Tapping For Pain Relief

Tapping can cure postoperative pain.

As a medically trained professional I find this hard to believe.  In fact I bring it up during hospital rounds with my nursing and physician colleagues who rip the idea of tapping to shreds and make it seem like anyone who believes that tapping works is a colossal moron who should be disemboweled and carted through the city streets.

Ok, maybe that’s a bit much, but their tone says it all.  If it’s not a pill or a surgical procedure it can’t possibly work.  This is the general sentiment of the medical establishment.

But I was intrigued.  It’s such a weird thing and so many people profess that it works.  Were these people some kind of strange alien cult? Are they all just crazy?  I needed to find out.

I first heard of tapping when I was on a leadership program for the International Council of Nurses in Geneva, Switzerland.  I met a woman who had built a business around tapping as a therapy. She was French and had a little bit of an accent, but despite her perfect English I had a hard time understanding what she was saying.  

“Are you saying that you tap someone to get rid of their migraines? Tap? Tap as in T-A-P?”  She must have thought that I was the moron.. She proceeded to show me the ritual for tapping which started with tapping her hand then her head, face and chest.  It took her seconds to go through the process.  She said the process of tapping could eliminate the migraine immediately.  And she further claimed that tapping could help physical and mental pain.

At this point I thought she was out of her mind.  I smiled politely and immediately scanned the room looking for ways to escape the conversation.

The problem was, her claims that tapping could get rid of migraine pain, physical pain, emotional pain were so outrageous I had to look into this technique.  I figured I would find a bunch of “Soul Savers” hacking the idea of tapping for the very low price of $99 a session and I could write it off as a bunch of crazy and move on.

Except that isn’t what I found at all.

Here’s what I found:

A literature search (Feinstein, 2012) identified 51 peer-reviewed papers that report or investigate clinical outcomes following the tapping of acupuncture points to address psychological issues.  

Want to know how it works?  Check out my interview with Tapping Practitioner Areefa Ali, she will tell you how to do it at the 11 minute marker.

 
 

Or learn more at the official EFT website: www.emofree.com

If you aren’t blown away by the evidence, all I can say, you have nothing to lose by just trying it out.  That’s what I did. Let the medical establishment laugh, I’m feeling great.

All the research you could possibly want...

Feinstein, D. (2012). Acupoint stimulation in treating psychological disorders: Evidence of efficacy. Review of General Psychology, 16, 364-380.

Theoretical and methodological problems in research on Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) and other meridian based therapies. Psychology Journal, 6(2), 34-46.

Baker, A. H., & Siegel, M. A. (2010). Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) reduces intense fears: A partial replication and extension of Wells et al. Energy Psychology: Theory, Research, & Treatment, 2(2), p 13-30.

Benor, D. J., Ledger, K., Toussaint, L., Hett, G., & Zaccaro, D. (2009). Pilot study of Emotional Freedom Techniques, Wholistic Hybrid Derived from Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and Emotional Freedom Techniques, and cognitive behavioral therapy for treatment of test anxiety in university students. Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, 5, 338-340.

Brattberg, G. (2008). Self-administered EFT (ss) in individuals with fibromyalgia: a randomized trial. Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, 7(4), 30-35.

Burk, L. (2010). Single session EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) for stress-related symptoms after motor vehicle accidents. Energy Psychology: Theory, Research, & Treatment, (2010), 2(1), 65-72.

Callahan, R. (1985). Five minute phobia cure. Wilmington, DE: Enterprise Publishing. Callahan, R. J., & Callahan, J. (1996). Thought Field Therapy (TFT) and trauma: Treatment and theory. Indian Wells, CA: Thought Field Therapy Training Center.

Carbonell, J.L., & Figley, C. (1999). A systematic clinical demonstration project of promising PTSD treatment approaches. Traumatology (online journal), 5(1), Article 4.

