John Freedom, Marg Hux, and Jan Warner reviewed the literature on acupoint tapping studies published in foreign-language journals. They published their findings, Research on Acupoint Tapping Therapies Proliferating around the World, in a recent issue of the Energy Psychology Journal. This shows that there is great interest in EFT, and EFT research, around the world!

The review covers 91 studies, the majority of which came from Indonesia (71%). This research trove adds to the evidence base for meridian tapping – which already contains 120 clinical trials! – demonstrating the effectiveness of EFT tapping. Moreover, it shows that interest in EFT is growing outside the Western world, has regional variations that remain effective, and is being utilized in clinical healthcare settings.

Sleuthing, and a research goldmine

Lead author John Freedom, who serves as ACEP’s Research Committee chair, serendipitously discovered articles about EFT in non-English-language journals. The volume of material surprised him – at first pass, he knew that there were at least 50 “new” studies. And John knows the research on EFT!

Of course, he was also curious to understand what the research found. So, he engaged Marg Hux and Jan Warner, who both serve on the research committee, to assist him in mining the databases and make sense of the articles they found.

The study setup

A search in ResearchGate uncovered 86 studies in non-English journals. Additional searching using the EBSCO search engine uncovered an additional five studies.

More than half of the studies investigated a variation on EFT called Spiritual EFT or SEFT. SEFT is a protocol popular in Indonesia that combines EFT tapping while reciting verses from the Quran.

Most of the articles were published in non-English language journals and had only a title or abstract in English. Of those that were translated, the quality of translation varied.

Snapshot of the literature on EFT research around the world:

  • 71% were from Indonesia
  • 81% had only a title or abstract published in English
  • 84% were single group or comparative clinical trials
  • 5% were literature reviews
  • 29% addressed anxiety
  • 15% addressed depression
  • 11% addressed hypertension
  • 47% used EFT
  • 53% used Spiritual EFT, or SEFT

Why this study matters

The review reveals studies that had previously been unknown in the West. It demonstrates that EFT, and EFT research, is growing around the world.

Interestingly, in contrast with most English-language studies, these reports came from hospitals, clinics, universities. Moreover, they addressed physiological complaints such as hypertension, diabetes, and pain. Finally, they differ from most Western studies in addressing specific populations such as prisoners, addicts, and cancer patients.

In sum, they give us a good look at how EFT is being used – and how effective it is! – in clinical settings around the world.

Want to learn more?

If you would like to learn more about the science behind EFT and get CE’s, check out ACEP’s Science of Energy Healing course. To support ACEP research, consider donating to our Research Committee.