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EFT Tapping

Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), also known as tapping, is an alternative therapy popular for relieving tension and improving emotional health.


An Introduction to EFT Tapping

Emotional Freedom Technique is a form of counselling intervention that draws on various theories of alternative medicine and blends techniques from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and western psychology, to form a treatment that is therapeutic and empowering. It works by ‘tapping’ into your subconscious mind to help you clear negative emotions and restore a balance of energy in the body.


What kind of methods are used in EFT Tapping?

EFT works by tapping lightly on acupressure points on your body whilst focusing on the negative emotions you want relief from. During a session, you will focus on an unresolved emotion or a particular problem you want to work on – such as fear or addiction.

EFT is said to work by sending signals to the brain that can calm the stress responses and help us to enter a more relaxed state of mind. Stimulating our energy points through tapping is meant to slow our heart rate and switch on our parasympathetic nervous system response – our rest and digest mode.

Benefits of EFT Tapping

What are the benefits of EFT therapy?

People who use EFT therapy find the benefits to be wide ranging including:

  • Improve mental wellbeing
  • Manage stress
  • Find balance & harmony
  • Increase energy and vitality
  • Improve happiness
  • Find relaxation
  • Improve communication skills
  • Relationship building
  • Self Exploration


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Further Reading / EFT studies

More and more studies are being conducted into the health benefits of EFT. While they are yet to be conclusive, preliminary findings are very promising, however, you should always seek medical advice before practising.



Tapping may help reduce stress, according to a study published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease in 2012. A randomized controlled trial on the effect of emotional freedom techniques on stress biochemistry showed a significant decrease in cortisol levels and observed improvement in psychological distress.


Emotional Trauma

EFT has been effective in treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In a 2013 study, researchers studied the impact of EFT tapping on war veterans with PTSD against those receiving standard mental health services care. Within a month, participants receiving EFT coaching sessions had significantly reduced their psychological distress. Additionally, over 80% of the EFT test group no longer fitted the criteria for PTSD after 6 sessions.



EFT can be an effective therapy for reducing anxiety. A 2016 review compared the effectiveness of EFT across 14 studies and concluded EFT treatments provide a significant decrease in anxiety scores compared to participants receiving control care.

It suggests further research is needed to compare EFT with other cognitive therapy treatments, but it is a good start to establish EFT as a mainstream therapy for people with anxiety disorders. Quantitative findings from this study indicated participants reported significantly less subjective distress and anxiety after using EFT.



Several studies indicate that tapping may be of some benefit to people with chronic pain. In a study published in Chiropractic & Osteopathy, Neuro-Emotional Technique was found to improve symptoms in individuals with chronic neck pain.



This randomized controlled trial showed that within the treatment arm, perceived stress, scores for all Short-Form questionnaire-36 subscales, and the frequency and intensity of the headache episodes were all significantly reduced.

A 2013 study published in Explore found that EFT tapping may be beneficial for people suffering from tension headaches. Involving 35 participants with chronic tension headaches, the study determined that EFT tapping helped reduce headache frequency and intensity



In this study, 238 first-year psychology students were assessed for depression using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Thirty were found to have scores indicative of moderate to severe depression, were enrolled in the study, and were randomly assigned to either an EFT group or a no-treatment control group.

After four 90-minute group EFT sessions, the treatment group demonstrated a clinically and statistically significant improvement in their depression scores. These results are consistent with other published reports indicating that brief courses of group EFT are efficacious in treating depression.

This 2016 review of 20 studies reported that EFT was highly effective in reducing the symptoms of depression. The findings suggested that EFT was equal to or better than other standard treatments for depression.


Weight control

This randomised, clinical trial tested whether The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) reduced food cravings. This study involved 96 overweight or obese adults who were allocated to the EFT treatment or 4-week waitlist condition.

Degree of food craving, perceived power of food, restraint capabilities and psychological symptoms were assessed pre-and post-a 4-week treatment program, and at 6-month follow-up. EFT was associated with a significantly greater improvement in food cravings. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that EFT can have an immediate effect on reducing food cravings and can result in maintaining reduced cravings over time.

What to expect from an EFT Tapping session?

How do I find the right EFT practitioner for me?

It’s beneficial to have a discovery talk with a practitioner before booking your first session, especially if you want to work on deep emotions or have a specific goal. You will need to feel comfortable to open up emotionally to your practitioner.

In addition, practitioners can specialise in a particular area – so a pre-talk is also beneficial to find out if their expertise aligns with your goals.

What to expect from an EFT Tapping session?

What to expect from an EFT Tapping session?

EFT is available in a few different formats. You may be able to find a group class near you, however, we recommend starting with a one-to-one session with a practitioner if you are new to the practice.

The tapping technique is non-invasive, painless and can be applied while fully clothed – tapping usually takes place on the face or torso. You and the practitioner will tap together throughout the session, whilst the practitioner asks you what is concerning you the most and asks you to rate the intensity of your emotions. Through tapping and conversation, the practitioner will work towards a goal to get your emotional response as low as possible. At the end of a session, you should feel calmer, happier and less stressed than at the beginning.

Group classes can be a great way to learn tapping techniques, and practitioners usually theme them around a specific emotion or goal. These can take place virtually or in person. When EFT is applied by yourself, it can be a quick and effective self-help tool that can be practised anytime and anywhere.

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Medical concerns

Holistic disciplines can assist you in your wellbeing, though they are not a substitute for medical care. This information should be used as a guide only to help you explore which holistic disciplines may assist you. We recommend researching the discipline and speaking with a practitioner before choosing to book any service.

This information is not, nor is it intended to be used as a medical diagnosis. Any information provided must be considered as guidance only, and not a substitute for obtaining a diagnosis from a medical professional. Please see the full terms and conditions of use. Always consult your doctor for any medical concerns.

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