Effect of the Emotional Freedom Techniques on anger symptoms in Hwabyung patients: A comparison with the progressive muscle relaxation technique in a pilot randomized controlled trial

Citation (APA style): Kwak, H. Y., Choi, E. J., Kim, J. W., Suh, H. W., & Chung, S. Y. (2020). Effect of the Emotional Freedom Techniques on anger symptoms in Hwabyung patients: A comparison with the progressive muscle relaxation technique in a pilot randomized controlled trial. Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, 16(3), 170-177. doi:10.1016/j.explore.2019.08.006

Abstract

Context: Hwabyung is a psychosomatic disease resulting from the suppression of anger over an extended period. Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is a meridian-based psychotherapy known to cure many psychosomatic diseases, and progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) is a therapeutic method that relieves physical and psychological tension by repeated tensing and relaxation of the muscles.

Object: In this study, we compared the effects of EFT and PMR in patients with Hwabyung. Design: Forty patients were enrolled and randomized to receive four weeks of group sessions with either EFT (n = 20) or PMR (n = 20). Evaluations were conducted pre- and post-treatment and at 4-week and 24-week follow-ups after session end.

Main Outcome Measures: The Hwabyung Scale, Visual Analogue Scale of Hwabyung Symptoms (VAS-HS), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), and State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory (STAXI) were administered as self-report tools. The analysis excluded eight patients who never attended treatment and one patient meeting the exclusion criteria.

Result: EFT (n = 15) and PMR (n = 16) improved Hwabyung symptoms (−13.95% and −11.46%, respectively), state anxiety (−12.57% and −12.64%, respectively), and depression (−32.11% and −18.68%, respectively) (p < 0.05 for all). Trait anger improved in EFT group (−13.4%, p = 0.004). There were no significant differences between the groups (p > 0.05) except for trait anger at post-treatment (p = 0.022 for between group). No adverse events were reported during the study.

Keywords: Hwabyung, anger, EFT, PMR, STAXI

Click here for access to full article