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GoE Tapping Studies, Evidence & Research Library

GoE Tapping Studies, Evidence & Research Library

Every year, more and more scientific studies confirms the effectiveness of tapping techniques such as EFT Emotional Freedom Techniques for treating a number of issues. The GoE aims to catalogue these here.

We understand this list is by no means comprehensive so please contact the GoE if there is an omission.

Borrowing Benefits: Group Treatment With Clinical Emotional Freedom Techniques Is Associated With Simultaneous Reductions in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety, and Depression Symptoms

2018:  Sage Journals
Authors: Dawson Church & Dennis House


The relationship between psychological and physiological conditions identified in this study is consistent with that found in other studies. Group treatment is cost-effective and efficient, and the efficacy of EFT in groups indicates the utility of the Borrowing Benefits technique.

The Emotional Freedom Technique: Finally, a Unifying Theory for the Practice of Holistic Nursing, or Too Good to Be True?

2016:  Journal of Holistic Nursing
Author: Patrice Rancour


More than 60 research articles in peer-reviewed journals report a staggering 98% efficacy rate with the use of this procedure from psychological distress (posttraumatic stress disorder, phobias, anxiety, depression, etc.) to physical conditions (asthma, fibromyalgia, pain, seizure disorders, etc.) to performance issues (athletic, academic).

The Manual Stimulation of Acupuncture Points in the Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Review of Clinical Emotional Freedom Techniques

2017:  Journal of Medical Acupuncture
Authors:  Church Dawson and Feinstein David.


Studies have indicated that the acupressure component of EFT is an active ingredient and not placebo.

World-first brain scan research shows 'tapping' effective in combating food cravings

2017: Bond University 
Lead By:  Associate Professor Peta Stapleton

Secondary psychological outcomes in a controlled trial of Emotional Freedom Techniques and cognitive behaviour therapy in the treatment of food cravings

2017: From The Journal of Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice


The current study supports the hypothesis that psychological intervention is beneficial for treating psychological comorbidities of obesity and points to the role mental health issues may play in this area.

Tapping your way to success: using Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) to reduce anxiety and improve communication skills in social work students

2017: From Journal of Social Work Education
Authors: Elizabeth Boath, Rachel Good, Anna Tsaroucha, Tony Stewart, Sheila Pitch & Adam J. Boughey


Quantitative findings indicated participants reported significantly less subjective distress and anxiety after using EFT. Qualitative findings indicated three themes whereby participants found EFT calming, relaxing and helpful; considered the transferability of EFT in other settings; and proposed some of the mechanisms of EFT's action.

Emotional Freedom Techniques in the Treatment of Unhealthy Eating Behaviors and Related Psychological Constructs in Adolescents: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial

2016: From EXPLORE: The Journal of Science and Healing


Results revealed a delayed effect for both groups at post-intervention, with improved eating habits, self-esteem, and compassion at follow-up. Findings provide preliminary support for EFT as an effective treatment strategy for increasing healthy eating behaviours and improving associated weight-related psychopathology.

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) Effects on Psychoimmunological Factors of Chemically Pulmonary Injured Veterans.

2015: Iranian Journal of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology


Mixed effect linear models indicated that EFT improved mental health and health-related quality of life, decreased somatic symptoms, anxiety/insomnia, social dysfunction, frequency and severity of respiratory symptoms, and increased lymphocyte proliferation with nonspecific mitogens Concanavalin A and Phytohemagglutinin (PHA), and peripheral blood IL-17. This study provides an initial indication that EFT may be a new therapeutic approach for improving psychological and immunological factors.

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) Effects on Psychoimmunological Factors of Chemically Pulmonary Injured Veterans.

2015: Iranian Journal of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology


Mixed effect linear models indicated that EFT improved mental health and health-related quality of life, decreased somatic symptoms, anxiety/insomnia, social dysfunction, frequency and severity of respiratory symptoms, and increased lymphocyte proliferation with nonspecific mitogens Concanavalin A and Phytohemagglutinin (PHA), and peripheral blood IL-17. This study provides an initial indication that EFT may be a new therapeutic approach for improving psychological and immunological factors.

EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) and Resiliency in Veterans at Risk for PTSD: A Randomized Controlled Trial

2016: The Journal of Science and Healing


Symptom improvements were similar to those assessed in studies of PTSD-positive veterans. EFT may thus be protective against an increase in symptoms and a later PTSD diagnosis. As a simple and quickly learned self-help method, EFT may be a clinically useful element of a resiliency program for veterans and active-duty warriors.

A Randomized Controlled Comparison of Emotional Freedom Technique and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Adolescent Anxiety: A Pilot Study.

2016: From The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine

Author Information - Gaesser AH1, Karan OC2.


RESULTS: EFT participants showed significant reduction in anxiety levels compared with the waitlist control group with a moderate to large effect size. CBT participants (n = 21; M = 54.82, SD = 5.81) showed reduction in anxiety but did not differ significantly from the EFT or control.

CONCLUSIONS: EFT is an efficacious intervention to significantly reduce anxiety for high-ability adolescents.

Randomised Controlled Study Comparing Two Psychological Therapies for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) vs. Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET)

2015: Journal of Traumatic Stress Disorders & Treatment

Author Information - Ashraf Al-Hadethe. Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology, School of Medicine, The University of Nottingham, UK


These changes of PTSD, PTSD clusters, anxiety and depression remained stable for 3, 6 and 12 month follow-ups in EFT group, while these changes were unstable during the follow-ups. Measures of coping strategies showed that seeking support and active coping improved since the interventions. In conclusion, both EFT and NET showed their effectiveness among traumatised Iraqi people.

Don't stress: What do we really know about teaching gifted children to cope with stress and anxiety?

2016: Journal - Gifted and Talented International

Author Information - Steve Haberlin. Elementary Education, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA


The few interventions conducted, such as Gaesser's (2014) work using Cognitive Behavioral and Emotional Freedom techniques with gifted students, have demonstrated promising results. Recommendations include offering incentives in the form of grants and funding to researchers interested in investigating intervention outcomes and investigating stress-reducing methods and approaches, such as mindfulness, which have shown positive impact.

The Effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Emotional Freedom Techniques in Reducing Depression and Anxiety Among Adults: A Pilot Study

2016: The Journal of Integrative Medicine

Author Information - Hannah Chatwin Senior Research Assistanct at Bond University, Australia.


Results: Findings revealed that both treatment approaches produced significant reductions in depressive symptoms, with the CBT group reporting a significant reduction postintervention, which was not maintained with time. The EFT group reported a delayed effect involving a significant reduction in symptoms at the 3- and 6-mo follow-ups only. Examination of the individual cases revealed clinically significant improvements in anxiety across both interventions.

Conclusions: Overall, the findings provide evidence to suggest that EFT might be an effective treatment strategy worthy of further investigation.

Food for Thought: A Randomised Controlled Trial of Emotional Freedom Techniques and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in the Treatment of Food Cravings

2016: The International Association of Applied Psychology

Author Information - Bond University, Australia and The Lakeside Rooms, Robina, Queensland, Australia. Address for correspondence: Peta Stapleton, School of Psychology, Bond University, Gold Coast, Queensland, 4229, Australia. 


Overall, EFT and CBT demonstrated comparable efficacy in reducing food cravings, one's responsiveness to food in the environment (power of food), and dietary restraint, with Cohen's effect size values suggesting moderate to high practical significance for both interventions. Results also revealed that both EFT and CBT are capable of producing treatment effects that are clinically meaningful, with reductions in food cravings, the power of food, and dietary restraint normalising to the scores of a non-clinical community sample. While reductions in BMI were not observed, the current study supports the suggestion that psychological interventions are beneficial for food cravings and both CBT and EFT could serve as vital adjunct tools in a multidisciplinary approach to managing obesity.

Effect of the emotional freedom technique on perceived stress, quality of life, and cortisol salivary levels in tension-type headache sufferers: a randomized controlled trial.

2013: Explore (NY)

Postgraduate Course Stress Management and Health Promotion, School of Medicine, University of Athens, Athens, Greece.


RESULTS: Within the treatment arm, perceived stress, scores for all Short-Form questionnaire-36 subscales, and the frequency and intensity of the headache episodes were all significantly reduced. No differences in cortisol levels were found in any group before and after the intervention.

CONCLUSIONS: EFT was reported to benefit patients with TTH. This randomized controlled trial shows promising results for not only the frequency and severity of headaches but also other lifestyle parameters.

