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EFT Research (Part 10)

EFT Research (Part 10): Borrowing Benefits, Group Treatment

I am back with another study, and this is called Borrowing Benefits: Group Treatment with Clinical EFT Is Found to Be Associated with Simultaneous Reduction in PTSD, Anxiety and Depression Symptoms. This was published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine in 2018.

Let me begin by explaining a little bit about borrowing benefits. Borrowing benefits is a phenomenon where you will find a reduction in the intensity, the emotional intensity of your own issues if you are tapping along with a group, a video or a live demo, and especially where the client’s issues are similar to that of yours. Also, borrowing benefits can be used as a strategy where you set an intention to work through your issues. In this process, you will be picking up an issue, giving it an intensity and putting it aside, and then you will be focusing your attention fully on the person that you are tapping with. After the session is over – the tapping is over – you will find a reduction in the intensity of your own issue. This is called borrowing benefits.

This study was to demonstrate the relationship between PTSD, depression and anxiety, and the sample size was 81. 81 people participated in five two-day workshops, and all groups used borrowing benefits, where the facilitator was working with the client while the group was applying self-tapping. The participants were assessed on 9 specific conditions, the Positive Symptom Total and the depth and breadth of psychological distress, the General Symptom Index. Physical pain and addictive cravings were also measured, and reductions were observed on all measures, and gains were maintained at six-months follow-up with the exception of the Hostility subscale.

Use of Borrowing Benefits in EFT training classes: 

This shows that borrowing benefits definitely works, and I have seen it in my trainings where if I am doing a demo with a trainee and I ask the group to note down an issue, give it a number, put it aside and focus their full attention on the demo and tap along with us using the words that we are using in that demo, there is a reduction in the emotional intensity of their issues even though they weren’t actively focused on it.

Link to video:

EFT Research (Part 9)

EFT Research (Part 9): The treatment of Combat Trauma in Veterans

This study was about – The treatment of Combat Trauma in Veterans using EFT: A pilot protocol, and it was published in the Traumatology journal in 2010.

There were 11 veterans and family members who were assessed for PTSD and these veterans were from the US military service personnel coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan with PTSD. These measurements were taken 30 days prior to the treatment and right before the treatment, and the participants were given EFT intervention for 5 days. When the post test was done, there were significant improvements in the symptom assessment, and the PTSD checklist military.

The gains and the improvements were maintained at the 30-day and 90-day follow-ups. These improvements were in General Symptom Index, anxiety, somatization, phobic anxiety and interpersonal sensitivity. A one year follow-up of seven of the participants was done, and same improvements were observed. After EFT, the group no longer scored positive for post-traumatic stress disorder and the symptoms severity had already reduced and the gains had helped. 

Watch the video here:

EFT Research (Part 8)

EFT Research (Part 8): Efficacy of Acupoints stimulation vs sham points

This was published in the Energy Psychology journal in 2015. It’s called EFT for stress in students: A Randomized controlled Dismantling Study. This present study had two goals:

  1. To determine whether or not EFT could quickly reduce stress symptoms in college students
  2. To compare the efficacy of the acupoint stimulation to the stimulation of sham points. The comparison was between the acupoints that are used in EFT and sham points which are not acupoints.

56 participants were assigned to either EFT or the sham group and these were university students. And they were assessed for nine common stress symptoms before and after a single 15 to 20 minutes group intervention session. And these sessions were held on the campus in groups of five to ten students. Both these groups – the EFT and the sham group – were given a script containing eight sets of stressful cognitions, centered around the feeling of overwhelm and hopelessness and ending with a positive statement. The EFT group participants stimulated the actual acupoints that are used in Standard EFT, while those in the sham group used the sham points.

The pretest showed no significant difference in the stress symptoms. Post test, which is after the intervention, showed that the EFT group had a symptom reduction by 39.3% and the sham group showed a reduction of 8.1%, which shows that the stimulation of actual points is superior to the stimulation of the sham points. And this demonstrates that acupressure is an active ingredient of the EFT protocol, and it is not placebo.


