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Articles & Ideas


For the skeptics--Is EFT a placebo?

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated. Please use my newest advancement, Optimal EFT. It is more efficient, more powerful and clearly explained in my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™.  Best wishes, Gary

Hi Everyone,

Gary Williams, the founder of EFT World Magazine, gives EFT skeptics something to think about as he explores this "placebo idea" with an actual case.

Hugs, Gary

By Gary Williams

Hi Gary,

One of the hardest aspects that I have to deal with when working as a trainer of EFT, or introducing the process to newcomers, is having to explain what is a very strange and unusual process.  It is not surprising to me that there are so many people who are skeptical, and I have found it interesting that even skeptical people get results if they venture to try out the process.

Gary Craig has featured many interesting articles about how to deal with the skeptic and it is well worth spending time to study these articles as they can help you to build bridges with people who are resistant to the process.  

Traveling around the internet you will find a lot of talk about EFT just being a placebo, like a doctor’s sugar pill.  In medical terms, a placebo is an inert substance that is administered to a person, and the person’s own beliefs that the substance will be effective and will allow or cause changes in their body to occur.  It is said that generally an average of 30 - 35 % of individuals who have been administered a placebo show improvement in the condition they are being treated for.

Here is what Gary Craig has to say personally about EFT and the placebo effect.  “Placebo effects require some belief in the process and this is rarely the case for newcomers to EFT.  Also, although EFT may appear to be distracting, it will not work if the client is, in fact, distracted.  That is why the client continually repeats a reminder phrase which "tunes in" to the problem”.

Recently I had an unexpected situation that allowed me to test the use of EFT in a dramatic situation which was also an event that brought into mind the placebo effect.  Like me you may have come across many unpleasant scenes in your life, scenes that leave you upset and feeling maybe a little queasy or uncomfortable in some way.

Such a scene confronted me recently on a trip to my city centre.  I was traveling in a crowded bus, with the usual daredevil driving from the bus driver and the buzzing of many conversations in progress.  That was until we turned a blind corner and discovered a scene of devastation, two cars spilling out fuel and oil with smoke rising from one car which was half way up a tree, and the other car damaged to such an extent that the front of it was totally unrecognizable.

Thankfully, with the modern seat belts and airbags, only minor injuries had occurred.  What was interesting from my point of view was that normally I would shy away from such a situation, my stomach would churn and I would leave someone else to deal with this, indeed the bus driver was about to reverse his now very silent bus and customers away from the scene, even though there were no services in attendance.

What I find interesting now is that I simply asked the driver to let me off and found myself approaching the scene of devastation and asking people if they were OK.  One young girl was absolutely hysterical, screaming and not making much sense at all.  

I approached her, looking her in the eye and said, “What I am about to do is a little strange,” and then began tapping her on the face and hands whilst still holding her gaze.  Within a matter of seconds, to my own surprise, she stopped shaking and became totally calm.  It was as though we had built an island of calm amongst the chaos.

I can remember her saying “I am going to be late to pick up my father” - a strange thing to say, but I just reminded her that she had had an accident and that picking up her father would have to wait.  Meanwhile the services had been called and then when they arrived she calmly climbed into an ambulance to be assessed.

It wasn’t until I actually began to do my shopping that I thought about what had just occurred.  What was interesting was that this lady had no idea about what I was about to do, we had no rapport as I was a total stranger, and also she had no idea about what EFT was or how it worked.  So it is interesting how it still helped her to find a level of calmness that just talking to her would not have achieved, especially so quickly.  I know I have tried to calm people in the past by just talking and believe me it takes a lot longer.  So is EFT a placebo?

Gary Williams


Explore our newest advancement, Optimal EFT™, by reading my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™. More efficient. More powerful.