The scientific community is recognizing, more and more, the mind-body connection, that negative events and trauma are stored in the body which then leads to negative thought patterns, which reinforces neural pathways in the brain and can create a cycle that keeps repeating itself. Releasing negative energy, or energy disruptions, from the body is also part of the healing process. We know, through neuroplasticity, that the brain can and is always changing, so new neural pathways can be built to replace pathways that no longer serve us. Keeping the nervous system in balance is also key to bringing down negative, anxious, thinking and increasing our ability to cope with everyday stresses. My main method for achieving all of this is Neurofeedback, but today there are many complementary methods that also help to bring balance between the body and the mind.
This month’s article is about EFT Tapping. Like any other practice, it is not something you can do once or twice and expect miraculous results. Tapping is a tool, like mindfulness, meditation or Neurofeedback that needs to be practiced over and over. Choosing the combination of tools that work best for you is the best gift you can give yourself to maximize your sense of well-being.
What is EFT Tapping?
EFT Tapping therapy involves tapping on specific meridians or acupressure points on the body and at the same time focusing on a past or current hurt or difficulty. As you tap and focus, the nervous system begins to calm, new neural pathways start to develop, the body’s energy comes more into balance and negative emotions and beliefs are released. The term Tapping has become fairly commonplace in the past few years, however, it was initially developed in the 1970’s by Dr. Roger Callahan, as Thought Field Therapy (TFT). Tapping is also known as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) or Meridian Tapping Therapy.
What is EFT Tapping Used For?
Tapping is used to help manage a whole range of issues, from stress and anxiety to chronic pain, phobias, weight loss and limiting beliefs that affect our relationships, work and finances. The focus of this article is how to use tapping for anxiety.
How does EFT Tapping work?
Tapping, like acupuncture, focuses on the meridian or acupressure points, where our energy system flows through. While acupuncture uses needles to stimulate the meridian points, tapping uses the fingertips.
In terms of stress and anxiety, Tapping starts to re-balance the part of the brain where the stress/anxiety is triggered, and the intensity of the stress or anxiety about a particular issue comes down.
How to do EFT tapping
Learn the Tapping Points
There are 9 tapping points that are generally followed in this order: 1.Karate chop point on the side of the hand; 2. Inside point of the eyebrow; 3. Side of the eye; 4. Just below the eye; 5. under the nose; 6. The chin; 7. The collarbone; 8. Below the armpit; 9. Top of the head
The video below, from the Tapping Solution, is an excellent introduction to learning the tapping points.
Basic Tapping Sequence
There are five steps to the basic tapping sequence and this example will focus on anxiety.
- Identify the issue: You feel anxious, anxiety affects you in a certain way, you have particular symptoms related to anxiety
- Rate the intensity level: On a scale of 1 – 10, 10 being very high, how intense is the anxiety or the specific symptom now?
- Setup phrase: This phrase allows the issue to be there and then adds words that show love for yourself. Something like, “Even though I’m feeling anxious, I deeply love and accept myself” or “Even though I feel anxious about COVID, I completely love and accept myself”. Anything that speaks about your anxiety is fine. The statement just has to be clear so that your subconscious can understand it. A child might say, “Even though I have a nervous tummy, I’m a cool kid”.
- Do the Tapping Sequence: Start with saying your statement 3 times while tapping on the karate chop area using the tips of your four fingers. Then tap around 5 – 7 times on each of the other eight points in the order listed above, using the tips of your first and middle fingers for the points on the face and the tips of the four fingers for the other points. At each meridian/acupressure point, use a reminder phrase or phrases, such as “I’m anxious”, or “anxious about COVID” or “anxious I’ll get COVID”.
- Rate intensity level again: After the first round, check in with yourself and give another intensity rating from 0 – 10. If your rating is above 2 or 3, do the sequence again and check the intensity level again, with the goal to eventually get to 0.
EFT Tapping resources and research:
Here are a few more links to other EFT tapping resources that I have found to be helpful.
EFT Research https://www.efttappingtraining.com/eft-research/