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The effect of a brief EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) self-intervention on anxiety, depression, pain and cravings in healthcare workers

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EJTUSFTTGPMMPXJOHBXPSLTIPQVTJOHTFMGBQQMJFE&'55IJTGJOE
JOHXBTDPOTJTUFOUBDSPTTIFBMUIDBSFQSPWJEFSTBNQMFTBOEDPO
GFSFODFTJOEJDBUJOHBSPCVTUFGGFDU5IFNBKPSJUZPGUIFHBJOTJO
SFEVDJOHQTZDIPMPHJDBMEJTUSFTTXFSF NBJOUBJOFEBUUIFEBZ
GPMMPXVQ$POTJTUFOUFGGFDUTXFSFOPUFEXJUIUIF JOTUSVDUPST
CPUIUIFNFUIPE«TGPVOEFSBOEBQSBDUJUJPOFSXIPIBEUSBJOFE
XJUIIJN5IFSFTVMUTPGUIJTTUVEZDMPTFMZQBSBMMFMUIFGJOEJOHTPG
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TIPQ5IFTFTUVEJFTQSPWJEFFWJEFODFPGCPUITIPSUBOEMPOH
UFSNCFOFGJUTJOJNQSPWJOHQTZDIPMPHJDBMTUBUVTBGUFS&'5BQQMJ
DBUJPOEFMJWFSFEJOBXPSLTIPQGPSNBU
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TUVEJFE5IFDPOTFRVFODFTPGTUBGGCVSOPVUJODMVEFIJHIUVSO
PWFSJOGFSJPSQBUJFOUDBSFBOETBUJTGBDUJPOBOEPWFSBMMJODSFBTFE
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%FQSFTTJPO     
0CTFTTJWFDPNQVMTJWF    
)PTUJMJUZ     
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1BSBOPJB     
4PNBUJ[BUJPO     
1IPCJDBOYJFUZ     
1TZDIPUJDJTN     
(4*     
145     
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35
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Anx Dep OC Hos Int Par Som Pho Psy GSI PST
8
7
6
5
4
3
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1
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Pain Emotional Experience Craving
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... Apart from the previous studies, several other studies on pain (Church and Brooks, 2010;Church, 2014;Ortner et al., 2014), obesity (Stapleton et al., 2012(Stapleton et al., , 2016a, traumatic brain injury , and seizure disorders (Swingle, 2010) have demonstrated the ability of EFT to treat a disparate range of physiological conditions. ...
... Pain was significantly reduced by 41% and cravings relating to food and drink dropped by 50% in an uncontrolled study of 39 business executives using EFT as a group during a daylong workshop (Church and David, 2019). A study of 216 health care workers identified a 68% reduction in physical pain (p < 0.001; Church and Brooks, 2010). Ortner et al. (2014) observed significant improvements in pain severity, interference, life control, affective distress, and dysfunction, with pain catastrophizing dropping significantly over the course of a 3-day workshop (−42%, p < 0.001). ...
... Among older studies, an RCT found that EFT improved dysfunctional restraint behaviors (Stapleton et al., 2011) and that, in the year following an EFT weight loss program, participants lost an average of 11.1 pounds (Stapleton et al., 2012). In the health care workers study summarized previously (Church and Brooks, 2010), cravings for substances such as chocolate, sweets, and alcohol were reduced by 83% in a single EFT session (p < 0.001). An uncontrolled study of clients in a 6-week online weight loss program found a 12-pound weight reduction during the 6 weeks of the program, followed by a further 3-pound drop in the ensuing 6 months (p < 0.001; Church et al., 2022). ...
