Though it remains controversial, more and more mental health practitioners have been employing what is known as the emotional freedom technique for their patients. This practice is intended to reduce negative emotions such as anxiety related to traumatic memories. This method originates from the concept of acupuncture in eastern medicine. The ancient Chinese believed that the body is composed of meridians, or a field of energy. This technique makes use of such pressure points, which are used in conjunction with repeated positive phrases. Some mental health professionals and patients are certain of its effectiveness, while others are more skeptical, denouncing it as a pseudoscience.
The emotional freedom technique is form of alternative medicine that was founded by energy healer Gary Craig in the 1990’s. The emotional freedom technique includes a belief that as negative emotions are relieved, so often are physical symptoms often associated with them. This therapy believes that by tapping the end points of the meridians on the body and repeating such phrases, such stressors are relieved. The patient is to use their index finger and middle finger to carry out the tapping.
The meridian points on the body are believed to include a number of areas of the face. For instance, facial points included are the outer eye, the inner eyebrow, under the nose, under the eye and the middle of the chin. The middle of the top of the head, under the arm and on the chest are also included. The tapping is carried out, along with a phrase, such as the one used most conventionally. This phrase is, “Even though I have this __________, I deeply and completely accept myself.” The therapy states that if you are in a public setting and would rather not embarrass yourself, you may state this phrase under your breath or to yourself mentally as well, as this has also been shown to be effective.
Naturally, the emotional freedom technique may be applied by patients who are seeking therapeutic relief from a psychological disorder or substance abuse. Phrases are simply modified to include the symptoms that one is experiencing. Some of the advantages of this technique are that it is drug free and is a process that can be learned by anyone. The tapping essentially replaces the needles that are used in acupuncture. Western science has not focused as much on such methods alternative medicine in the past. However, awareness has been steadily increasing in recent years.
The emotional freedom technique has been shown to provide benefits such as diminishing negative emotions and eliminating feelings of pain. Others have reported that they have had more success positively carrying out goals and having lowered cravings for food. Patients may therefore be able to use such methods when they are experiencing drug cravings or unwanted symptoms of mental illness, such as the obsessive checking of obsessive compulsive disorder. Though the emotional freedom technique will continue to be studied in the future, it is nonetheless a significant form of alternative therapy that has been gaining more attention.