‘Tapping’ Your Way to Calm Can Happen in 5 Minutes With 5 Steps
New research shows the ‘tapping’ technique reduces anxiety, depression, and PTSD
For years people thought the practice of “tapping,” aka Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), was, well, crazy, to put it kindly. But after 100+ clinical trials have shown its efficacy, even the hard-won U.S. Veterans Administration (VA) got hip to the idea.
EFT/Tapping is a brief intervention that combines elements of somatic stimulation, exposure, and cognitive therapy — and you use your own fingertips to do it. In short, it involves quick, repeated light-touch on specific acupressure points — or energy “hot spots” — to restore balance to the body’s system. The points send electrochemical impulses to the limbic and cortical regions of the brain that control stress and fear; this breaks the neural links that are causing distressing emotions and unsettling bodily sensations.
Typically, the tapping is combined with identifying a specific concern or distressing issue a person is challenged by rating it on a scale of one to 10 and then engaging in a two-part statement. The first part of the statement exposes the issue, while the second part reframes it in the context of self-acceptance. For example, “Even though I’m feeling all this anxiety, I choose to relax and feel safe now” or “Even though I’m struggling at the moment not to be depressed, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
A large-scale study of individuals suffering from anxiety across 11 clinics over a 5.5-year period showed 90% of participants found improvement using tapping, compared to 63% who used cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).
The findings for studies on EFT are rather astonishing.
- A large-scale study of individuals suffering from anxiety across 11 clinics over a 5.5-year period showed 90% of participants found improvement using tapping, compared to 63% who used cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Only three tapping sessions were needed to feel a reduction in symptoms. Complete relief was seen in 76% of participants who tapped, compared with 51% who…