Are there any research studies that back up the claims that people are making about what EFT can accomplish?
by Kay Christopher, EFTCer-II, Certified EFT Practitioner
Please Note: Since I wrote this article (in 2006) there have been a number of completed research studies that have been completed. Please click here for an updated list of EFT research studies.
There are significant efforts under way to produce numerous valid scientific studies in which EFT is used. As research generally takes both considerable time and money, and EFT is a fairly new method, it will take a while before there are many completed studies. However, there are a few completed studies noted below.
The first controlled scientific study into the effectiveness of EFT was published in 2003 in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, Volume 59 (9), p. 943-966. Professional journals have very strict standards, so it is significant that this study was published in this peer reviewed journal. The study, “Evaluation of a Meridian-Based Intervention, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), for Reducing Specific Phobias of Small Animal”s was done by Steve Wells, Kathryn A. Polglase, Henry B. Andrews, Patricia Carrington, and A. Harvey Baker.“The findings suggest that a single treatment session using EFT to reduce specific phobias can produce valid behavioral and subjective effects.” http://www.eftdownunder.com/research.html
Another research study was published in 2004 in the peer reviewed journal Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine, 15, I, 75-86. This research reports on the physiological efffects of EFT as well as the psychological ones. It was conducted by doctors Paul G. Swingle and Lee Pulos together with Mari K. Swingle and it studied the effects of EFT on individuals involved in motor accidents who were reporting traumatic stress related to the accidents.
A third research study by Jack E. Rowe, Ph.D. has been accepted for publication by the peer-reviewed Counseling and Clinical Psychology Journal. It involves the use of the EFT technique “Borrowing Benefits” and measured the stress levels of study participants before and after and EFT workshop. Of particular note is that the decreases in stress held up when the participants were tested again six months later.
A fourth experiment was conducted by a dentist by the name of Graham Temple. He used EFT with patients who experienced anxiety related to dental treatment prior to the treatment. Out of 30 patients, 100% reported a reduction in anxiety. (For people who are familiar with EFT this is not an astounding statistic.)
A fifth experiment was done by Carol Look, P.D. who asked the question “Is it possible for a person with a vision problem to improve their eyesight by using Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)?” She conducted a fascinating 8 week study in which 100 people worldwide followed written instructions via the internet to use EFT for vision and emotional issues. While there were some limitations in the experiment, such as not monitoring participant’s tapping, the lack of ability to customize EFT for each person, and no control group the results were still quite impressive. Nearly 75% of participants in the study indicated an improvement occurred in their vision by the end of the study.
More research studies focusing on EFT are now in progress, however as they generally are both time intensive and expensive we may have to wait a bit to see a lot of additional completed studies. Hopefully there will be at least a few more published soon.
© Kay Christopher 2007 All rights reserved.