Article
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Background Since the turn of the century, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) has come into widespread use in medical and psychological treatment settings. It is also used as self-help by tens of millions of people each year. Clinical EFT, the manualized form of the method, has been validated as an “evidence-based” practice using criteria published by the American Psychological Association (APA) Division 12 Task Force on Empirically Validated Therapies. Its three essential ingredients are exposure, cognitive framing, and acupressure. Objectives In 2013 we published a paper defining Clinical EFT and reviewing published research. It has been viewed or downloaded over 36,000 times, indicating widespread interest in this treatment modality. Here we update our findings based on subsequently published literature and propose directions for future research. Method We performed a systematic review of the literature to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and meta-analyses. Retrieval of 4,167 results resulted in the identification of 56 RCTs ( n = 2,013), 41 of which were published subsequent to our earlier review, as well as eight meta-analyses. Results RCTs have found EFT treatment to be effective for (a) psychological conditions such as anxiety, depression, phobias, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD); (b) physiological issues such as pain, insomnia, and autoimmune conditions; (c) professional and sports performance; and (d) biological markers of stress. Meta-analyses evaluating the effect of EFT treatment have found it to be “moderate” to “large.” Successful independent replication studies have been carried out for anxiety, depression, PTSD, phobias, sports performance, and cortisol levels. We outline the next steps in EFT research. These include determining its impact on cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and cognitive impairment; analysis of the large-scale datasets made possible by mobile apps; and delivery through channels such as virtual practitioner sessions, artificial intelligence agents, online courses, apps, virtual reality platforms, and standardized group therapy. Conclusions Subsequent research has confirmed the conclusions of earlier studies. These find Clinical EFT to be efficacious for a range of psychological and physiological conditions. Comparatively few treatment sessions are required, treatment is effective whether delivered in person or virtually, and symptom improvements persist over time. Treatment is associated with measurable biological effects in the dimensions of gene expression, brain synchrony, hormonal synthesis, and a wide range of biomarkers. Clinical EFT is a stable and mature method with an extensive evidence base. Its use in primary care settings as a safe, rapid, reliable, and effective treatment for both psychological and medical diagnoses continues to grow.
... It has been validated in more than 100 clinical studies, and meta-analyses of EFT for anxiety (Clond, 2016), depression (Nelms & Castel, 2016), and PTSD (Sebastian & Nelms, 2017) indicate treatment effects that exceed those of psychopharmacology and conventional psychotherapy (Cohen's d or Hedge's g above 0.8). The impact of EFT on physical symptoms has been examined in diverse samples, including veterans , hospital patients with tension headaches (Bougea et al., 2013), cancer patients (Baker & Hoffman, 2014), chronic pain (Stapleton et al., 2017), fibromyalgia (Brattberg, 2008), healthcare workers (Church & Brooks, 2010), frozen shoulder (Church & Nelms, 2016), psoriasis (Hodge, 2011), seizure disorders (Swingle, 2010), and traumatic brain injury (Church & Brooks, 2014). The delivery of EFT has also been examined across a range of options outside of in person trials, including online for weight loss (Church et al., 2018), relationship skills training (Church & Clond, 2019), food cravings (Stapleton, et al., 2019a(Stapleton, et al., , 2019b, fibromyalgia (Brattberg, 2008) and via an app for stress and anxiety (Church et al., 2020). ...
... Outside of this direct targeting of EFT for chronic pain, at least 20 other EFT trials have measured the impact of the intervention on pain as a variable. This has included PTSD symptom remediation in veterans (Church & Brooks, 2014), in relationship to anxiety, depression and food cravings in healthcare workers (Church & Brooks, 2010), dismenorrhea pain in adolescents (Sastra & Sari, 2016), and post operation pain related to caesarian section (Latifah & Ramawati, 2014). The majority reported significant statistically improvement in pain even when not being directly targeted. ...
Article
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 the 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.
... Zainuddin (2018) explained that the energy psychology in SEFT therapy is performed by gently tapping with the fingertips on 18 points in 12 meridian lines of the body, representing 361 acupuncture points. The tapping stimulates the center of a group of active cells (electrically active cells) on the body's surface, causing stimulation in the form of signal transduction in the biochemical processes in the body due to stimulation on the EFT points (Feinstein & Oregon, 2012) According to (Brooks & Church, 2010), an increase in neurotransmitter signaling downregulates hypothalamic -pituitary -adrenal axis (HPA), thus reducing the cortisol hormone production related to a patient's stress. ...
