Tap Your Way Happy

tapPart of today’s offering is a rehash of an earlier blog. It’s timely because we’re in a space right now (think economy, politics, Saturn, SATs/ACTs–okay, maybe the last one just applies to our house) where our control is limited. In reality, I believe our control is an allusion and try as we might to act as if we’ve got all balls juggling perfectly, at any given time the Universe can tilt knocking them all cattywampus. The other night I had a dream where I was driving a white BMW on black rainy streets in the city at night, but the car had a mind of its own. At some point I just had to lean into the skid and go along for the ride.

Still, we can always add things to our respective tool boxes and Emotional Freedom Technique is one tool I was reminded about this week. I was at a meeting with energy types (Reiki Masters and the like) and a woman did a demonstration on EFT. Collectively, we did an experiential exercise using tapping. We needed to come up with a collective worry that was stressing everybody out. Guess what it was? I’ll give you a hint. Starts with Hilary ends with The Donald. It didn’t matter what side people were on. The whole caboodle was leaving everybody in the room at a 10 stress-wise when we started. We tapped through it as a group and when we were done, only one woman in a co-ed room of 25 was above a 5. Now that’s saying something.

EFT, aka “tapping”, is a tool I’ve seen thrown around the past decade in various venues with varying degrees of enthusiasm. I think this might be because some people see it as too “wooey.”  I’ve concluded this based on the look on mainstream people’s faces when I bring it up as a tool they might consider.

But I’ve seen it used by therapists, particularly child psychologists with great success. Perhaps that’s because kids, ten and under, are usually more receptive to new ideas than older adults who’ve already developed in their minds what is acceptable and unacceptable. I’ve also seen it used up close and personal used on everyday people for everyday things. It takes 5 minutes and can change the whole direction of a day. I especially love it for the jitters I get before public speaking.

Here’s what I’m going to say about tapping. I think it ROCKS. You can use it any time, any place. It’s free and it’s very, very effective. Don’t believe me? Think it’s too freaky to try? Go find a dark closet where nobody can see you, find something you need to deal with, and try it. I dare you. Worse case scenario, nothing happens. Best case (and most likely case) scenario, problem solved…or at least, substantially reduced. Teachers, try it on your students for that dreaded day after Halloween.

The core thought of EFT is that “all negative emotions are a disruption in the bodies energy system.” The basic concept is that by resetting that energy system, you can reduce and/or eliminate negative emotions like stress, overeating, anger, whatever.

Here’s how it works (and this is summarized nicely in the flow chart above.)

1. Rate the issue from 0 – 10, 10 being worse and 0 being best. Think of it like “Yelping” your issue.

2. Tell it like it is. Even though I have this (describe the issue in your own words), I deeply and completely love and accept myself. Say this 3x while tapping on the karate chop.

3. Reminder Binder. Say “this (whatever your issue is that you described) causes me (whatever happens in your own words).” The idea here is to describe what is happening. I would say for a speech I was about to do “thinking about giving this speech is making me feel like throwing up, I get so nervous when I think about it, etc.,” trying to name it as honestly as you can. While doing this tap through and the points, while starting at the top of your head, 5-7 times. You go through the whole circuit 3x.

4. Status check. After one round, rate your issue again. If not at 0, repeat the set up. Use this wording. “Even though I still have (some of this issue) left, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.” Keep going around the circuit until you feel you are done.

That’s it. Easy peezy. There are a number of “tapping practitioners” out there to help you tap your way happy if you don’t feel like you are having success on your own. They need guinea pigs to complete certification courses and put in “tapping” hours. If you feel you need support, this may be a way to go. There is also a movie called “The Tapping Solution” that chronicles tapping used in the lives of various individuals (particularly effective with PTSD–post traumatic stress disorder) and you can watch vicariously how it works.

Go forth and tap!

