Tapping or EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique is a powerful tool that can be used to reduce stress or relieve anxiety about any number of issues.
Many beliefs and emotions are programmed into our bodies before we reach the age of 7, particularly if there is strong emotions involved, and we then spend the rest of our lives taking actions that reinforce this subconscious programming. These can manifest as stored emotions or as physical symptoms.
There are a number of energy medicine techniques that can help you release these unconscious beliefs and reprogram our subconscious programming to help us take actions that are more in line with what our conscious mind wants to do.
One of these techniques is Tapping which works by sending certain electromagnetic signals to certain points when you tap on a number of acupuncture points. The amygdala is the area of the brain that is designed to detect threats so is involved in anything that stresses the body, either emotionally or physically. It is the heart of the limbic system so controls the emotions.
When you tap on the karate chop point of your hand and bring to mind a stressful situation this stimulates the stress response in the amygdala. When the stressful situation doesn’t actually eventuate and you then tap on various acupressure points on the body this stress response is actually decreased.
The brain therefore is getting opposing messages. It gets the message to increase the stress reaction due to the images and thoughts in the mind and gets the message to decrease the stress reaction with the tapping. After a little bit of time the message to decrease the stress reaction dominates because nothing bad is happening. When you continue to bring to mind the particular situation being worked on you can still remember it but the strong stress emotion is no longer attached and a more calm reaction usually results.
The first thing to do when using tapping to reduce the intensity of any emotion or physical symptom is to rate the intensity on a scale of 1 to 10. Although this rating doesn’t have an actual effect on the tapping it gives you a reference point. Often once you have tapped on a situation the emotion attached to it disappears and you can’t actually recall the intensity as being such a problem. This is why it is good to have a measuring stick.
Then think about the problem you want to work on. Create a setup statement that goes like “Even though I _____________ I love and accept myself”.
Get in touch with the emotional aspect of your issue and create a statement like “my anxiety about__________________”. This will be your reminder phrase.
“Even though I _____________ I love and accept myself”.
Repeat this 3 times. The reason we add the statement “I love and accept myself” is that even though you have this particular problem you are accepting who you are in the current moment and that you are doing the best you can with the current situation. Some people actually have difficulty with the “I love and accept myself” portion of this statement but if you persevere things will improve.
Then tap through the points on the picture while saying your reminder phrase. It is best if your reminder phrase is emotional and is specific to a particular issue or situation. It is better to do separate rounds of tapping on different aspects of a situation rather than include them all together.
It is important for you to be as honest and accurate as possible as this will bring about the most effective healing and change in the fastest period of time. You may like to repeat this round several times until the intensity of the problem has reduced.
For people that are new to tapping this bringing up of negative emotions may seem counterproductive but this is only a step in the process and the next round of tapping will change this.
You can now finish off your tapping with another round where you say positive statement while tapping through the points, maybe something like ” I am happy and confident that __________________.
Now rate the original statement again on a scale of 1 to 10. It is very likely that the intensity of the problem will have reduced. It is also very likely that other issues will have come to mind and you can repeat the process with a different setup and reminder statement.
Each of the tapping points actually relate to different areas of the body and sometimes it is useful to know these.
Abbreviations and anatomical references
- EB: Beginning of the Eye Brow – Bladder Meridian
- SE: Side of the Eye – Gall Bladder Meridian
- UE: Under the Eye – Stomach Meridian
- UN: Under the Nose – Governing Vessel
- Ch: Chin – Central Vessel
- CB: Beginning of the Collar Bone – Kidney Meridian
- UA: Under the Arm – Spleen Meridian
- TH: Top of the Head – Governing Vessel
- SS: The Sore Spot – Neurolymphatic point
- BN: Below Nipple – Liver Meridian
- Th: Thumb- Lung Meridian
- IF: Index Finger – Large Intestine Meridian
- MF: Middle Finger – Heart Protector
- BF: Baby Finger – Heart Meridian
- KC: Karate Chop – Small Intestine Meridian
Please note that these tapping points proceed down the body, making them easy to memorise. Generally most people use group 1 points although there can be situations where it is appropriate to include group 2 points as well. If you are out in public it is often useful to just use the points on the hand in group 3.
Here is a video by Jessica Ortner from the Tapping Solution as she walks you through the tapping points.
John and Linda Ballis
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