By Christine Wheeler, MA
An alarming 40 million Americans are suffering with some kind of anxiety disorder. This is believed to be a conservative estimate as many people who have mild or moderate anxiety may not report their symptoms to doctors. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), two types of treatments are available to people with anxiety disorders -- medication and/or talk therapy.
A doctor may prescribe antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs or beta-blockers and different types of psychotherapy. It sounds as if the treatment process is one of trial and error as the NIH document states, "If one treatment doesn't work, the odds are good that another one will. So don't give up hope."
EFT is one technique that has an 80 percent success rate for any type of anxiety.
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) offers hope to people suffering with any of the six main types of anxiety disorder. EFT founder, Gary Craig, developed a single, streamlined solution to anxiety by looking at the true cause of anxiety and other emotional and physical illnesses.
According to EFT theory, at the root of anxiety are unresolved emotional issues and a disrupted energy meridian system (or chi), both of which are easily balanced with EFT's do-it-yourself acupressure system. The process involves certain meridian points on the body being stimulated with a simple fingertip tapping process.
Anyone can do EFT and gain relief and peace without lengthy talk therapy and complicated medications. Anxiety disorders are often accompanied by other issues like depression or substance abuse and EFT has a proven track record in alleviating these issues as well. We are not advocating that EFT replace medical care, but EFT often works when nothing else will, it has no known side effects and the results are often permanent. When used correctly, EFT has an 80 percent success rate.
Six Common Anxiety Disorders and How EFT is Used to Combat Them
- Panic Disorder. Panic disorder affects about 6 million adult Americans. People with panic disorder are suddenly struck by feelings of terror. The attacks occur without warning and, as a result, many develop severe anxiety in anticipation of the next panic episode.
Panic attacks are both physical and emotional events. Symptoms may include a pounding heart and palpitations, feeling faint, dizzy or having tingling sensations. Many sufferers believe they are having a heart attack, are going to die, and are overwhelmed with fear and a sense of impending doom.
EFT is consistently effective in alleviating a panic attack at its onset as well as providing long-term benefits -- effectively preventing future episodes. Long-term panic sufferers are often astonished that EFT can neutralize a panic attack in minutes. It often works when nothing else will.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. OCD affects about 2.2 million American adults and its onset occurs in childhood, adolescence, or early adulthood. People with OCD are beset with anxious persistent thoughts (obsessions), or feel compelled to perform certain rituals like hand washing or repeatedly checking things (compulsions).
David Lake, MD uses EFT with his patients in Australia. One young patient of his would spend an hour checking and rechecking doors, windows and appliances before she could leave the house. Dr. Lake simply asked her to tap continually on the EFT points while she was engaged in her checking ritual -- not change the ritual -- just add tapping.
She immediately felt calmer and at the end of one week, she could leave the house in 20 minutes instead of an hour. Her obsessive thinking was curbed and she stopped rechecking. Soon she was leaving the house in just 5 minutes.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. About 7.7 million adult Americans have PTSD, which is a debilitating condition that can develop following a traumatic event.
People with PTSD tend to have recurring nightmares and disturbing memories of the traumatic event, especially when reminded of the trauma. They may experience sleep problems, feel numb and lose interest in life.
One of the first successful applications of EFT was Gary Craig's 1994 treatment of PTSD for six Vietnam War veterans. "These men hadn't had a moment's peace in 20 years," says Craig. "Their lives revolved around their terrifying memories. But after just a few minutes of tapping, all of the men experienced profound release."
- Social Phobia (or social anxiety disorder). About 15 million adult Americans are affected by social phobia, an intense anxiety and overwhelming self-consciousness in social situations. Ordinary activities may arouse disproportionate fear of being watched, judged, embarrassed or humiliated. The anticipation of an impending social situation may cause worry for days or weeks.
Whether it is a fear of public speaking, or meeting new people, EFT is consistently successful in helping people replace their intense anxiety and discomfort with relaxed peacefulness. Canadian psychiatrist Curtis Steele, MD, calls EFT the single most effective technique he has used in 45 years of practice. "I've had considerable success using EFT in the treatment of social anxiety, panic attacks, and many other disorders," he says.
- Specific Phobias. More than 19 million adult Americans have a specific phobia of some kind. This intense, irrational fear can be experienced in relation to heights, animals, bugs, water, elevators, or closed-in spaces. Sometimes the feared object is easy to avoid, but often people limit their lives, careers and experiences in order to elude the phobic situation.
EFT has been instrumental in collapsing even the most intense specific phobias including fear of flying, snake phobias, fear of dentists, needles and heights. Often relief is felt with just minutes of EFT but more complex phobias may take several sessions of EFT to eliminate the phobia completely.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Nearly 7 million Americans are affected by GAD, which is characterized by unprovoked, but overwhelming, worry and concern. People with GAD may tend to anticipate disaster and worry incessantly about family, work, health or money. They may also feel physically exhausted, have headaches, muscle aches, pains and twitching and feel dizzy and breathless. People with GAD often have depression, anxiety or substance abuse issues as well.
EFT not only addresses chronic worry, catastrophizing, and negative thinking, but also calms the physical symptoms of headaches, pains and dizziness. EFT also offers relief from shortness of breath, a symptom commonly associated with GAD.
Each anxiety disorder has unique characteristics but they all have irrational fear and persistent feelings of dread in common. According to EFT theory, anxiety disorders are linked by the common thread of a disrupted energy meridian system, and unresolved negative emotions. By balancing the energy meridians and neutralizing negative emotions, anxiety sufferers may achieve permanent relief and peace without drugs.
More on EFT
Please note that in addition to addressing six types of anxiety, EFT has been a consistently effective healing tool for hundreds of other physical, mental and emotional ailments. Please consult qualified health professionals before putting EFT into practice for yourself or others.