Human beings unite in our need for food, water, shelter and socialization. These critical needs are part of what makes us human, but unfortunately, unwanted things bond us together as well.
Chief among these unwanted bonds is stress, an evolving source of fear, anxiety and health problems. While stress is unavoidable, particularly amid the political, economic and covid-related turmoil of the past year, there are healthy ways to mitigate our stress.
Thanks to scientific investigation and research, we now know that our mental and physical health rely on each other, and helping one can significantly benefit the other. In the spirit of this two-fold pursuit, EFT Tapping emerges as a simple yet effective measure for supporting our mind and body during difficult times:
EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) tapping is a form of treatment for mental anxiety, emotional distress and even bodily pain. Commonly referred to simply as “tapping,” this straightforward technique serves as a quick, consistent method for bringing balance to the body and mind.
While the science behind tapping stretches back thousands of years, the modern form of EFT originates from the work of Gary Craig, a Stanford-trained engineer with a passion for uniting mental and physical wellbeing.
In 1995, Craig released his first video guides on tapping, with a particular focus on relieving emotional stress to promote healing in all areas of the body and mind. Inspired by the Chinese meridian system (an inspiration for modern acupuncture), he developed a system of healing that positively triggers the body’s pressure points using fingers rather than needles.
EFT works by stimulating one of nine major meridian points (energy centers of the body) with the tap of a finger.
Based on techniques similar to acupuncture, the treatment serves to remove negative energy from the mind and negative feelings in the body.
In a two-step system, the tapper first focuses on the area of concern within their body then taps the corresponding meridian point with their finger. This simple process is repeatable for all of the body’s meridian points and can often be completed within a few minutes.
Note: Exact methods of tapping vary between organizations, teachers and users. E.g., some tappers repeat a verbal “Reminder Phrase” while tapping to maintain focus, while others do not.
According to wide-ranging research by the National Institute of Health, Emotional Freedom Technique tapping can bring some form of psychological relief to people who struggle with a variety of mental health issues:
Chronic in modern society, anxiety and depression affect millions of people on a consistent basis.
In a large-scale tapping study from the above NIH research, 90% of EFT participants felt a significant improvement in their mental health, 27% higher than those who received traditional cognitive behavior therapy.
Further emphasizing its immediate efficacy, most tappers noted an improvement after 3 EFT sessions compared to 15 of conventional therapeutic treatment -- on average.
For depression, defined here as persistent sadness and loss of interest, results were also positive (albeit from smaller sample sizes). In diverse test groups ranging from college students to military veterans, results showed a “significant reduction of depressive symptoms” among the majority of participants.
In research solely dedicated to observing the effects of EFT tapping on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in veterans, results again showed a positive link between this form of treatment and a meaningful boost in mental wellbeing.
Even for those who describe their PTSD as complex or chronic, 63% of tappers saw substantial improvements in their mental health within 10 EFT sessions. In an alternate study based on clinical feedback, 65% of mental health practitioners found a link between tapping and a significant reduction of PTSD symptoms in their patients.
While more data and study are needed, these results illustrate EFT tapping as an effective way of reducing the mental burden brought by PTSD and its telltale symptoms.
Unsurprisingly, research shows there to be a positive correlation between consistent EFT tapping and healthy stress management:
When we feel stress, particularly on a chronic basis, our brain floods the body with cortisol and adrenaline. This process is an evolutionary measure our bodies take to help us focus and conquer immediate “danger,” but over time it can have negative effects on our mental health.
When our body is constantly full of cortisol, we can feel bloated (due to excess salt retention), have higher levels of cholesterol and weaken our immune/endocrine/nervous system.
Combined with common stress symptoms such as lack of sleep, poor diet, muscle tension and general anxiety, this state can make it nearly impossible to find mental balance. It can also lead to chronic, unwanted weight gain.
In an NIH study, however, researchers found that EFT tapping triggered a substantial decrease in cortisol levels among participants, leading to an overall reduction in psychological distress. This reduction in cortisol, and its negative mental effects, are highly promising for those who want to tackle their stress and lose weight they gained during times of hyper-stress.
As EFT Tapping continues to grow in popularity, several well-regarded organizations (listed below) dedicate themselves to the pursuit of bringing this treatment to a larger audience:
A leader in the tapping “industry,” the Tapping Solution provides users with a full-service app (with over 200,000 downloads) and guided tapping sessions, meditations and online events attended by over a million people and counting.
The organization also strives to bring tapping to those with chronic PSTD around the world, as demonstrated by their efforts to help traumatized victims of genocide in Rwanda and soldiers that battle PTSD.
As the name suggests, The Imagine Project, Inc. grounds itself in the optimistic notion that self-help techniques (such as EFT tapping) can bring psychological relief to anyone, including children and young adults.
In addition to therapeutic writing, discussion and meditation, this nonprofit organization focuses on using tapping to reduce the chronic stress that affects many students from difficult backgrounds. Using tapping as a stepping stone toward a better wellbeing, the program seeks to inspire children to prioritize their mental health from an early age.
Based in the United Kingdom, EFT International represents the global nature of tapping as a mental and physical health remedy.
Using the original teachings of EFT founder Gary Craig, this organization trains a diverse and ever expanding group of tapping instructors with the hope of bringing EFT techniques to the world.
Through training, practice and guidance, the program educates and certifies all kinds of tappers in the pursuit of creating an international network of tapping advocates.