Oh, my aching head! As many as 80 percent of us suffers with tension headaches at some time in our lives. If you have a tension headache, you may feel a dull, aching pain in your head; tightness or pressure in your head; tenderness of the head, neck or shoulders or other symptoms that can make you feel miserable.
The good news is you don’t have to suffer in silence or reach for an over-the-counter remedy. A new study in the March/April 2013 issue of EXPLORE: The Journal of Science and Healing confirms what many emotional freedom techniques (EFT) practitioners already know: EFT, also known as tapping, is an effective way to reduce or eliminate uncomfortable, headache symptoms.
“This is a small but important study,” says Craig Weiner, DC, Director of The Chiropractic Zone Healing Center in Langley, Wash., in an exclusive interview with Examiner.com on March 14. Dr. Weiner also is an EFT coach. “Is is one of very few studies exploring how EFT can affect a specific physical pain population."
Greek researchers conducted a study to determine the short-term effects of EFT in people who suffer with tension headaches — the most common type of headache. The exact cause of tension headaches is unknown, but they sometimes occur when muscles in the neck or scalp become tense or contract. Tension headaches can last briefly for 30 minutes or so, or they can persist for several days.
Thirty-five patients undergoing treatment at a headache clinic participated in the study. All participants completed several assessment tools and kept a headache diary. Members in the intervention group were taught the EFT method and instructed to tap twice a day for two months.
The results of the study were quite dramatic. The researchers report that those in the intervention group experienced a significant decrease in the frequency and severity of headaches and in their stress symptoms. Scores on all assessment tools were reduced indicating that patients felt better and their quality of life improved. They also reported greater sleep satisfaction. There was no difference in cortisol levels among the two groups.
"This study involved a basic form of EFT, and participants experienced impressive results,” Dr. Weiner says. “Those who used EFT reported a 62 percent reduction in headache frequency and 60 percent reduction in headache intensity. Many patients see even greater improvements when they work with a skilled EFT practitioner who can help them neutralize the underlying negative emotions, thought patterns and limiting beliefs that cause or contribute to their headaches.”
EFT is a powerful stress-reduction technique that combines ancient acupressure principles and modern psychology. When using EFT, people focus on a specific problem, issue or symptom and tap on the body's acupressure points. The tapping sends calming signals through the body and to the brain.
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