• Emotional freedom technique (EFT), sometimes known as tapping, is becoming more widely known for its capacity to relieve emotional distress

  • EFT practitioner Julia Adams explores its potential for physical health issues too

  • You can find EFT therapists on welldoing.org here 

How can emotional freedom technique (EFT) help us feel better?

EFT’s effectiveness for anxiety, depression, phobias, cravings and PTSD, which are all linked to raised cortisol levels, is increasingly well-documented in scientific journals, but can it really help physical issues too?

Science has long recognised the link between raised cortisol levels and conditions such as anxiety and depression. More recent studies have started to show how stress causes physical illnesses too. For instance, ‘Acupoint Tapping’, as it is now sometimes known, can indeed reduce cortisol levels by nearly half in under one hour, as shown in this study from Bond University Australia (2020).

A brief explanation of how the body reacts to stress

The fight or flight response is a survival mechanism which is triggered by hormones including adrenaline and cortisol, that prepare the body to either fight a potential aggressor or run away from danger. While the adrenaline rush can be helpful in the short-term, indeed the ‘buzz’ can be addictive, as anyone who has ever been on a rollercoaster or seen an exciting film will tell you, over the long-term cortisol in particular is now known to be implicated in a whole host of common physical and mental health problems.

Our modern lifestyles subject us to a constant stream of cortisol, and often do not allow for proper recovery after a traumatic event, so the individual has to effectively ‘bury’ it. Indeed by lowering the ability of the body’s immune system to work properly, long-term chronic inflammation caused by high levels of stress hormones has been shown to actually damage blood vessels and kill brain cells.

Tantalisingly, research is starting show how EFT is able to help the body to actually reverse this process. We also know that long-term high cortisol levels can harm the very area of the brain that helps to regulate stress, the body is then on constant high alert with an ever decreasing ability to calm itself down. The need for an effective solution to stress and all it brings with it has never been greater. With an ever growing body of evidence proving its effectiveness, EFT might just be part of that solution.

If you prefer to read stories of everyday peoples experiences with EFT there are plenty here and here.

The takeaway

EFT research is now at the cutting edge of what is now known as energy psychology (EP), with a study into EFT for chronic pain from Bond University due out at any time. There is mounting evidence that it is proven to work, yet it is simple and drug free. Why not try it for yourself?

Julia Adams is a verified welldoing.org EFT practitioner in Stroud and online

Further reading

What is EFT?

Energy psychology and the mind-body connection

What is chronic pain?

The impact of chronic pain on mental health