About Emotional Freedom Techniques, aka Tapping
Since Gary Craig developed Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) in 1995, there are now more than 100 papers, including outcome studies, clinical reports, review articles, randomized clinical trials, direct comparisons with gold standard therapies, and the pinnacle in research, meta-analyses, revealing EFT can be effective, especially for managing stress.
Peta Stapleton, Ph.D. explains that although there is a significant range of multifaceted emotional issues EFT can address, it’s a technique that’s easy to understand and learn where one of its two core components, based on the ancient system of acupuncture, is stimulating designated acupoints on the face and upper body by tapping on them using your fingertips, which is why EFT is commonly referred to as “tapping”, and then combining this with aspects of mindfulness in regard to recognizing and accepting the existence of an identified issue or stressor, whether a body sensation or thought, the participant would like to address during EFT.
Tapping is a stress reduction modality, an avenue designed to bring peace in mind and body.
Writing about her own research and that of others, Dr. Stapleton relates some of the more recent findings of how EFT may work, including how it seems to influence the stress center of the brain, the amygdala, and the brain’s memory center or hippocampus, both playing roles when we’re deciding whether or not something is a threat; demonstrating reductions in stress hormone levels of cortisol; and recognizing how stimulating acupoints, such as with tapping, is believed to signal the limbic system to reduce its arousal, lending a feeling of calm after EFT.
Dr. Stapleton further explains that as EFT belongs to a group of newer body-oriented modalities, it’s the somatic feature of tapping which may lead to the decrease in amygdala and cortisol activities, resulting in calm. Yet it’s not just the tapping that demonstrates EFT as being a somatic modality, as tapping appears to produce a flow of events in the body and brain that can impact brain waves, hormone production, blood flow within the brain and gene expression, creating the opportunity to boost emotional health, including while addressing everyday upsets, worries, and goals.
Reference: Stapleton, P. (2019). The science behind tapping: A proven stress management technique for the mind and body. Hay House.
EFT is an energy-based coaching and self-help technique meant to help relieve stress and to experience greater well-being. EFT is not a substitute for licensed health care services. Please read the Disclaimer for further information.
This trailer of The Science of Tapping informational video presents clips of professionals explaining the discoveries made so far into how tapping seems to work.