We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is the Emotional Freedom Technique?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a form of therapy developed in the 90s by Gary Craig, an ordained minister. The theory is based on Thought Field Therapy, developed by Roger Callahan. Craig refers to the Emotional Freedom Technique as acupuncture without needles and claims that its use will significantly improve both mental illness and chronic pain or other disease because the “energy field” of the body, when disturbed, creates negative emotions and illness. Despite some reviews in recognized psychotherapy journals, the tide seems turning on this technique with many now labeling it pseudoscience.

The basic premise behind Emotional Freedom Technique is that the body is composed of energy, and EFT uses the 12 special points or channels of this energy, called meridians in Chinese Traditional Medicine. When patients are in a therapeutic session and are discussing negative emotions or pain, they can tap on these meridians with the fingers to restore disturbed body energy to a balanced state. While Callahan’s earlier Thought Field Therapy dictated a specific order of touching these meridians, EFT does not and simplifies Callahan’s work, making the technique much easier to learn for therapists and laypersons.

Two studies published in 2003 suggest that people using Emotional Freedom Technique were able to slightly reduce phobias. But an interesting part of one of these studies published in The Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice was that a control group of people undergoing EFT that were given fake meridian points seemed to report as much improvement as those people who tapped on the recognized meridian points. It is thought that tapping on the body might provide some distraction when discussing deep emotional content, and this distraction might help people to divert focus from deep psychic pain.

What both studies seem to prove is that talking about problems is more likely to alleviate pain than is tapping on specific parts of the body. Yet, Craig’s website on Emotional Freedom Technique tends to look at talk therapy as lengthy and not particularly useful. Moreover, his website does make claims that EFT can be used to cure or resolve illnesses such as chronic pain. While he, and other practitioners provide anecdotal evidence that this works, inability to test this via the scientific method means claims regarding effectiveness should be taken with a grain of salt.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.