Chambless, D. L., Baker, M. J., Baucom, D. H., Beutler, L. E., Calhoun, K. S., Crits-Cristoph, P., . . . Woody, S. R. (1998). Update on empirically validated therapies, II. The Clinical Psychologist, 51(1), 3 - 16. Church, D. (2009). The effect of EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) on athletic performance: A randomized controlled blind trial. The Open Sports Sciences Journal, 2, 94-99.

Church, D. (2010). The treatment of combat trauma in veterans using EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques): A pilot protocol. Traumatology, 15(1), 45-55. Church, D., & Brooks, A. J. (2010). The effect of a brief EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) self-intervention on anxiety, depression, pain and cravings in healthcare workers. Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, 9(5), 40-44.

Church, D., De Asis, M. A., & Brooks, A. J. Brief group intervention using Emotional Freedom Techniques for depression in college students: A randomized controlled trial. Depression Research and Treatment. Church, D., Geronilla, L., & Dinter, I. (2009). Psychological symptom change in veterans after six sessions of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT): An observational study. [Electronic journal article]. International Journal of Healing and Caring, 9(1).

Church, D., Hawk, C., Brooks, A., Toukolehto, O., Wren, M., Dinter, I., & Stein, P.  Psychological trauma in veterans using EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques): A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease.

Church, D., Piña, O., Reategui, C., & Brooks, A. (2011). Single session reduction of the intensity of traumatic memories in abused adolescents after EFT: A randomized controlled pilot study. Traumatology. Advance online publication.

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.

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Connolly, S., & Sakai, C. (2011). Brief trauma intervention with Rwandan genocide survivors using Thought Field Therapy. International Journal of Emergency Mental Health. 13(3), 161-172.

Craig, G. (2011). The EFT manual (2nd ed.). Fulton, CA: Energy Psychology Press. Craig, G., Bach, D., Groesbeck, G., & Benor, D. (2009). Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) for traumatic brain injury. [Electronic journal article]. International Journal of Healing and Caring, 9(2).

Darby, D., & Hartung, J. (2012). Thought Field Therapy for blood-injection-injury phobia: A pilot study. Energy Psychology: Theory, Research & Treatment, 4(1), 25-32.

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Fang, J., Jin, Z., Wang, Y., Li, K., Kong , J., Nixon , E. E., . . . Hui, K. K.-S. (2009). The salient characteristics of the central effects of acupuncture needling: Limbic-paralimbicneocortical network modulation. Human Brain Mapping, 30, 1196 – 1206.

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Feinstein, D. (2010). Rapid treatment of PTSD: Why psychological exposure with acupoint tapping may be effective. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training. 47(3), 385-402.

Feinstein, D., & Church, D. (2010). Modulating gene expression through psychotherapy: The Contribution of non-invasive somatic interventions. Review of General Psychology, 14(4), 283 – 195.

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Hodge, P., & Jurgens, C. Y. (2011). A pilot study of the effects of Emotional Freedom Techniques in psoriasis. Energy Psychology: Theory, Research, & Treatment, 3(2), 13- 24.

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Irgens, A., Uldal, M., & Hoffart, A. Thought Field Therapy (TFT) as a treatment for anxiety symptoms: A randomized controlled trial. Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing. Jadad, A. R., & Enkin, M. (2007). Randomized controlled trials: Questions, answers and musings (2nd ed.).

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Jones, S., Thornton, J., & Andrews, H. (2011). Efficacy of EFT in reducing public speaking anxiety: A randomized controlled trial. Energy Psychology: Theory, Research, Treatment, 3(1), 19-32.

Karatzias, T., Power, K., Brown, K., McGoldrick, T., Begum, M., Young, J. . . . & Adams, S. (2011). A controlled comparison of the effectiveness and efficiency of two psychological therapies for posttraumatic stress disorder: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing vs. Emotional Freedom Techniques. Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease, 199, 372-378.

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Lang, T., Hager H., Funovits, V., Barker, R., Steinlechner, B., Hoerauf, K , & Kober, A. (2007). Prehospital analgesia with acupressure at the Baihui and Hegu points in patients with radial fractures: a prospective, randomized, double-blind trial. American Journal of Emergency Medicine, 25, 887-893.

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