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Emotional freedom techniques for treating post traumatic stress disorder: An updated systematic review and meta-analysis

Research & Studies

Emotional Freedom Techniques for Treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: An Updated Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Citation (APA style): Stapleton, P., Kip, K., Church, D., Toussaint, L., Footman, J., Ballantyne, P., & O’Keefe, T. (2023). Emotional freedom techniques for treating post traumatic stress disorder: An updated systematic review and meta-analysis. Frontiers in Psychology, 14, 1195286. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2023.1195286

Abstract

Introduction: Clinical Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is a psychophysiological intervention that includes cognitive and somatic elements, utilizing techniques from both Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Prolonged Exposure therapy (PE). Because only a single meta-analysis existed examining EFT for PTSD, this systematic review and meta-analysis represents an update.

Method: Ten databases were searched for quantitative reviews and randomised clinical trials, and six met inclusion criteria.

Results: Study quality and effect size were evaluated and the results demonstrated that treatment with Clinical EFT, when compared to wait list, usual care, or no treatment controls, resulted in significant and large effect sizes, ranging from 1.38 to 2.51. When compared to active controls, effect sizes ranged from −0.15 to 0.79, producing treatment results similar to other evidence-based therapies.

Discussion: Limitations are presented and considerations for further research are proposed.

Keywords

emotional freedom techniques, PTSD, trauma, empirically supported treatment, evidence-based

Money Attitudes After Clinical Emotional Freedom Techniques: Psychological Change in a Virtual vs In-Person Group

Research & Studies

Money Attitudes After Clinical Emotional Freedom Techniques: Psychological Change in a Virtual vs In-Person Group

Citation (APA Style): Church, D., Vasudevan, A., De Foe, A., & Lovegrove, R. (2023). Money attitudes after Clinical Emotional Freedom Techniques: Psychological change in a virtual vs in-person group. Advances in Mind-body Medicine, 37(3), 4-14.

Abstract

Context: Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFTs) can reduce anxiety, depression, PTSD, and phobias. Research has found correlations between attitudes toward money and anxiety and depressive symptomatology. No research has yet examined the effectiveness of EFT in changing money attitudes.
Objective: The study intended to measure the effectiveness of EFT in changing money attitudes and to contrast EFT’s effects delivered virtually or in-person by evaluating multiple markers of stress, including anxiety, depression, pain, happiness, and PTSD.
Design: The research team performed a retrospective controlled study.

Participants: Participants were a convenience sample of 54 nonclinical individuals.
Intervention: The study included participants into an in-person group and a virtual group. The 24 participants in the in-person group met prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the 35 participants in the virtual group participated in the workshop toward the end of 2020. Both used EFT to address money-related issues during a two-day workshop.

Outcome measures: The research team used: (1) the brief version of the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7), GAD-2, to assess participants’ anxiety; (2) the Patient Health Questionnaire-2 (PHQ-2) to assess symptoms of depression over the two weeks prior to the testing; (3) the PTSD Checklist (PCL-2) to assess symptoms of PTSD over the month prior to the test; (4) the Happiness Scale, an 11-point Likert scale that indicates whether respondents feel happy in general; (5) the Numeric Pain Rating Scale, a self-rated average of pain that participants had experienced in the 24 hours prior to the test; and (6) the Money Attitudes Scale (MAS) to measure change in attitudes.

Results: Postintervention, the in-person group has significant reductions in anxiety (P = .023), PTSD (P = .013), and pain (P = .029) as well as significant improvements in happiness (P < .001). The group’s MAS scores for Power-Prestige (P = .008), Distrust (P < .001) and Money Anxiety (P < .01) also decreased significantly. At the six-month followup, the group’s mean scores showed significant decreases for PTSD (P < .001) and pain (P < .001) as well as significant improvements in happiness (P < .05). Postintervention, the virtual group had a significant increase in happiness (P < .001), but while anxiety, depression, and pain decreased, the changes weren’t statistically significant. The group’s money attitudes also showed a significant increase in Retention-Time (P < .001) as well as significantly decreased scores for Distrust (P < .001), Money Anxiety (P < .01) and Power-Prestige (P < .01). At the six-month followup, the virtual group’s mean differences from baseline were greater than that of the in-person group.

Conclusions: The current study’s findings point toward EFT’s potential to improve money attitudes as well as psychological symptoms and indicated that EFT can be effective when delivered virtually. The study demonstrated improvements in anxiety, depression, pain, and happiness. The current research team recommends delivering EFT and other evidence-based therapies virtually, through apps, on-demand therapy sessions, virtual reality (VR), and artificial intelligence (AI).

