Robyn Chuter is a plant-based “recovering naturopath” and wellness researcher from New South Wales, Australia. She's particularly interested in how groups of people support each other's health journeys, and is currently running an ethnographic study on a whole food, plant-based Facebook support group to identify effective strategies and barriers to behavior change.
Robyn is also a practitioner and avid fan of a healing modality known as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), or “Tapping,” as it's sometimes known.
EFT has been called “emotional acupuncture without needles,” and has been credited by many people with almost instantly curing their phobias, calming their anxieties, and stilling their emotional turmoil
I wanted to talk with Robyn about EFT since I'm an evidence-based skeptic of things like that, and Robyn is no dew-eyed mystic chanting over prayer beads either.
Prior to the interview, I did a bit of homework on EFT, checking for evidence of effectiveness in the medical literature. I didn't find much – most of the pages I came across featured articles and reviews “debunking” the claims of EFT.
Of course, that's pretty much the state of play for anything that hasn't been fully accepted by the medical and cultural mainstream, including UFOs, the dangers of vaccines, and a plant-based diet as the first line of defense against disease.
So I told Robyn that this wouldn't be a softball interview. I was open to being convinced, but I needed to see good evidence that EFT was something more than an elaborate placebo for the gullible.
In our conversation, we covered:
- Robyn's early years as a naturopath learning good science and some “weird and wonderful stuff”
- transitioning to the practice of lifestyle medicine rather than a pusher of pills and potions
- the unique challenges that women face when they try to take care of themselves
- “coping with a velcro child”
- decoupling a distressing thought from the stress response that would ordinary follow
- EFT as activation of the relaxation response while considering a stressful stimulus
- achieving the “holy grail” of cognitive behavioral therapy, the cognitive shift
- the Dawson Church studies on EFT and cortisol levels
- dismissing the placebo effect through sham tapping studies
- how our past can hijack our present (split second judgments on what is safe and what isn't)
- advanced EFT: matrix imprinting
- the Stapleton studies on food cravings and EFT
- customizing lifestyle medicine for different learning and communication styles
- the new science of “netnography”
- applying Kurt Lewin's 3-step change model to lifestyle improvements
- and much more…
Enjoy, add your voice to the conversation via the comment box below, and please share – that's how we spread our message and spread our roots.
Robyn's practice site: EmpowerTotalHealth.com.au
EmoFree: Gary Craig's original EFT site
EFTUniverse: Dawson Church's EFT research and practice site
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