Rediscovering the Benefits of Tapping

Tap into healing with this technique combining modern approaches and ancient methods.

Here are some of the pressure points

(Monika Wisniewska /

Therapists are turning to a new approach to healing, called Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) or tapping. This healing method combines wisdom from traditional Chinese medicine with neuroscience and talk therapy.

According to WebMD, By simply tapping points along the body while acknowledging your emotional state, you can release cellular energy from trauma. By feeling those emotions, you process and clear them through the power of love, forgiveness, and empathy.

How Does Tapping Work?
Tapping provides a healthy way to process difficult emotions, even from experiences that happened in the distant past. The practice draws from acupuncture, a healing method from traditional Chinese medicine that dates back thousands of years. 

Acupuncture opens energy highways in the body by sticking thin needles into the skin on acupoints. Tapping takes a similar approach, but uses touch (instead of needles) to promote the flow of energy throughout the body. 

It may sound strange, or impossible at first glance. But, according to WebMD, scientists believe that the method works because it stimulates the central nervous system, which causes the body to release helpful chemicals. 

In the 1970s, psychologists took it a step further, by combining principles of acupuncture with concepts from Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a type of psychotherapy that uses language to effect positive changes in thoughts and behaviors. The result: EFT, a healing method that involves repeating affirmations while stimulating acupuncture points by touch. 

Today, many therapists and wellness coaches use EFT tapping as a form of healing to release emotional trauma, PTSD, and anxiety. According to EFT International, tapping can help with depression and chronic pain.

How to Practice Tapping
Anyone can practice tapping therapy. Just a few minutes of tapping helps tune into your emotional state, to release any resistance or overwhelm. You can try a guided practice, like this video from tapping expert Jennifer Partridge to support self-love. Or try a simple five-step tapping sequence suggested by Medical News Today

Focus on an issue
Set aside a moment. Can you think of an issue troubling you right now? Choose one thing that comes to mind causing you emotional stress and focus on that.

Rate the emotional intensity
How strongly does this particular situation bother you right now? Rate it on a scale of one-to-10, with 10 as the most emotionally intense. 

Practice self-compassion
This step uses verbal cues to acknowledge how you feel right now and to accept your emotions, without judgement. Try a statement like: “Even though I have an issue with [state the situation causing you stress], I completely accept and love myself.”

Combine affirmations with tapping sequence
Begin the tapping sequence. Tap lightly with your fingers on the top of your head, top of your  eyebrows, side of your eyes, under your nose, under your chin, beginning of your collarbones, and under the arms. As you tap each area of these acupoints, repeat the affirmations of self-compassion. 

Check back in with your emotional intensity
How are you feeling now? Rate your emotional stress level on a scale of one-to-10, with 10 as the most emotionally intense. Even feeling slightly less intense is a sign of healing. You can continue to repeat the tapping process as needed to slowly release the intensity and emotional unease. 

Everyone experiences some sort of emotional discomfort or trauma in their lives. Although painful, it’s important to develop healthy ways to process these experiences. Healing practices like tapping help release these emotions in a healthy way, so you can process and heal from difficult emotions and experiences once and for all.

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