Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

I have just returned home from attending three days training in a new modality to add to my “tool kit” to benefit my private practice and the NHS oncology patients at Dorset County Hospital.

Before embarking on and paying for any training I always do some background checks these include asking the question “Is this therapy evidenced as being safe and effective?” Evidenced means that the therapy methodology has undergone research testing to meet formally established criteria for efficacy and the findings can be found in published research papers. In the early years I was a bit of a course junkie, any complementary therapy course that caught my eye I would enrol on and travel many miles at great expense to experience  “amazing therapies” that on reflection made some outrageous claims. I have attended many national and international conferences both as a presenter and delegate where charismatic speakers, promoting the effectiveness of their speciality have made claims that are at best laughable and at worst dangerous. Many have no research evidence and most claim anecdotal here-say. There is value in obtaining patient feedback on how and to what degree the therapy experience has or has not helped them. In fact, qualitative data has been shown to be a useful factor in the development of specific therapies to improve the patient experience ( especially within the NHS ) and the Quality of Life (QoL ) for specific patient groups.

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) or “Tapping” derived from Thought Field Therapy  (TFT) is based on the understanding that the cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body’s energy system. My belief is that there is a symbiotic relationship between emotional and physical pain and for healing to take place therapists should help patients reduce their physical symptoms to enable patients ( should they wish ) to address their underlying emotional cause. 

Described as an emotional version of acupuncture without needles *findings from 23  randomised controlled trials shows EFT to be effective in the treatment of psychological conditions such as PTSD, phobias, depression and anxiety. Physiological problems such as pain and auto-immune conditions. Performance in sports, business and academic pursuits.

The process of EFT tapping on meridian end points is easy to follow and simple to do. Starting with tapping on the side of the hand then progressing through a set sequence of specific acupuncture points whilst vocalising or concentrating on an affirmation……….Even though I have this problem (pain in my chest etc) I completely love and accept myself. There is a second stage which is the 9 Gamut this includes a series of exercises whilst tapping on a specific point on the back of the hand. The complete sequence can be repeated as many times as needed until the patient experiences change and the trauma is resolved. (This is a simplified version for this article)

Cancer patients and patients with chronic pain or illness can experience a range of negative emotions, the underlying issue being fear. Therapists can empower patients with a “self-help” technique that they can take away and work with to ease their symptoms, this is surely a positive move towards patients becoming engaged with their own healing processes. I can see the potential benefit to patients ( and staff ) of integrating EFT into existing reflexology treatments offered at Dorset County Hospital Cancer Service. This would follow the Poole Hospital model and create a standardization of care throughout Dorset.

*Clinical EFT as an Evidence Based Practice for the Treatment of Psychological and Physiological Conditions Dawson Church Psychology 2013 Vol4 No8 645-654

Contact  Tel 01305 784986.   abigailwring@btinternt.com    www.dorsetclinicalreflexology.co.uk