I'm not sure if asking for serious scientific research on a metaphysically-based site like Inward Quest is going to necessarily get you the answers you are expecting :)
One could argue that all that scientific research is, is a cataloging of the current state of beliefs of the mass consciousness of humanity, and is only valid at this particular time. It's like a photographic snapshot of how the people of this time have molded reality to be.
There is nothing particularly immutable about scientific research because the researchers own belief systems affect their experiments. Have a look at Do scientists just make up their own answers?
So relying on scientific research to tell you what is appropriate or not appropriate for you is going to lead to you discarding many things that may have value for you because you have allowed the opinions of others to override your own opinion.
I would recommend you try EFT for yourself and see if it is beneficial for you or not.
And don't worry too much about whether it is your own belief system that is making it work or not. Every single thing in your life is there because it is a mirror of your beliefs so discarding techniques for that reason seems a little artificial.
Indeed, there can be considerable value in allowing yourself to go along with even self-manufactured (or what some might call, self-delusional) beliefs.
I have a self-manufactured belief that eating raw watercress will give me so much energy that I am literally buzzing within minutes of eating it. For me, any time my body feels even slightly tired or lethargic, a bit of watercress will sky-rocket my health and vitality.
Yet, I know this belief came about from my earlier years when I was very much into eating raw food and I got the idea from somewhere that raw watercress was some kind of superfood. I could probably create a Focus Block and completely eradicate the idea that watercress is valuable from my reality within a few minutes.
But it's a convenient belief - a gimmick, even - for me that gets me the results I want, often in dramatic and powerful fashion. So why throw out a belief that helps so much?
In a similar vein, even if EFT is a convenient belief, don't discard the value that it can bring you just for that reason.
I thought I would update this answer with an explanation of why EFT works, which I pieced together while watching the Faster EFT videos.
Since it's the first explanation I've come across of why EFT works that actually makes sense to me (and I've been wondering a long time about it!), I thought I would pass it on.
Firstly, there is a general principle in behavior change philosophies (such as NLP) that says that if you manage to "merge" a good-feeling state with a bad-feeling state, the body/brain/mind etc. will always choose to adopt the good-feeling state and discard the bad-feeling one.
Demonstrations of this effect are processes like the Swish Pattern.
Secondly, one can consider the body and the mind to be one and the same thing. I suppose you could say that the body is manifested mind.
Thoughts in the mind (if given sufficient focus) manifest as sensations (emotions) in the body. Thinking disharmonious thoughts can manifest as disharmonious bodily sensations, and thinking harmonious thoughts can manifest as harmonious bodily sensations.
Louise L Hay's Heal Your Body is basically a dictionary mapping thought to bodily sensation and vice versa.
Now the interesting thing is that harmonizing the area of the body that the disharmonious thought (or, more precisely, thought-form) is affecting can also feed back into and neutralize that particular thought-form that is causing it.
So, for example, if a certain thought-form (with enough power behind it) is causing you a pain in your arm when you focus upon it, then "healing" (in the broadest sense of the word) the pain in your arm will also "heal" (in the broadest sense of the word) the thought-form is causing it.
It's a two-way effect!
Now to link these two mentioned ideas together...
EFT involves tapping on the energy meridians (acupuncture/acupressure points) while thinking of the thing (the "thought-form") that is troubling you or alternatively (as in Robert Smith's Faster EFT system) thinking of the emotion (body sensation) that is troubling you...because, as just mentioned, they are the same thing.
The tapping on a particular point causes enough electrical stimulation to a particular bodily organ so that it deliberately relaxes/harmonizes while the tapping is being done, and since you are simultaneously focused on the troubling sensation, it also neutralizes the negative thought-form that is behind the troubling emotion...from the first principle mentioned above.
Whether the change is permanent or not depends on how much "support" the thought-form has left. (See the analogy of the table-top)
So this explains why EFT is so effective at immediately neutralizing bad-feeling thought-forms i.e. emotional/body problems
If you look at electricity you will see that it is a movement of energy (electrons-whatever)
What's important to notice is that IN MOVEMENT SOMETHING IS CREATED.
In an energy matrix that energy must move for it to be "something"
The energy I am referring to is the thing that forms the foundation to our experience.
An Idea, a concept, a philosophy, an opinion, a theory, a thought form...they all must move energetically towards becoming something.
When it doesn't move you have nothing, a void.
Conceptually, the idea of being impartial is an impossibility.
Because in the truest sense, complete impartiality is the void, and within that "impartiality" not even thought has movement in it.
So when you have an idea that forms the basis for a concept within reality, built in within it is a movement towards a certain "expectation" or "conclusion" of that movement.
That movement is always towards "something" or "not something", which in itself is something else; but it is never towards absolute impartiality which is the void. (No reality)
So everything we deal with have a momentum of movement inbuilt within the conceptualization and materialization of that phenomenon.
It will either "work" or "not work"
But you will not find the middle ground within those two states, because you need movement even in a conceptual context.
Then there are larger organizations of "intent" forming the "groupings" of our collective existence.
If a group is coming together to "TEST" a particular phenomenon, there is always an intent that is forming the basis of that effort.
The group may "officially" mandate that its purpose is to validate the said phenomenon with complete impartiality.
However, conceptually, such an intent is impossible for nothing can exist without movement, not event thought.
So the test and the participants within it are in reality thrusting the physical evidence of a "movement" into existence.
The movement is "This thing works" or "This is complete nonsense, it doesn't work".
Let me repeat again, the individual has to make a choice as it is energetically impossible to be completely impartial towards the outcome of something, for such impartiality actually doesn't and cannot exist.
But to arrive at this conclusion one has to begin the process of observing the nature of consciousness, an area that is not the usual playground of the gatekeepers of "truth".
When presented with this argument, there is always some "nutter" who will invariably post something to the effect of "Are you saying that if you believe with enough intent, anything that you focus on is manifest able?"
And the answer to that is, fist come up with the example of something that is beyond the realm of possibility, and then ask yourself, how did you have the intelligence to know where that "line" of possibility and impossibility lay so that you could formulate your example within the area of impossibility.
Your consciousness is intelligent.
You always know what is possible and what is impossible.
It is your foundation.
Built upon this foundation, you are free to play the game of "authentication".
And give yourselves an authority of importance for your ability to authenticate what is possible and what is not.
Deep within yourself you know where the truth lies in this game.
And when it matter's you reach for the truth. For most people that place is called being between a rock and a hard place.
That's when you know if you are a believer or a skeptic.
I have no scientific explanations; you can look up the study Vesuvius mentioned or do some on-line research, but I will tell you about my personal experience with EFT.
A friend told me about it a couple of years ago and swore by its efficacy. She gave me a print-out about how to do it, and I signed up for the weekly EFT e-mail newsletters, which would explain many successful cases. At the time, I really believed it somehow worked on the meridians, but didn't look into it because I already believed it worked. I don't think I ever even visited their website. I began working with it and found success almost instantly!
I kept up with it for quite some time and was so happy with it. I was able to clear up some personal issues and reverse some habits in very little time.
But belief is a very strong thing!
Two months ago, I read something mentioning that the meridians are not really affected by EFT. And when I went to their official website, indeed, I found no claims that it did. There were no explanations really about how it worked. At that point, my belief in EFT waned, and once it did, it no longer seemed to work for me. I kept on with it for a couple more weeks, but nothing!
It's OK, I have other self-development resources, but this is kind of amusing, isn't it?
answered 31 May '10, 02:18
Assessment of the Emotional Freedom Technique
Group EFT showed a significant decrease in self-report measures at post-treatment. However, Group P and Group M showed a similar significant decrease. Group C did not show a significant decrease in post-treatment fear ratings.
These results do not support the idea that the purported benefits of EFT are uniquely dependent on the "tapping of meridians." Rather, these results suggest that the reported effectiveness of EFT is attributable to characteristics it shares with more traditional therapies.
answered 31 May '10, 00:42
Yes, EFT can work very effectively...
But it's important to understand that EFT is essentially a 'faith' healing technique that depends heavily on the 'empathic' or 'psychic' powers of the counselor or therapist that organizes and leads the process.
When it comes to healing memories of the past -- there is still no substitute for having an experienced and sympathetic guide.
answered 01 Jan '11, 15:06
From my own experience, EFT works. I think what happens is that you allow yourself to confront, if you will, the negative feeling through tapping the various points. What you discover as you tap is the diaphanous and ephemeral natures of emotions. By tapping through, you realize that the emotion is not a permanent fixture: it is merely an expression of an experience and that expression is sufficiently flexible to be downgraded, upgraded, or eliminated. I believe EFT makes you realize that you are the master of your emotional world. Let's say you messed up on an exam or something and when you think about it a feeling of shame comes over you. By tapping you put this feeling into perspective and dissolve it, rather than allowing it to lie dormant to pester you when another similar event arises, or when you are in stasis. Perhaps, there are other means by which you can do the same thing, but EFT works for me and it is so very simple. Also, I use it for positive stuff: increasing love and acceptance of myself, increasing confidence in my abilities, and being grateful.
answered 07 Jul '13, 14:56