Comparing the Effect of Emotional Freedom Technique on Sleep Quality and Happiness of Women Undergoing Breast Cancer Surgery

Research & Studies

Comparing the Effect of Emotional Freedom Technique on Sleep Quality and Happiness of Women Undergoing Breast Cancer Surgery in Military: Quasi-experimental Multicenter Study

Citation (APA style): Kalroozi, F., Moradi, M., Ghaedi-Heidari, F., Marzban, A., & Raeisi-Ardali, S. (2022). Comparing the effect of emotional freedom technique on sleep quality and happiness of women undergoing breast cancer surgery in military and non-military families: A quasi-experimental multicenter study. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, 58(4), 2986-2997. doi: 10.1111/ppc.13150

Abstract

Purpose: The aim of this study was to compare the effect of emotional freedom technique (EFT) on sleep quality and happiness of women who underwent breast cancer surgery and lived in military and nonmilitary families.

Design and Methods: The patients were randomly divided into four groups of military intervention (n=34), nonmilitary intervention (n=33), military control (n=31), and nonmilitary control (n=35). Data were collected using demographic information form, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, and Oxford Happiness Questionnaire.

Findings: The mean scores of sleep quality and happiness in military and nonmilitary intervention groups improved significantly immediately and 1 month after the intervention compared to control groups (p<0.001). However, there was no statistically significant difference between the military and nonmilitary intervention groups regarding the mean scores of sleep quality and happiness before, immediately, and 1 month after the intervention (p>0.05).

Practice Implications: Given the efficacy of EFT in improving sleep quality and happiness, it is recommended that this technique be taught to nurses to implement in the entire process of providing nursing care to cancer patients.

Keywords

Emotional Freedom Techniques, EFT, breast cancer, surgery, military, non-military, sleep quality, happiness

Important Aspects of the Healing Relationship in EFT: Bringing the Unconscious into Consciousness

Research & Studies

Important Aspects of the Healing Relationship in EFT: Bringing the Unconscious into Consciousness

Citation (APA style): Frost, J. H. (2022). Important aspects of the healing relationship in EFT: Bringing the unconscious into consciousness. Energy Psychology: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 14(2), 51–57. doi:10.9769/EPJ.2022.14.2.JF

Abstract

Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) has been rapidly gaining popularity over the last several decades. It’s been a heady and exciting time for those leading the way in this cutting-edge healing field. Now EFT is coming of age with the establishment of Clinical EFT, which has been validated extensively in research studies to meet the designation of “evidence-based” practice. Extensive trainings in the methodology of Clinical EFT are being conducted all over the world, turning out fine practitioners, among them mental health clinicians, coaches, and laypeople, who perform Clinical EFT in a technically excellent way. One area that has not yet been widely attended to, however, is that of the role of the healing relationship between practitioner and client. Many studies have shown the vital importance of the healing relationship in achieving the best treatment outcomes. This article is intended to explore one of the least understood aspects of that relationship: the interplay between client transference and practitioner countertransference. Many practitioners are not aware of the dynamic process of transference and countertransference that is present in the treatment room during EFT sessions. This article particularly focuses on the recognition and use of countertransference to help practitioners take advantage of the opportunities it provides and the pitfalls that should be avoided.

Keywords

trauma, energy psychology ethics, transference, countertransference, healing therapeutic relationship

Touch: An Integrative Review of a Somatosensory Approach to the Treatment of Adults with Symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Research & Studies

Touch: An Integrative Review of a Somatosensory Approach to the Treatment of Adults with Symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Citation (APA style): McGreevy, S. & Boland, P. (2022). Touch: An integrative review of a somatosensory approach to the treatment of adults with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. European Journal of Integrative Medicine, 54, 10268. doi:10.1016/j.eujim.2022.102168.

Abstract

Introduction: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a complex experience which can adversely affect a person’s health and engagement in daily life. Some evidence-based treatments for PTSD, including pharmacological and psychological interventions, reduce the severity of some of the associated symptoms, although they have shown limited efficacy. Somatosensory approaches can be used to assist a person to regulate their autonomic nervous system. This review identifies touch-based interventions in the treatment of PTSD and examines the role of touch with this population.

Methods: An integrative literature review was conducted to examine touch-based interventions which addressed the symptoms of PTSD in adults. Quantitative, qualitative, and conceptual data were identified from eight databases, findings were appraised and synthesized using thematic analysis strategies, the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT), and the Critical Appraisal Skill Program (CASP).

Results: A total of 39 articles were included, describing 11 different touch-based interventions. Three key themes were identified: (a) catalogue of touch-based interventions being utilized in the treatment of PTSD, (b) proposed mechanisms explaining the effects of touch-based interventions with PTSD, and (c) touch-based interventions that may reduce the symptoms of PTSD.

Conclusion: Touch can play an important role in emotional regulation and the reduction of symptoms of PTSD. With a growing evidence base for the efficacy of these interventions, one intervention, Emotional Freedom Technique, prevailed. Methodological diversity and a paucity of conceptual frameworks mean that findings should be interpreted with caution. Developing a theoretical understanding for the underlying mechanisms of why touch-based treatments may be effective is required.

Keywords

touch, posttraumatic stress disorder, somatosensensory, integrative review

Reiki Is Associated with Changes in Blood Cell Quality

Research & Studies

Reiki Is Associated with Changes in Blood Cell Quality:A Pilot Study Using Darkfield Microscopy

Citation (APA Style): Bowman, J. R. (2021). Reiki is associated with changes in blood cell quality: A pilot study using darkfield microscopy. Energy Psychology: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 13(2), 12–22. doi:10.9769/EPJ.2021.13.2.JB

Abstract

Alternative health practitioners, especially those utilizing biofield energies, are challenged to explain what is happening outside of what individuals receiving treatment share post session about their experiences. This research aims to demonstrate the cellular effect, reflected in human blood as evidenced by darkfield microscopy, of an energetic or spiritual treatment. To achieve this, 71 volunteers were recruited for the Vibrant Health Research project. Each volunteer donated blood samples by capillary puncture and received 30 minutes of Reiki. This study aimed to determine if one Reiki treatment session induced changes of quality (motility, shape, and structure) and influenced oxidative stress components within erythrocytes (red blood cells; RBCs). This study further aimed to document any Reiki-induced changes in the protit (somatid), terrain (milieu), or pleomorphic development in the live blood sample. This research also measured changes in volunteer’s perceived wellbeing pre- and posttreatment. These data found that Reiki Ryoho treatment influences mental/emotional outcomes as well as physical effects on live blood samples. Specifically, Reiki treatment was shown here to decrease negative emotions (p = .004) and change the size/shape (p = .003), spatial distance (p < .001), and motility (p = .017) of RBCs. Further, Reiki treatment was also associated with notable differences in the pleomorphic development and markers of oxidative stress reflected in live blood samples. Overall, more systematic research is warranted to validate these findings of long-term Reiki-induced influences on blood.

Keywords

erythrocytes, biofield, Reiki, pleomorphic cycle, darkfield, microscopy

Neural Changes After EFT Treatment for Chronic Pain Sufferers

Research & Studies

Neural Changes After Emotional Freedom Techniques Treatment for Chronic Pain Sufferers

Citation (APA style): Stapleton, P., Baumann, O., O’Keefe, T., & Bhuta, S. (2022). Neural changes after Emotional Freedom Techniques treatment for chronic pain sufferers. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 49, 101653. doi:10.1016/j.ctcp.2022.101653

Abstract

This clinical trial investigated the effect of an Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) intervention on brain activation in chronic pain sufferers using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). EFT is a brief stress reduction technique which combines stating a cognitive statement with somatic tapping on acupressure points. Twenty-four adults were allocated to a six-week online group EFT treatment and underwent resting-state fMRI pre and post the intervention. A repeated measures MANOVA indicated significant differences in the levels of pain severity (−21%), pain interference (−26%), quality of life (+7%), somatic symptoms (−28%), depression (−13.5%), anxiety (−37.1%), happiness (+17%), and satisfaction with life (+8.8%) from pre- to post-test. Cohen’s effect sizes ranged from small (0.2) to large (0.75) values suggesting significance for the intervention. fMRI analysis showed post-EFT treatment significantly decreased connectivity between the medial prefrontal cortex (a pain modulating area) and bilateral grey matter areas in the posterior cingulate cortex and thalamus, both areas being related to modulating and catastrophizing of pain. There were no brain areas that showed significantly increased connectivity post-EFT treatment. Coupled with the psychological measures the findings support the effects of the EFT intervention in reducing chronic pain and its impacts. Recommendations for future research are discussed.

