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Bond Researchers Tap Into Student Anxiety

A team of Bond University researchers is working with Year 10 school students to determine if ‘psychological acupuncture’ is effective in reducing exam stress.

Psychological acupuncture – also known as Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) – involves using two fingers to tap rapidly on specific acupressure points on the face and body while focusing on a specific problem or issue.

Recent studies have shown that the simple technique is just as effective as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in controlling food cravings.

“In those trials, EFT appeared to be superior to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in decreasing depression and anxiety in the short term,” said Assistant Professor Peta Stapleton who is heading the study.

“As such, it will be interesting to see how it affects students who struggle to focus on study and homework and who stress out over exams.”

Year 10 students at Varsity College on the Gold Coast are currently undergoing a five-week trial of the technique.

“This is the ideal time for students to learn stress management techniques in preparation for the more serious challenges of Years 11 and 12 and university,” said Dr Stapleton.

“EFT is particularly empowering because we can teach people to do it to themselves. Whilst it is based on the principles of acupuncture, it is totally painless, doesn’t require needles and doesn’t have to be administered by a practitioner or therapist.”

The Bond team will also investigate whether the technique can be used to impact healthy eating choices, physical activity levels and personal resilience in a second EFT study with a group of Year 9 students from Helensvale High School.


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