New Study Shows Energy Healing Modality May Affect Gene Expression

IONS scientist Dr. Garret Yount, along with collaborator Dr. Dawson Church, is doing a series of exciting experiments on the effects of Emotion Freedom Techniques (EFT) on biochemistry and gene expression.

EFT is a noninvasive technique that uses elements of cognitive therapy and exposure therapy, and combines them with acupressure. It is one of several modalities that are considered “energy healing” techniques.

In their first study, Drs. Yount and Church looked at the effect of EFT on stress biochemistry [1], comparing cortisol levels in subjects who received either talk therapy, EFT, or rest. The results showed that anxiety and depression declined significantly more in the EFT group, while cortisol (a hormone indicating stress levels) also dropped significantly. This gave them the impetus to take their research to the next level and explore whether EFT can affect the expression of a panel of genes associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In a paper published last month Yount and Church share the the first evidence supporting this notion [2].

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