The Research Behind EFT
For many years, EFT was used because it worked and produced amazing results, but the “hard-core” science behind it was limited. Fortunately, that is changing. As EFT has evolved, the number of studies and papers that have been published in peer-reviewed psychology and medical journals has increased dramatically. The results have been summarized in the EFT Research section at www.EFTUniverse.com. The studies show the wide variety of conditions which EFT has been shown to improve. The studies are also ranked using the “evidence-based” standards of the American Psychological Association’s Division 12 (Clinical Psychology) Task Force.
Extra! Extra! Read All About It! EFT Lowers Cortisol Levels
One-Hour Session Reduces the Weight-Gain Hormone by 24%
This is the title of a recent press release from the Foundation for Epigenetic Medicine in Santa Rosa, CA. And it’s exactly the news I’ve been waiting for. I’ve been using EFT with my clients and passionately raving about how it’s the “secret” to weight loss, and now we have the science to back it up! Please take the time to read an excerpt from the press release below.
June 28, 2012, SANTA ROSA, CA. A study to be published in October in the prestigious Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, the oldest peer-reviewed psychology journal in the United States, found that Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) lowered the major stress hormone cortisol significantly more than other interventions tested.
In a randomized controlled trial (the gold standard of scientific research), 83 subjects were randomly assigned to a single hour-long session of EFT, talk therapy, or rest. Their cortisol levels were measured via a saliva test before and after the session. Cortisol is the “master hormone” regulating many aspects of the body’s stress response mechanisms. The researchers hypothesized that successful therapy would lower stress and that this would be reflected biochemically in a reduced level of salivary cortisol and psychologically in reduced levels of anxiety, depression, and other symptoms of psychological distress.
The results showed that cortisol levels in the rest and therapy groups declined by an average of 14%, while the EFT group declined 24%. The decline in this physiological marker of stress was also significantly correlated with a decline in anxiety, depression, and other psychological symptoms as measured by a standard psychological assessment tool.
The human body is designed to release cortisol only at times of physical danger, to help the body mobilize to fight or flee from that threat. The level of cortisol and other adrenal hormones such as adrenaline are supposed to subside when the danger passes. The human body is not meant to live in a constant “bath” of cortisol and adrenaline. Unfortunately, that is exactly what is happening to many people in today’s stressful world. Most are not responding to physical danger but to traffic, work worries, financial problems, and the myriad other stresses of modern life. Continually elevated cortisol levels are known to contribute to a range of physical and psychological problems, including weight gain and obesity, digestive and metabolic problems, fatigue, weakened immunity, anxiety, depression, and even diseases such as diabetes, Cushing’s syndrome, and cardiovascular disease.
Cortisol has become a hot topic as its role in weight gain has become more widely known. Chronic stress keeps the body in a state of mobilizing carbohydrates and fat for energy to respond to the perceived threat (the body doesn’t distinguish between the chronic stress of daily life and the acute stress of an attacker with a knife). This signals the body to eat more carbohydrates and fat. That is the physiological mechanism behind why weight gain and obesity often result from chronic stress. In addition, stress contributes to “emotional” eating, which results in further weight gain.
Stress reduction has long been cited as vital for health. The study provides specific evidence of how EFT reduces stress. EFT is a noninvasive technique that pairs the recall of emotional upsets (a form of exposure therapy, a common method in psychology) with physical stimulation of specific points on the body to discharge stress (as identified by thousands of years of use in acupuncture). The physiological mechanisms of action of EFT have been documented in a number of studies and review articles. These demonstrate that EFT affects several of the body’s regulatory systems, including the brain and endocrine systems.
A flurry of products called “cortisol blockers” have appeared on the market as weight-loss supplements, though no research to date has demonstrated that cortisol blockers are effective in lowering cortisol levels. EFT has now demonstrated its effectiveness and, unlike various drugs and supplements touted to lower cortisol, it has no side effects.
The study’s authors are Dawson Church, PhD, of the Foundation for Epigenetic Medicine; Garret Yount, PhD, of the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute; and Audrey Brooks, PhD, of the University of Arizona—Tucson psychology department. Article citation: Church D, Yount G, Brooks A. “The effect of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) on stress biochemistry: A randomized controlled trial.” Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease (October 2012, in press).
Does EFT Work?
The simple answer is “yes”. The more complex answer can be found in another soon to be published review article by David Feinstein, Ph.D. in the Review of General Psychology (a peer reviewed journal of the American Psychological Association) this fall. The abstract is noted below. To read this study in full, as well as a comprehensive overview of EFT research findings, visit David Feinstein, PhD’s website: www.research.energypsyched.com.
The information contained on this website is educational in nature and is provided only as general information. As part of the information presented on this website, I understand I will be introduced to a modality identified as Emotional Freedom Techniques (“EFT”) which is a technique referred to as a type of energy therapy. To date, EFT has yielded remarkable results for relieving emotional and physical distress. EFT appears to have promising mental, spiritual, and physical health benefits but has yet to be fully researched by the Western academic, medical, and psychological communities. Due to the experimental nature of EFT, and because it is a relatively new healing approach and the extent of its effectiveness, as well as its risks and benefits are not fully known, I agree to assume and accept full responsibility for any and all risks associated with viewing this website and using EFT as a result of viewing this website. I understand that if I choose to use EFT, it is possible that emotional or physical sensations or additional unresolved memories may surface which could be perceived as negative side effects. Emotional material may continue to surface after using EFT, indicating other issues may need to be addressed. Previously vivid or traumatic memories may fade which could adversely impact my ability to provide detailed legal testimony regarding a traumatic incident.
The information presented on this website is not intended to represent that EFT is used to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or psychological disorder. EFT is not a substitute for medical or psychological treatment. Any stories or testimonials presented on this website do not constitute a warranty, guarantee, or prediction regarding the outcome of an individual using EFT for any particular issue. Further, I understand that Carol Look makes not warranty, guarantee, or prediction regarding any outcome for me using EFT for any particular issue. I agree and understand that the information presented on this website is only for my own personal use. In order to use EFT with others, I understand I need to become sufficiently trained and qualified as an EFT practitioner. While all materials and links to other resources are posted in good faith, the accuracy, validity, effectiveness, completeness, or usefulness of any information herein, as with any publication, cannot be guaranteed. Carol Look accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever for the use or misuse of the information contained on this website. Carol Look strongly advises you seek professional advice as appropriate before implementing any protocol or opinion expressed on this website, including using EFT, and before making any health decision. If any court of law rules that any part of the Disclaimer is invalid, the Disclaimer stands as if those parts were struck out.
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