Keywords

Emotional Freedom Techniques, EFT, tapping, chronic pain

Effectiveness of Emotional Freedom Technique on Public Speaking Anxiety in University Student

Research & Studies

The Effectiveness of Emotional Freedom Technique on Public Speaking Anxiety in University Student: An Integrated Review

Citation (APA style): Wati, N. L., Sansuwito, T. B., Riyanto, D., Sustiyono, A., & Musfirowati, F. (2022). The effectiveness of Emotional Freedom Technique on public speaking anxiety in university student: An integrated review. Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences, 10(F), 263–268. doi:10.3889/oamjms.2022.7919

Abstract

Public speaking anxiety is the most frequently feared condition among university students in academic activities. Emotional freedom technique has gained increased popularity and appears a promising way to reduce emotional distress in different settings and populations. However, limited review has examined EFT treatment for public speaking anxiety. This integrative review was to examine the effectiveness of EFT programs on public speaking anxiety in university students. The review was carried out using the framework for integrated reviews obtained from Google Scholar, PsycINFO, and PubMed. Articles were included when reporting primary studies on the efficacy of EFT programs on public speaking anxiety for university students in Bahasa Indonesia and English. The total of five were evaluated critically and included in the review. Two of the studies were undertaken in the United Kingdom, and one each in Australia, Turkey, and Indonesia. Two of the studies were randomized controlled, two used mixed methods, and one quasi-experimental design. A majority of the interventions were able to reduce public speaking anxiety. This review shows that implementation of EFT, even within limited resources, is both achievable and worthwhile. EFT programs should be introduced early in the curriculum for university students in their first year of a bachelor program.

Keywords

Emotional Freedom Technique, EFT, public speaking anxiety, student, tapping

Emotional Freedom Technique to Prevent Preeclampsia

Research & Studies

Emotional Freedom Technique to Prevent Preeclampsia: Literature Review

Citation (APA style): Iliani, A., Dona, S., & Rahmawati, D. (2021, August). Emotional Freedom Technique to prevent preeclampsia: Literature review. In ICEHHA 2021: Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Education, Humanities, Health and Agriculture (p. 346–352). Ruteng, Flores, Indonesia, June 3–4 2021. European Alliance for Innovation.

Abstract

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a technique of self-empowerment and alignment of the body’s energy system to overcome physical and psychological problems. Pregnancy involves both physical and psychological changes. This literature study aims to examine articles related to Emotional Freedom Technique for preventing preeclampsia. This study used a literature study approach using several sources selected based on predetermined criteria by the researcher. The EFT and SEFT methods are effective in reducing cortisol levels; cortisol is influential in blood pressure, blood circulation, and heart rate. Stress is a trigger response to increase cortisol in the body; this also occurs in the blood pressure of preeclamptic mothers. EFT and SEFT have an effect on decreasing cortisol levels so that blood pressure decreases, which occurs in mothers with preeclampsia.

Keywords

Emotional Freedom Technique, EFT, hypertension, preeclampsia

Central Alarm System that Gates Multi-sensory Innate Threat Cues to the Amygdala

Research & Studies

A Central Alarm System that Gates Multi-sensory Innate Threat Cues to the Amygdala

Citation (APA style): Kang, S. J., Liu, S., Ye, M., Kim, D. I., Pao, G. M., Copits, B. A., . . . Han, S. (2022). A central alarm system that gates multi-sensory innate threat cues to the amygdala. Cell Reports, 40(7), 111222. doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2022.111222

Abstract

Perception of threats is essential for survival. Previous findings suggest that parallel pathways independently relay innate threat signals from different sensory modalities to multiple brain areas, such as the midbrain and hypothalamus, for immediate avoidance. Yet little is known about whether and how multi-sensory innate threat cues are integrated and conveyed from each sensory modality to the amygdala, a critical brain area for threat perception and learning. Here, we report that neurons expressing calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) in the parvocellular subparafascicular nucleus in the thalamus and external lateral parabrachial nucleus in the brainstem respond to multi-sensory threat cues from various sensory modalities and relay negative valence to the lateral and central amygdala, respectively. Both CGRP populations and their amygdala projections are required for multi-sensory threat perception and aversive memory formation. The identification of unified innate threat pathways may provide insights into developing therapeutic candidates for innate fear-related disorders.

Keywords

innate threats, lateral amygdala, central amygdala, multi-sensory, threat memory, CGRP, parvocellular subparafascicular nucleus, SPFp, lateral parabrachial nucleus, PBel