Got Tapped?

In his first post for the MSS, Allan take a look at needle-free acupuncture and Emotional Freedom Technique…

I was so overcome with joy when I discovered what I am about to tell you that I am now writing with my eyes full of salty tears, warm and wet with emotion… Friends! I come to you with Good News!

Are you – a beautiful, delicate human soul – suffering from some sort of emotional pain, or physical ailment? Do your unique thoughts blossom as the daisies in the meadow, but often gravitate onto grave issues that induce effects from the mild melancholic to chronic, debilitating depression, perhaps interfering with your mathematical abilities? Do intrusive, perhaps obsessive thoughts on your disruptive encounters with precious friends or beloved family trouble you in your daily life, causing a phobia of lifts or dyslexia? Are the ongoing effects of war and rape pushing up your golf handicap, troubling your urination or just leaving you with an untidy room?

  • Would you like to completely overcome all of these problems and many more in just minutes?
  • Would you like to harness the completely unverifiable, but incredibly powerful meridian and chakra knowledge of the ancient Chinese? Then…

*shudders* For a minute there, I felt like a Chopra.

Where was I?

Ah yes! What we all really want in these twisted, perverted modern times is the ability to have all of our guilty pleasures without any of the guilt, take heart from our healthy pleasures without spending time on them, in short to have our horseshit without the pressing need for a horse. Sugar-free sweets, fat-free butter, exertion-free exercise, arsenic-free arsenic solution, cure-free cures and, of course, needle-free acupuncture.

Those deliciously died brows, like a pair of slugs engaged in a fireside chat over a light ale, hang upon the gentle brow of the ‘genius’ that is the inventor of our needle-free future, Gary Craig. Gary has brought us the impossible dream, a therapy so advanced that it will literally solve all of humankind’s emotional and physical problems, while leaving those blessed beings touched by this healing only with the lingering effects of being tapped. Yes! Gary – who isn’t the love child of Richard Dawkins and Jackie Stewart, despite those glorious brows – screams at us, though really I’m sure his tapping has calmed him to the point where he barely whispers his message, that the Emotional Freedom Technique ( – yes. Emofree. And?) is “a powerful new discovery that combines two well-established sciences”. What are these two well-established sciences? Well I’m glad you asked, and so is Gary. Here’s the list:

  • Mind Body Medicine.
  • Acupuncture (without needles).

At this point I started to wonder which dictionary this chap uses when he throws around a term like ‘science’ in relation to ‘acupuncture’ (which is surely just ‘acu’ if the puncturing is dropped, no?), leaving aside ‘Mind Body Medicine’ which is as empty and fatuous a term as anyone who spends a few minutes digging around in google is likely to find. Why would anyone think acupuncture is a science?

Well, there are scientific studies that find some benefit from acupuncture, so it might be reasonable to accept that and go along with the wisdom of the ancient Chinese. … Unless you look at the scientific studies that show acupuncture is ineffective, or look to the studies that show sham acupuncture as at least, sometimes more effective than ‘proper’ acupuncture. Acupuncture works by convincing people, through ritual, authority and the fairly scary procedure involved, that it will be effective, producing a classic conditioned response. More salivating dog than salvation from dog-eaters.

So how does it work then? Well, for an ‘authoritative’ guide there’s a free e-book or two floating around and a suite of videos on that there youtube to bring you well up to speed, like this one from – that’s right…


Anyway, the video:

It does ask you to suspend your disbelief for a while… perhaps the rest of your life, in fact. The soothing music certainly helps in that regard, but for those of you who are unwilling or unable to invest yourselves in 19 minutes of pure, unadulterated comedy, then here’s your brief, very brief, overview:

  1. Cultivate the feeling you wish to work on.
  2. Tap on a point on your body (The karate chop point on your hand is mentioned in that video)
  3. Repeat a mantra of deeply-meaningful, meaningless nonsense. (“Even though I have this feeling, I deeply and completely accept myself.”)
  4. Repeat

Then you need to ‘clear your nerve channels’ – I know that sounds ridiculously new-agey, and of course we wouldn’t want to be spouting anything ridiculously new-agey or “woo-woo” this is just a standing wave in a specific part of your nervous system that needs to be unblocked. No, really. They say this. With a straight face. Standing waves of negative energy blocking your nervous system.

