EFT Tapping Lowers Cortisol: Replicated Study

Written by: Nick Ortner

Clinical research for EFT Tapping is very exciting. It provides measurable evidence of what many of us already know – Tapping works! What’s even more impressive, is when researchers replicate these landmark studies. Science shines when a totally different group of people in other parts of the world show similar (if not better!) results.

That’s what Dr. Peta Stapleton of Bond University in Australia did recently when she replicated Dawson Church’s famous 2012 cortisol study.

Peta’s study results have also been published in the respected APA Journal, which is a huge win for the field too.

The only change she made to the original individually delivered trial was that she offered the EFT Tapping sessions in groups instead – and she achieved a 43% reduction in cortisol in 1 hour of EFT by doing this. Amazing!

You can read the full study abstract here, but I’ll include the technicals below for those who love to see details. 🙂

Reexamining the effect of emotional freedom techniques on stress biochemistry: A randomized controlled trial.

Stapleton P1, Crighton G1, Sabot D1, O’Neill HM2.Psychol Trauma. 2020 Mar 12.

In a direct replication of Church, Yount, and Brooks (2012), this study examined changes in stress biochemistry and psychological distress symptoms. They allocated fifty-three participants randomly to one of three 60-min group interventions: Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), psychoeducation (PE), and no treatment (NT). The Symptom Assessment-45 (SA-45) was used to assess psychological distress symptoms.

Researchers administered Salivary cortisol assays 30 min pre- and postintervention to test cortisol levels. The original study by Church et al. indicated the EFT group showed statistically significant improvements in anxiety (-58.34%, p < .05), depression (-49.33%, p < .002), overall severity of symptoms (-50.5%, p < .001), and symptom breadth (-41.93%, p < .001). The group also experienced a significant decrease in cortisol (-24.39%) compared to the PE group (-14.25%) and NT group (-14.44%).

The present results indicated the EFT group experienced a significant decrease in cortisol greater than the original study (-43.24%, p < .05), but these results were not mirrored by subjective reports of psychological distress. The EFT group reduction in cortisol was significantly different from that of the PE group (-19.67%), and as expected, the posttreatment cortisol level detected among the EFT group was lower than that of the NT group (2.02%); however, there was not a statistically significant difference between the 2 groups. Additionally, there were no significant improvements in cortisol reduction among the NT and PE groups.

Findings support the original study. They indicated EFT to be an efficient and effective brief treatment for reducing biological markers of stress.

So once again, the research continues to prove that Tapping promotes physical and measurable changes in our body’s biochemistry.

A special thank you to Dr. Peta Stapleton for sharing her awesome trial results with us! 🙂

Until next time…

Keep Tapping!

Nick Ortner

Does continuing scientific research help you feel more confident about the effectiveness of Tapping? Comment below!

Nick is the CEO and founder of The Tapping Solution

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9 Comments on this post

  1. Kate Scarratt says:

    Hi, Jessica, I don’t know when you posted this video on your blog, but I’ve just found it and as usual you have a way of sharing strength and hope – and fun. My mother was in the RAF too (the WAAF, as it was for women) and who knows, she might have met your grandmother. She was posted to all kinds of places, both in the UK and abroad; I don’t know if your grandmother stayed in one place or not. Keep doing the great work you and your family do; I’ve introduced two friends now to Tapping, one just this morning! The other one finds you a lifeline, and I’m so glad I took the step of telling her about Tapping – I mean, it does look a bit off the wall and you can’t be sure how it’ll be received! Though anyone who tries it is bound to be convinced. I’ve got a lot to thank you Ortners for!

  2. Nick Ortner says:

    Thanks so much for your kind words. 🙂

  3. Giovanna says:

    I live in Italy, and have discovered tapping with you a few years ago, but haven’t taken it seriously until this year, after the Covid19 virus showed up. By practicing on a daily basis I see positive results! Thank you for your help and Jessica’s too. I love you both! You are wonderful!!!

  4. Susan says:

    I need to see scientific research to prove the effectiveness of a treatment. As we know, the placebo effect can strongly influence how one subjectively feels about a treatment. However, scientific studies prove the efficacy of a treatment. Thanks to Nick for sharing this research.

  5. Lisa says:

    I wonder if you could address the benefits of shorter ( and short!) tapping sessions since an hour is more than I am able to do.
    Also are the benefits cumulative as I’m not getting to it every single day but perhaps several times a week.
    I’m waiting for my book to arrive so am sure this will be addressed in there!
    Thanks so much

    • Nick Ortner says:

      Hi Lisa! Great questions! Tapping at any interval still interacts with the amygdala of the body, which you’re read about in the book. Results have indeed been shown to be cumulative, and lasting. 🙂

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