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 symptoms of many psychological based ailments.

EFT is a powerful self-help method, based on research in clinical psychology which shows emotional trauma contributes greatly to disease. EFT can address a range of issues with ease, and from the comfort of your own home, by simply focusing on the issue you would like to address and using a cognitive 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’ 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) levels, which can make a person feel unwell when overly high. 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.

Here Dr Peta Stapleton discusses further how EFT works:

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 Masterclasses. An eight hour Masterclass, this course is equal to eight hours professional development. https://evidencebasedeft.com/product/eft-weight-food-cravings-masterclass/

In this video, Dr Stapleton’s partner in developing Weight Management Psychology – Emotional Freedom Techniques for Weight Management Online course, Glenn Mackintosh explains why EFT techniques can work so well for weight management and food cravings:

(This video is not done by Peta but features her; it is from her partner in the weight management course, Glenn Mackintosh)

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. Observation and research 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 the following areas

  • 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

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

  1. In addition to these, there are many others areas in which Tapping has been proven to be a successful technique in overcoming psychological burdens, such as chronic fatigue and insomnia. Both these conditions can have many causes, both physiological and psychological. In either case EFT can help.
  2. EFT has also been used to encourage the accumulation of wealth by uncovering and addressing any self-limiting beliefs, self-sabotaging behaviours, or patterns you’ve developed which may hinder abundance and wealth from flowing easily for you. Learn to use EFT to attract those things you value highly by downloading your free eBook here: https://petastapleton.com/product/tapping-into-creating-wealth-ebook/
  3. Parents are another group to benefit from using EFT techniques. Tapping can be used to help you be the parent you want to be. It can ensure you parent consciously and keep in front of mind the parenting strategies you want to practice, helping you raise happy, healthy, and self-aware children. How often have you heard people say, “I’ll never do to my kids what my parents did to me?” Despite this, it is common for most parents to repeat the same parenting style, with the same mistakes, their own parents demonstrated. If you are seeking tools and information to help you be the best parent you can be for your child, and guide them to a healthy mind-set, ‘Conscious Parenting’ is a book which will help parents, and parents to be, raise children for whom their individual identity becomes their most valuable asset. View book here: https://petastapleton.com/product/conscious-parenting-ebook/
  4. Chronic Pain is another syndrome that can be successfully treated using EFT, which addresses both the emotional and physical aspects of pain, making it a vital tool in fighting this chronic condition. If you already know what EFT is, and how to use it, you may be interested in Dr Peta Stapleton’s ‘EFT for Chronic Pain Masterclass’. This is a five module course, equaling five hours of professional development, and includes videos, notes, and other course resources. If you or your patients could benefit from this Masterclass, please book here https://evidencebasedeft.com/product/eft-for-chronic-pain-masterclass/
  5. Focusing on being kind and taking care of ourselves, FROM HEART TO SCIENCE is a four part lecture series designed to inspire you to implement evidence based, self-care practices. The series provides an insightful view into heart/mind practices which are supported by scientific research. If you could use some inspiration to help ensure you’re giving yourself the care you deserve, click here to view https://www.mindheartconnect.com/mhc-shop/?v=6cc98ba2045f 
  6. Some of the most recent people to have benefited from the use of Tapping are students, using the program Tapping in Schools. 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 Tapping in the Classroom Teacher Training.


Follow link to find out how Peta became interested in EFT, and why she created Tapping in the Classroom. https://lifewithoutlimits.podbean.com/e/tapping-in-the-classroom-with-dr-peta-stapleton/

Channel 9 news cast:

Further evidence EFT can help with teen anxiety and depression and stress. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/emotional-freedom-techniques-eft-helps-teens-with_us_593d76d4e4b014ae8c69e17a


Considering all of the above areas, you can see the scope for the use of EFT is virtually endless!

Dr Peta Stapleton’s research in EFT for food cravings

We all have food cravings at times, but why?  Food cravings are an intense desire to eat a certain food. In studies of food cravings, chocolate seems to top the list of craved foods. Foods high in glucose, like chocolate, are more often craved than foods lower in glucose, as when glucose interacts with the opioid receptors in the brain, an addiction response occurs. Over 50% of participants in Dr Stapleton’s trials pick chocolate as their most compelling food craving.

