By Dr. Mercola
The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), one of my long-time preferred energy psychology tools for managing your emotional health, is finally receiving the recognition it deserves.
More than any conventional or alternative method I have used or researched, EFT has the most potential to literally work magic.
Clinical trials have shown that EFT is able to rapidly reduce the emotional impact of memories and incidents that trigger emotional distress. Once the distress is reduced or removed, your body can often rebalance itself and accelerate healing of both emotional and physical problems.
EFT Reduces Frequency of Tension Headaches by 62 Percent
These dramatic results were demonstrated by Greek researchers, whose study involved 35 people receiving treatment for frequent tension headaches at a headache clinic.
After eight weeks, those who had been taught how to do EFT on their own and tapped twice a day reduced the frequency of their headaches by 62 percent and the intensity of the headaches by 60 percent.1 This was from performing EFT on their own; it's likely that if they worked with a skilled EFT practitioner the results may have been even more impressive.
If you are currently struggling with headaches, please realize that using EFT and other mind-body tools to relieve the pain can help free you of toxic prescription and over-the-counter painkillers.
EFT Can Help You Break Free From Pain-Relieving Drugs
Aside from significantly increasing your heart risks (such as a two to fourfold increase in the risk of heart attacks, stroke or cardiovascular death), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which are taken by millions of Americans, are linked to serious gastrointestinal risks, like bleeding of the digestive tract, increased blood pressure and kidney problems.
Remember, this applies not only to prescription medications like Celebrex, but also over-the-counter drugs like aspirin, Advil and Motrin.
As for the opioid painkillers like OxyContin, they are among the most commonly abused prescription drugs and are a leading contributor to the rising rates of fatal prescription drug overdoses.
Many become addicted after using them to treat conditions like headaches, back, or neck pain, and research has shown that using these drugs for even a short period leads to structural and functional changes in reward- and effect-processing circuitry in your brain.
Any of these medications can also lead to rebound headaches, which can occur any time you frequently use a headache medication (possibly because the drugs alter pain receptors in your brain). With a natural option like EFT showing such dramatic results for headache relief, this offers a far safer, not to mention less expensive, method of treatment.
EFT is Scientifically Proven to Benefit Multiple Health Conditions
Another benefit to using EFT to relieve your headache pain is that it may offer simultaneous benefits to other parts of your body as well. EFT is actually a subject of intense research and has been studied in more than 10 countries, by more than 60 investigators, with results published in more than 20 different peer-reviewed journals.
Last year, a critical review in the American Psychological Association's (APA) journal Review of General Psychology2 found that EFT "consistently demonstrated strong effect sizes and other positive statistical results that far exceed chance after relatively few treatment sessions."
This brought EFT one step closer to meeting the criteria for evidence-based treatments proposed by the APA, an important step toward EFT's acceptance by the wider professional community, and one that will bring its benefits to a wider group of people. The review found statistically significant benefits in using EFT for the following conditions:
Anxiety Athletic Performance Depression Pain & Physical Symptoms Phobias Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Weight Loss Food Cravings
What Exactly is EFT … and How do You Use It?
In the video above, EFT practitioner Julie Schiffman shows how you can use EFT to relieve your pain. EFT is a form of psychological acupressure, based on the same energy meridians used in traditional acupuncture to treat physical and emotional ailments for over 5,000 years, but without the invasiveness of needles. Instead, simple tapping with the fingertips is used to transfer kinetic energy onto specific meridians on your head and chest while you think about your specific problem -- whether it is a traumatic event, an addiction, pain, etc. -- and voice positive affirmations.
This combination of tapping the energy meridians and voicing positive affirmation works to clear the "short-circuit" - the emotional block -- from your body's bioenergy system, thus restoring your mind and body's balance, which is essential for optimal health and the healing of physical disease. Some people are initially wary of these principles that EFT is based on -- the electromagnetic energy that flows through your body and helps regulate health is only recently becoming recognized in the West.
But because of its very high rate of success, the use of EFT has spread rapidly, and medical practitioners employing EFT can now be found in every corner of the country and world. My free EFT manual provides an overview on how and where to tap, and the proper affirmation techniques, so that you can begin using EFT immediately to help yourself and others. It also provides an introduction to some advanced EFT techniques and principles you can employ for a variety of health challenges.
More Natural Options for Relieving Tension Headaches
Tension headaches are the most common type of headache, impacting more than 70 percent of adults at one time or another.3 They typically cause pressure or tightness in your head that lasts for several hours up to several days.
As their name implies, most tension headaches are stress-related, although they may also be related to musculoskeletal problems in your neck (which can also be caused by tense muscles related to stress). Treatments that help you manage and relieve stress are therefore incredibly effective. Aside from EFT, the following stress-relief methods have been proven effective for the relief of tension headaches:
Chiropractic care Massage therapy Tai chi Meditation Guided imagery, biofeedback, visualization and other forms of relaxation training Traditional acupuncture