It can be incredibly easy to reach for your medication cabinet and grab the pill you know helps stabilize your anxiety, or an anti-depressant that controls your emotional and physical turmoil. But what a lot of patients can agree on is the uncontrollable reliance on medication, when the root of the problem is only temporarily controlled and not dealt with.

Experts over the years have been calling on the NHS and medical clinics to start using a brand new self-help technique, called tapping; also referred to as Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). EFT tapping is a quick, hassle-free and simple non-drug treatment which has been proven to be incredibly effective for anyone suffering from a whole host of mental health issues. EFT involves tapping one’s acupressure points which can be found on the head and hands. Researchers from all over the world have pointed to its direct effectiveness and its brilliance to transform mental health in the UK and beyond.


A recent study published in the oldest peer-reviewed psychiatry journal in North America, has examined 14 studies, assessing 658 participants who had been selected from a number of demographic groups, including college and high school students, war veterans, overweight people, hospital patients, people with phobias, gifted children and fibromyalgia patients. The study was examining all varieties of anxiety, ranging from phobias of small animals, test anxiety and a fear of public speaking. The evaluation of EFT used a statistical technique called meta-analysis. It measures the impact of the treatment on a continuum from 0.2, which highlights a small effect to 0.8 which highlights a large effect. Remarkably, EFT measured a staggering 1.23 – signifying the positive effect of the treatment. The term ‘tapping’, refers to how practitioners tap on 7-12 acupuncture points while focusing on a particular emotional trigger or fear. The length of the EFT treatment varied, depending on the patient. For example, those who suffered from phobias, only had 30 minutes, compared to war veterans with PTSD, who need 6-hour long treatment sessions.

Moreover, Staffordshire University, are at the forefront of research regarding the efficacy of EFT in the UK. In an article from the Daily Mail, published in 2014, it was found that Professor Tony Stewart, had led a trial treatment for EFT in Birmingham and had cited that: ‘EFT is a new and emerging therapy that can be used to treat a wide variety of conditions. Patients gently tap with their fingertips on acupressure points, mainly on the head and hands, and relate this to the voicing of specific statements.’ Professor Stewart continues by adding that due a ‘sharp increase in the demand for mental health services – and a corresponding decrease in NHS resources – we feel that the use of EFT should now be extended’.

The trial itself consisted of studying 39 patients, and was marked a success, as most of the patients involved had significantly improved as a result of the treatment. Mark Willets aged 39 was referred to Professor Stewart with depression in 2012, as it began to impinge on his family life. Willets commented that ‘I would describe the impact of these sessions like emotional first aid, it would allow me to refocus when I found myself hitting a bad patch and it brought me back into rational thinking. It created a cognitive shift and allowed me to gain a better perspective on the things I had achieved and really helped me to see more clearly and become calm and rational.’

In a statement following the treatment trial, Dr Ian Walton, GP and mental health lead for Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group commented:

‘The effective use of EFT demonstrated in this study has not only influenced counsellors and therapists in Sandwell to be trained to use this method of treatment, but also local mental health charities are seeing the value in being trained to use EFT in the work that they do.’

The real and noteworthy benefit of EFT is once it has been learnt, it can be easily self-administered, so patients can help themselves at any given time, for whatever issue they may be presented with. In turn, this reduces the cost to the NHS in medication prescribed, as well as appointments made for therapy, with ongoing waiting lists, for patients who are suffering the most. Staffordshire University students also provided evidence that EFT can boost performance in pressurized conditions. 100 students were approached to attend an inspirational lecture, of an EFT session, ahead of a presentation that had been marked. The 50 students who received the EFT session were far calmer and achieved greater results. It has been suggested that only five sessions are required before treatment can end.

If you need help and assistance regarding any particular fear, phobia or anxiety related problem, get in touch today as at fear-busters, I am a qualified Energist and EFT practitioner. Find out more information here: