Tapping for Psoriasis: Research Behind Irritation Relief

Written by: Nick Ortner

Do you believe in the mind-body connection?

This research study goes below the surface (of the skin, that is) to find out.

Most of us have had some recognizable experience with our emotions tied to a physical response in our bodies. Maybe you get headaches just before your in-laws come to visit, or perhaps you have digestive problems when conflicts arise at work. Scientific evidence continues to mount; demonstrating that our thoughts and emotions play a huge role in our physical wellness. Psoriasis is one particular example of the interplay between the mind and the body.

Many psoriasis patients associate a particular trauma or stress with the beginning of their disease and accompanying physical symptoms. Most connect a worsening of symptoms with anxious or depressed periods. And research shows that psoriasis patients obsessed with worry do worse in treatment.

Psoriasis: Beyond Skin-Deep

So what exactly is psoriasis? According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, it’s a complex autoimmune illness with many symptoms.

Patients develop itchy and painful dry red patches and lesions, often on the knees, elbows, and head. There are psychological symptoms as well, including anxiety, depression, catastrophizing, avoidance of activity, and emotional reactivity. These often trigger more itching, scratching, and reduced quality of life.

Psoriasis is often misunderstood as a simple rash, but it’s actually a very serious illness. Patients are often limited in what they can do and can even lose connection with their community and family as a result.

It’s associated with other serious illnesses including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, arthritis, cancer, and Crohn’s disease.

Psoriasis is the most common autoimmune disease in the U.S. and is not only serious, but it’s also extremely costly. Researchers of this study I’m about to describe cited a figure of $11.25 billion dollars spent annually on psoriasis health care expenditures and lost income. Wow!

In Search of a Cure

Psoriasis is difficult to treat and currently, there’s no cure. Sure, there are many different medications prescribed by doctors, but with questionable effectiveness, and they often serious side effects. Doctors currently use phototherapy, cyclosporine, and methotrexate (both known carcinogens).

However, there was one previous study that had measurable positive results using an alternative modality: mindfulness meditation. There was a significantly faster rate of skin clearing than in a control group who just received the phototherapy treatments. This was a big clue to researchers that the mind had a bigger role to play in both the development of and cure for, the disease.

Knowing both about the meditation study and about the successes of Emotional Freedom Techniques in other conditions involving anxiety and depression, researchers wanted to see what effect Tapping would have on psoriasis patients.

What Happened in This Study

This study had two goals: 1) to introduce patients to EFT and educate them about the practice, and 2) to see if the practice had an impact on patients’ symptoms.

Researchers recruited 12 individuals with psoriasis (eight men and four women). 30% had had psoriasis for 10 years or more and half had three or more outbreaks in the previous year. All but one had skin lesions. Only 33% believed it was possible to be free of psoriasis, and all had psychological difficulties, including anxiety and depression.

They received symptom charts measuring both psychological and physical symptoms. Then, the individuals learned about Emotional Freedom Techniques in a six-hour workshop and asked to tap as part of their daily routine. After the workshop, they filled out the symptom charts again.

One Month Later

Researchers called each participant to check-in and to go through the symptom charts a third time. Three months later, researchers called and reviewed the symptom charts for the last time.

In general, the results showed that the Emotional Freedom Technique led to a significant decrease in symptoms and an increase in psychological well-being. Like other EFT studies, this one showed that the lessening of symptoms was either maintained over time or lessened even further with time.

Bar graph of skin index results

Here are just a few of the responses that participants gave at their 3-month follow-up phone call:

“It’s amazing! I’ve been to the beach. I’m wearing shorts!”

“I’m more focused now than ever.”

“It’s been amazing.”

“I’m so happy, I’m not getting any flare-ups.”

“Lesions almost all gone… don’t need as many treatments.”

Considering how serious psoriasis is, I hope to see this promising research followed by more studies with numerous, diverse participants.

And remember, we have a whole program designed to bring healing from autoimmune disorders to your body. The results from those that completed the program are incredible!

EFT is easy to learn and in this study, we can see the way the mind and body heal together. It’s also very encouraging in terms of potential application to other serious, long-term chronic illnesses that affect a huge portion of the population.

Until next time,

Keep Tapping!

Nick Ortner

What do you think about the mind-body connection? Do you have any personal stories to share? I’d love to read them below. 

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7 Comments on this post

  1. Chris says:

    I bought the autoimmune program but sure would like it if you would add the specific verbiage which was used in this study. Since it had such lovely results, it would be kind to pass it on to others who suffer.

  2. Zora says:

    Where I can find example for tapping eft for psoriasis

  3. Anthony knight says:

    Any advice on using tapping methods for treating psoriasis?

    • Nick Ortner says:

      Hi Anthony, psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder, and like most autoimmune disorders they stem from either conscious or unconscious feelings of shame and guilt. After beating ourselves up in our minds, the body believes that’s what is desired, and so it presents itself as such. You may wish to explore this connection yourself, or you can take a look at our Tapping Program specially designed for autoimmune disorders here:

  4. Eileen says:

    Not even able to tap, though I’ve practised EFT to relieve pain for years however I am stuck and each time I turn on your offers, I just play cards on the Internet instead… crazy, self subotage, in fact I’ve an addiction to the game now.
    I have adrenal fatigue from the internet in an effort to win, win , win. Hugely lonely and retired, won’t even go out for a walk… life is hell.
    Got psoriasis and desperately need to tap with your help to clear it
    Thank you for your wonderful service

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