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Exploring the Evidence: Is EFT an Evidence-based Practice🧐?

Updated: Dec 27, 2023

So, is it evidence-based or is it a bit of hocus-pocus 🧙‍♀️? Is it just another trendy term, or is there some truth to it?


Those who believe in energy medicine, such as acupuncture, Eastern medicine, chakras, and breathing, seem to have no trouble accepting its validity. The idea is quite simple: tapping is performed on the meridians, the energy highways within the body. In acupuncture, needles are utilized to regulate energy flow and release tension by targeting specific acupuncture points, which are also known as meridian points. But what exactly are meridians? Donna Eden delves into this topic in her book "Energy Medicine" (Donna Eden and David Feinstein, PhD):


energy medicine, meridians, EFT, Donna Eden, David Feinstein
Energy Medicine, Donna Eden and David Feinstein, PhD

You might not fully comprehend how acupuncture works, but once you've experienced it, the difference is undeniable. It's even embraced as a method of rehabilitation in various health centres.


As for massages, they're often recognised for loosening muscles and releasing tension, yet the concept of them as a means to shift energy within your body isn't typically considered. Similarly, they are utilised as a form of rehabilitation in health centers.


The core purpose of both these methods revolves around the movement of energy and the release of tension—addressing the accumulation of energy that has become stagnant in specific points or areas of the body.


EFT, often referred to as "acupuncture without needles," involves tapping on major acupuncture points/meridian points. For more in-depth information about EFT, feel free to visit my website (click).


But what about individuals who have never shown an interest in energy medicine?


Some of us are drawn to digits, graphs, and images, and are inclined to delve into research findings. For some, conviction comes only when provided with solid proof, such as research published by reputable organizations. However, I'm not exactly one of them 😆. Remembering numbers, statistics, and the specifics of who said what and when can be quite challenging for me.


So, this post is tailored for those who don't share my perspective 😉—for those who prefer numbers, facts, and tangible research to observe, read, and "touch" 🤓.


I'll specifically delve into one such research, namely "Clinical EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Improves Multiple Physiological Markers of Health," which can be accessed on the website of the National Library of Medicine at the National Center of Biotechnology Information. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6381429/.



I'm not here to keep you waiting like a TV channel. Some of us simply seek a straightforward answer, while others will stick around to delve deeper and understand better 😉.


So, is EFT evidence-based? Absolutely! 🧐


The research affirms:

"When measured against the standards of the American Psychological Association’s Division 12 Task Force on Empirically Validated Treatments, EFT is found to be an “evidence-based” practice for anxiety, depression, phobias, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).4,5"
„Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a novel therapy that combines both cognitive and somatic elements.”

EFT is to be found successful with population like students, athletes, veterans, pain patients, overweight individuals, hospital patients, healthcare workers, chemotherapy patients, phobia sufferers, victims of sexual abuse, school children, teacher, cancer patients, physiotherapists etc.



And now some numbers.

In this study EFT has shown to decrease:

- anxiety 😫 by -40%,

- depression 🙁 by -35%,

- PTSD 😣 by -32%,

- pain 😓 by -57%,

- cravings 🍰🍷 by -74%,

- the amount of pressure 😰 experienced by the arteries while the heart ❤️ is beating by -6%

- resting 😌 heart ❤️ rate (my edit: something for the athletes 🏋️🚴⛹️) by -8%,

- stress 😥 hormone cortisol by -37%.


EFT has contributed to increased:

- happiness 🥰 31%,

- immunoglobulin SigA (antibody) 📈 113%.





Anxiety:

- 90% of patients who received EFT felt reduced anxiety compared to 63% of those who received CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy),

- 3 EFT sessions were needed for the patients to feel reduced anxiety compared to 15 CBT sessions

- complete release of anxiety symptoms was seen in 76% vs. CBT 51%.



Emotional Freedom Techniques Efficacy and Scientific Research Summary 2022, EFT International Ltd.



Depression:

- EFT was found to be more successful in reducing depression than physical interventions such diaphragmatic breathing and as well as psychological interventions such as supportive interviews,

- reduced PTSD in veterans after six 1-h EFT sessions,

- depressive disorder patients found EFT sessions (16h) to significantly reduce the depression symptoms, the continues reduction of symptoms was maintained over time vs to BCT that did not show that.


Emotional Freedom Techniques Efficacy and Scientific Research Summary 2022, EFT International Ltd.


Psychological markers:

Chronic disease: „Chronic disease patients may benefit from a holistic health care and research has begun to consider the physiological changes that occur after EFT. A recent qualitative study that explored practitioners’ experiences of using EFT to support chronic disease patients indicated that while EFT was one technique, “many emotions” emerged and “tapping on the physical” for pain perception, and negative emotions that may increase the perceived intensity and limiting impacts of physical pain were important.33"


— Other physical conditions that reacted to EFT:

- fibromyalgia (musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues),

- psoriasis (skin disease that causes a rash with itchy, scaly patches, most commonly on the knees, elbows, trunk and scalp),

- tension headaches,

- frozen shoulder,

- pulmonary injuries,

- chronic pain,

- chemotherapy side effects,

- traumatic brain injury,

- insomnia,

- and seizure disorders.


veterans: 10 EFT sessions has influenced 6 genes responsible for inflammation process in the body


1h long EFT session influences 72 genes responsible for: cancer tumors, protection against ultraviolet radiation, regulation of type 2 diabetes insulin resistance, immunity from opportunistic infections, antiviral activity, synaptic connectivity between neurons, synthesis of both red and white blood cells, enhancement of male fertility, building white matter in the brain, metabolic regulation, neural plasticity, reinforcement of cell membranes, and the reduction of oxidative stress.


Generally:

- EFT sessions has been successful conducted online, over the phone, face to face, in groups, self-administered,

- as short as15min to 1h sessions has already shown positive effects.


Where else can you read about evidence-based researches?

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