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Investigating some possible explanations for the efficacy of TFT

By May 25, 2017 No Comments

Thought Field Therapy


The purpose of this paper is to express my personal view of the benefits of Thought Field Therapy (TFT) a no-needle acupuncture treatment used to treat the effects of negative emotion and to investigate some possible explanations for its efficacy. The limited amount of literature on Thought Field Therapy essentially suggested looking outside the box for a viable explanation.

The points of view contained in this paper include opinions that support the curative effects of TFT and opinions of those who are skeptical that TFT is effective. These points of view primarily serve to make a point or a comparison.

This paper is not intended to be comprehensive of all points of view or to provide a scientific evidence based explanation. The literature and research regarding this topic is limited and evolving, but instead this paper presents a snapshot view of one person’s personal experience. A comprehensive case study would exceed the parameters of this paper, and in fact would overflow volumes of discourse and still not come to an amenable conclusion.


The effectiveness of TFT remains under the microscope and challenges the tenets of conventional therapy and the scientific world at-large. The non-invasive unconventional methods used to relieve negative emotional disturbances are in question, yet there are still positive results that leave practitioners and patients perplexed. The effects of TFT beg the question, are we willing to open our minds to alternative less invasive treatments for psychological problems?

How Does It Work

Thought Field Therapy: A personal experience

Depression, anxiety, fear, trauma, anger, frustration, and tremor among other negative emotions defined my existence until I met Dr. Caroline Sakai and TFT. In a few short months of treatment, I experienced a number of life changing benefits, but the most notable include: a sense of relief that escapes explanation, an increase in energy, and clarity of thought. Needless to say, I am amazed at the astonishing results from TFT.

Dr. Sakai allowed me to reveal as much of the problem as I wanted or as little as I needed to get to the root of the negative emotion. By using muscle testing, she identified where my body held the perturbation and which energy meridian(s) needed to be unblocked. I must admit, at first I felt a twinge of skepticism, but even Sigmund Freud dealt with the skeptics. Once Dr. Sakai found the blocked meridians, she wrote out the necessary tapping sequence much like a doctor writes a prescription but the beauty of this prescription is that there are no side effects.

After tapping on specific meridian points, the sense of relief I felt cannot be described in words. TFT gave me hope and a means to heal the years of “psychache” along with a kind of “joie de vivre” that escaped me for the better part of my 52 years of life.

When I first started with Dr. Sakai, suicidal ideations relentlessly invaded my thoughts. TFT turned my thoughts of suicide into an excitement for life that I have never known and offered me relief where six years of conventional therapy didn’t come close to achieving. After a TFT treatment, the memory may still remain but the overwhelming affect of the negative emotion diminishes or disappears. Feeling well takes getting used to but is a welcome change from playing Russian roulette with my emotions.

Moreover, conventional therapy required me to re-live the disturbances and traumatic experiences that caused my emotional instability. The processes of conventional therapy created painful memories and unpleasant physical responses. In fact, I gave up on therapy altogether because getting well seemed unattainable. Conversely, TFT focused on locating where the feeling resided physically and either eliminated or alleviated my problem. This result happened because of a desire for change and through clearing the thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations known as the “thought field”.

In addition, my energy level increased significantly. I no longer felt lethargic, unable to get out of bed to face the day or the overwhelming fatigue and depleted energy symptomatic of conditions like depression and anxiety. The abundance of energy allowed me to increase the intensity of my exercise workouts, the capability to complete tasks in a timely manner with focus and concentration, and to engage in activities I once avoided because of fatigue. It is a wonderful feeling to be productive again.

I believe that tapping to unblock the energy clearly contributed to my improved clarity of thought. I especially began to notice the improvement in my ability to receive and process information. I can only attribute the improvement to the flow of energy I felt. For most of my life, I felt dumb, unable to learn but worst of all, I believed it. Now, I can feel my brain processing thought. My brain’s ability to receive and process information never ceases to be less than amazing to me.

