Anxiety Relief Tools: Tapping

Tapping: also known as Emotional Freedom Therapy (EFT)

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Tapping Therapy is an intensely powerful tool that can help you quickly get over your biggest fears and help achieve all of your goals.

Thirty-four years ago, clinical psychologist Dr. Roger Callahan—the originator of tapping therapy—discovered that you could stimulate the instant release of stored emotions.

The instant release occurs by tapping along these meridians in acupressure-like fashion while focusing your mind on the past hurt or current stress (phobia, fear, or anxiety).

He called his method Thought Field Therapy or TFT, and today Dr. Callahan’s institute trains practicing therapists, healthcare professionals, and everyday people in how to use tapping therapy both in clinical settings and at home. Others have brought TFT to the masses as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT Tapping) and Meridian Tapping Therapy.

What Can You Use Tapping Therapy For?

You can use tapping therapy to free yourself from these stored anxieties, stresses, depression, and emotional hurts, and focuses on helping you to better implement positivity and energy into your life.

This can be done by tapping away any limiting beliefs, fears, and internal obstacles that arise when you face obstacles.

The Process of Tapping Therapy

The process uses a simple but precise pattern of tapping on 9 acupressure points of the body while you simultaneously imagine the object or experience that stimulates your phobic reaction.

It acts in much the same way as a virus in a computer program by permanently interrupting the “program” or sequence of events that occur in the brain between the initial sighting of the thing you are afraid of and the physical response you experience.

Many past hurts get stored in the mind and even in the body—affecting all our future actions and decisions.

For many people in my training, getting past their “past” is difficult, painful, and—until the last decade or so—very difficult, particularly if they have experienced violence, trauma, or abuse early in life.

The technique is so powerful that it has been used with genocide victims in Rwanda and Bosnia, for disaster victims in Haiti and is used by a trainer of the British Special Forces in the Congo and with U.S. soldiers returning with PTSD panic attacks from the battlefield.

Tapping Therapy stimulates the body’s own ability to release stored pain of any kind. The results are nothing short of miraculous.

For thousands of years, Eastern cultures have focused their methods for healing medical conditions on stimulating energy “meridians” or pathways throughout the body.

These energy pathways send electrical impulses throughout the body to keep all systems working, but—in addition to moving and storing energy—it was discovered they also store emotions.

Some healthcare professionals even believe that an illness or chronic pain in a specific area of the body is the result of a specific emotional pain stored in that meridian.

How to Use EFT Tapping Therapy

There are the eight main tapping points and one point on your hand known as the karate chop spot on the heel of your hand.

The other 8 points are, your eyebrow, side of your eye, under your eye, under your nose, your chin, your collarbone, under your arm, and the top of your head.

There is a single point at the top of the head, but there are two eyebrow points: one at the start of the right eyebrow just above the nose, and the other at the start of the left eyebrow.

Tapping was originally taught one-sided; you tap with either hand, on either side of the body.
Most people tap with their dominant hand. You have completed a “round” of tapping when you’ve tapped on each of the points.

Tap lightly, but firmly. This isn’t massage, so tapping with force isn’t necessary. If you can’t tap a particular point due to an injury, just skip that point. Unlike acupuncture, tapping is a very forgiving process.

One reason it is common to tap using both the index finger and the middle finger together is that you’re tapping a fairly large area with both fingers on any particular spot.

Tapping Therapy variations diagram

Tapping Variations

There are a number of variations in tapping technique. Here is one:

Begin tapping on the karate chop point of one hand. As you tap, while breathing in, state in your mind the current fearful or anxious thought. For example, “Even though I’m worried about the results of that test” or “Even though I’m concerned about losing my job”, or “Even though I’m agitated about so-and-so’s behavior”. Then, as you breathe out, state in your mind a positive response you can choose. For example: “I will stay at peace and release all fear”, or “I will keep my mind in the present and let go of anxiety” or “I will trust in God (or the universe) and let go of judging thoughts”. Say these phrases 3 times at each tapping point. You get the idea. On the in-breath, face and articulate the troublesome thought, situation or person. On the out-breath, affirm that the most important and realistic thing you can do is to strengthen the positivity in your mind about that situation—especially if that situation is out of your control]. The tapping that’s happening is having a neurological effect, somehow fortifying and reinforcing the positive statements in your mind and relegating the power and status of the troubling thought/ situation to a lesser level. The troublesome situation does not disappear, but is much weakened and less dominant in your mind. When you have finished tapping all the points, first on one side of the body and then the other, take several deep, cleansing breaths. Notice how much more relaxed you feel! [P.S. Tapping can also help with PHYSICAL pain.]

A Great Resource: The Tapping Solution

For more information and tips, as well as many guided tapping meditations on a variety of topics, go to They also offer a wonderful free app for your phone: The Tapping Solution.

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