Is tapping on acupuncture points an active ingredient in Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)? A systematic review and meta-analysis of comparative studies

Citation (APA Style): Church, D., Stapleton, P., Yang, A., & Gallo, F. (2018). Is tapping on acupuncture points an active ingredient in Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)? A systematic review and meta-analysis of comparative studies. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 206(10), 783–793. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000878

Abstract:
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFTs) combine elements of cognitive restructuring and exposure techniques with acupoint stimulation. Meta-analyses indicate large effect sizes for posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety; however, treatment effects may be due to components EFT shares with other therapies. This analysis reviewed whether EFTs acupressure component was an active ingredient. Six studies of adults with diagnosed or self-identified psychological or physical symptoms were compared (n = 403), and three (n = 102) were identified. Pretest vs. posttest EFT treatment showed a large effect size, Cohen's d = 1.28 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.56 to 2.00), and Hedges' g = 1.25 (95% CI, 0.54 to 1.96). Acupressure groups demonstrated moderately stronger outcomes than controls, with weighted posttreatment effect sizes of d = −0.47 (95% CI, −0.94 to 0.0) and g = −0.45 (95% CI, −0.91 to 0.0). Meta-analysis indicated that the acupressure component was an active ingredient and out- comes were not due solely to placebo, nonspecific effects of any therapy, or nonacupressure components.

Key Words: EFT, Emotional Freedom Techniques, acupressure, acupuncture points, tapping

Click here to view the paper