What is EFT?

EFT is a ground breaking technique combining psychotherapy and acupressure, bringing together elements of exposure, cognitive therapy and somatic stimulation. Commonly known as ‘Tapping’, EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Techniques. EFT’s developers see it as being similar to acupuncture but without the needles, and it has been referred to as ‘psychological acupuncture’. As with acupuncture, EFT stimulates various pressure points on the face and body to relieve stress, which then alleviates many psychological based concerns.

EFT is a powerful self-applied, stress reduction method based on extensive research that shows emotional distress contributes greatly to illness. EFT can address a range of issues by simply focusing on the issue you would like to address with an acceptance statement, along with a simple two finger tapping technique. Here Dr Peta Stapleton, Clinical and Health Psychologist, and world leading Researcher and Trainer in EFT, explains more about EFT in her ‘How to do Tapping’ and Why it Works video:

How does EFT work in our brain?

So how exactly does EFT work on our minds and in our brains? It’s a surprisingly simple technique. By stimulating pressure points on the body with this two finger tapping technique, Emotional Freedom Techniques result in a calming effect on the amygdala (the stress centre of the brain) and the hippocampus (the brains memory centre), both of which play a role in the decision making process to determine if something is, or isn’t, a threat, and in the fight or flight response.

EFT also seems to have the same calming effect on cortisol – the stress hormone. High cortisol levels can be caused by a variety of things, including biological stressors, and mood disorders such as depression and anxiety and psychological stress.

Clinical trials have shown that EFT is able to rapidly reduce the emotional impact of memories and incidents that trigger emotional distress. EFT has an immediate calming effect and can be used by children as young as 3-4 years old.

How can EFT help with weight management?

Dr Peta Stapleton’s Australian research has found EFT to be highly successful, and long lasting, when used for the treatment of obesity, food cravings, and weight management. Various forms of EFT has been used in the control of weight issues with good anecdotal results, however, Dr Peta Stapleton’s program ‘Tapping for Food Cravings and Weight Management’, designed in conjunction with Glenn Mackintosh, Australia’s leading weight management psychologist, is the only EFT for weight program that has been clinically researched, with scientifically proven results. While Peta’s groundbreaking research is mentioned in other weight management programs, this is the only program delivered by Dr Stapleton, the EFT master trainer and researcher. If you are interested in Tapping for Food Cravings and Weight Management, please follow the link here: http://www.weightmanagementpsychology.com.au/onlinecourses/tappingforweightmanagement/

For health practitioners and those already familiar with EFT methods, and how EFT works, you may like to join one of Dr Peta Stapleton’s Weight and Food Cravings Masterclass. This is an eight hour Masterclass 100% online. By completing it you have the opportunity to join Dr Peta in a dedicated online Facebook group for ongoing support.

In comparison to other weight management solutions, such as diets, Dr Stapleton’s research has shown that EFT, while showing superior and long lasting results, is a relatively quick and easy method for promoting weight loss, maintaining a healthy weight after weight loss, and the elimination of food cravings, all of which lead to greater well-being and a healthier you.

Please also find a one hour webinar on EFT for Adult Obesity, featuring Dr Peta Stapleton here:

What else can EFT help with?

EFT is not only a useful technique in weight management. Research trials have shown the remarkable and positive effects of Tapping on PTSD, anxiety, depression and phobias, as well as chronic pain, fatigue, and its successful use in the cessation of smoking has also been established. In addition to her weight loss related studies, Dr Stapleton’s most recent research has included:

  • Brain changes after EFT for overweight adults with food cravings (using fMRI)
  • Teaching EFT for Healthy Food Choices and Physical Activity in 14 year olds
  • EFT for Academic Fear and Difficulties in 15 year old high achieving students
  • EFT versus Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Depression in Adults
  • EFT for Chronic Pain
  • EFT for Stress Reduction (using salivary cortisol testing)

Hear Dr Stapleton talk about her work, how the research studies have been done, and their findings here:

EFT for Students

Some of the most recent people to have benefited from the use of Tapping are students. Evidence based EFT has now been used in schools to help with student anxiety, performance, and goal-setting, and has resulted in better academic outcomes for students. If you think your student could gain an edge from the benefits of tapping, please click below to find out more about the Tapping in the Classroom Teacher Training. This is all online and available worldwide to teachers.

