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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Gardner

What is tapping? How Emotional Freedom Technique Can Help You

So you're interested in learning more about tapping, right?

Of course ...that's why you're here. Maybe you heard about it from someone or it was mentioned by a speaker or maybe this is the first time you're even hearing about it.

I want to give space for learning about tapping, regardless of where you're starting out. So I'll give two types of definitions in this blog post:

1. Short and sweet (this is what I prefer a majority of the time)

2. More in-depth with all the scientific details in case that's what you're into

Short & Sweet

Now, if you want the short answer of what tapping is exactly and how it can help you then you're in the right place...

Emotional Freedom Technique (aka Tapping) is a fairly new method of self-administered healing developed in the 1980s; however it is not a brand new concept. Tapping borrows from the ancient Chinese practices like acupuncture and acupressure; even sometimes referred to as ‘acupuncture without the needles’.

As with other healing arts such as yoga and meditation it has taken time for the western world to grow accustomed to these types of alternative and natural modalities.

So how does tapping help?

Well, with how stressful and demanding life can be, our stress and anxious energy is at an all time high. Basically, tapping helps you to process through and let go of your emotional baggage from stress in the moment as well as from the past.

With tapping, I've been fortunate enough to experience as well as witness others experience healing from these ailments (and many others not listed):

Click on each of the categories to view tapping research ...I think you'll be amazed by the results.

Pretty amazing, right?

Tapping can feel a little silly at first, but hey it really works and it's been shown to work when other things don't. Check out a little clip of group Tapping...

Want to find out more about tapping or talk about how tapping could help you? Then reach out, I'd love to chat!

Let's Get More In-Depth

If you have already experienced the magic of Tapping then you are likely one of the many who have discovered amazing results with this healing method. Nonetheless, the question that I am often asked as a practitioner is how Emotional Freedom Technique actually works.

Some of you may know that when you are emotionally triggered or heightened from a perceived threat to safety your body goes into a state of fight or flight. This automatic response means that parts of your central nervous system react immediately - your heart rate increases, you get tunnel vision, your digestive and immune systems shut down; all in preparation for fighting or fleeing the situation.

With this, your prefrontal cortex (critical thinking) also shuts down and shifts to the use of your reptilian brain (survival: heart rate, breathing, etc.). Nick Ortner from The Tapping Solution explains it in the scenario of if a tiger is chasing you, you are not going to have the ability to calculate a mathematics equation while running from this tiger. Your body does not know the difference between a tiger chasing you versus your boss pulling you into their office, it reacts in the same manner.

Then there are situations with the freeze response. Many mistake the freeze response as a third congruent option but in reality if you are not able to go through the fight or flight response then your body automatically moves into the freeze state. For example, if your boss brings you into their office and starts out the conversation of ‘I have some bad news for you,’ this would likely send you into a fight or flight response. Although, in many cases you will not be able to flee or fight your way out of the situation, so your body moves into the freeze response.

Science has been discovering that the freeze response is where highly emotionally charged events ‘get stuck’ in your body because you are unable to fully process the event. It also shows that when you think about the emotionally charged situation later, your body has the same response as it would if the situation were actually occurring again. This is where Tapping comes into the picture.

Emotional Freedom Technique stimulates 14 of the upper body pressure points which lowers your cortisol levels (stress hormone) and allows your prefrontal cortex to become activated once again. When adding Tapping while thinking about the emotionally charged situation (i.e. your boss’s bad news), you are better able to fully process the event through your prefrontal cortex without sending your body into the fight or flight response. Therefore you can move through the event, releasing it from your body and often having insights about the situation that you may not have seen previously.

With this self-administered technique, are you wondering why you'd need supports with the tapping process? Check out my blog post about why you should work with a tapping practitioner.

Fun fact: After animals face a ‘traumatic’ situation, they have been shown to shake their bodies as if to ‘shake it off’. This has been attributed to the fact that animals do not have as developed brains as humans; therefore, are unable to process these events so they literally shake it out of their bodies. It has also been said that it can work with us, so give it a shot and shake it out next time!

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