The effect of emotional freedom technique on stress and anxiety in nursing students: A pilot study.

2016: Journal Nurse Educ Today

Carolinas College of Health Sciences, Charlotte, NC, USA. Electronic address: Susan.patterson@carolinas.org.


RESULTS: Decreases in anxiety as measured on both the STAI and PSS were statistically significant (p=.05). For PSS, STAI state and trait data, the reduction in self-reported stress was statistically significant with a mean difference baseline to week 4. Qualitative data suggested that nursing students experienced a decrease in feelings of stress and anxiety including a decrease in somatic symptoms.
CONCLUSIONS: Overall, findings suggested that EFT can be an effective tool for stress management and anxiety relief in nursing students.

Anxiety and Anger Symptoms in Hwabyung Patients Improved More with EFT

2015. The Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Jin Woo SuhSun Yong Chung, Sang Young Kim, Jung Hwan Lee, and Jong Woo Kim

Quote: Over the entire 9-week interval, there were significant decreases in the HB symptom scale, anxiety state, anger state, anger trait, somatization, anxiety, hostility, and so on in EFT group (p < 0.05). Conclusion. The EFT group showed improved psychological symptoms and physical symptoms greater than those observed in the PMR group. EFT more effectively alleviated HB symptoms compared to PMR. EFT group showed better maintenance during self-training, suggesting good model of self-control treatment in HB patients.

Emotional Freedom Techniques for Anxiety: A Systematic Review With Meta-analysis

2016. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease.

Ben Gurion University, Medical School for International Health, Beersheva, Israel

Quote: Emotional freedom technique treatment demonstrated a significant decrease in anxiety scores, even when accounting for the effect size of control treatment.


2014. Current Research in Psychology 5 (1): 65-73

Boath, E., T. Stewart and C. Rolling

Read the Study

Tapping for success: Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) for enhancing academic performance in University students Innovative Practice

2013. Higher Education, Vol1 I(3)

Boath, E. Stewart, A & Carryer, A



A narrative systematic review of the effectiveness of Emotional Freedoms Technique (EFT)

2012. Staffordshire University, CPSI Monograph.

Boath, E., Stewart, T & Carryer A.

Link: Review of the Effectiveness of EFT

Tapping for PEAS: Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT ) in reducing Presentation Expression Anxiety Syndrome (PEAS) in University students

2012. Innovative Practice in Higher Education, 1(2), 1-12.

Boath, E. Stewart, A & Carryer, A


Clinical EFT as an Evidence-Based Practice for the Treatment of Psychological and Physiological Conditions


Psychology 2013. Vol.4, No.8, 645-654 Published Online August 2013 in SciRes (http://www.scirp.org/journal/psych)


Psychological trauma symptom improvement in veterans using emotional freedom techniques: a randomized controlled trial

J Nerv Ment Dis. 2013 Feb;201(2):153-60. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e31827f6351.


Church D, De Asis MA, Brooks AJ.

Brief group intervention using emotional freedom techniques for depression in college students: a randomized controlled trial

Depress Res Treat. 2012;2012:257172. doi: 10.1155/2012/257172. Epub 2012 Jul 17.


Stapleton P, Church D, Sheldon T, Porter B, Carlopio C.

Depression symptoms improve after successful weight loss with emotional freedom techniques

ISRN Psychiatry. 2013 Jul 28;2013:573532. doi: 10.1155/2013/573532


Church D, Yount G, Brooks AJ.

The effect of emotional freedom techniques on stress biochemistry: a randomized controlled trial

J Nerv Ment Dis. 2012 Oct;200(10):891-6. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e31826b9fc1.


Bougea AM, Spandideas N, Alexopoulos EC, Thomaides T, Chrousos GP, Darviri C.

Effect of the emotional freedom technique on perceived stress, quality of life, and cortisol salivary levels in tension-type headache sufferers: a randomized controlled trial

Explore (NY). 2013 Mar-Apr;9(2):91-9. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2012.12.005.


Salas MM, Brooks AJ, Rowe JE.

The immediate effect of a brief energy psychology intervention (Emotional Freedom Techniques) on specific phobias: a pilot study

Explore (NY). 2011 May-Jun;7(3):155-61. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2011.02.005.


Wells S, Polglase K, Andrews HB, Carrington P, Baker AH.

Evaluation of a meridian-based intervention, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), for reducing specific phobias of small animals.

J Clin Psychol. 2003 Sep;59(9):943-66.

Quote: "ANOVAS revealed that EFT produced significantly greater improvement than did diaphragmatic breathing behaviorally and on three self-report measures, but not on pulse rate. The greater improvement for EFT was maintained, and possibly enhanced, at six- to nine-months follow-up on the behavioral measure. These findings suggest that a single treatment session using EFT to reduce specific phobias can produce valid behavioral and subjective effects."


Benor DJ, Ledger K, Toussaint L, Hett G, Zaccaro D.

Pilot study of emotional freedom techniques, wholistic hybrid derived from eye movement desensitization and reprocessing and emotional freedom technique, and cognitive behavioral therapy for treatment of test anxiety in university students

Explore (NY). 2009 Nov-Dec;5(6):338-40. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2009.08.001.


Bair CC.

The heart field effect: Synchronization of healer-subject heart rates in energy therapy

Adv Mind Body Med. 2008 Winter;23(4):10-9.


Karatzias T, Power K, Brown K, McGoldrick T, Begum M, Young J, Loughran P, Chouliara Z,

Adams S.

A controlled comparison of the effectiveness and efficiency of two psychological therapies for posttraumatic stress disorder: eye movement desensitization and reprocessing vs. emotional freedom techniques.

J Nerv Ment Dis. 2011 Jun;199(6):372-8. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e31821cd262.


Feinstein D.

Rapid treatment of PTSD: why psychological exposure with acupoint tapping may be effective

Psychotherapy (Chic). 2010 Sep;47(3):385-402. doi: 10.1037/a0021171.


Feinstein D.

Energy psychology: A review of the preliminary evidence

Psychotherapy (Chic). 2008 Jun;45(2):199-213. Doi: 10.1037/0033-3204.45.2.199.


Feinstein D.

Facts, paradigms, and anomalies in the acceptance of energy psychology: A rejoinder to McCaslin's (2009) and Pignotti and Thyer's (2009) comments on Feinstein (2008a).

Psychotherapy (Chic). 2009 Jun;46(2):262-9. doi: 10.1037/a0016086.


Feinstein D, Eden D.

Six pillars of energy medicine: clinical strengths of a complementary paradigm

Altern Ther Health Med. 2008 Jan-Feb;14(1):44-54.


Is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) as effective with Complementary therapy students as Sport Science students?

Submitted to Energy Psychology.

Boath, E. Stewart, A & Carryer, A

Can Matrix Reimprinting using EFT be effective in the treatment of emotional conditions?

A service evaluation in Sandwell. Submitted to Energy Psychology.

Boath, E. Stewart, A & Carryer, A, Walton, I, Hill, L & Dawson, K

Can Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) be effective in the treatment of emotional conditions?

In press. Results of a Service Evaluation in Sandwell. Psychological Therapies in Primary care.

Stewart A, Boath E, Carryer A, Walton I & Hill L

Why Tapping Works: A Neurobiological Explanation

Ronald Rudens (PhD)


Acupoint Stimulation In Treating Psychological Disorders: Evidence Of Efficacy

Acupoint stimulation in treating psychological disorders: Evidence of efficacy. Review of General Psychology, 16, 364-380. doi:10.1037/a0028602

Feinstein, D. (2012)


Energy psychology and psychotherapy: A study of the use of energy psychology in psychotherapy practice

Aim: The aim of the study was to increase understanding of how energy psychology informs and affects counselling/psychotherapy practice. By undertaking phenomenological interviews with experienced clinicians, the aim was to enrich and expand on the scientific approaches to energy psychology research. Method: This research is based on in-depth semi-structured interviews using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). Five experienced psychotherapists who are also practitioners of energy psychology were interviewed. Findings: Four main themes emerged from the analysis: energy psychology as a potent intervention that facilitates shifts in emotions, cognitions, behaviours and physiology; the safety of energy psychology techniques; the role of the therapeutic relationship when using energy psychology techniques; and the challenges of integrating energy psychology into the work context, highlighting the need for more complex, systemic models to understand how people experience distress and how change is facilitated.Conclusion: Overall, participants in this study found energy psychology to be a valuable supplement to counselling and psychotherapy. The implications for current practice are discussed.

Mason, Elizabeth (2012)


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