When I first heard this technique briefly mentioned on a webinar I was attending, I thought it sounded like the weirdest thing ever, but it sounded so intriguing, I just had to find out more!
And yes, it is strange indeed, but this simple method can help dramatically improve many aspects of your life in just a few minutes per day, and you can do it just about anywhere - even in bed, in the shower, or (my favorite) in the car on your way to work (as long as you don't care about receiving some strange looks from other drivers). :-)
Typically I personally use this technique to relieve stress and anxiety, or remove mental blocks, but many other users have reported a number of other benefits, including pain relief, weight loss, improved relationships, and even increased wealth. It truly is a holistic method, which is why I wanted to share a bit more about it with you today.
First of all, it isn't magic at all. In fact, it is actually kind of scientific.
It's called Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT, and is also known as "tapping." (This was what I heard it called the first time I heard it mentioned - and I wondered, "what the heck is tapping??")
EFT, as described by Nick Ortner, the author of the best-selling book, The Tapping Solution, is "a type of Meridian Tapping that combines ancient Chinese acupressure and modern psychology with startling results."
Tapping utilizes the body's energy points by stimulating them with your fingertips, and when combined with statements of either negative thoughts and fears or affirmations, can be used to address a wide range of health and well-being issues, "from pain relief, to healing childhood traumas, to clearing limiting financial beliefs, to weight loss, body image and food cravings, to fears and phobias."
Here is an explanation from Nick about how and why tapping works:
When you’re experiencing a negative emotional state—angry or upset or fearful— your brain goes on alert. It prepares your body to enter a full-blown, fight-or- flight response. This response evolved to mobilize the body to face an external threat-think of a tiger coming after your ancient ancestor. All the body’s defense systems are turned on to support either fighting or fleeing from the danger. Your adrenaline pumps, your muscles tense, and your blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar all rise to give you extra energy to meet the challenge.
Stressors in ancient days were very real threats to survival. Today, however, the fight-or-flight response is rarely activated by a physical threat. Most of our fight-or-flight responses today are triggered internally. For many of us, the internally generated stress response is triggered by a negative memory or thought that has its roots in past trauma or conditioned learning from childhood. The stress response in the body takes the same form, whether the trigger is the tiger (external) or a negative memory (internal). The adrenaline flows, the heart races, and so on. What tapping does, with amazing efficiency, is halt the fight-or-flight response and reprogram the brain and body to act-and react-differently.
EFT truly is a remarkable tool to use for achieving a holistically healthy and balanced life - but the #1 reason I love tapping so much is that it's just so darned easy!
Here are some basic tips for getting started with tapping:
1. While many "self-help gurus" and books tell you to "focus on the positive," this can feel really difficult to do sometimes. Fortunately, EFT doesn't require you to try to put a positive spin on anything. In fact, you want to start by focusing on whatever problem you are dealing with, and go ahead and let yourself feel the accompanying emotion - fear, anxiety, stress, or whatever it may be.
2. While maintaining your focus on whatever you are feeling, use your fingertips (either hand is fine) to tap 5-7 times on each of the body's meridian points. Various practitioners of EFT use different points, but in general, these points include the outside of your hand, the inside of your eyebrow, the outside of your eye, beneath your eye on top of your cheekbone, under your nose, under your bottom lip, on your collarbone, under your arm, and the top of your head. (This quick video gives you a walk through of the main tapping points.) You can tap the points on either side of the body (or both, if you want to use both hands at once).
3. Say aloud (or think) statements relating to the problem while tapping each point. You can repeat statements, or change with each point. You can use negative statements describing how you feel, or positive ones describing how you would like to feel about the issue. (I know this sounds a little bit general, and it will probably take some practice to get used to coming up with statements, but regardless of the words you use, it works the same.)
The goal of tapping through these points, while concentrating on your emotion or problem, is to access your body's energy and restore it to a balanced state.
This technique is based on Chinese acupuncture, and it works similarly, but without the use of needles, so it's a lot less scary for those of us who don't care much for needles. Plus it is much simpler, and can be used without needing an acupuncturist or anyone else for that matter, as it is self-administered. It's simple and painless, and anyone can do it anywhere! As Nick says, "Most importantly, it gives you the power to heal yourself, putting control over your destiny back into your own hands."
As you know if you've been reading this blog for a while, giving you back control over your own health is my main mission, so tapping really fits in with our approach to holistic living.
I know it sounds super weird, but I encourage you to give tapping a try. At the very least, it is a quick and simple way to reduce stress, and that alone is a huge benefit to your health and well-being! You can learn more about tapping online, or in The Tapping Solution, available on Amazon.com and at other bookstores.
To your holistic health!
P.S. Got questions? Feel free to ask them below, or email me, and I would be happy to help or offer some insight based on my own experiences with tapping.