Emotional Freedom Techniques, also known as EFT or tapping, incorporates both the body and
mind in helping to impact a reduction of stress within the body. It has been referred to as
psychological acupuncture, though rather than using needles, the fingers are used to “tap” at
designated acupressure points while using words to target a specific event that carries some
emotional intensity. As that event is focused on, and in combination with the tapping, the
emotional reaction to the event may be transformed into a more neutral event. The memory of
the event itself is not being changed; it is one’s emotional response to that event that is being
targeted and impacted with this technique.
There is accumulating international scientific research on the efficacy of Emotional Freedom
Techniques. To date, over 300 research articles have been published showing that tapping has
a significant positive impact in many areas investigated, including food cravings and weight loss,
anxiety, depression, trauma, pain, core beliefs, performance enhancement, abundance, and
stress. Please see https://www.evidencebasedeft.com/ and https://www.energypsych.org/ for
To date, brain imaging scans have indicated changes in areas of the brain associated with the
amygdala, the brain’s fight/flight center. It has been proposed that tapping on acupressure
points decreases the activation of the amygdala, meaning that the fight/flight response system is
calming down, and therefore, the body can also return to a more settled, centered state. For
more information, please see the following: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpAICLoh8yg
When there is chronic stress and overwhelm and this is not being addressed through use of
healthy coping skills, there is an accumulated build up of cortisol, a stress hormone, in the body.
Overtime, this can result in decreased immune functioning and may contribute to both physical
and mental health related issues, including anxiety, depression, migraines, hypertension, and
digestive issues, to name a few. Several research studies, one conducted in 2012 and then
replicated in 2020, used saliva samples taken before and after a one hour session using
tapping, and found a 24 percent (2012 study) and 42 percent (2020 study) reduction in the
stress hormone cortisol. Please see https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32162958/ and
0a,observed%20improvement%20in%20psychological%20distress for more information.
Tapping, once learned, can be self applied by anyone, and can also be used within a therapy
setting, especially in addressing more intense or significant life issues.
If you would like more information on tapping, Sheri Severson LPC, NCC offers community
education and tapping circles throughout the year and also offers this approach within her
therapy space. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 920-892-7606 ext 113.