Thought Field TherapyDecember 5, 2012 Written by JP [Font too small?]
Thought Field Therapy (TFT) is an inexpensive and rapid treatment used to address psychological challenges such as anxiety, phobias and post traumatic stress. The practice of TFT involves tapping oneself with your fingers, on select acupuncture points, while recalling traumatic experiences. According to TFT proponents, doing so releases negative emotions or perturbations in the bioenergic or thought field, thereby decreasing or resolving psychological symptoms.
Until recently, interest in TFT was largely based on anecdotal accounts, published case studies and uncontrolled trials. The evidence presented from these limited sources clearly demonstrates a positive affect in conditions as diverse as bereavement, chronic fatigue and even post traumatic stress related to genocide. However, virtually all members of the psychological establishment have expressed concern and/or disbelief about these findings due to a lack of well designed clinical studies and a poorly defined mode of action. Simply put, the concept of a “thought field” isn’t widely accepted in modern medicine. What’s more, there is profound disagreement about some of the proposed physiological effects that TFT may or may not cause, including changes to heart rate variability.
In November 2012, a study published in Explore, a peer reviewed medical journal, finally put TFT to a scientific test – a randomized, controlled trial. A group of Norwegian scientists enrolled a total of 45 patients with anxiety in a study that compared changes in symptom severity brought about by TFT or being on a waiting list (i.e. a control group). In the second leg of the study, those initially assigned to the waiting list took part in TFT. Before and after comparisons indicate that Thought Field Therapy resulted in “a significantly better outcome on two measures of anxiety and one measure of function”. The authors of the trial go on to point out that the “significant improvement seen after treatment was maintained at the 3-month and 12-month assessments”. While preliminary, this publication provides a valuable step in possibly establishing TFT as an efficient, low-cost adjunct or alternative to the conventional management of anxiety and, perhaps, other psychological conditions.
Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!
To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:
Study 1 – Thought Field Therapy Clinical Applications: Utilization in an HMO … (link)
Study 2 – Thought Field Therapy and Trauma Recovery … (link)
Study 3 – Brief Trauma Intervention w/ Rwandan Genocide-Survivors Using TFT … (link)
Study 4 – Treatment of PTSD in Rwandan Child Genocide Survivors Using … (link)
Study 5 – Thought Field Therapy—Soothing the Bad Moments of Kosovo … (link)
Study 6 – Unprecedented Improvements in Short-Term Heart Rate Variability … (link)
Study 7 – The Impact of Thought Field Therapy on Heart Rate Variability … (link)
Study 8 – Regarding the October 2001 Journal of Clinical Psychology Special … (link)
Study 9 – Callahan Fails to Meet the Burden of Proof for Thought Field Therapy … (link)
Study 10 – Thought Field Therapy (TFT) as a Treatment for Anxiety Symptoms … (link)
Manipulating Acupressure Points May Reduce Anxiety
Source: Anesthesiology. 2003 Jun;98(6):1328-32. (link)
Tags: Anxiety, Phobia, PTSD
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Detoxification, Mental Health