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This study aimed to examined the effectiveness of Spiritual Emotional Freedom Technique (SEFT) for Healing to reduce the diabetes distress levels in people with diabetes mellitus at productive age. Participant in this study were 12 people, 33-61 years old male and female with moderate and high levels of diabetes distress as measured with diabetes distress scale/ DDS17. This research design was an experimental pre-post-test control group design with exeperimental group and control group. The data analysis technique used in this study was statistical analysis with the Wilcoxon sign rank test and the Mann whitney U-test. The results of the Wilcoxon Sign Rank Test showed a significance value of p= 0.028 (p 0.05) and was strengthened by the results of the Mann Whitney U-Test with a significance value of p= 0.004 (p 0.05) and a decrease in the value of x̅ = 63.33 to x̅ = 20.33, which means there is a significant difference in the level of diabetes distress in people with diabetes mellitus at productive age before and after being given the SEFT for Healing intervention. These results indicate that SEFT for Healing can reduce the level of diabetes distress and the hypothesis is accepted. SEFT for healing is proven effective and can be used as one of the therapy to reduce the distress in people with diabetes.
... A further limitation is the limited response rate of participants to the online follow-up. These attrition levels are typical of online post-tests (Church and Brooks, 2010). It therefore cannot be assumed that those who did not respond experienced the same psychological improvements as those who did. ...
Article
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This study evaluated the biological dimension of meditation and self-transcendent states. A convenience sample of 513 participants was drawn from attendees at a 4-day guided meditation workshop. Half were randomly assigned to an active placebo control intervention. All were assessed on a variety of measures, both psychological [anxiety, pain, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), positive emotions, and transcendent states], and physiological (physical functioning). Additional biological assessments including salivary immunoglobulin-A (SIgA), cortisol, and Quantitative Electroencephalography (qEEG) were obtained from subset of the Experimental group (N = 117). No significant difference in psychological symptoms or positive emotions was observed between Experimental and placebo groups at baseline. At post-test, significant improvements were noted in the Experimental group, including a 49.5% median increase in SIgA (p = 0.01), though cortisol remained unchanged. qEEG z-score analysis identified sustained stress reduction, including delta frequency band amplitude increases, high beta decreases, and faster acquisition of sustained alpha states (all p < 0.001). Psychological symptoms also improved on all measures. At 6-month follow-up (N = 140), PTSD and somatic symptoms significantly improved from baseline, and post-test versus 6-month follow-up results indicated significant increases in happiness and spiritual and physical oneness, along with decreases in depressive symptoms. These findings suggest that autonomic self-regulation and transcendent states may be measured in both biological and psychological dimensions and are associated with pervasive health benefits.
... There were 40 samples of respondents, who used EFT and were guided online through video call (Hidayati et al., 2011). Meanwhile, some research was held on outgoing patients and EFT was conducted by assisting directly from the researcher (Church & Brooks, 2010). ...
Article
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The research aimed to recognize the EFT effect on the stress reduction of diabetes mellitus patients. The Research used a quasi-experimental design non-randomization pre-test – post-test group design. The ‘t’ value for stress level before EFT was performed with a p-value of 0,000 and for stress level after EFT p-value was 0,000. From the statistic, it was concluded that there was a significant EFT effect on stress reduction in patients with diabetes mellitus. The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) including the mind-body therapy relaxation technique was an integrated system between energy medicine and EFT therapy using a tapping method on body meridian points. EFT therapy firmly helped the patients to manage their minds from emotional pressure (negative energy) therefore it helped patients with stress. It helped all patients mainly patients with diabetes mellitus.
... Thus, EFT might be useful for medical students to manage the academic distress. 38,45) , which is an acceptable group therapy with equivalent efficacy as conventional treatments 46) . Therefore, we hypothesized that EFT program might improve the mental health of medical students by reducing anxiety, negative affect, and perceived stress and increasing positive affect which were not attested in medical students of Korea. ...
Article
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Objectives: Academic stress poses a significant risk for the mental health of medical students, and a feasible group intervention program for managing academic stress is required. The purpose of this study was to examine the clinical effectiveness of emotional freedom techniques (EFT) on the mental health of Korean medical students. Methods: The class of first-year medical school students (n=36) participated in an after-school EFT group intervention program comprising six sessions (15 minutes/session, three weeks) to analyze its clinical effectiveness as a single-group test-retest clinical study. The changes in the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), Test Anxiety Inventory (TAI), Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS), and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) scores were examined using a paired t-test and Cohen's D at post-EFT and two-week follow-up. Results: There were significant curtailments at post-EFT and follow-up measures in TAI-Total (t=2.704 and t=3.289), TAI-Worry (t=2.297 and t=2.454), TAI-Emotionality (t=2.763 and t=3.654), PSS-Negative Perspective (t=2.659 and t=3.877), and PANAS-Negative Affect (t=2.885 and t=3.259) subscales, however not in PSS-Positive Perspective (t=-1.279 and t=-1.101) and PANAS-Positive Affect (t=0.194 and t=-0.122) subscales. The trait anxiety (t=2.227) was significantly mitigated in the post-EFT measure and the state anxiety (t=2.30) in the follow-up measure. Conclusions: The EFT group intervention alleviated test stress, negative affect, and anxiety in the Korean medical students. This study contributes to an understanding of academic stress and EFT intervention in the competitive environment of medical education.
... The EFT group showed significant reductions in fear responses compared to the control group; results were maintained at six-and nine-month follow-up, demonstrating sustained effectiveness. Since then, research has demonstrated that EFT is effective in the amelioration of a range of mental health conditions, notably anxiety (Boath, Stewart, & Carryer, 2012Church & House, 2018;Clond, 2016;Jones, Thornton, & Andrews, 2011;Sezgin & Özcan, 2009;Thomas, Cutinho, & Aranha, 2017), depression Church & Brooks, 2010;Church, De Asis, & Brooks, 2012;Nelms & Castel, 2016;Stapleton, Devine, Chatwin, Porter, & Sheldon, 2014), and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD; Church & Brooks, 2014;Church & Palmer-Hoffman, 2014;Church, Stern, et al., 2017;Geronilla et al., 2016;Sebastian & Nelms, 2016). ...
Article
Purpose: The aim of this experimental study was to investigate the post-intervention effects of group-based positive psychology and mindful diaphragmatic breathing on anxiety and testtaking success in male college students. Method: A randomized controlled trial (RCT) was conducted across the undergraduate male students at a university in Montana. Participants (aged 18–32 years) were randomly assigned to two intervention groups (mindfulness and positive psychology) and a control (delayed intervention) group. The study included a group of 34 male participants with 10 in the mindfulness group, 12 in the positive psychology group, and 12 in the waiting group. Both intervention programs consisted of five 120-minute group sessions delivered over 10 weeks. All three groups were required to complete an assessment prior to the interventions and a second assessment after the interventions (mindfulness and positive psychology) or the waiting time (control group) were completed. The control group also received five 120-minute interventions after all measurements were taken. The constructs of self-care, test anxiety, and anxiety symptomatology were measured. Results: There were no significant baseline differences between the three groups on the demographic and dependent variables. The results showed no significant differences between the two intervention groups’ and the control group’s self-care pre and post scores. Results showed a significant difference between the treatment groups’ and control group’s scores on pretest and posttest in test anxiety. The results showed a significant difference between the two intervention groups’ and control group’s scores on pretest and posttest in total anxiety. Anxiety levels were noted to be different for ethnic groups. An explanation for observed differences in race is discussed. Conclusion: The study does not provide evidence that mindfulness and positive psychology interventions can reduce test anxietysignificantly. The results show a significant difference between the two intervention groups’ and control group’s scores on pretest and posttest in total anxiety. Importantly, descriptive analysis has shown a positive impact on test anxiety and total anxiety in participants of varied ethnic groups.
