk therapy can help clients move through psychological blockages in a way that talk therapy on its own is less likely to accomplish.

One of the significant advantages of EFT, in my view, is that it is easily learnt and can be used by clients independently of the therapist to provide immediate relief when feeling distressed.

If you would like to know more about energy psychotherapy in the UK you can visit the energy psychotherapy page here.

[1] Church, D., Yount, G. and Brooks, A., 2012. The Effect of Emotional Freedom Techniques on Stress Biochemistry. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 200(10), pp.891-896.
[2] Sebastian, B. and Nelms, J., 2017. The Effectiveness of Emotional Freedom Techniques in the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Meta-Analysis. EXPLORE, 13(1), pp.16-25. 
[3] Clond, M., 2016. Emotional Freedom Techniques for Anxiety. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 204(5), pp.388-395.

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