The great relief, increased energy, and clarity of thought from TFT left me wondering how this turnaround happened in less than three months of treatment. More importantly, it left me with a mystery I felt compelled to solve. At least for myself if not, for others.

– B.D.

Changing Perceptions

The curative properties of TFT incited my curiosity. Conventional science like conventional therapy did not provide a sensible explanation for this phenomenon. Perhaps this may suggest a need for a change in perception or a paradigm shift. Consequently, TFT left me with no other choice but to look for an answer that would help me make sense of what I felt. My quest for an explanation began on the internet, then, I saw two movies, What the Bleep: Down the Rabbit Hole and The Secret, and I read The Field by Lynne McTaggart. What follows represents my attempt to synthesize the information and my own conjectures based on my interpretation of the information.

The recurring theme in the films and the book centered around the theories of quantum physics. Quantum theory attempts to explain the relationship of matter and energy in the universe contrary to classical physics which tries to explain the physical nature of matter. After watching the movies and reading, I was convinced that somehow quantum physics offered a potential explanation as to how TFT works. I struggled to find a way to make the connection between quantum theory and TFT, to explain how quantum physics elucidated the benefits of TFT, so that, it made sense to me.

I realized that TFT represented the missing piece to the puzzle, that there appeared to be a direct correlation between quantum physics and TFT. Quantum physics claims that everything is energy including our thoughts. Canfield (2007) said ,
“Everything is energy. If we go to quantum physics we realize everything is energy and what controls the flow of energy is thought and feeling. It’s a vibration.” (The Oprah Winfrey Show, 2007).

Furthermore, they claimed that the energy of our thoughts directly affected our physical condition. McTaggart (2004) said,
“We now have science to backup what our thoughts do. Thoughts make our body weak. Scientists are studying this with behavioral kinesiology and other ways. Thoughts create your reality” (What the Bleep, 2004).

Therefore, if thoughts and feelings controlled the flow of energy and if thoughts can make our body weak, then it stands to reason that if we have negative thoughts we prevent the flow of energy in our body. Hence, TFT provides the solution to the blocked energy in our body from negative “thought fields” and completes the puzzle.

After further consideration, it hit me that TFT confirmed what I thought. We lost our energy because our “thought fields” caused us to be out of balance energetically; we needed to change our minds and unblock the flow of energy. How? TFT. If you are suffering physically and mentally from the effects of depression, anger, frustration, and other negative emotions, then you cannot think clearly until the symptoms are eliminated.

Picture in your mind a symphony orchestra. Each instrument must be in tune to create a harmonious sound. When the pianist taps on the piano key, the hammer strikes the string and sends a vibration that is in harmony with the rest of the orchestra. If the piano is out of tune, there is discord until the piano can be tuned to bring back its ability to be harmonious with the orchestra. Think of your body as the piano and the universe as the orchestra.

Science and spirituality find themselves moving closer toward one another in explaining the connection between mind, body, and spirit. Both are headed on a collision course toward connectedness. It is my belief that at the point of the merge they will be unified in finding new discoveries to provide new treatments for old ailments. It appears that the human race is reaching a higher level of thinking to keep up with the frequency of the universe.

Thought Field Therapy and The Skeptics

Thought Field Therapy faces the same problems that many other theorists in psychology have faced over the last century. Van Wagner (2007) wrote,
“Freud’s theories of psychosexual stages, the unconscious, and dream symbolism remain a popular topic among both psychologists and laypersons, despite the fact that his work is viewed with skepticism by many today. Many of Freud’s observations and theories were based on clinical cases and case studies, making his findings difficult to generalize to the larger population” (, 2007).

Despite the skepticism that Freud faced, his theories influenced the development of psychology and inspired other theorists to develop more theories. Their work has laid the groundwork for new discoveries in treating the mind and body.

So, why should it be surprising that TFT’s Callahan has met with the same skepticism as Freud. Anything new causes fear and doubt until we see its effectiveness.

Thought Field Therapy vs. Conventional Therapy

In my opinion, there are significant differences between TFT and conventional therapy. TFT is non-invasive, provides relief at the point of treatment, and has a short treatment plan. Conventional therapy relies on procedures like, reframing, behavioral changes, and other techniques coupled with anti-depressant, anti-anxiety medications with side effects. These techniques can require a long and intense treatment plan.

