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EFT Research Paper

The Emotional Freedom Technique, Finally, a Unifying Theory for the Practice of Holistic Nursing, or Too Good to Be True?

Citation: Rancour, P, Integrative Medicine, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Full paper.


The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is defined and described as a clinical procedure for the relief of psychological and physical distress that patients often bring to the attention of nurses. Frequently referred to as “tapping,” this technique combines the cognitive reprocessing benefits of exposure and acceptance therapy with the energetic disturbance releases associated with acupuncture and other energy therapies. More than 60 research articles in peer-reviewed journals report a staggering 98% efficacy rate with the use of this procedure from psychological distress (posttraumatic stress disorder, phobias, anxiety, depression, etc.) to physical conditions (asthma, fibromyalgia, pain, seizure disorders, etc.) to performance issues (athletic, academic). Perhaps because of this, this technique has encountered a fair degree of skepticism within the health care community. Easily taught as a self-help aid that patients can administer to themselves, EFT becomes an efficacious tool in the hands of nurses who are seeking whole person approaches for the healing of a wide variety of psychological and physical conditions. A conceptual framework, mechanisms of action, evidence of safety, literature review, and case studies are also included.

Craig’s Notes

This article was intended to introduce EFT as a holistic nursing intervention that can be used for a variety of psychological and physical conditions. The article describes the clinical technique and mechanism of action for nurses and others who are unfamiliar with it. EFT, or “tapping,” is defined as a cognitive/energetic therapeutic technique that was designed according to the precepts of energy principles often found in eastern healing practices.

The author gives a literature review with a 98% efficacy rate in studies using EFT, and discusses the theory of how EFT can calm and release a stress response that continues to activate long after the stress-inducing, or survival,incident is over.

The article describes exactly how to administer EFT, going through all the points and explaining the types of statements to say while tapping. Additionally, it explains and describes the SUDS scale and how it is used with EFT.

The author then goes on to discuss the implications for nursing practice. She gives numerous examples of actual patients who were able to improve their lives, and reduce or eliminate medications, through the self-use of EFT, after being taught the modality. The author states that, “Nursing research implications abound as EFT can be studied for a wide variety of its effects on such phenomena as wide and varied as wound healing, rehabilitation progress, posttraumatic stress disorder, nonpharmacological pain management, addictions including drug and behavioral cravings, and the ability to wean off medications for such inflammatory conditions as asthma, hypertension, diabetes, and so on.”