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About jamieweilhealthcoach

I'm on a mind-body-spirit journey. At first, I thought health was about the physical body, but I'm discovering it's so much more than that. I've learned that it's more about serving and connecting with others than anything else. It's about being in the world in a blissful way. Before I blog, I meditate on what my readers need to hear--what will inspire them. Then, I write it. (www.getstrongblog.com)
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24 Responses to Tap Your Way Happy

  1. Katherine Wenglikowski says:

    Could more clearly explain the tapping process. You mention Karate chop too but not sure what that is either. I didn’t read last week’s blog (skiing). If the info is in that one, could you forward? I want to send this to a friend. She’s got a major anxiety disorder, won’t go to a shrink, medications from internists haven’t helped and she lacks the skills to go forward and resolve. Your suggestion sounds interesting.

    K

  2. I forgot about this…will have to try!

    • Just like I did in my last blog! Tapping is one of those things that’s so easy and accessible, yet I often forget to pull it out of my toolbox unless I come across somebody who is really anxious and then it always pops up. Let me know what happens! Thanks for dropping by!

  3. lorlinda says:

    Thank you Jamie for introducing me to EFT. I wasn’t familiar with it. It’s probably no coincidence that the tapping points follow your chakras. Your friend, Lorlinda

    • No coincidence at all, Lorlinda. All those energy centers run by different names, but same concept in that we are all energy and we want to do what we can to keep those centers in balance. You can look forward to trying this on a situation that finds you nervous (snakes? going to the dentist? public speaking?) and watch the transformation. Have fun tapping! Hugs, friend! Jamie

  4. Beth Hull says:

    This is fascinating, Jamie! I’m so glad you blogged about it because I’d never heard of this technique…and I don’t mind “wooey” things at all. 🙂

    • You’ll love it when you do those big speeches on the SCBWI stage after publishing your award winning novel to droves of kiddie lit fans! Can you see it? And, maybe when you’re shopping in grocery store with 2 children under 6 and they both want gummies (note: ignore puzzled shoppers looking at you.) I think it’d work for that, too! Let me know if you try it and if you’re kids run on the anxiety spectrum, teach them. They love it when they’re little. xo

  5. P.E.A.C.E. says:

    Jamie YOU rock! And I happily accept your dare (dark closet not required). 😉 I cannot thank you enough for this reminder about EFT although I love to call it tapping (makes me feel like dancing). My wise mentor shared it with me months ago, and we both tapped for a couple of moments and I immediately FELT my energy rise. Incredible. This is as real as the fact that smiling makes us feel better, and getting a good sleep, going for a walk, meditating, choosing to eat healthy options, ALL these seemingly ‘too easy’ choices really add up and help us shine ever brighter. I’m so glad you shine in my world Jamie. Big hugs of gratitude for reminding me to add this to my regular repertoire of healthy daily choices. Love, Gina xo

  6. P.E.A.C.E. says:

    Jamie YOU rock and I happily accept your dare (no dark closet needed) 😉 . Thank you for reminding me of EFT although I love to call it tapping (reminds me of dancing). My wise mentor introduced it to me months ago and we both tapped for a few moments and I felt my energy lift! It’s amazing, and the same way that smiling makes us feel better, getting a good sleep, going for a walk, meditating, and eating healthy food – it’s another seemingly ‘too easy’ choice that really helps us shine brighter. Thanks for shining in my world Jamie! And for this reminder to add to my daily repertoire. Big hugs, Gina xo

    • P.E.A.C.E. says:

      awww Man! WP is playing with me this morning! My first comment had vanished! I did my best to recall what I’d written but now you get to have a near-duplicate! Feel free to delete this and one of the comments… or leave for amusement 😉 as we’ve all had comments vanish I’m sure. Only this time it popped back! Woohoo! What fun!

    • Most welcome, my friend! (Is this the vanishing comment of which she speaks?) Key words here are “seemingly too easy.” Ain’t it the truth?! I’m glad you know it, remember it, and want to revisit it. Happy tapping! Hugs! Jamie

  7. Awesome Jamie. Although, you forgot to mention the second half to the process; the turn-a-round, or the re-frame statement. Once we knock that S.U.D’s level (Suggestive Unit of Distress)- or the 0-10 rating down to a 0, or manageable level; we move into the re-frame. “What do I want to replace that old negative feeling, emotion, or belief?”, is the question we should ask ourselves. Then as we speak that truth (out loud), we continue tapping on the points. This literally helps us to re-program our subconscious/unconscious mind with the emotions and beliefs that will support a better quality of life.