Watch the video here:

EFT Research (Part 6)

EFT Research (Part 6): Stress and Anxiety Management for Students and Staff in School Settings

I found an interesting chapter in the book called “Promoting Mind-Body Health in Schools: Interventions for Mental Health Professionals”. The chapter’s name is  “Emotional Freedom Techniques: Stress and Anxiety Management for Students and Staff in School Settings”

EFT is an effective stress and anxiety management technique that can be used for students and school personnel and employees, and even a few sessions of EFT can help students to reduce their anxiety, the fear of failure, increase their performance, self-esteem, and this chapter “examines relevant EFT research and the use of EFT with school-age children and adolescents, and it also discusses the importance of formal training in Emotional Freedom Techniques for school practitioners and ethical considerations.”

I wish that I knew EFT in school because as a student, I remember the enormous pressure. There was academic pressure, this fear of failure, low self-esteem and what not. 


Gaesser, A. H. (2020). Emotional freedom techniques: Stress and anxiety management for students and staff in school settings. In C. Maykel & M. A. Bray (Eds.), Promoting mind–body health in schools: Interventions for mental health professionals (pp. 283–297). American Psychological Association
Link to the book:
Watch a short video on this:

EFT Research (Part 5)

Effects of EFT on the reduction of Chronic Pain in Adults, a pilot study

This was published in the Energy Psychology: Theory, Research, and Treatment journal, and this study examined the effects of EFT on pain reduction in 50 adults and these adults were enrolled in a three-day EFT workshop.

There were two scales that were used: One was the Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS) and the other one was Multidimensional Pain Inventory (MPI) and these were used to measure the pain.


There were reductions on each of the PCS (Pain Catastrophizing Scale) item’s scores such as rumination, magnification and helplessness. There was a reduction even on the total PCS score.

On MPI (Multidimensional Pain Inventory), improvements in pain severity, interference, life control, affective distress and dysfunctional composite were noticed. A six months follow-up was done and the reductions held over that period of time on PCS scale and only on one item of the MPI, which was the life control item.

EFT helps in reducing pain intensity and it also helps the participants’ ability to live life with their pain. The reductions in pain were observed at a one-month interval. In the follow-up which was done after a month, there were reductions in pain but that didn’t hold on a long-term basis.

However, the findings reported that that there was an increased sense of control and ability to cope with the pain. Obviously since this was only a three days’ workshop and although after that, in the follow-up, there were reductions on several items on the PCS and one item of the MPI, but the reduction in pain did not hold in the long term.

The reason for this is that you need to be persistent when it comes to EFT for pain, which means we need to continue applying EFT. The benefits, like this study showed, are that there is an increased sense of control – you have an increased sense of agency, you don’t feel helpless, you are not always ruminating or magnifying the symptoms and at the same time you have an increased ability to manage the pain.

However, in order to keep the severity of the pain low, you also need to work on the emotional contributors of the pain. For example, When did the pain start?  You can check out my YouTube series on EFT for Physical Issues.

Full paper:

Watch a short video on this.

EFT Research ( Part 4)

⭐️EFT Research ( Part 4)

🖌Title: EFT in the Treatment of Unhealthy Eating Behaviours and Related Psychological Constructs in Adolescents: A Randomised Controlled Pilot Trial.

This study was designed to see the impact of EFT group treatment program, a six-week program upon eating behaviours, self-esteem, compassion, and psychological symptoms in a group of forty-four students.

These students were randomly assigned to the EFT or the waitlist control group.
Results at the follow-up, and these findings support that EFT is really effective.
✔️Improved eating habits
✔️self-esteem improved
✔️Compassion increased

EFT, also know as tapping, can really help in encouraging healthy eating behaviours in adolescents and in adults, and there are several studies which also talk about how EFT helps with when it comes to anxiety, school performance etc.

📚Published in “The Journal of Science and Healing” in 2016

You can also watch a video on this

EFT Research (Part 3)

EFT Research (Part 3): Single session reduction of the intensity of Traumatic Memories

This is a journal article that was published on Traumatology Journal on APA, and this is also available on the website.

This research is about single session reduction of the intensity of Traumatic Memories in abused adolescents after EFT – a randomized controlled pilot study. The subjects (16 males between the age of 12 to 17) were chosen from an institution to which juveniles are sent by the court, if the judge believes that there has been a physical or psychological abuse at home. The assessments were done using the Subjective Distress and Impact of Events Scales. And, this also measured two aspects of post-traumatic stress disorder which was intrusive memories and avoidance symptoms.

