We are going to explain Tapping for Anxiety within this aritlce. If you’re like many people, you may often deal with bouts of depression, anxiety, or general feelings of distress. You want to address these issues but you are unhappy with many of the treatments out there. You don’t want to take medication that may come with a slew of unwanted side effects. Psychotherapy, although very beneficial and effective, may not provide the immediate solution you need. Enter Tapping. Emotional freedom technique (EFT), or Tapping, is an alternative treatment for physical pain and emotional distress. It’s also referred to psychological acupressure.
People who use this technique believe tapping the body can create a balance in your energy system and treat pain. According to its developer, Gary Craig, a disruption in energy is the cause of all negative emotions and pain. Though still being researched, EFT Tapping has been used to treat people with anxiety and people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Tapping has also been shown to provide relief from chronic pain, addictions, and physical diseases. Like acupuncture and acupressure.
Tapping for anxiety techniques:
Tapping is a set of techniques which utilise the body’s energy meridian points. You can stimulate these meridian points by tapping on them with your fingertips – literally tapping into your body’s own energy and healing power.
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. The concept of meridians comes from the doctrines of traditional Chinese medicine, which referred to the body’s energy as “chi.” In ancient times, the Chinese discovered 100 meridian points. They also discovered that by stimulating these meridian points, they could heal. 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.
In some ways, Tapping is similar to acupuncture. Like Tapping, acupuncture achieves healing through stimulating the body’s meridians and energy flow. However, unlike Tapping, acupuncture involves needles. Acupuncture also takes years for people to master and can (and should) only be performed by trained professional. Tapping on the other hand is simple and painless. It can be learned by anyone. It is also convenient in that you can apply it to yourself, whenever you want, wherever you are. It’s less expensive and less time consuming. Most importantly, it gives you the power to heal yourself, putting control over your destiny back into your own hands.
The science behind EFT:
For those who may be skeptical, let’s talk about the science behind tapping, especially as it has often been dismissed by doctors and psychologists despite significant anecdotal evidence from practitioners and people who have used EFT on their own. In recent years, there’s been a growing pool of undeniable research that EFT can significantly improves or even eliminates conditions that hospital treatments, medication and years of psychotherapy often fail to adequately deal with. Research done at Harvard Medical School verify these assertions. Research done at the prestigious university during the last decade found that the brain’s stress and fear response could be lessened by stimulating the meridian points used in acupuncture and Tapping.
Another exciting set of research was undertaken by Dr. Dawson Church. His team performed a randomised controlled trial to study how an hour-long tapping session would impact the stress levels of 83 subjects. Dr. Church and his team measured each subject’s level of cortisol, a hormone secreted by the body when it undergoes stress. They found that the average level of cortisol reduction was 24%, with a reduction of almost 50% in some subjects. Dr. Church also created The Stress Project, which teaches tapping to war veterans suffering with PTSD. The results have shown an average 63% decrease in PTSD symptoms after six rounds of tapping. Research will continue to be conducted to strengthen the evidence that EFT can be an effective tool to deal with and overcome stress and other mental health issues, as well as many medical issues.
How EFT Tapping for anxiety actually works:
EFT tapping can be divided into five steps. If you have more than one issue or fear, you can repeat this sequence to address it and reduce or eliminate the intensity of your negative feeling.
- Identify the issue: In order for this technique to be effective, you must first identify the issue or fear you have. This will be your focal point while you’re tapping. Focusing on only one problem at a time is purported to enhance your outcome.
- Test the initial intensity: After you identify your problem area, you need to set a benchmark level of intensity. The intensity level is rated on a scale from 0 to 10, with 10 being the worst or most difficult. The scale assesses the emotional or physical pain and discomfort you feel from your focal issue.
Establishing a benchmark helps you monitor your progress after performing a complete EFT sequence. If your initial intensity was 10 prior to tapping and ended at 5, you’d have accomplished a 50 percent improvement level.
3. The Set Up: Prior to tapping, you need to establish a phrase that explains what you’re trying to address. It must focus on two main goals:
- acknowledging the issues
- accepting yourself despite the problem
The common setup phrase is: “Even though I have this [fear or problem], I deeply and completely accept myself.”
You can alter this phrase so that it fits your problem, but it must not address someone else’s. For example, you can’t say, “Even though my mother is sick, I deeply and completely accept myself.” You have to focus on how the problem makes you feel in order to relieve the distress it causes. It’s better to address this situation by saying, “Even though I’m sad my mother is sick, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
4.The EFT Sequence: The EFT tapping sequence is the methodic tapping on the ends of nine meridian points.
There are 12 major meridians that mirror each side of the body and correspond to an internal organ. However, EFT mainly focuses on these nine:
- karate chop (KC): small intestine meridian
- top of head (TH): governing vessel
- eyebrow (EB): bladder meridian
- side of the eye (SE): gallbladder meridian
- under the eye (UE): stomach meridian
- under the nose (UN): governing vessel
- chin (Ch): central vessel
- beginning of the collarbone (CB): kidney meridian
- under the arm (UA): spleen meridian
Begin by tapping the karate chop point while simultaneously reciting your setup phrase three times. Then, tap each following point seven times, moving down the body in this ascending order:
- side of the eye
- under the eye
- under the nose
- beginning of the collarbone
- under the arm
After tapping the underarm point, finish the sequence at the top of the head point.
While tapping the ascending points, recite a reminder phrase to maintain focus on your problem area. If your setup phrase is, “Even though I’m sad my mother is sick, I deeply and completely accept myself,” your reminder phrase can be, “The sadness I feel that my mother is sick.” Recite this phrase at each tapping point. Repeat this sequence two or three times.
5.Test the Final Intensity: At the end of your sequence, rate your intensity level on a scale from 0 to 10. Compare your results with your initial intensity level. If you haven’t reached 0, repeat this process until you do.
Tapping for anxiety Summary:
EFT tapping is an alternative acupressure therapy treatment used to restore balance to your disrupted energy. It’s been an authorised treatment for war veterans with PTSD, and it’s demonstrated some benefits as a treatment for anxiety, depression, physical pain, and insomnia. While there are some success stories, researchers are still investigating its effectiveness on other disorders and illnesses. My suggestion for potential users of Tapping is to always arm yourself with as much of the literature and information before proceeding. Continue to seek traditional treatment options as well until you have begun to experience the benefits of tapping for anxiety EFT. Finally, if you decide to pursue this alternative therapy, consult with your doctor first to reduce the likelihood of injury or worsening symptoms.
Written by Dr Carlos Garcia