Tapping therapy, otherwise known as the Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT, involves the stimulation of acupressure points in the body while patients think about what is causing anxiety. According to ABC 7, EFT intends to break associations between stressful thoughts and the fight-or-flight responses that accompany them.
The EFT involves tapping with the fingertips on a series of pressure points while the patient talks about the source of anxiety. According to the Huffington Post, applying physical stimulation on specific pressure points while discussing an emotional trauma may send deactivating signals to the fear center of the brain, called the amygdala, and ultimately reduce fear. EFT has surged in popularity, with various studies showing positive correlations between the practice of EFT and reduced anxiety levels. However, these studies were small in scale and could be attributed to the placebo effect, ABC 7 reports.
The American Psychological Association stated in 2012 that large-scale peer-reviewed studies were required before EFT could be proven effective. Numbers are rapidly rising in support for EFT, as documented by ABC 7, yet the APA does not support EFT as a valid treatment. Patients are still suggested to seek treatment through already proven methods, such as cognitive behavioral therapy.