Tapping 101

What is Tapping?

Tapping, also known as EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), is a powerful holistic healing technique that has been proven to effectively resolve a range of issues, including stress, anxiety, phobias, emotional disorders, chronic pain, addiction, weight control, and limiting beliefs, just to name a few. 

Tapping therapy is based on the combined principles of ancient Chinese acupressure and modern psychology. Tapping with the fingertips on specific meridian endpoints of the body, while focusing on negative emotions or physical sensations, helps to calm the nervous system, rewire the brain to respond in healthier ways, and restore the body’s balance of energy.

So How Does It All Work?

Tapping makes full use of the mind-body connection, acknowledging and integrating the concepts that physical pain, disease, and mental wellbeing are intricately connected to our emotional states. 

The body is equipped with an energy system that travels along pathways known as meridians. Tapping on these meridian endpoints helps to stimulate this system, and when verbally or mentally addressing the root causes of distress, the areas of blocked energy are able to release and flow naturally. 

The basic Tapping technique requires you to focus on the negative emotion at hand - a fear, a worry, a bad memory, an unresolved problem, or anything that’s bothering you. While maintaining your mental focus on this issue, you use your fingertips to tap 5-7 times on each of the 9 specific meridian points of the body. 

Tapping on these meridian points in sequence while concentrating on the negative emotions engages both the brain’s limbic system and the body’s energy system, encouraging a sense of safety and resolution. And as the scientific field of epigenetics is proving, when you change your internal environment - your emotions and beliefs - external changes in your mental & physical health will follow. 

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! “No needles” is definitely one of the advantages of Tapping! 

Tapping is simple and painless. It can be learned by anyone, and you can apply it to yourself whenever you want, wherever you are. It can be used with a specific emotional intent towards your own unique life challenges and experiences. Most importantly, Tapping gives you the power to heal yourself, putting control over your destiny back into your own hands.

Is There Scientific Evidence of Tapping’s Effectiveness?

Like many healing arts that draw upon ancient wisdom, Tapping has been met with a fair share of skepticism. Some doctors and psychologists have been quick to dismiss it as “woo woo,” despite the heaping anecdotal evidence from the results of clinical trials, practitioner reports, individual case studies, and those who have used EFT Tapping on their own. 

In recent years, however, there’s been a growing pool of undeniable research proving that Tapping produces real, lasting breakthroughs. It significantly improves, and can even even eliminate, conditions that hospital treatments, medications, and years of psychotherapy often fail to adequately resolve. 

Studies performed around the world, including the prestigious Harvard Medical School, continue to verify these assertions. We’ve collected a quite a few of these research studies for you to review yourself. 

The scientific basis for Tapping therapy revolves around the functions of a specific almond-shaped part of your brain called the amygdala. It is part of the body’s limbic system, the source of emotions and long-term memory. The amygdala is known as the brain’s fear center, from which the “flight or fight” response originates, alerting other parts of the brain that it senses danger. This, in turn, initiates the firing of other brain receptors and the release of specific hormones that allow the body to respond to the perceived danger. 

This process is highly useful when faced with a real survival situation or an actual threat, but can be detrimental when developed into an “irrational fear” such as public speaking or a fear of rejection. 

Tapping has been shown to literally “turn off” the amygdala, disrupting the stress response and allowing the brain synapses to be rewired for a more appropriate emotional response to a given situation.

Basic Tapping Sequence for Anxiety

As discussed, Tapping can be used to resolve a variety of issues – so try it on everything! Here’s the method for how to use it. In this example, we’ll focus on general anxiety. 

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.

    Examples:
    “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.