How Does EFT/Tapping Work?

Q: What is EFT/Tapping and how does it work?

A: Emotional Freedom Technique (a/k/a Tapping) is a form of self-administered acupressure in which you tap on a series of eight acupuncture points with your fingers while saying specific statements to address the issue you are working on resolving.

People have been using different form of tapping as a gentle and effective way to approach emotional and physical issues. Some forms include Applied Kinesiology, Behavioral Kinesiology, Thought Field Technology (TFT), Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), Acutap, and Quantum Techniques (QT).

The short answer on ‘how does is work’ is ‘we don’t really know’. But, that’s also true for acupuncture – which has been shown to be a reliable and effective treatment for over 2,000 years. The same is often true for modern medications:

Knowing why a drug works has historically trailed the treatment, sometimes by decades. Some of the most recognizable drugs — acetaminophen for pain relief, penicillin for infections, and lithium for bipolar disorder, continue to be scientific mysteries today. Washington Post

Dr. Peta Stapleton is a practitioner and researcher. She notes: EFT appears to affect the amygdala (stress centre in the brain) and hippocampus (memory centre), and both play a role in the decision process when you decide if something is a threat. EFT has also been shown to lower cortisol levels, which is the stress hormone. Too much cortisol can result in lowered immune function and ultimately affect our physical health.

Research on tapping has grown over the past few years and you can find studies on its effectiveness for anxiety, depression, pain, weight loss, and trauma.

Some naysayers argue that meridian tapping is simply a placebo and those of us who practice energy medicine reply, “so what?” Our goal is to offer simple, effective, and practical tools for our clients to heal.


If the tool works, if it works for me, my family, my friends, and my clients — if the tool does no harm — then it is surely something that we want to keep in our toolbox and use appropriately.