Is Tapping on Acupuncture Points an Active Ingredient in Emotional Freedom Techniques? A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Comparative Studies
Citation: Church, D., Stapleton, P., Yang, A, Gallo, F., Is Tapping on Acupuncture Points an Active Ingredient in Emotional Freedom Techniques? A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Comparative Studies. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, Vol. 206, No. 10, October 2018
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFTs) combine elements of cognitive change and exposure techniques with acupoint tapping. 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 outcomes were not due solely to placebo, nonspecific effects of any therapy, or nonacupressure components.
Thank you to Craig Weiner for permission to use material from EFT Tapping Training for this summary.