Patricia Lynn Belkowitz, M.Msc., C.Ht., EFT

A new study* conducted by Dr. Peta Stapleton and a team of researchers at the School of Medicine in Griffith University, Queensland, Australia has confirmed that Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), a form of meridian tapping,  can be used as an effective way to reduce food cravings.

A study was conducted on ninety-six overweight or obese adults. Half of the participants were taught EFT right away; while the other half did whatever they ordinarily did to control food cravings for four weeks. The “wait list” group was the control (comparison) group.

Prior to conducting the research, the subjects were given a series of tests to determine the intensity of their food cravings and measure how strong an influence food exerted over them. The researchers also investigated the degree of restraint these people showed when faced with tempting food, and the number of psychological symptoms of stress they were experiencing. Everyone in the study was measured to determine their BMI (Body Mass Index), an indication of how the body stores and distributes fat.

At the end of four weeks, the subjects were re-tested. It was found that those who had first learned EFT showed: significantly lowered food cravings;  had improved significantly in the degree to which they were able to restrain themselves when confronted by tempting foods;  and an improvement in the degree to which the food tempted them.

The same subjects were studied again at the end of 12 months. Demonstrating the holding power of this technique, it was noted that the intensity of food cravings and the pull of the temptation to a particular food, remained significantly improved at the end of one year in those who had been practicing EFT, Also, the Body Mass Index was also significantly reduced at the end of one year.

This study shows that EFT can have an immediate effect on reducing food cravings and also result in maintenance of these reduced cravings over a long period of time. In addition it shows that EFT impacts favorably on The Body Mass Index. The researchers suggest that EFT may contribute to the ability of weight loss/dieting programs to assist people to achieve reduced food cravings and therefore lose weight.

*This study was conducted by Stapleton, Sheldon, Porter & Whitty,  2009-2010. It was funded by a grant from the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology (ACEP).