The effects of Access Bars on anxiety and depression: A pilot study

Citation (APA style): Hope, T. (2017). The effects of Access Bars on anxiety and depression: A pilot study. Energy Psychology: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 9(2), 26–38. doi:10.9769/EPJ.2017.9.2.TH


Anxiety and depression are highly prevalent disorders that result in human suffering. The consequences to the individual include increased health care utilization, disability, and decreased income; depression, at its current prevalence, impacts global economic output as well. Access Bars, a noninvasive energy therapy technique, was evaluated for its effects on anxiety and depression using both subjective self-report and objective brain-scanning measures.

Methods: Participants, N = 7, aged 25–68, were assessed as having mild to severe anxiety and/or depression. The assessment methods were standardized self-report measures: Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), Beck Depression Inventory–II (BDI II), State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), and the Maryland State and Trait Depression (MTSD) scale. Electroencephalogram (EEG) data were acquired for objective analysis of brain function via QEEG and sLORETA. Evaluations were performed prior to one 90-minute Access Bars session and immediately following the session. All participants tested positive for trait anxiety on pretest.

Results: Lower scores were reported in all self-report measures post session. BAI mean scores dropped from 23.3 to 3.6 (–84.7%), p = 0.004. BDI II mean scores were reduced from 22.3 to 3.9 (–82.7%), p = 0.02. STAI-S (State) means dropped from 38.9 to 25.9 (–33.5%), p = 0.027. MTSD-S (State) means were reduced from 23.6 to 4.7 (–80%), p = 0.015. Brain maps derived from QEEG results showed notable changes in frequency bands from 6 Hz (theta) to 21 Hz (beta). These frequency bands in pretest results showed extreme values of –3 to –1 standard deviations (SD) below the norm and changed toward normal in posttest results. QEEG FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) Z Score coherence paired t-tests demonstrated an improvement in QEEG coherence, p < 0.05.

Conclusion: Treatment with Access Bars was associated with a significant decrease in the severity of symptoms of anxiety and depression and an increase in EEG coherence. These results suggest that Access Bars may be useful as a treatment for anxiety and depression.

Keywords: Access Bars, anxiety, depression, QEEG

Click here for the article page on the Energy Psychology journal website 


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