Our body's response to stress and anxiety can negatively affect our wellbeing.
I, like many of you have been challenged to stay balanced and centered amongst all of the uncertainty that is prevalent in the world we are living in. I have been actively seeking out and practicing strategies that benefit both my physical and mental health. I recently came across Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), also known as "tapping" as a simple, fast and effective technique to help me calm my anxieties and move past my stress, which has helped me move from a state of chaos to calm.
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What is Tapping?
Tapping is a healing practice that combines ancient Chinese acupressure and modern psychology. The practice consists of tapping with your fingertips on specific meridian points on your body, while focusing on and acknowledging your stress/anxiety issues, According to expert, Nick Ortner, "Tapping/EFT, 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." The process has potential to calm your mind, energy system, and body all at once.
The process of Tapping is in the sequence of five steps (excerpted from healthline.com)
Related: Parenting With an Anxiety Disorder. There is Hope1. 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.
2. 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 setup
Prior to tapping, you need to establish a phrase that explains what you're trying to address. It must focus on two main goals:
The common setup phrase is: "Even though I have this [fear or problem], I deeply and completely accept myself."
- acknowledging the issues
- accepting yourself despite the problem
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. EFT tapping 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:
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:
- 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
After tapping the underarm point, finish the sequence at the top of the head point.
- side of the eye
- under the eye
- under the nose
- beginning of the collarbone
- under the arm
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.
You can begin the tapping independently or with the guidance of a trained professional. There are also apps with guided EFT sequences and meditations. I recommend Nick Ortner's The Tapping Solution App. Once you download the app you can access several free tapping meditations. There are also in-app purchase options for additional content.
Note: Please take your mental health seriously. As with any type of anxiety or depression, it can lead to serious problems if not treated by a professional. The advice and recommendations in this article should not act as a substitute for professional support/assistance.