Dr Stapleton says unhealthy food cravings often begin in childhood, and are related to how we have linked certain foods and emotions with one another. Say a child has hurt themselves at the playground; they might then be given a sugary treat. This then sets up a negative ‘food’ association, and the physical pain or trauma is linked internally with the sugar eaten. As these patterns are often repeated over and over again, you can imagine how ingrained these associations may become over time. Watch as Dr Stapleton ‘demo’s’ EFT and discusses the many aspects of food cravings:

Read Huffington Post article, Can you teach your brain to crave healthy food. https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/09/17/can-you-teach-your-brain-to-crave-healthy-food_a_23209929/

In direct correlation to these ‘emotional food set-ups’, food cravings have also been shown to be experienced as a response to stress. Stress causes the over-production of cortisol, the stress hormone, and this can be an underlying cause of food cravings. The practice of EFT can successfully lower cortisol levels.

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:

In 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.

Resources citing this remarkable research below:

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:


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.

Hear about how Helen Mouton, of South Africa, regularly and successfully used Tapping to help control her weight after gastric bypass surgery. https://www.blubrry.com/beyondbariatricsurgery/24271462/self-acceptance-thru-tapping/

Read testimonials from participants in the Dr Stapleton and Glenn Mackintosh designed course, EFT for Weight Loss. http://www.weightmanagementpsychology.com.au/onlinecourses/tapping-success-stories/

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.

    1. So we’ve established Tapping makes use of both physical and emotional techniques, which combine to create a powerful tool. We’ve talked a lot about Tapping, but not as much about the affirmations paired with the action. As you cycle through the Tapping points, EFT Weight Loss scripts will provide you with a statement for each tapping point. These statements typically start with acknowledgement of our current situation, and cycle through to include a positive acceptance statement. These phrases may alter for each ‘round’ of Tapping and can be tailored to you and your specific issue, such as a specific food. An example of weight loss and other scripts can be found on the ‘Tapping Into a Better You’ app.
    2. 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 https://petastapleton.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Tapping-tool-ruler.pdf
    3. Another great tool to make use of is a 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 follow this link: https://www.mindheartconnect.com/product/the-tapping-journal/?v=6cc98ba2045f
    4. These days it seems there’s an app for everything, and Tapping is no different! The app linked below aims to teach you the fundamentals of Tapping, and these can be applied to everything from emotional over-eating to trauma or stress. The app matches the 9 module course of the same name, ‘Tapping into a Better You’. What could be easier than this app to help you progress with your tapping journey?! Click here to link to this app: https://petastapleton.com/product/eft-tapping-apps-tap-into-a-better-you/
    5. 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 here. http://toolboxtime.com/
    6. Another resource, Tapping Posters, explain Tapping techniques, the Tapping points, 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. https://petastapleton.com/product-category/eft-tapping-posters/

What are experts saying about EFT? There are many expert medical practitioners, from multiple fields, who are singing the praises of EFT. If you would like to hear more about what the experts think follow this link:

Are you a teacher, school counselor or psychologist looking for an effective tool to help children overcome stress, anxiety and behavioral challenges? Find it here in the online course, ‘Tapping in the Classroom’: https://evidencebasedeft.com/tapping-in-the-classroom/

Find an EFT trainer

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

What else can tapping help with?

So, lastly, what else can Tapping help with? Well, Tapping can be applied to all things, thoughts, and areas you have some feeling for or sensation of, including Food Cravings, Body Shape/Change and Fat Burning, Stress and Anxiety, Sports Performance, Trauma Memories, Physical Pain, Illness, Addiction and more.

To discover more about how Tapping can help you in any one of these areas, please follow this link – http://tapintoabetteryou.com/

Use tapping in conjunction with self-compassion techniques – https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/can_self_compassion_help_you_love_your_body

Use tapping in conjunction with visualisation, to help reach goals in many areas, such as New Year’s Resolutions – https://www.cua.com.au/about-us/cua-news/blog-items/customer-news/2018/january/why-you-should-focus-on-habits-not-resolutions-this-new-year

It is obvious the positive outcomes that may be experienced as a result of Tapping are almost endless, as is its potential scope of use. I cannot think of a single person, who could not use EFT to benefit themselves in one or more areas of life.  In what area could you use EFT to improve your life?