Alternative strategies to boost behaviour and concentration

You may be sceptical about ‘alternative health’ strategies, but if they achieve positive results, could they be worth trying anyway? This week we share with you a video about Juan, a teacher in Quito, Ecuador, who enables five-year-olds to use simple ‘tapping techniques’ in the classroom, which appear to boost concentration, raise self-esteem and improve behaviour. He says the results are impressive – so what’s not to like?

It may look weird. It may sound weird. It probably feels weird, too, but this video shows how a ‘first grade’ teacher is using a self-help tool known as ‘meridian tapping’, ‘Emotional Freedom Techniques’, or simply ‘EFT’ to help his students concentrate over longer periods. He also says it’s helping them with their self-esteem, and as an intervention for behaviour issues.

‘Energy meridians’

EFT is a therapeutic tool that “draws on various theories of alternative medicine including acupuncture, neuro-linguistic programming, energy medicine, and Thought Field Therapy. During an EFT session, the client will focus on a specific issue while tapping on so-called ‘end points of the body’s energy meridians’. An affirming statement is repeated while tapping on these pressure points.

Teacher Juan says that if he had “not lived and felt it (EFT), he would not have believed it”. Many of his colleagues called him crazy, he says, but it works.

The video also shows primary children playing with Tappy Bear, a specially designed ted who teaches all about the special tapping points.

EFT UK claims the method has other benefits – including reducing disruptive behaviour, elimination of test anxiety and enhanced maths skills – and has visited schools to spread the word. They say it’s already in place in an Edinburgh High School, and a school near Aberdeen.

Should alternative approaches like EFT be adopted in schools more widely around the world, or should these claims be taken with a pinch of salt? Watch the video showing EFT in action with primary pupils here, and tell us what you think…


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