Print Page   |   Sign In   |   Join Us
EP Studies on Pain and Physical Symptoms
Share |


EP Research Studies on Pain and Physical Symptoms

The Effect of a Brief EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Self-Intervention on Anxiety, Depression, Pain and Cravings in Healthcare Workers

Dawson Church, PhD & Audrey J. Brooks, PhD 
Integrative Medicine: A Clinician's Journal, (2010), Oct/Nov (in press).


This study examined whether self-intervention with Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), a brief exposure therapy that combines a cognitive and a somatic element, had an effect on healthcare workers’ psychological distress symptoms. Participants were 216 attendees at 5 professional conferences. Psychological distress, as measured by the SA-45, and self-rated pain, emotional distress, and craving were assessed before and after 2-hours of self-applied EFT, utilizing a within-subjects design. A 90-day follow-up was completed by 53% of the sample with 61% reporting using EFT subsequent to the workshop. Significant improvements were found on all distress subscales and ratings of pain, emotional distress, and cravings at posttest (all p<.001). Gains were maintained at follow-up for most SA-45 scales. The severity of psychological symptoms was reduced (-45%, p<.001) as well as the breadth (-40%, p<.001), with significant gains maintained at follow-up. Greater subsequent EFT use correlated with a greater decrease in symptom severity at follow-up (p<.034, r=.199), but not in breadth of symptoms (p<.0117, r=.148). EFT provided an immediate effect on psychological distress, pain, and cravings that was replicated across multiple conferences and healthcare provider samples.

Keywords: Healthcare professionals, burnout, depression, anxiety, pain, craving, EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques)


Psychological Trauma in Veterans using EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques): A Randomized Controlled Trial

Dawson Church, PhD, Crystal Hawk, MEd, Audrey Books, PhD, Oliver Toukolehto, Maria Wren, LCSW, Ingrid Dinter, Phyllis Stein, PhD. These data were presented at the Society of Behavioral Medicine, Seattle, Washington, April 7-10, 2010. In peer review.


This study examined the effect of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), a brief exposure therapy combining cognitive and somatic elements, on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and psychological distress symptoms in military veterans receiving mental health services. Veterans meeting the clinical criteria for PTSD were randomized to EFT (n = 30) or wait-list (n = 29; WL). The EFT intervention consisted of six hour-long EFT coaching sessions concurrent with standard care. PTSD was assessed using the PTSD Checklist-Military (PCL-M). Psychological distress was measured using the Symptom Assessment 45 (SA-45), which has 2 global scales and 9 subscales for conditions such as anxiety and depression. The WL and EFT groups were compared pre- and posttest (at 1 month for the WL group, after 6 sessions for EFT group). EFT participants had significantly less psychological distress on the global and on all but one of subscales on the SA-45 (p<0.0002) and the PTSD total score (p<0.0001) at posttest. 90% of the EFT group no longer met PTSD clinical criteria vs. 4% in the WL. Following the wait-period, WL participants received the EFT intervention. In a within-subjects longitudinal analysis, 60% no longer met PTSD clinical criteria after 3 sessions. This increased to 86% after 6 sessions, and remained at 86% on 3-month follow-up. Statistically significant decreases in psychological distress and PTSD total scores were present after 6 sessions (p<0.0001), and remained stable at follow-up. The results are consistent with other published reports showing EFTs efficacy at treating PTSD and co-morbid symptoms, and its long-term effects.

Keywords: veterans, PTSD, exposure therapy, trauma, EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques).

Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) as an Effective Adjunctive Treatment in the Neurotherapeutic Treatment of Seizure Disorders

Paul Swingle, PhD
Energy Psychology: Theory, Research, & Treatment, (2010), 2(1), 29-38.


Neurotherapy, including brainwave biofeedback, has been found to be an effective treatment for seizure disorders. A principal component of this treatment is an increase in the amplitude of the Sensory Motor Rhythm (SMR) over the sensory motor cortex in the brain. Electroencephalographic (QEEG) assessment of brainwave activity indicated that Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) increased SMR amplitude. The present article reviews the research on the effects of components of the EFT procedure on brainwave functioning that have been found to be beneficial in the treatment of seizure disorders.

Keywords: neurotherapy, seizures, trauma, EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), EEG, brain, cortex.

Self-administered EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) in Individuals with Fibromyalgia: A Randomized Trial

Gunilla Brattberg, MD, School of Medicine, Lund University, Sweden
Integrative Medicine: A Clinician's Journal, (2008), Aug/Sep, 30-35.


The aim of this study was to examine if self-administered EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) leads to reduced pain perception, increased acceptance, coping ability and health-related quality of life in individuals with fibromyalgia. 86 women, diagnosed with fibromyalgia and on sick leave for at least 3 months, were randomly assigned to a treatment group or a waiting list group. An eight-week EFT treatment program was administered via the Internet.

Upon completion of the program, statistically significant improvements were observed in the intervention group (n=26) in comparison with the waiting list group (n=36) for variables such as pain, anxiety, depression, vitality, social function, mental health, performance problems involving work or other activities due to physical as well as emotional reasons, and stress symptoms. Pain catastrophizing measures, such as rumination, magnification and helplessness, were significantly reduced, and the activity level was significantly increased. The number needed to treat (NNT) regarding recovering from anxiety was 3. NNT for depression was 4.

Self-administered EFT seems to be a good complement to other treatments and rehabilitation programs. The sample size was small and the dropout rate was high. Therefore the surprisingly good results have to be interpreted with caution. However, it would be of interest to further study this simple and easily accessible self-administered treatment method, which can even be taught over the Internet.

Neurophysiological Indicators of EFT Treatment Of Post-Traumatic Stress

Swingle, P., Pulos, L., & Swingle, M. K.
Journal of Subtle Energies & Energy Medicine, (2005), 15, 75-86.

Description of Study

This research study, conducted by Dr. Paul Swingle and his colleagues (Swingle, Pulos & Swingle, 2005), studied the effects of EFT on auto accident victims suffering from post traumatic stress disorder - an extremely disabling conditioning that involves unreasonable fears and often panic attacks, physiological symptoms of stress, nightmares, flashbacks, and other disabling symptoms. These researchers found that three months after they had learned EFT (in two sessions) those auto accident victims who reported continued significant symptom relief also showed significant positive changes in their brain waves. It was assumed that the clients showing the continued positive benefits were those who continued with home practice of self-administered EFT. 


Clients previously involved in a motor vehicle accident who reported traumatic stress associated with the accident received two sessions of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) treatments. All clients reported improvement immediately following treatment. Brainwave assessments before and after EFT treatment indicated that clients who sustained the benefit of the EFT treatments had increased 13-15 Hz amplitude over the sensory motor cortex, decreased right frontal cortex arousal and an increased 3-7 Hz / 16-25 Hz ratio in the occiput. The benefits of psychoneurological research to reveal the processes of subtle energy healing are discussed.

Keywords: Emotional freedom techniques (EFT), traumatic stress, EEG.

Return to research landing page


more Attend a Workshop

12/7/2019 » 12/8/2019
Essential Skills in Comprehensive Energy Psychology Level 2 - OAKLAND, CA

1/25/2020 » 1/26/2020
Essential Skills in Comprehensive Energy Psychology Level 2 - MIAMI, FL

Member Spotlight

Online Surveys
The Home for Energy Psychology: Championing EP techniques such as Thought Field Therapy - TFT, Tapas Acupressure Technique ™ - TAT, Emotional Freedom Techniques - EFT, and more. 
28 Garrett Road Suite 100
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010   USA
Email Us
  Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal