…But Seriously, Does EFT Actually Work?

Have you wondered if healing is even possible, especially by using energy healing techniques? Is it some sort of placebo, or do people actually get results? Many people view alternative therapy and energy healing with a good dose of skepticism. That is exactly how I felt not too long ago, when I was still working in my corporate job.

Back then, I used to experience severely debilitating migraines on a daily basis, sometimes with bouts of vomiting. Nothing worked to permanently treat them, until one day my mother introduced me to EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques). She insisted that I try it out which I refused; I thought EFT was strange and would definitely not work, however at my mother’s insistence I finally agreed to give it a shot.

When I tried EFT, I was astonished that my migraine had swiftly and completely vanished. However, my pride got in the way and I wouldn’t readily admit this to my mother! Being a PhD in Biochemistry from Oxford University, I was very sceptical initially about the effectiveness of EFT. Some of my beliefs were strongly challenged when confronted with my first-hand experience, although my interest in EFT was officially piqued at this point. The more I read EFT clinical papers, the more and more I became convinced about its validity. Thus, I began to study EFT in secret (partly because I was afraid that others would judge me as being weird if they found out!) and ended up attending a 3 day seminar in EFT and conducting my own research studies.

During my research, I was surprised to discover that EFT is a clinically-proven method which has been tested in over thousands of randomised controlled studies. These studies are conducted by researchers around the world and Candace-Pert 2present compelling scientific evidence of its effectiveness. EFT is used by healthcare professionals, corporate trainers, and many other professionals-as well as every-day people- to reduce stress, anxiety, fears, past negativity and create health, happiness and vitality. So effective is the power of EFT, that Dr Candace Pert, Discoverer of the Opiate receptor and Chief of Board of American Mental Health Institute stated, “EFT is the biggest development in medicine since antibiotics”.

The most notable studies conducted with EFT have been those of veterans returning from war who have been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)- an extreme form of stress having numerous symptoms including hypervigilance, nightmares, mood swings, and inability to sleep. After only 6 sessions, the study participants were free from 90% of the PTSD symptoms (1).


If you still need more convincing, consider the randomised controlled PTSD study in veterans conducted in 2010 which found that after 6 sessions of EFT, 86% of the veterans were free from the criteria of PTSD. What was truly remarkable was that 3 months after the sessions, a follow-up confirmed that the healing had lasted in each of the veterans (2). Normally, war veterans continue through many years (if not decades in the case of Vietnam War vets) of traditional psychotherapy methods, and yet see very little to no improvement in their daily life functioning. Sadly, most veterans live with the detrimental effects of PTSD their whole lives, as the trauma from the war experiences has not been holistically processed, integrated, and released from their emotionality and nervous system. This makes them perpetually stuck in ‘fight-or-flight’ response with intense thoughts and feelings of paranoia, depression, numbness, and even suicide. Therefore, the EFT results are more astounding, as deep and lasting healing takes place in a matter of just a few sessions, or even less.


In the case of Olli, an Iraqi War veteran, after returning from the war he had spent a year speaking about his experiences to different people, in attempt to release them or find peace from its recurrence: “Talking about the experiences helped me a bit, but only on an intellectual level. I understood that what I was feeling was ‘a normal reaction to an abnormal situation.But I also knew that my symptoms persisted even after talking about them. Otherwise, I was doing ‘fine’ and identified my symptoms to as recurring emotions that were independent of my intellect. They were in a way unreachable, no matter how I tried to resolve or release them. I concluded that this was the price I had to pay and continued to live my unrewarding life to the best of my ability.

Olli heard about EFT through a friend and agreed to spend a few hours over two days with her to see if it would help with his symptoms. “The results were immediate and I literally ‘fell back’ into my body from a defensive posture that I had unknowingly created in my mind. I could feel my body again and could not stop crying and laughing. I could now be present in the moment and not have half of my attention observing the situation as it was happening. I also became less reactive to whistle sounds and sirens that used to initiate in me a flight or flight response, as incoming rockets had done in Iraq.”

He goes onto share “Overall, I regained the quality of life that I had prior to deployment. It was truly an ’emotional freedom technique.’ Since then, I have been on a constant upward spiral and have been able to transform my past into a great strength. We worked through every single memory and emotion that I was not in peace with and ‘tapped them out.’ I also learned how to “self-administer” EFT and have been practicing it on myself whenever something new has emerged from my past (3).” If EFT can work for extreme stress, consider what it might be able to achieve for even less acute situations such as physical tension, heart-break, work stress and anxiety. In fact, a randomized controlled study showed that with adolescents who experienced trauma or abuse, a single session of EFT reduced the impact of the traumatic event by a whopping 92% at the 30-day follow-up.


Back when I was researching EFT clinical papers, I ended up publishing articles on the effectiveness in EFT. In one of them, I mentioned how Steve Wells published a controlled study in 2003 in the Journal of Clinical Psychology on the use of EFT on Phobias. The study participants had been clinically diagnosed as having phobias to small animals such as bats, spiders, rats and snakes. The participants received one 30-minute explanation of EFT and one session. After the session all subjects experienced a dramatic drop in fear as well as reduction in their phobic response 6 months after the study. 

Performance is another area where EFT can work wonders. After four 90-minute sessions, depression in college students reduced significantly by 73%. Athletes were also found to have improved their free-throws by 26% after only 15 minutes of using EFT.


A larger study on the use of EFT as a self-help tool involved 216 healthcare workers where they applied EFT for 2 hours daily. The healthcare workers experienced improvement in pain, emotional distress, and cravings, and the gains were found to have been maintained 90 days after the session. Those who battle craving addictions may rejoice in hearing about the case study in which 96 overweight adults had profound improvements with regards to maintaining food cravings. These improvements was maintained 6 months after the session, and over the span of 12 months, each participant experienced a reduction in their BMI Index (4).

Healthy Weight and Food Habits

EFT can be effectively used on a plethora of issues ranging from stress, anxiety, emotional distress, and more serious issues like PTSD, depression and phobias. The above cases are only sample of compelling EFT case studies. Many more case studies have met the criteria of the American Psychology Association (APA) of being statistically significant, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of anecdotal evidence of its effects. According to the APA guidelines, this makes EFT efficacious.

Clinical stamp JPEGThere is a significant amount of strong clinical and scientific evidence to prove that EFT does works and causes rapid, profound and lasting transformations in many different. Even with the backing of such a large amount of solid proof, it’s best to try it out yourself and get a first-hand experience, just like I did after learning EFT in a 3 day seminar – and I’m now completely migraine-free. The best part is that you don’t even need to believe in its power to experience results, but keeping an open mind may lead you to some unexpected miracles. Whether you have an annoying headache or are in midst of a personal crisis, EFT can be applied to practically anything. As Gary Craig, the founder of EFT says,”try it on everything!”

Rangana Rupavi Choudhuri (PhD)


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Other articles you may be interested in:


  1. Church, Hawk, Brooks et. al. Psychological Trauma in Veterans using EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques): A Randomized Controlled Trial. Society of Behavioral Medicine, Seattle, Apr, 2010.
  2. Church, D. The Treatment of Combat Trauma in Vets Using EFT: A Pilot Protocol. Traumatology, 2010, 15-1.
  3. The Stress Project: A letter from a participant in the Veterans PTSD Study. Retrieved from http://stressproject.org/ollis-story/
  4. Church, D. & Brooks, A. (2010a). The Effect of a Brief EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Self-Intervention on Anxiety, Depression, Pain and Cravings in Healthcare Workers. Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, Oct/Nov.9.5.

Images courtesy in the article above:

  • www.FreeImages.com/bobsmith
  • www.medicinenet.com/migraine/article.htm

unnamedAbout the Author: Dr Rangana Rupavi Choudhuri (PhD) is a dynamic international speaker and trainer. She loves being able to share alternate therapy and coaching skills that enable real and rapid transformations. With a PhD in Cancer Research and her background in running a multi-billion dollar international business, she is currently the Founder of Vitality Living College.