The experimental group got one session of EFT and the wait-list control group got no treatment. 30 days later, the participants were reassessed and obviously, there was no improvement in the wait-list group since they did not get any treatment. The experimental group where the EFT intervention was applied for one session, in the post test scores that were taken, the results showed that they were non-clinical on the total score as well as on the Intrusive and Avoidant Symptoms subscale and the Subjective Distress Scale.

Quoting the article here,

“These results are consistent with those found in adults and indicates the utility of single session EFT as fast and effective intervention for reducing psychological trauma in juveniles.”

You can watch the video here:

EFT Research (Part 2)

EFT Research (Part 2): Efficacy of EFT in reducing Public Speaking Anxiety

This research on Efficacy of EFT in Reducing Public Speaking Anxiety was published in Energy Psychology: Theory, Research and Treatment in 2011.

When it comes to public speaking anxiety, there are a lot of people who have it. It helped me tremendously too. Now, I conduct trainings, webinars and I make these videos, and I don’t experience that same kind of anxiety.

In this study, there were 36 volunteers with public speaking anxiety and they were assigned randomly to treatment groups and wait-list control group. There was one treatment group and one wait-list control group.

The self-report measures were taken before, during and after a 45-minutes EFT session. A 45-minutes EFT session was conducted. There were changes in scores that were taken before and after the EFT, and it showed reduction – a significant reduction in the public speaking anxiety on all subjective and behavioural measures.

 Isn’t that exciting news? That means that if you have public speaking anxiety, you don’t have to live with it. There is something you can do about it. 

You can watch the video here:

EFT Research (Part 1)

EFT Research Series (Part 1): TBI symptoms improve after PTSD remediation with EFT

This research was published in the Traumatology Journal in September 2014 . 

 A group of 59 veterans who had clinical levels of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder),  received EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) in a RCT which is Randomized Control Trial. In Randomized Control Trial the subjects are randomly assigned to either the experimental group, the group that receives the new intervention that is being tested, or the control group which is the group that receives the conventional treatment.

After six sessions of EFT,  it was noticed that a 86 percentage drop was there which was below the clinical threshold. Also, the results stayed subclinical, below the clinical threshold in the three and the six-month follow-ups that were done. The traumatic brain injury reductions were noticed and the symptoms reduced after three sessions, and there was even more reduction after six months, around 41 percent, which is a pretty significant change.

Is Talk Therapy enough for trauma?

Using only a top down approach in psychotherapy sessions isn’t enough for trauma because:

  • When a person is experiencing flashbacks or even recalling a traumatic event their body can literally feel like it’s in the past. All the stored survival stress is back in the form of body sensations. These body sensations can get unbearable. And just talking about all of this won’t help because it doesn’t relieve the body sensations. Without a somatic approach to help handle the body sensations, the client can feel like they’re drowning in the gut wrenching sensations.


  • The body sensations can feel very triggering because the client feels as if they’re reliving the entire traumatic event rather than just talking about it. A cognitive approach to make sense of this doesn’t help until the body feels safer to inhabit, until the client can get a grip on the body sensations. No amount of cognitive processing can make the person understand that it’s in the past. While a cognitive approach can help in observing the body’s sensations, the bottom up approach can help in “recalibrating the nervous system” ( Kolk, 2004, p. 63-64) which is vital to begin with.


  • During a traumatic event, the body goes into survival mode and the amygdala, the smoke detector of the brain ( Kolk, 2004), only sees the danger and directs the body to escape the danger via FFF. The frontal cortex, especially the medial Prefrontal Cortex goes offline during trauma. Bessel Van Der Kolk calls it the ‘watchtower’ which helps in making important decisions. The trauma is stored in a non linear, fragmented manner and doesn’t have a coherent narrative. So explaining what happened when it’s mostly the fragmented sights, sounds, smell etc of the traumatic event, is very difficult in a talk therapy session.

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy by Pat Ogden, Tapping acupressure points (EFT), Alpha/Theta training, Somatic Experiencing by Peter Levine, Neurofeedback, EMDR, are some of the techniques mentioned in the book, The Body keeps the Score, that are effective in resol

Reference:  van der Kolk, B. A. (2014). The body keeps the score: Brain, mind, and body in the healing of trauma. Viking.