Tapping is a combination of Ancient Chinese Acupressure and Modern Psychology that works to physically alter your brain, energy system, and body all at once.
The practice consists of tapping with your fingertips on specific meridian points while talking through traumatic memories and a wide range of emotions.
As Dr. Dawson Church says, “Acupoint tapping sends signals directly to the stress centers of the mid-brain, not mediated by the frontal lobes (the thinking part, active in talk therapy).” Because EFT simultaneously accesses stress on physical and emotional levels, he adds, “EFT gives you the best of both worlds, body, and mind, like getting a massage during a psychotherapy session.”
In fact, it’s EFT’s ability to access the amygdala, an almond-shaped part of your brain that initiates your body’s negative reaction to fear, a process we often refer to as the “fight or flight” response, that makes it so powerful.
It’s estimated that 10 million people worldwide have used tapping. What’s so exciting is how incredibly quick it alleviates issues like depression, anxiety, and insomnia, as well as severe PTSD, physical pain, even illness.
How to Use Tapping
The basic technique requires you to focus on the negative emotion at hand: a fear or anxiety, a bad memory, an unresolved problem, or anything that’s bothering you. While maintaining your mental focus on this issue, use your fingertips to tap 5-7 times each on 12 of the body’s meridian points
Tapping on these meridian points – while concentrating on accepting and resolving the negative emotion – will access your body’s energy, restoring it to a balanced state.
You may be wondering about these meridians. Put simply, energy circulates through your body along a specific network of channels. You can tap into this energy at any point along with the system.
Tapping is simple and painless. Anyone can learn it. And you can apply it to yourself, whenever you want, wherever you are. It’s less expensive and less time-consuming than traditional therapies. Use it with specific emotional intent towards your own unique life challenges and experiences.
Most importantly, it gives you the power to heal yourself, putting control over your destiny back into your own hands.
Here’s how a basic Tapping sequence works:
Identify the problem on which you want to focus. It can be general anxiety, or it can be a specific situation or issue which causes you to feel anxious.
Consider the problem or situation. How do you feel about it right now? Rate the intensity level of your anxiety on a scale of 0 to 10, with zero being the lowest level of anxiety and ten being the highest.
Compose a setup statement. Your setup statement should acknowledge the problem you want to deal with, then follow it with an unconditional affirmation of yourself as a person.
Setup statement examples:
“Even though I feel this anxiety, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“Even though I’m anxious about my interview, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“Even though I’m feeling this anxiety about my financial situation, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“Even though I panic when I think about ______, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“Even though I’m worried about how to approach my boss, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“Even though I’m having trouble breathing, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
Get ready to begin Tapping!
With four fingers on one hand, begin tapping the Karate Chop point on your other hand. The Karate Chop point is on the outer edge of the hand, on the opposite side from the thumb.
Repeat the setup statement three times aloud, while simultaneously tapping the Karate Chop point. Now take a deep breath.
Now, tap about 5 to 7 times each on the remaining eight points in the sequence described below. As you tap on each point, repeat a simple reminder phrase, such as “my anxiety” or “my interview” or “my financial situation” to help you mentally focus on your issue.
Eyebrow Point (EB)
Where the eyebrows begin, closest to the bridge of the nose.
Side of Eye (SE)
On the bone directly along the outside of either eye.
Under Eye (UE)
On the bone directly under either eye.
Under Nose (UN)
The area directly beneath the nose and above the upper lip.
Chin Point (CP)
This is the area just below your bottom lip and above the chin, right in the crease.
Collarbone Point (CB)
Starting from where your collar bones meet in the center, go down an inch and out an inch on either side.
Under Arm (UA)
On your side, about four inches beneath the armpit.
Top of Head (TH)
Directly on the crown of your head.
And take another deep breath!
Now that you’ve completed the sequence, focus on your problem again. How intense is the anxiety now, in comparison to a few minutes ago? Give it a rating on the same 0 to 10 scale. Did you notice a shift?
If your anxiety level is still higher than 2 or 3, you can do another round of tapping. Keep tapping through the sequence until the anxiety is gone. You can change your setup statement slightly to take into account your efforts to fix the problem or your desire for continued progress.
“Even though I have some remaining anxiety, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“Even though I’m still a little worried about this interview, I deeply and completely accept myself.” And so on.
Now that you’ve focused on dispelling your immediate anxiety, you can work on instilling some positive feelings in its place. This approach is different from traditional “positive thinking.” You’re not being dishonest with yourself. You’re not trying to obscure the stress and anxiety inside yourself with a veneer of insincere affirmations. Rather, you’ve confronted and dealt with the anxiety and its corresponding negative emotions, offering deep and complete acceptance to both your feelings and yourself.
After you’ve cleared the emotional dirt away, you can then turn your thoughts and vibrations to the powerful and positive. That’s what makes Tapping so much more effective than the “positive thinking” techniques that many of you have already tried. It’s not just a mental trick. You’re actually changing your body’s biochemistry and energy into a more positive direction.
Here are some example phrases to guide you:
“I have faith in my ability to change.”
“I am joyful about these positive changes.”
“I am accomplishing so much.”
“I enjoy the calm and peace that I have.”
“I love the person that I am.”
“I am becoming a more relaxed and joyful person.”
You can use these positive phrases with the same sequence of Tapping points described above.
Here are some tips to help you achieve the correct technique.
You should use a firm but gentle pressure, the same as if you were drumming on the top of your desk or testing a melon for ripeness.
You can use all four fingers, or just the first two (the index and middle fingers). Four fingers are generally used on wider areas, while just two can be used on sensitive areas, such as around the eyes.
Tap with your fingertips, not your fingernails.
You can tap one side of the body or both at the same time. The meridian points are symmetrical on either side of the body.
There is now a lot of information on the science and research behind Tapping that you can read.
Through our Tapping Solution Foundation, we have been able to administer Tapping for trauma relief as well. Tapping has been successfully used for stress and trauma relief with survivors of the genocide in Rwanda as well as war veterans with PTSD.
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What tapping is.
How tapping can help you in your life.
What beliefs I was able to “tap” out.
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