Genius… Right, err… Clearing the nerve channel. Here we are:

  1. Tap the bridge of your nose with two fingers and say “This feeling”.
  2. Tap the side of your eye and say “This feeling”.
  3. Repeat for under your eye, under the nose, on your chin while saying “This feeling”
  4. With the flat of your hand, tap your collar bone and say, guess what?… “This feeling”
  5. Back to tapping with your fingers, this time on your fingers and thumb, except for the ring finger (Which can be different in each culture. Strange to skip that… almost as though there’s nothing to this but bs… anyway… ) and, of course… “This feeling”

That’s it! And you don’t have to worry about getting it exactly right in exactly the right spot… it’s all connected and it all works…

So there we are with a debunked list of ‘well-established sciences’, a bizarre ritual and EFT (acu?) is standing proudly, chest puffed, atop the twin pillars of Empty Verbiage and Placebo – the foundations of woo are strong in this one. What mighty, intractable problems of modern life could possibly resist it?

Clearly, this isn’t a medical procedure, we want to make that quite clear from the off… You know, they’d get in trouble for saying that, and Gary goes out of his way to cover his arse on the front page:

“Nothing contained herein should be considered a medical claim or medical advice. For more, read our EFT Info and Disclaimer Document…

Which is fair and right and just, we wouldn’t want people to think they could skip some of their pills, lotions, scans, samples, biopsies, injections, special dietary requirements, sessions or radiotherapy would we Gary? Of course we wouldn’t Gary. Well said, Gaz.

Hold on, Gary… What the fuck is this?

“…we urge you to bring these procedures to the attention of your physician(s) as they may reduce the need for drugs, surgeries, radiation and the like.”

So come on, what do you reckon this works for Gary?

  • Weight loss
  • OCD
  • Abuse
  • Allergies
  • Bulimia
  • Smoking
  • Addictions
  • ADHD
  • Depression
  • Anorexia
  • PTSD
  • Phobias
  • Dyslexia
  • Detoxing
  • Headaches
  • Short/Long
  • Sightedness

Really, Gary? The root problem with Diabetes, Asthma and Blood Pressure is ‘emotional’? All we need to do to rid ourselves of these modern, killer plagues is tap away on our karate chop point? Is that it? Ahh… but we should remember, shouldn’t we, that you ‘urge’ people to go to their GP as they ’may’ be able to reduce their reliance on medicine that has unequivocal benefits based on the ‘benefits’ of this utter nonsense you’re peddling. These sensible, everyday people who are taking their advice on healthcare from the internet…

…and Short/Long sightedness? Are we supposed to believe that the changing shape of our eyes over time is in part or in whole due to emotional problems? What’s this about…

“At the end of each session, I give the client a one page EFT instruction sheet. I ask her to read it to ensure that the instructions match what we did in our session and I give her the instructions to use on her own. She picked up the sheet and said in astonishment, “I can read it without my glasses; I didn’t realize I was so angry it affected my vision.”

About a week later she gave me this testimonial. “I found that EFT relaxed me enough that my vision improved doing training and has remained as a lasting benefit.”

Rich Block” – Source: Emo Free

Rich Block. Richard Block.

Richard, or ‘Dick’.

Block, or ‘Head’.

This whole thing reads like a wind-up, and the videos seem like a really contrived comedy routine. The great and lasting sadness to all of this, for me, is that there are pharmacies who are involved in pushing this in our midst, there’s one about 100m from my door.

This woo factory: Orrell Park Therapy, is owned by its neighbour: Orrell Park Pharmacy, with Diana Cheung, as the trained pharmacist owner offering such ‘complimentary’ delights (in the medicine, rather than the free mint sense, one presumes):

  • Acupuncture
  • Reflexology
  • Aromatherapy
  • Hopi [Ear] Candles
  • Lymphatic Drainage Massage
  • Alexander Technique Reiki


  • Emotional Freedom Technique

That’s right folks, you too can indulge yourself with a treatment of tapping karate points around your body while muttering nonsense for JUST 40 of your hard-earned, or ill-gotten, depending on your disposition, pounds.

I leave you with the words of what appears to be a fully qualified MD who pushes EFT. Eric Robins:

“…I’m not really a miracle worker at all, you just get used to seeing patients having really miraculous healings…”

Thanks, Mr Miracleworkerman. Pure. Comedy. Gold.

…and just to let you know, the temptation to misspell dyslexia up at the top was almost overpowering. Almost.

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  1. #1 by Marina on January 19, 2010 - 15:27

    Don’t knock it until you try it. I just helped my mother with her back ache yesterday, teaching her how to use EFT on herself and with 3 rounds it was gone. And she’s a double neuro biology phd highly skeptical scientist. I also cured my fear of flying with it completely.

    Who cares about the science behind it if it works?

    It certainly can’t hurt anything to try. But I’ll give you one thing. The first video is very dry and does look weird.

    I prefer this method above all else, both in presentation and content:

    I am not an expert by any means but I know it’s helped me tremendously and I will continue to share the method with people to help themselves.

    Have a great day!

  2. #2 by Dana on January 19, 2010 - 17:56

    Well I decided to try this out to cure my anger issues. About 8 minutes in I was still angry and threw my netbook across the room smashing it. I’m going to sue him for the cost of the netbook.

