EFT LOWERS CORTISOL LEVELS
One-Hour Session Reduces the Weight-Gain Hormone by 24%
A study to be published in October in the prestigious Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, the oldest peer-reviewed psychology journal in the United States, found that Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) lowered the major stress hormone cortisol significantly more than other interventions tested.
In a randomized controlled trial (the gold standard of scientific research), 83 subjects were randomly assigned to a single hour-long session of EFT, talk therapy, or rest. Their cortisol levels were measured via a saliva test before and after the session. Cortisol is the “master hormone” regulating many aspects of the body’s stress response mechanisms. The researchers hypothesized that successful therapy would lower stress and that this would be reflected biochemically in a reduced level of salivary cortisol and psychologically in reduced levels of anxiety, depression, and other symptoms of psychological distress.
The results showed that cortisol levels in the rest and therapy groups declined by an average of 14%, while the EFT group declined 24%. The decline in this physiological marker of stress was also significantly correlated with a decline in anxiety, depression, and other psychological symptoms as measured by a standard psychological assessment tool.
The human body is designed to release cortisol only at times of physical danger, to help the body mobilize to fight or flee from that threat. The level of cortisol and other adrenal hormones such as adrenaline are supposed to subside when the danger passes. The human body is not meant to live in a constant “bath” of cortisol and adrenaline. Unfortunately, that is exactly what is happening to many people in today’s stressful world. Most are not responding to physical danger but to traffic, work worries, financial problems, and the myriad other stresses of modern life. Continually elevated cortisol levels are known to contribute to a range of physical and psychological problems, including weight gain and obesity, digestive and metabolic problems, fatigue, weakened immunity, anxiety, depression, and even diseases such as diabetes, Cushing’s syndrome, and cardiovascular disease.
Cortisol has become a hot topic as its role in weight gain has become more widely known. Chronic stress keeps the body in a state of mobilizing carbohydrates and fat for energy to respond to the perceived threat (the body doesn’t distinguish between the chronic stress of daily life and the acute stress of an attacker with a knife). This signals the body to eat more carbohydrates and fat. That is the physiological mechanism behind why weight gain and obesity often result from chronic stress. In addition, stress contributes to “emotional”
Stress reduction has long been cited as vital for health. The study provides specific evidence of how EFT reduces stress. EFT is a noninvasive technique that pairs the recall of emotional upsets (a form of exposure therapy, a common method in psychology) with physical stimulation of specific points on the body to discharge stress (as identified by thousands of years of use in acupuncture)
A flurry of products called “cortisol blockers” have appeared on the market as weight-loss supplements, though no research to date has demonstrated that cortisol blockers are effective in lowering cortisol levels. EFT has now demonstrated its effectiveness and, unlike various drugs and supplements touted to lower cortisol, it has no side effects.
EFT is a central part of the Skinny Genes Program, which was developed by weight-loss coach Brittany Watkins (www.SkinnyGenesFit.com)
The study’s authors are Dawson Church, PhD, of the Foundation for Epigenetic Medicine; Garret Yount, PhD, of the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute; and Audrey Brooks, PhD, of the University of Arizona—Tucson psychology department. Article citation: Church D, Yount G, Brooks A. “The effect of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) on stress biochemistry:
For more information visit the EFT research bibliography at www.EFTuniverse.com.