|Ancient origins. Source: Wellcome Images|
EFT may also be effective in fibromyalgia, which has, until recently, commonly seen as "all in their heads". In one study, 86 women with fibromyalgia were assigned to either a wait-listed group or an EFT group, where they received an eight-week program. After these eight weeks, there was a significant improvement in the treated group over the control women, although the dropout rate was high enough that only 26 finished the EFT program and 36 stayed in the control group. There were improvements in pain, anxiety, depression, vitality, social function, general mental health, work and other activity performance, and stress. Pain catastrophising measures, such as magnification, helplessness and rumination also improved, and so did activity level. However, EFT was delivered with an "acceptance" angle, aiming to get the volunteers to accept their situation, instead of empowering them to change it.
It seems as though many people could use EFT, not just those with PTSD or fibromyalgia. An APA survey showed that 22% of Americans report extreme levels of stress (8-10 on a 10-point scale), although average stress levels dipped slightly, from 5.4 in 2010 to 5.2. To add to this problem, chronic stress is linked to various chronic illnesses, such as depression, obesity and the issues stemming from them. Overall, EFT is not "hocus-pocus" or a scam; research is revealing it to be a legitimate therapy.