What is The Emotional Freedom Technique?
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a relatively recent therapy. Developed in the 90s, it combines the ancient technique of acupressure with aspects of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Exposure Therapy and Nero-linguistic Programming (NLP). It is successfully used by thousands of practitioners around the world and is regarded to be part of the 4th wave of psychotherapeutic techniques, in that it includes a somatic component and can give significant improvements compared to standard talking therapy.
How does it work?
By gently stimulating or tapping pressure points on the body with fingers, EFT results in a calming effect on the amygdala (the stress centre of the brain) and the hippocampus (the brain’s memory centre), both of which play a role in determining if something is, or isn’t, a threat, and in the fight or flight response. EFT also seems to have the same calming effect on the major stress hormone cortisol. Clinical trials have shown that EFT is able to rapidly reduce the emotional impact of memories and incidents that trigger emotional distress resulting in lowered cortisol levels in the blood.
How can it help?
There are increasingly more studies to demonstrate the effectiveness of EFT in reducing stress, anxiety, PTSD, food cravings and other addictions, including the following:
- A 2019 study involving 203 individuals tested the physical reactions and psychological symptoms of people attending EFT workshops. Participants experienced significant reductions in anxiety, depression, and PTSD symptoms, as well as in pain levels and cravings. They also reported improvements in happiness. Results showed improvements in heart rate, blood pressure, and levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
- A 2012 study involving 30 students with moderate-to-severe depression reported that those who received four group sessions of EFT treatment had significantly less depression than those in the control group, who received no treatment.
- In a 2013 study, 30 veterans who received EFT treatment along with standard care had significantly less psychological distress and PTSD symptoms than those who were on a waiting list for treatment. After three and six sessions, 60.0% and 85.7% of these participants respectively no longer met the PTSD clinical criteria indicating the long-term benefits of EFT.
- In a 2017 survey of EFT practitioners, 63% reported that EFT could resolve even complex PTSD in ten sessions or fewer. Almost 90% of respondents stated that less than 10% of their clients made little or no progress.
EFT is a game-changing asset for your self help health toolkit, and anyone can quickly learn the basics of how to tap on themselves to manage stress, anxiety and intrusive thoughts on a daily basis. A couple of great places to start include Tapping into Ultimate Success by Jack Canfield, and The Tapping Solution by Nick Ortner. Of course, for long-standing or deeper issues, it’s important to seek out sessions with a professional EFT therapist.
About Mariko Bangerter
Mariko Bangerter is a certified EFT Tapping Practitioner, Hypnotherapist, Regression Therapist and mindset coach, and founder of her private practice Mindsetting. She helps women heal past pain, gain self-worth and make exciting changes in their lives. She uses a combination of cutting-edge, therapeutic techniques in her practice so that people can overcome anxiety, shift self-sabotage and transform their relationships without spending months or years in therapy. She works with clients from around the world online and regularly leads group programmes. For more information, follow her Instagram page @mindsetting.with.mariko
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