    Look at it like pulling the weeds in the garden of YOU, and replanting beautiful flowers, or veggies and fruits that will nourish your highest self. By tapping on these points and speaking out loud the issues that are causing us the most suffering, we deactivate the amygdala (one of the components of the limbic system or mid-brain). The limbic system is the source of emotions and our long term-memory, and its where we record negative life experiences. The amygdala as science has proven, is where the stress response begins. Think of the amygdala as your brain’s alarm system, it says, “Oh no, here we go again. This experience is threatening our safety.” It then mobilizes the body to release the stress hormone cortisol and adrenaline, which activates the fight or flight response.

    An earlier negative experience programs the amygdala to set off the alarm, when something similar happens in the future. Even the expectation of a similar experience can activate the amygdala. The stress response in our brain is there for a purpose; to give us a burst of energy to help save our lives in a life or death situation. However, the problem is, we live in a hectic fast paced stressful society, and we’re constantly setting of the alarm and living in a perpetual state of chronic stress (that Anxiety Nation Jamie talked about in an earlier post). Tapping while in the midst of emotional, physical, or mental suffering; helps us manually control the alarm system, so we can send a new message to the amydala – “Hey, it’s ok. There’s no need to activate the stress response.” It then records this experience as such, and we’re not triggered into a stress response in similar future situations. By doing so, we take control of our own lives and can better manage our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual bodies.

    There is starting to be more research going on in science and medicine that prove the effectiveness of tapping and other modalitites of energy psychology. Brain scans have proven that tapping on meridian accu-points, decreases activity in parts of the brain related to fear. In one study performed by Dawson Church, Phd., they found a significant drop in cortisol levels in subjects after a 1 hour tapping session. That reduction in cortisol levels was directly correlated with decreased severity in anxiety, depression, and overall psychological symptoms. All this research just points to the simple truth of what the ancients have known for thousands of years. The funny thing is that chemical medicines have only been used in the past century or so. While modern science and medicine calls these ‘so called new’ healing modalities; “Alternitive”.

    Sorry for my long rant, I had no intention on going on for so long. I’m passionate about this subject and I’m being guided by my intuition to get some practitioner training in EFT. The awesome thing is, that Dr Dawson Church (whom I mentioned earlier) is facilitating certified EFT practitioner training in Sacramento in April. If my finances allow, I’d love to be there with him for that training. I’ve personally cleared physical aliments from kinks in my neck to sciatica, in minutes of tapping; as well as old emotional wounds that were holding me back in life. Tapping has also helped me to reprogram limiting beliefs about myself and my perspective of the world. Most recently I’ve been using it in new ways I’ve never heard others talk about. Things like- increasing my reading comprehension and retention, in addition to public speaking preparation. I’ll sign off for now, but if you ask me any questions, I might get going again. I’ll do my best to be more succinct in the future.

    Many of the facts I shared here, came from Nick Ortner’s book – “The Tapping Solution”. So I must give credit, where credit is due.

    Be well, Be Inspired, and Be You!

    • Wow, Damien! Your comment is longer than my blog–that’s a first! Ooooh, I hope you do go in April. Thanks for both the share and your poignant conclusion on the last step. I don’t always do that step–more the Cliff’s notes version–but I love the amount of detail you offer here on it and it’s obviously important, especially in PTSD scenarios. I certainly don’t profess to be a Tapping expert, but have followed Nick Ortner from the beginning as he brought this mainstream. It’s been around longer than that, and used by various professionals for decades past, but when I was in NYC 2 years ago, I really saw many “tapping experts” bringing this to the forefront. It’s no wonder why. It’s free, it’s easy, it’s accessible to anybody, and it works! Medicine of the people. Thanks for weighing in.

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