    But seriously, if people believe hard enough something will work they might start seeing or experiencing something. That doesn’t mean its cured you of your actual physical ailment.

  3. #3 by Allan on January 19, 2010 - 18:18

    3 rounds of double brandy will both soothe the muscles and stiffen the resolve… you are talking about doing shots there, right?

  4. #4 by Allan on January 19, 2010 - 18:22

    I think I mentioned that, the classic conditioning response. They believe something minor is going to happen, so something does,or they think it does. Just long enough to fire of a missive to their eft-er…

    It’s most certainly not going to clear up your diabetes, reduce the amount of radiotherapy you’re current undertaking or diddle with the prescription for your nasal-borne lenses of IQ.

  5. #5 by Mel on January 20, 2010 - 18:32

    As the previous poster has already said, don’t knock it until you have tried it. I have also used EFT on myself with great effect for my very severe phobia – nothing else would shift this phobia including conventional talk therapy or medication for the anxiety and I’d had it for over 15 years! I was so impressed with the results of EFT that i trained as a practitioner and I’m now helping others to overcome their phobia or trauma.

    It’s great to be sceptical and I agree that some alternative treatments are not that credible BUT EFT has been proven to work in THOUSANDS of documented cases.

    Best of all, with a bit of research you can do it yourself for simple things like stress relief. You only need an experienced practioner for more serious issues such as phobias and trauma – the technique shown on the video is the most basic starting point for EFT; it gets much more complicated than that! Especially when dealing with serious issues as these have to be treated by ‘sneaking up on the issue’ to avoid further trauma or stress.

    I grant you that the hype can sometimes give the impression that a phobia can be cleared in a couple of minutes, which is not true in my experience BUT it is still much faster and more effective than traditional methods. I recently helped a lady with a very severe case of claustraphobia (which she’d had for 30 years +) clear it completely within 2 x 60 minute sessions. Less than 10 days after our 2nd session she was able to fly for the first time in her life, whereas before she wasn’t even able to think about flying or even going to an airport, without having a serious panic attack. Her phobia was so bad that she refused to even get in a lift – now she doesn’t have any of the stress connected to being in an enclosed space, whereas before she felt trapped and would panic.

    She flew without any problems and without the need for medication.

    I’ve also helped a lady who had been in talk therapy for 10 YEARS to clear her past trauma (grief and a serious car accident) within 1 session. She had been really struggling for years with these issues, despite the years of therapy. I am still in contact with her and she is still doing well – none of the feelings have come back.

    Even medical doctors do not dismiss everything and some ‘alternative’ therapies are starting to be offered on the NHS.

    Please don’t go through life thinking that a pill will solve everything, because one day you will be very disappointed when the drugs don’t work!

    You don’t have to believe in EFT for it to work Allan so if you want to try it for yourself, send me an email!


  6. #6 by Allan on January 22, 2010 - 17:52

    Well,if you’ve got anecdotal evidence to back you up, then who am I to argue?

    For psychological issues, basically, almost anything COULD work, and you could be trying almost anything at the time that you COULD, automagically, get over even the worst psychological pain.

    The best thing you could do, in answer to my scepticism about repeating mindless drivel and then tapping about at random points on your body would be to organise a clinical trial for EFT, in a creditable institution, using a valid methodology and published in a reputable – i.e. not EFT Quarterly or whatever – journal.

    You don’t get points for coming up with isolated stories.

    Care to pass comment on the treatment of Diabetes using EFT?

  7. #7 by Stu on January 25, 2010 - 15:45

    Well, I watched the videos and tried it myself to see if I could cure my scepticism about EFT.

    It was to no avail – after three 60 minute sessions I still think it’s a pile of shite!

  8. #8 by peter mckenna on January 29, 2010 - 12:09

    You don’t have to believe in EFT for it to work Allan so if you want to try it for yourself, send me an email!

    beyond parody.

    reminds me of a story about the Nobel Prize winning physicist, Neils Bohr who when asked about a horseshoe on his door said

    “I believe no such thing, my good friend. Not at all. I am scarcely likely to believe in such foolish nonsense. However, I am told that a horseshoe will bring you good luck whether you believe in it or not! How can one argue with such logic?” this of course wasa joke

  9. #9 by Alison Berry on April 29, 2010 - 18:37

    It doesn’t matter if its a placebo. If a placebo works, then it has value. And if it works by being complicated and hyped rather than expensive or dangerous, that’s surely a good thing.

  10. #10 by Andy on September 20, 2011 - 23:43

    I came across Et a few weeks ago and found this controlled experiment;
    the control was to tap on a doll which was equally as effective.

(will not be published)