EFT - Emotional Freedom Technique

By Christopher A. Hernandez

The Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is an innovative approach to healing that is gaining attention from medical professionals and laypersons all over the world. EFT can be applied to any emotional and physical issues you can name and often gets results when nothing else works. The basics of EFT can be learned by anyone and can be self-applied (usually in minutes).

There are many books on the market for learning EFT, and also some free manuals you can download from the web (search for "EFT manual"). These can be valuable resources, and each has a different way to express the EFT process. Some are very detailed and show a large number of ways to use EFT and others teach just the basics. This is a very cost effective way to learn EFT, ranging from free to around 30. There are two big disadvantages though.

Firstly, if you haven't actually experienced or watched an EFT session, you won't know what to expect and this may affect your ability to make great progress in whatever you are treating. Secondly, if you find the process doesn't work for you, it is unlikely that it is because it won't work for you, but because you are not using it properly. There are some reasons that could completely block it from working, and with a tiny adjustment, everything can start to move forwards. The big problem here is that not experiencing EFT working for you could put you off it for life and prevent you being able to enjoy its immeasurable benefits. You can download a free manual from the web site shown at the bottom of this article.

Studies have been conducted on the efficacy of EFT with varied and ultimately inconclusive results. One study focused on four groups of people who reported phobias. One group received regular EFT, another received EFT with false tapping points, a third group tapped on a doll and a fourth group received nothing. The three tapping groups did better than the fourth group, but there were no significant differences between the three tapping groups.

One potentially excellent source of training in EFT comes from DVD-based courses. The advantage here is that you can learn the core skills in a structured manner whilst seeing EFT being used on real people with real issues. There is nothing like watching this technique being used in practice both for learning the process itself and also because it is so great to be able to watch while someone's issue is being (hopefully) resolved in front of your eyes.

Gary Craig himself has said placebo controlled studies of EFT are unreliable if not impossible because energy meridians are influenced and manipulated by tapping anywhere on the body. Thus EFT is really unable to be tested through scientific means and this has caused its opponents to label it as pseudo science. Its reliance on anecdotal evidence and aggressive promotion on the internet have also damaged its plausibility. It has been speculated in an article of the Guardian that perhaps the act of rhythmically tapping the body while in distress simply serves as a distraction from the ailment, making it seem as if EFT is effective.

Whether or not EFT can cure an individual of phobias or other non life threatening illness is open to speculation, and it seems to be relatively harmless in that regard. It is in its claims of being able to cure cancer and other potentially terminal illness that it runs into trouble. Its claims are specious at best and there is simply no medical evidence that EFT is effective. Any proof that has been presented is purely anecdotal.

For someone who is desperately ill and looking for a cure, it is irresponsible and misleading to claim EFT can cure them, particularly if that person is going to forgo proven conventional treatment in favor of EFT. That is not to say that EFT lacks all value, just that its efficacy has not been proven, and further studies are required before it is accepted or dismissed entirely.

Tapping of the acupuncture points with intention, and loving and accepting oneself work in EFT therapy because according to the three theories of Classical Chinese Medicine, "Qi follows intention," "the heart is the supreme master of the organs and is the home of shen, the spirit. If the master is brilliant, his subjects are peaceful. If the master is disturbed, his twelve officials [the body's organ systems] are endangered," and "when the Qi obstruction or stagnation in the energy meridians is normalized through acupuncture," balancing of yin and yang, and emotional and physical healing naturally take place.

For now it would be appropriate to say that the power of EFT is unproven, but the possibilities it offers are worth looking into. The field it is exploring is a vital one, and any opportunity to learn more about the connection between mental health and physical health should be welcomed. Skeptics and proponents alike should take more time examining the possibilities before casting judgment, negative or positive.

About the Author: