What is tapping about and what is EFT tapping for?
Tapping or emotional freedom technique (EFT) as it is sometimes referred to, is basically an ancient Chinese method similar to acupressure which works by releasing blockages in the body’s energy system, which can lead to emotional discomfort, stress or anxiety. It was introduced to the Western world by in 1995 by Gary Craig, who although not a doctor, was a researcher, practitioner and minister as well as a personal performance coach.
A few years ago I had never heard of tapping but since discovering this powerful technique, I find I use it a lot and it works for me every time – after a couple of minutes, I feel my anxiety or stress levels reducing and I’m able to see things in a better light, without the negative emotions that were initially causing me distress.
Is it really just tapping yourself?
Basically yes…..and no. There is a psychological element to the practice that helps to clear your negative thoughts and doing this whilst tapping, helps restore a balance in your body and mind.
In tapping therapy, you literally use your finger tips to repeatedly tap acupressure meridian points on your body whilst repeating a positive affirmation related to the anxiety you are feeling. You are therefore using your body’s own healing power to clear the energy blockages. These could have been caused by an emotional event or experience from the past, or by negative thoughts that are now holding you back resulting in stress or anxiety.
We are all made of energy and our energy system is much more than the internal digestive system that we learn about at school – how we digest food and the energy it gives us for example. That is the energy of Western thinking. The energy I am talking about is the life-force or spiritual energy system that flows through us constantly. It makes use of our chakra points in the body although there are other points outside the body as well. This energy and derivations of it, has many different names in different cultures, such as Chi (or Qi), Ki in Japan, prana, kundalini, the Great or Holy Spirit, universal life source and source energy. They may differ in their explanations and precise meanings, but to me, It really doesn’t matter which culture you come from and what you call it; the thing to acknowledge is that the energy system exists and flows through all of us.
Some people may dispute the existence of this energy system, and as far as I know, there have been no definitive randomised controlled studies that we are so fond of in the West, to prove or disprove the existence of this energy. However, what I do know, is that from my own personal experience, I can feel it. I can feel it if I breathe deeply, I can feel it if I place the palms of my hands close together, and I can definitely feel it within my body if I do a tapping session.
Blockages in our energy system, prevent us from connecting fully with our source energy (the term I tend to use) and emotional blocks can seem to prevent the law of attraction from working with us because it affects our vibrational frequency. In fact the law of attraction is always working perfectly and reflecting back to us our own vibrational energy. So when we are stressed or anxious, we vibrate at a lower frequency and focusing on this only brings more of the same. Tapping is a way of releasing energy blocks so that the energy flows more freely, and I have found it can quell anxiety and allows us to see our problems in a better perspective.
Is there any scientific evidence as to why tapping works?
Emotionally traumatic events cause the brain to release cortisol which is a stress hormone that is beneficial in helping the body deal with stress. Cortisol is a natural hormone that also regulates the way we metabolise the food we eat, changing it into usable energy. However an imbalance in cortisol levels can lead to Cushing’s syndrome (too much cortisol) or Addison’s disease (too little cortisol). According to the Mayo Clinic(1), high cortisol levels in the body can lead to:
- Severe fatigue.
- Muscle weakness.
- Depression, anxiety and irritability.
- Loss of emotional control.
- Cognitive difficulties.
- New or worsened high blood pressure.
- Bone loss, leading to fractures over time.
These symptoms can have a negative effect on emotions. Restoring cortisol levels to normal can reduce these symptoms and work by Dr Dawson Church has shown that tapping can reduce cortisol levels by 25% and up to 50% in some people. (See his work in more detail at EFT universe).
Other researchers such as the renowned psychologist Dr David Feinstein Ph.D, have investigated ‘energy psychology’ in PTSD sufferers, veterans and I countries such as Guatemala, Kosovo, Rwanda, South Africa, and the USA to name but a few.
So how do I do it? In a nutshell
The following is basically what I do. There is a lot more information and training available from the EFT universe website which gives the basics of how to do tapping.
- Use the tips of your first 2 or 3 fingers to tap on the meridian points in your body. You can use different points at different times but some that I like to use are:
- On the top of your head
- Just above your eyebrows
- Just under your eyes
- Just under your nose
- On your chin
- On your collar bone
- On the side of your thumb, first, second and last finger (missing out the third finger) – do BOTH hands
- On the fleshy bit on the edge of your hand (as if you were going to do a karate chop) I find with this one that I can feel the energy flowing through my legs interestingly.
- Whilst tapping lighting for about 15 seconds on each point, repeat your affirmation phrase (E.g. “Even though I am concerned about (enter your problem) I totally love and accept myself”
- Move onto the next meridian point
- Repeat the whole thing. You can do this for varying amounts of time. I tend to do 1-3 minutes until I feel better.
What should I say?
I have used tapping to get rid of emotional and psychological stresses that I feel but there are also many people who have used tapping for different health purposes too. Now I freely admit that I not a doctor and I do not advocate tapping therapy to replace any professional medical practices or solutions that you have found work for you. If you need medical help, you should see your doctor. However I can tell you that tapping has helped me.
Phrases I like to use include:
“Even though I’m concerned about .(insert my current issue, e.g., money, my health) ………I trust in the universe and totally and completely love and accept myself”
“I know I am sometimes worried about….(insert problem) …..but I totally and completely love and accept myself.”
There are many more affirmations that you can use and many practitioners out there who can help.
For more information:
These websites have lots of good information, training videos and information about the science behind tapping on them.
If you want to see some book resources on tapping and EFT, then see some best ones below.
References and links
1. Mayo Clinic – http://www.mayoclinic.org/dise…