Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a form of psychological acupressure, based on the same energy meridians used in traditional acupuncture to treat physical and emotional ailments for over five thousand years, but without the invasiveness of needles. EFT uses gentle tapping with the fingertips to input kinetic energy onto specific meridians on the head and chest while you think about your specific problem—whether it is a traumatic event, an addiction, pain, etc.—and voice positive affirmations. This combination of tapping the energy meridians and voicing positive affirmations works to clear the "short-circuit"—the emotional block—from your body's bioenergy system, thus restoring your mind and body's balance, which is essential for optimal health and the healing of physical disease.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) was developed in the 1990s by Gary Craig, a personal performance coach and engineer. Craig was trained in Thought Field Therapy (TFT), a technique developed by psychologist Roger Callahan, which also uses tapping on energy meridians to alleviate emotional distress. Craig simplified the TFT technique, which had multiple steps, into a basic formula that he called the "EFT Tapping Basic Recipe." He then made this formula freely available to the public through his website and various books and videos.
EFT quickly gained popularity as a self-help tool, and practitioners and researchers began to study its effectiveness for a variety of issues, such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and phobias. While EFT has not yet been extensively studied in rigorous, controlled scientific trials, some studies have suggested that it may be effective for reducing symptoms of these conditions, as well as for managing physical pain, reducing cravings, and improving athletic performance.
The process of EFT tapping typically involves these steps:
There have been some studies that suggest EFT may be effective for reducing symptoms of anxiety, depression and PTSD. For example, a small study on veterans with PTSD showed that EFT led to a significant reduction in symptoms of PTSD and an improvement in overall quality of life. Another study found that EFT was effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety in a group of college students.
However, most of the research on EFT has been done with small sample sizes and has not been conducted under rigorous conditions. The results are generally not considered conclusive. Additionally, more research would be needed to examine the long-term effects of EFT and to determine the specific mechanisms through which EFT may work.
It is important to note that EFT has not yet been proven to be a standalone treatment and should not be used as a replacement for medical treatment or psychological help if needed. However, it may be used as an adjunctive therapy to support those treatments. It's always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional or a therapist if you are thinking about using EFT for any kind of issues or concerns.