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Emotional freedom techniques (EFT)

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Background

  • Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), also called tapping, is a psychological, or emotional, version of acupuncture that does not involve needles. This therapy is based on the idea that unresolved negative emotions contribute to many physical pains and illnesses. Supporters of EFT claim that stimulating the acupuncture points helps get rid of emotional blockages from the system, thus restoring the mind and body's balance.
  • EFT is based on the same philosophy as traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). According to Chinese medicine theory, the human body contains a network of energy pathways through which vital energy, called "chi," circulates. These pathways (also called meridians) contain specific points that function like gates, allowing chi to flow through the body. In acupuncture, needles are inserted into these points to regulate the flow of chi. Illness and symptoms are thought caused by problems in the circulation of chi through the meridians.
  • Unlike acupuncture, EFT does not involve needles. Instead, a person taps his/her fingertips on specific meridians on the body along. This is combined with positive voice affirmations. The tapping supposedly stimulates chi and corrects the negative emotions that have detrimental effects on the body's flow of energy. In this way, proponents believe that practicing EFT helps return the body's system to balance and reduces physical symptoms.
  • People can practice this therapy themselves. However, EFT should not delay diagnosis or treatment with more proven techniques or therapies, and it should not be used as the sole approach to illnesses.
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Technique

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Theory/Evidence

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Safety

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.