Emotional freedom tapping: What Is It and How Can It Help?

While we welcome in 2022, let’s not forget the baggage that we may be bringing with us. New year, new me does not develop overnight. While the last article focused on improving physical health, lets focus this week on improving our mental health. 

We are always looking for ways to destress and decompress. Some use exercise practices such as running or yoga that release endorphins in the brain that create an overall sensation of wellbeing. Others use mindfulness techniques such as meditation or coloring to centralize their focus on to one calming action or thought. Something as simple as deep breathing can even calm your nerves enough to clear your mind, but what do you do when you can’t do these things, or you are so overwhelmed that nothing seems to help? 

Emotional freedom tapping (EFT) is alternative treatment that has been shown to decrease symptoms of anxiety, depression, PTSD, phobias, chronic pain, and stress. Some patients even see positive results in as little as one session. EFT has also been shown to lower heart rates, blood pressure and cortisol (a stress hormone) in people who participate in the practice.

EFT which involves physical tabbing on the bones of the head, face, shoulders, and wrists is believed to ower stress by sending signals to the portion of the brain that controls stress. While doing this you also focus on a certain issue that is causing you anxiety, while affirming self-acceptance of the issue. Meaning if you are having trouble at work you can say “Even though I am stressed about work, I fully accept myself”. 

It is also important to measure the intensity of your feelings towards a specific issue before and after you practice EFT. You can use an intensity scale similar to a pain scale, such as 0-10 (0 being not intense at all, 10 being the most severe intensity). This way you can see how well the practice works for you. 

Now you might be wondering, does this really work? In one study done in 2013, veterans with PTSD received EFT training and within a month, half of the participants where no longer considered to have PTSD. Another study in 2006, compared EFT to other forms of anxiety treatment, participants who received EFT training showed significantly less anxiety than participants who received standard treatment. There were even studies done to test the effectiveness of EFT in relation to depression and phobias, both resulted in decrease in symptoms in a little as one session. If you or a loved one is interested in learning more about EFT and want to learn how to do it yourself, please feel free to call and make an appointment with your friendly neighborhood therapist, Dr. Renae Norton. 

Does someone you love suffer from an eating disorder?

Dr. Renae Norton specializes in the treatment of eating disorders. Located in Cincinnati, Ohio. Call 513-205-6543 to schedule an appointment or fill out our online contact form for someone to call you to discuss your concerns. Tele-therapy sessions available. Individual and family sessions also available.

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