After the sociopath, how to feel better quickly — that was the subject line of an email that I recently sent out about Lovefraud’s new webinar on Emotional Freedom Techniques, or “Tapping.”
“This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen,” responded one of our readers.
I agree — tapping does look ridiculous. My email included the above video of the instructor, Stacey Vornbrock, and me tapping on our faces with our fingertips. But guess what — EFT Tapping works, as numerous scientific studies have found.
The EFT Universe website includes a bibliography of more than 100 articles published in peer-reviewed professional journals. Studies have concluded that EFT Tapping is effective — “efficacious” is the official terminology — for anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These are the psychological maladies experienced by many people who have tangled with sociopaths.
All of the studies meet the criteria for evidence-based treatment of the American Psychological Association. Here’s a link to the research:
Tapping for PTSD
Let’s take a closer look at a research paper that was published last year in The Journal of Science and Healing. The paper is reasonably easy to read. You can download it here:
The Effectiveness of Emotional Freedom Techniques in the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Meta-Analysis, by Brenda Sebastian, MPsych and Jerrod Nelms, Ph.D.
This report looked at seven randomized controlled trials of EFT Tapping for people suffering from PTSD, including combat veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, women survivors of sexual violence in the Congo, and traumatized male adolescents.
The authors concluded:
- EFT Tapping is effective in treating PTSD with relatively few treatment sessions
- EFT reduced the symptoms of PTSD below clinical levels
- Six months after treatment, 80% to 95% of participants still experienced benefits
- The studies showed no adverse effects from EFT interventions
- EFT can be used on a self-help basis and as a primary treatment for PTSD
How EFT Tapping works
The reason EFT Tapping works is not voodoo or mumbo jumbo; it is biology. Sebastian and Nelms write:
Traumatic events can overwhelm the mind’s ability to process new information accurately. As a result, a traumatic memory may be held in the limbic system indefinitely rather than being integrated into long-term memory. The autonomic nervous system becomes activated when a trigger appears that is reminiscent of the traumatic event, a form of classical conditioning.
What this means is that traumatic events get stuck in your body, and when you experience triggers, your fight/flight/freeze system is activated.
With tapping, you stimulate acupressure points on your body — mostly your face — while bringing to mind a traumatic memory or emotional trigger. This desensitizes you to the traumatic event and calms the fight/flight/freeze response.
EFT Tapping does the following:
- Breaks the cycle of hyperarousal more quickly than other forms of desensitization
- Reduces the power of neurological pathways that sustain the fear response
- Releases serotonin in the brain, which reduces hyperarousal
- Reduces limbic system activity, which is related to emotion and behavior
- Releases natural opioids, serotonin and GABA, which shut off the fight/flight/freeze response, reduce pain, slow the heart rate and decrease anxiety
- Regulates cortisol, which is a stress hormone
Standard treatments used for anxiety, stress and PTSD include eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) and cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). Tapping appears to be just as effective as EMDR and CBT — and it works much faster, sometimes with just one treatment session.
EFT Universe lists research showing how Tapping is effective for all of the following:
- Athletic performance
- Pain and physical symptoms
- Weight loss, cravings and addiction
Another Lovefraud reader contacted me to say she discovered EFT tapping a few years back. She used it for the PTSD she suffered because of a sociopath and found it to be “invaluable.”
This reader, however, advised caution when using EFT with extremely traumatic events. It works, but it may raise your anxiety during the process. If you have experienced severe trauma due to your involvement with a sociopath, you may want to work with a trained EFT professional — if you can’t find one in your area, working via a telephone is also effective. Once you learn how to do it, you can use it yourself for free.
EFT Tapping is an excellent tool for anyone’s self-care toolbox. I have personally used EFT Tapping to relieve anxiety and stress, and to help me prepare for public speaking. My husband has used EFT Tapping to clear up side effects of medication from the heart attack he suffered last year.
To learn the basics of EFT Tapping, check out the Lovefraud CE webinar.