Emotional Freedom Technique
Introduced to the public in 1993, the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) invented by Gary Craig is based on the theory that negative emotions and thoughts cause disturbances in an individual’s energy field, producing depression and anxiety that often go hand-in-hand with a diagnosis of cancer and the reality of living with this disease. Cancer patients, including mesothelioma sufferers, often look for ways to relieve the anxiety, pain and other feelings that confront them daily without relying on more chemotherapy, other drugs or radiation. More and more patients are seeking non-invasive and natural therapies, even when there is no clear-cut cure offered.
As a form of complementary therapy, the Emotional Freedom Technique is considered by some to be a kind of psychotherapy. Practitioners attempt to help the patient manipulate the energy field in their body by teaching them to think of a traumatic situation in their life or a traumatic memory while tapping on particular acupressure points. In this way, EFT is similar to healing touch practices, acupuncture and other therapies that use manipulation of the body’s energy field.
The therapist will take some time to talk with the patient in the first EFT session and allow him or her to address whatever issues or concerns he or she may have. For a person suffering with malignant mesothelioma – a rare and deadly cancer – relief for depression and anxiety is normally sought, although practitioners state that many patients hope EFT will help with pain relief as well.
After concerns are addressed, the Emotional Freedom Technique practitioner will then show the patient the places and the technique of how to tap, normally in a certain sequence. The patient learns to say positive affirmations while tapping, such as “Although I sometimes feel depressed, I completely accept myself and my situation.” Some of the tapping points may start from the wrists and go to the underarm, the collar bone and chin, under the nose, under the eye, the temple, eyebrow and top of the head. Proponents of the technique believe that stating the acceptance of the problem will unclog and allow realignment of the body’s energy field.
Although the founder of the program reports many people treated with EFT have shown improvement, no scientific evidence supports his statements, including the claim that it slows the cancer’s progression. However, the Emotional Freedom Technique involves no risk, and patients have reported feeling better emotionally after receiving this therapy. It is non-invasive and is not considered harmful.