A Look into Tapping Research: Study Suggests EFT Promotes Healthy Eating and Greater Self-Esteem in Teens

Written by: Nick Ortner

One thing I really love about Tapping is that it’s not just adults who can use it. Children, teens, and adults alike can all benefit from the power of Tapping in their daily lives. All ages can lean on Tapping for support and relief from a wide range of different challenges and concerns.

I think that is so cool, and so powerful. All of us – no matter our age and no matter what we may need support with, can benefit from Tapping

And although Tapping is a really great tool for kids and teens, not enough people know about how useful it can be for these age groups. So today, I thought I’d share a research study on some of the benefits of Tapping for adolescents.

In particular, I wanted to highlight a pilot study from 2016 from. Dr. Peta Stapleton and colleagues that investigated the effects of EFT on healthy eating behaviors in teens.[1]

I’ll break down the details of the study and what the researchers found, so that we can better understand what it means for any of us who are raising youngsters and how we can help our kids with the power of Tapping.

What did the researchers want to know?

The idea behind this study was to see if the simple tool of EFT Tapping could help young people to develop more healthy lifestyle practices. 

The researchers were also interested to know if the Tapping technique could help to improve things like self-esteem, self-compassion, and distress levels in adolescents.

What did they do?

In the study, 44 students were randomly assigned to one of two groups: the EFT group or the control group.

The EFT group went through a 6-week group program where they were taught EFT techniques. Each week also provided education on different themes like body image, making and sticking to goals, the importance of exercise, taking care of yourself, and more. At the end of each weekly session, the participants were instructed on how to practice EFT at home on their own. 

The control group did not do anything different than normal, and they did not learn any EFT. 

All of the participants filled out questionnaires before the study, right after the study, and 10 weeks after the study was completed as a follow up. The questionnaires gathered details on things like eating habits, self-esteem, psychological distress levels, and self-compassion. 

After all the data was gathered, the researchers analyzed it to see what kinds of trends they could find.

What were the findings?

For the EFT treatment group, almost all of the factors studied showed improvement when comparing the assessments from before to after the 6-week EFT program. 

For example, the students who learned Tapping consumed more healthy drinks, less unhealthy drinks, and less unhealthy foods by the end of the study

Both self-esteem and self-compassion were also significantly higher after the study in the EFT group. Not all of the improvements seen lasted through to the 10-week follow up, but some did.

The researchers noted that additional studies on this topic would be helpful, due to the small size of the study. But nevertheless, they concluded that the “findings provide preliminary support for EFT as an effective treatment strategy for increasing healthy eating behaviors and improving associated weight-related psychopathology.”[1]

The importance of this study

There have been several different studies conducted in adults on EFT in the field of weight loss, food cravings, and healthy eating – suggesting that Tapping can be really helpful. And the study highlighted today just adds to that body of research to show that Tapping can help teens in this area too.

And what I think is really exciting about the findings from this study is that it wasn’t just the positive changes in healthy lifestyle habits that came from Tapping; it also led to increased self-esteem and boosted self-compassion. 

Healthy eating behaviors are great, of course. But self-esteem and self-compassion… Those things have the power to really change how we experience the world and how we move through it for the entirety of our lives.

This kind of support for our emotional well-being has wide-reaching effects on our lives, from helping us to maintain healthy habits and healthy weight, to helping us form connections and navigate relationships, to helping us be more productive and inspired as we reach for our dreams and goals.

Can you imagine what it would be like if your kid could embrace healthy choices, all while feeling better about themselves, treating themselves with more kindness, and experiencing less stress? Now that would be a gift we can all aspire to offer our children.

Introducing kids and teens to Tapping

Maybe you’ve tried Tapping for yourself, but haven’t thought of introducing it to your children yet. Or maybe you are completely new to Tapping, but you’d try anything if it meant being able to offer your kids more support as they navigate their teen years and come into adulthood. 

Either way, we’ve got plenty of resources to help you introduce your kids and teens to the practice of Tapping. The great thing is, Tapping is extremely simple, adaptable, and accessible, making it perfect for teaching to young people. And it can be so incredibly powerful!

If you want to witness the transformative power of Tapping for kids and adolescents, check out this video where I demonstrate the positive effects of Tapping with a teenager in real time.

And when you are ready to learn more, I’ve compiled a list of resources on Tapping for parents, teachers, children, and teens on this page, including The Tapping Solution for Parents, Children, & Teenagers book and The Tapping Solution for Teenage Girls book. And we’ve got a lot more resources over on The Tapping Solution Foundation page as well. 

To get started, view these Tapping point diagrams for kids, and head to The Tapping Solution App to find guided Tapping meditations to share with your kids and teens. 

As always, take care, and keep Tapping!

Until next time,

Nick Ortner


  1. Stapleton P, Chatwin H, William M, et al. Emotional Freedom Techniques in the Treatment of Unhealthy Eating Behaviors and Related Psychological Constructs in Adolescents: A Randomized Controlled Pilot TrialExplore (NY). 2016;12(2):113-122. doi:10.1016/j.explore.2015.12.001

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