Science & Research

EFT Tapping for Headache Relief: Study Finds Tapping Can Help Decrease Frequency AND Intensity

Written by: Nick Ortner

You know that feeling when your head starts to feel like it is in a vice… and there is a band of pressure forming around your head? Headaches like this are no fun to experience, and unfortunately they can be quite common!

If you get headaches from time to time when you are stressed, you are most likely experiencing what doctors call a tension headache. Tension headaches occur when the muscles in the neck and scalp become tense, leading to pain in the head, face, or neck.[1,2]

Now, tension headaches are incredibly common; as many in 2 in 3 adults experience them![1] But even though more people than not get tension headaches, it doesn’t mean that you have to live with the pain. Living with headaches should not be, and does not have to be, the status quo!

And you have far more options for relief at your disposal than just drinking some water, taking an over-the-counter pain medication, and lying down to wait it out. 

In fact, there are a lot of different tools that you can turn to to find relief, and alternative approaches are often some of the most effective! 

If you haven’t yet tried EFT Tapping for headache relief, it’s time to add this simple, easy, and effective tool to your headache support toolkit. Research suggests it can do wonders for decreasing both the frequency and intensity of your headaches.

Study shows Tapping can help to decrease the frequency and intensity of tension headaches

Practices like acupuncture, psychological interventions, and manual therapy have all been proven to be effective for tension-type headaches.[3,4] With Tapping drawing from many of the theories and concepts of these practices, it isn’t surprising to learn that Tapping also offers incredible benefits to those who suffer from tension headaches.

And that’s exactly what a study published in the journal Explore confirmed; Tapping can help to decrease both the severity and frequency of tension headaches.[5]

In the study, the researchers looked at a group of 35 people who all suffered from tension headaches. Half were taught EFT Tapping and instructed to use the Tapping method twice a day for two months. The other half were in a control group, and they did not use Tapping. Stress levels and headache episodes were monitored throughout the study.[5]

After two months, the data showed that the people in the EFT Tapping group reported less frequent AND less intense headache episodes. On top of that, they also reported lower stress levels. The control group did not show those same improvements.[5]

The findings from this study suggest that Tapping can be an extremely effective tool for managing tension headaches. 

So why is Tapping so helpful for headaches? Because it helps us to release stress, and stress is one of the top triggers for tension headaches.

The link between tension headaches and stress

Stress is strongly linked to tension headaches. In fact, stress is listed as one the of the top causes of this kind of headache.[1,2] Studies show that daily stress is related to both the development of headaches and to increases in headache pain intensity.[6]

Ultimately, tension headaches can be one of the many physical health effects of living under constant stress. They are one of the body’s ways of telling you that the stress in your life is taking a real toll

So, one of the best ways to better manage tension headaches and get relief from the pain is to release some of that stress that is wearing you and your body down.

And that is exactly what Tapping does best. EFT Tapping helps to send calming signals to the brain, giving it a chance to turn down the physiological stress response. Research shows that it does a really great job at that, and that it can actually help to reduce the effects of stress in the body. In fact, Tapping has been shown to decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol by as much as 43%![7]

In the study mentioned earlier, the researchers found that a daily EFT Tapping practice helped the tension headache sufferers to reduce their stress levels. And after just two months of practice, their headache episodes occurred less often and were also less intense.[5] That reduction in stress is likely a large part of why the participants in this study were able to notice such positive changes in headache frequency and intensity after using the power of Tapping.

How to use Tapping for headache relief 

Tapping is a simple process that combines the principles of ancient Chinese acupressure and modern psychology. It is easy to learn, and adaptable to whatever you might be dealing with in your own life – including tension headaches and more.

In a basic Tapping sequence you’ll tap on specific points on the body that correspond to the body’s meridians, while speaking or thinking about what is bothering you (like your stress or your headaches). This process sends calming signals to the pain, allowing the stress to be released from your body.

If you are new to Tapping, a great resource to turn to is The Tapping Solution App. There you’ll gain access to a huge library of guided Tapping meditations that will walk you step-by-step through the process and provide support for a wide range of topic areas.

Suggested Tapping Meditations for Headache Relief

To release general stress from your day, you might try some of our Tapping meditations like:

We also have some Tapping meditations created specifically for people with headaches, including: 

I’ve seen so many people find significant relief from physical ailments like headaches after learning about the power of Tapping and putting it into practice in their own lives. And I can’t wait to hear about your experiences with Tapping for headache relief!

Wishing you healing and ease today and everyday.

Until next time, this is Nick Ortner. 

Keep Tapping!


  1. “Tension-Type Headaches.” Cleveland Clinic. Updated February 4, 2021. 
  2. “Tension Headache.” MedlinePlus. Updated April 1, 2022.
  3. Turkistani A, Shah A, Jose AM, et al. Effectiveness of Manual Therapy and Acupuncture in Tension-Type Headache: A Systematic ReviewCureus. 2021;13(8):e17601. Published 2021 Aug 31. doi:10.7759/cureus.17601
  4. Krøll LS, Callesen HE, Carlsen LN, et al. Manual joint mobilisation techniques, supervised physical activity, psychological treatment, acupuncture and patient education for patients with tension-type headache. A systematic review and meta-analysis [published correction appears in J Headache Pain. 2021 Oct 6;22(1):116]. J Headache Pain. 2021;22(1):96. Published 2021 Aug 21. doi:10.1186/s10194-021-01298-4
  5. Bougea AM, Spandideas N, Alexopoulos EC, Thomaides T, Chrousos GP, Darviri C. Effect of the emotional freedom technique on perceived stress, quality of life, and cortisol salivary levels in tension-type headache sufferers: a randomized controlled trial. Explore (NY). 2013;9(2):91-99. doi:10.1016/j.explore.2012.12.005
  6. Viero FT, Rodrigues P, Trevisan G. Cognitive or daily stress association with headache and pain induction in migraine and tension-type headache patients: a systematic reviewExpert Rev Neurother. 2022;22(3):257-268. doi:10.1080/14737175.2022.2041414
  7. Stapleton P, Crighton G, Sabot D, O’Neill HM. Reexamining the effect of emotional freedom techniques on stress biochemistry: A randomized controlled trial. Psychol Trauma. 2020;12(8):869-877.

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Over 17 Million Tapping Meditations Played in Our App!
Get Instant Access to our "Releasing Anxiety" and "Sleep Support: Quiet The Racing Mind" Tapping meditations.
Yes, I agree to receive email messages from The Tapping Solution & understand that I can unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy.