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Effect of Emotional Freedom Technique and Diaphragmatic Breathing on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
Soul Medicine Institute Identifier:
First received: August 8, 2007
Last updated: September 21, 2009
Last verified: September 2009
A great many soldiers are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Clinical experience with many people has shown the effectiveness of the techniques of Energy Psychology for rapidly alleviating PTSD symptoms. The study proposes to determine whether a very brief course of treatment (3 sessions) with a common form of Energy Psychology called Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) has an effect on the stress biochemistry of subjects, by measuring their levels of stress hormones (cortisol, DHEA) before and after treatment.

Condition Intervention Phase
Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic Behavioral: Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) Phase 1

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Participant, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Effect of Emotional Freedom Technique and Diaphragmatic Breathing on PTSD

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Soul Medicine Institute:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Change in baseline cortisol and DHEA production [ Time Frame: Six months ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Changes in scores on Trauma Assessment Inventory and other instruments normed for trauma [ Time Frame: Six months ]

Estimated Enrollment: 12
Study Start Date: September 2007
Study Completion Date: January 2009
Primary Completion Date: January 2009 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Detailed Description:

The Purpose of the Research: The purpose of this study is to test the effectiveness of Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) versus Diaphragmatic Breathing in Reducing Post Traumatic Stress Disorders.

The Scientific or Scholarly Rationale: Clinical experience and anecdotal reports have demonstrated EFT to be effective for a wide range of behavioral disorders, including PTSD. However with the exception of several studies demonstrating the efficacy of EFT for the treatment of simple phobias, there have been no formal research studies in this area. It is the intention of this study to extend the phobia studies to the area of PTSD, and to determine what other conditions EFT might be effective in treating. Another intention of this study is to see whether, and to what degree, changes in psychological functioning (as measure by the PAI and TSI) are reflected in physiological markers such as HRV (Heart Rate Variability) and levels of cortisol and DHEA.

The Procedures to be Performed: Approximately 8 to 10 subjects would be randomly designated to either the experimental or Diaphragmatic Breathing control groups. There will be 4-5 subjects in the EFT experimental group and 4-5 subjects in the control Diaphragmatic Breathing group.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 70 Years   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • PTSD
  • Recent Service in Afghanistan or Iraq
  • Good Health History

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Illegal Drug Use
  • Recent Physical Trauma
  • Head injuries, concussions, amputees
  • Mental health issues prior to entering military service
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00514956

United States, West Virginia
Marshall University Medical School
Charleston, West Virginia, United States
Marshall University, Joan Edwards School of Medicine
Huntington, West Virginia, United States, 25701
Sponsors and Collaborators
Soul Medicine Institute
Study Director: Dawson Church, PhD Soul Medicine Institute
  More Information

Additional Information:
Church, D., Geronilla, L., & Dinter, I. (2009) Psychological symptom change in veterans after six sessions of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). International Journal of Healing and Caring, January, 9:1.

Responsible Party: Dawson Church, Executive Director, Soul Medicine Institute Identifier: NCT00514956     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: PTSD-ACEP-SMI-MU-1
Study First Received: August 8, 2007
Last Updated: September 21, 2009

Keywords provided by Soul Medicine Institute:
Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD)

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Stress Disorders, Traumatic
Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic
Trauma and Stressor Related Disorders
Mental Disorders processed this record on July 21, 2017