Managing anxiety with Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

In today's fast-paced world, anxiety has become a prevalent issue affecting many people. Whether it's due to work pressure, financial concerns, relationship issues, or the ongoing uncertainties in the world, anxiety can manifest in various forms, disrupting daily life and hindering overall well-being. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) offers a holistic approach to alleviating anxiety and restoring emotional balance.


What is EFT?

EFT, often referred to as tapping, is a form of psychological acupressure that involves gently tapping on specific meridian points on the body while focusing on the issue at hand, such as anxiety or stress. Developed in the 1990s by Gary Craig, EFT draws inspiration from traditional Chinese medicine, neuroscience, and energy psychotherapy to address emotional and psychological distress.

EFT works on the belief that energy blockages in the body can cause emotional discomfort and negative thoughts. By tapping on specific points, practitioners aim to restore energy balance, reducing emotional distress and promoting calmness.

One of the reasons for the widespread popularity of EFT is its simplicity and accessibility. Unlike traditional therapy or medication, EFT can be easily learned and practised by individuals of all ages without the need for specialised training or equipment. All that's required is a willingness to explore one's emotions and an open mind to embrace this alternative healing modality.

The research behind EFT

Since the National Institute for Health and Care in the UK, which evaluates treatments available on the NHS, has recommended EFT as worthy of further investigation, there has been an increase in research (EFT International, 2022). 

One study on stress biochemistry has shown that EFT causes measurable reductions in salivary cortisol and other stress symptoms. It found the cortisol in the EFT group dropped significantly compared to the ‘psycho-education’ and ‘no treatment’ groups (Church et al, 2012).

One of the key mechanisms through which EFT works is by interrupting the stress response and activating the body's relaxation response. By tapping on specific acupressure points, EFT helps regulate the amygdala (the brain's fear centre), which reduces stress hormones such as cortisol. This leads to a decrease in anxiety levels and an overall sense of well-being.

How to work with EFT

EFT provides individuals with a tool for self-empowerment and emotional regulation. Unlike conventional treatments where the individual may feel passive or dependent on external interventions, EFT encourages active participation in one's healing process. By tapping on their own meridian points and vocalising their emotions, individuals gain a sense of control over their anxiety and learn to cultivate self-awareness and self-compassion.

Incorporating EFT into one's daily routine can be a transformative practice for managing anxiety. Whether it's dedicating a few minutes each morning to tap on affirmations for calmness and resilience or using EFT as a coping strategy during moments of heightened stress, the versatility of this technique makes it adaptable to various lifestyles and preferences.

However, it's essential to recognise that while EFT can be a valuable tool for self-insight, for individuals with severe or persistent anxiety disorders, seeking guidance from a certified EFT practitioner can enhance the effectiveness of the practice and ensure its safe and appropriate application.

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) offers a promising approach to managing anxiety by addressing the underlying emotional imbalances and restoring the body's natural state of harmony. Through its simple techniques, EFT empowers individuals to take an active role in their mental health and cultivate inner peace and resilience in the face of life's challenges. As we continue to navigate the complexities of modern life, embracing holistic healing modalities like EFT can serve as a beacon of hope for those seeking relief from anxiety and reclaiming their emotional well-being.

If you’re struggling with anxiety and would like to explore it with EFT please get in touch. We can work together to help you gain a better understanding of your anxiety and develop the skills and resources to manage your anxiety effectively. 


  • Church, D., Young, G. & Brooks, A., (2012). The Effect of Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) on Stress Biochemistry: A Randomised Controlled Trial. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, Oct;200 (10):891-6.
  • EFT International (2022). EFT Efficacy Research Summary. Accessed at:

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Witney OX29 & Oxford OX3
Written by Jo Black, Neurosomatic & Energy Psychotherapy, EFT practitioner
Witney OX29 & Oxford OX3

Hi, I am Jo and I am trained in Neurosomatic Psychotherapy, Emotional Freedom Technique and Energy Therapy. Unlike traditional talk therapies that often concentrate solely on the mind, I work in an integrated way that incorporates the mind, body and spirit to create physical, emotional and mental balance.

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