Emotional Freedom Techniques

By Molly O'Brien
Acupuncture on hand

Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is a relatively new therapy, developed in the United States in the 1990s by Gary Craig. In its short life, EFT has gained a lot of attention from healers, scientists and doctors worldwide. Sometimes called psychological acupressure, EFT combines elements of Chinese medicine with modern psychology to release energy blockages in the body that cause physical and emotional distress.

What is EFT?

EFT operates from the premise that our physical, mental and emotional health are not separate entities, rather they are interconnected; balance in one area is dependent on balance in other areas. EFT strives to reach the root cause of illness and opens the body to participate in its own healing. Practitioners of EFT believe that the more unresolved emotional issues are cleared the better overall health can be.

How does it work?

Basic EFT therapy uses two simultaneous processes. The first process involves the stimulation of acupressure points along specific meridians of the body by tapping with the fingertips. Centuries ago Chinese medicine discovered energy circuits that run throughout our body, known as meridians. This powerful energy plays a major role in our overall health. Stimulating these points through applied pressure can have profound, immediate effects on physical and emotional health. The second process involves mentally focusing on the specific disturbances in our bodies and replacing these thoughts with a mentality of acceptance.

Does it work?

Research says it does. An article published in Scientific Research states that EFT is an empirically validated treatment for various psychological and physiological conditions. What this means is that it is recognized by the American Psychological Association (APA) as an effective form of evidence-based treatment for conditions including anxiety, depression and PTSD. Furthermore, it has also been deemed helpful for physical issues like pain, weight loss and cravings. A study published in Explore Journal found that EFT was effective in relieving the symptoms of PTSD in veterans after seven days of receiving the treatment.


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Molly O'Brien is a freelance writer based in Gainesville, Florida. She specializes in community and personal health topics. Born in Huntington, New York, she graduated from SUNY Farmingdale with a Bachelor of Science in biology. Molly has a passion for literature, language and art in all forms. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in English with a specialization in creative writing.