Obviously the discussion deserves more than one paragraph, but the intention is not to be comprehensive in comparing the two modalities. Although conventional therapy currently enjoys the support of the American Psychological Association, it is just a matter of time before TFT becomes the norm.

Current Thinking

Both movies repeatedly said we needed to change our thinking in order to experience new potentials and possibilities by breaking the old thought patterns in our brain and to change the chemistry associated with our responses. We needed to be cognizant of the law of associative memory and its impacts on our thoughts and feelings of the present. They believe in order to change our reality we must base our future potential and possibilities on the unknown instead of allowing events of our past to shape our future. If the past shapes our future, then we only create more of the past.

Quantum physics and its scholars are paving the way to a new way of seeing the world we live in. Developing new theories to influence how we understand what we see or should I say, don’t see in the universe and attempting to understand the role and effects of energy. McTaggart (2001) says, “In the alternative community, words like ‘subtle energy’ were often bandied about, but the debunker in me was left dissatisfied. Where was this energy coming from? Where did it reside? What was so subtle about it? Were there such things as human energy fields? And did they account not only for these alternative forms of healing but also for many of life’s mysteries that couldn’t be explained? Was there an energy source that we really didn’t understand?” (The Field, 2001, p. VIII).


The questions have been asked and the answers will certainly include TFT. What the bleep we do know is that the secret is Thought Field Therapy and the field is the “thought field”. It’s time.

Research questions:

What is the relationship between quantum physics and Thought Field Therapy?
Are the effects the same for tapping physically or imaginally?
Are there differences in Heart Rate Variability when physically tapping and imagining tapping?
Could staying in the “thought field” without tapping serve as a placebo?


In closing, I would like to leave you with a few excerpts from What the Bleep: Down the Rabbit Hole. These excerpts helped me to see why Thought Field Therapy works. Give pause and make up your own mind.

Amit Goswami, Ph. D.

“We must reach this non-ordinary state of consciousness before we become the creator of our own reality.”

Candace Pert, Ph. D.

“The body wants to heal itself and the limits are in our own minds of what we believe is possible. So much more is possible than we appreciate”.

Lynne McTaggart

“We are all connected by an energy field”.

John Hagelin, Ph. D.
“There is only one consciousness, only one unified field. We individualize our consciousness through the filter of our own nervous system”.

Joseph Dispenza, D. C.

“When little things happen that are so unexplainable, I know they are a process or the result of my creation, and the more I do it, the more I break the neuronets in my brain to accept that it’s possible. Gives me the incentive to do it the next day.”

“Everybody secretly is an adventurer. Everybody loves the adventure. It’s just taking that first step and once they have the moment of insight, that moment of insight carries a frequency, it carries a message. The cells of the body are enlivened by possibility, they’re enlivened by unknown potentials, they’re enlivened by a future history of possibility or future possibility that may be down the rabbit hole a little further.

And if they allow themselves to experience the quandary and the mysticism and the possibility, that’s when they emerge from the rabbit hole, and they’re a different person and now, they go back into their world and, because they processed the information and left footprints in the mind and in the brain, their perception of the world will never be the same”.

“To ask the great questions, to begin to formulate possibilities means we have to stop the normal way in which we think. We begin to speculate potential and possibilities. The whole purpose in life is to change ourselves and modify our actions to have a new experience.

To ask the great question is to say, I’ve experienced everything I know. Now, I want to experience something else”.


McTaggart, L., (2002), The Field The quest for the secret force of the universe, HarperCollins Publishers, New York, N.Y.

The Oprah Winfrey Show, Harpo Studios, 2007 The Secret, Primetime Productions, DVD, 2006 Van Wagner, K., The Psychodynamic Approach, Retrieved from the internet Jan 28,2007 What the Bleep & Down the Rabbit Hole, Captured Light and Lord of the Wind Films, LLS, DVD, 2004

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