... Since the threemonth follow-up sample was one-third of the size of the initial sample, it may be that non-responders did not experience the same improvements reported. It is also important to note that high participant attrition rates are found in online studies 40 and that nonresponse rates (up to 85%) do not tend to bias reported outcomes. 41,42 Future research could consider comparing EcoMeditation administered as individual therapy with group-based meditation training. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background A growing body of clinical research attests to the psychological and physiological benefits of meditation. EcoMeditation is a non-pharmacological therapeutic approach used to promote health and well-being, comprising four evidence-based techniques: The Quick Coherence Technique for regulating heart rate variability (HRV), Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), mindfulness, and neurofeedback. Objectives This study investigated changes in psychological symptoms of anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), pain, and happiness following a one-day EcoMeditation training workshop delivered in a large-group format and at 3-months post-intervention. Methods A convenience sample of 208 participants (137 women, 71 men) aged between 21 and 87 years ( M = 55.4 years; SD = 12.8 years) attended a one-day EcoMeditation training workshop. Participants completed a pen-and-paper survey pre-workshop and post-workshop, and an online survey three months following the EcoMeditation intervention. Results Post-workshop results revealed significant reductions in anxiety (−23.4%, p < .001), depression (−15.8%, p = .011), PTSD (−11.8%, p < .001), and pain (−18.5%, p < .001), while happiness scores increased significantly (+8.9%, p < .001). At 3-month follow-up, one-way repeated-measures ANOVA ( N = 65) found significant decreases in anxiety between pre-test and post-test, and pain between pre-intervention and 3-month follow-up. Differences in depression and PTSD scores were not significant over time. Happiness scores significantly increased from pre-test to 3-month follow-up. However, post-hoc analyses suggested that the final sample size was inadequate to detect significant differences between time points. Conclusion Findings provide preliminary support for EcoMeditation as a brief group-based stress reduction intervention with benefits for improved psychological functioning.
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Background A plethora of literature has delineated the therapeutic benefits of meditation practice on psychological functioning. A novel meditative practice, EcoMeditation, includes elements of four evidence-based techniques: The Quick Coherence Technique for regulating heart rate variability (HRV), Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), mindfulness, and neurofeedback. Objectives Changes in psychological symptoms, including anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress, pain, and happiness were measured following a one-day virtual EcoMeditation training workshop. The current study extended on previous literature by adding measures of transcendent experiences and flow states. Methods Participants were drawn from a convenience sample of 151 participants (130 female, 21 male) aged between 26 to 71 years ( M = 45.1, SD = 9.19) attending a one-day virtual EcoMeditation workshop. They were assessed pre-workshop, post-workshop, and at 3-months follow-up. Results Post-workshop results ( N = 111) indicated a significant reduction in anxiety (−42.3%, p < 0.001), depression (−37.5%, p < 0.001), posttraumatic stress (−13.0%, p < 0.001), and pain (−63.2%, p < 0.001) Likert mean scores when compared to pre-workshop. There was also a significant increase in happiness (+111.1%, p < 0.001), flow states (+17.4%, p < 0.001), and transcendent experiences (+18.5%, p < 0.001). At 3-months follow-up, a one-way repeated measures ANOVA ( N = 72) found significant decreases in anxiety, depression, and pain symptoms between pre-test and post-test, as well between pre-test and follow-up. Flow, happiness, and transcendent experiences increased significantly between pre-test and post-test, as well as between pre-test and follow-up, with over 71% of participants experiencing clinically significant improvements. Significant reductions in posttraumatic stress and depression symptoms between pre-test and follow-up were also noted. Conclusion EcoMeditation is associated with significant improvements in psychological conditions such as anxiety, depression, pain, and posttraumatic stress. EcoMeditation was also shown to enhance flow states and transcendent experiences. The benefits identified were similar to those found in the existing literature and provide support for the use of EcoMeditation as an effective stress reduction method that improves psychological symptoms and enhances transcendent states.
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Purpose: The present study evaluated the efficacy of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), commonly called "tapping," for premenstrual (PMS) symptoms. Design and methods: This study was conducted with the participation of 50 nursing students who scored 111 or higher on the Premenstrual Syndrome Scale (PMSS). The students in the experimental group were instructed to apply EFT. Findings: There were statistically significant differences between the mean depressive affect, fatigue, nervousness, sleep-related changes, and swelling subscale scores and the PMSS total scale score of the experimental group measured during the pretest and posttest (p < 0.05). Practice implications: The results demonstrate the efficacy of EFT in reducing PMS symptoms. As a fast and efficient self-treatment method, EFT can be easily implemented as a nonpharmacological intervention.
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