Here some of the students in Dr Peta’s trial talk about their experience learning tapping:

Peta’s Research and Findings

Dr Stapleton, in her current post at Bond University, conducted research into the effects of EFT on food cravings, in conjunction with Gold Coast Surgical Hospital, making use of their cutting-edge fMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) equipment. This ground breaking research is the first in the world to have used fMRI scans to show actual physical and scientific evidence of how EFT’s self-help techniques work on these conditions, by changing the brain’s neural pathways involved in addiction and food cravings. Tapping appears to calm the ‘stress’ areas of the brain, releasing us from stressors which can result in bad habits. Participants were shown pictures of food, pre and post Tapping, while having a brain scan. Commenting on the participants and their scans, Dr Stapleton said, “After four weeks of EFT we expected to see those parts of the brain that usually activate their cravings and hunger in response to certain foods would no longer do so, and this has certainly been the case,” she continued, “The brain’s neural pathways ‘rewire’ and their desire for those foods diminishes.”

Watch Channel 9 news feature on Dr Stapleton’s research:

20In another clinical research trial, Dr Stapleton has shown the significant benefits gained by Tapping are also shown to improve over time (compared to high weight gain rates for diets). This research shows tapping to be superior to CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), the current ‘gold-standard’ in treatment for weight issues. Participants in the EFT group of this trial were shown to have lost an average of 6.4kg over six months, with no dieting or other significant lifestyle changes, in comparison to a total of 4.33kg’s lost in the CBT group.

You can find an overview of Dr Stapleton and her many research areas here: https://research.bond.edu.au/en/persons/peta-stapleton

Neuro Imaging and EFT

In a world first, Neuro Imaging has now been used to show unequivocally the effect tapping has on the brain, and more specifically, on food cravings. The results of this study were what Dr Stapleton called mind-blowing. As mentioned previously, brain images of participants were captured as they viewed images of food, pre ‘tapping’, during the four week ‘tapping’ course, and again one year on. Read more about this study and the use of Neuro Imaging here:

https://bond.edu.au/news/49213/world-first-brain-scan-research-shows-tapping-effective-combating-food-cravings

The published paper of the world first fMRI trial is now available here: http://www.lidsen.com/journals/icm/icm-04-01-010

So now you’ve read all about what Tapping is and the various areas where it has proven efficacy, we now want to share with you just some of the success stories of people who have used EFT for weight loss.

In this Channel 7 news cast, see how Maggie lost four dress sizes and 22 kilos, by participating in the EFT for Food Cravings program and hear how participants in this program lose on average five kilo’s per year, the majority using only Tapping and no other weight loss methods.

EFT Tools

If you’re considering learning, or extending your knowledge of EFT, there a various EFT Tools available to help you with the method and to keep you on track. We have listed some of these below.

Tapping App – Dr Peta has an app to assist you with getting started! The Tap Into a Better You App aims to teach you the fundamentals of Tapping, which can be applied to everything from emotional overeating to trauma or stress. With an interactive demonstration that guides you step-by-step through the process, you can easily master the basics, while our comprehensive knowledge base teaches you how to apply Tapping to every part of your life, from healing emotional injuries to putting you on the road to lifelong success. The app has tapping ideas for areas such as food cravings, stress, pain, success, self care and anxiety. Both android and apple version are available. 

The app matches a 9-module program titled the same – Tap Into a Better You – that is a downloadable audio course.

Visual Ruler – The Tapping Ruler is a visual aid and is used to help you identify, on a scale of 1-10, how much any particular issue is bothering you. You use this ruler to rate the issue, whilst Tapping, until you can rate your problem a zero. To download this visual tool please click here 

The Tapping Journal – this  journal is designed so you can keep track of what you ‘tapped on’ with EFT. If you think this tool could help you keep on track with your tapping, please visit this page.

Toolboxtime™ is an online resource providing simple suggestions to help with day to day challenges. It focuses on four energy therapies, EFT, Essential Oils, Light Therapy, and Intentions. To find out more please click visit here.

Tapping posters  are a great way to explain Tapping, and what each point means. The posters also include reasons why you might engage in Tapping, provide tips, answer frequently asked questions, and more. These posters are designed to be used in a practice setting where it may be useful to display the tapping points; there is a poster for adults and another for children and teens. Follow this link to order you poster.

Find an EFT Practitioner

Are you seeking a referral to see someone who does EFT or can teach you its methods and principles? On this website Peta maintains a list of EFT practitioners who have trained with her. To find a practitioner near you please see this list – https://petastapleton.com/eft-practitioners-in-australia/