Why does tapping work so well?

EFT/tapping seems so quick and deceptively simple, when you watch someone doing it.

We tap on these acupressure points on our body, where the end points of meridians are found, whilst focusing our mind on a particular physical or psychological issue.

We tune our mind in, by stating exactly how we feel about that issue, in as negative a way as feels real and true for us at the time.

We rate the intensity of how this issue affects us before and after the tapping, so we can measure any change.

And usually, even within a matter of minutes of tapping, we feel some shift or relief.

And if we keep tapping on that issue, symptoms often continue to decrease in frequency and intensity, and the problem can disappear all together.

Lots can be achieved in just one session of tapping, as the person’s energy blocks are removed, and their body and mind restores a sense of balance as a result. A sense of relaxation frequently follows.

When people relax, they are more able to think clearly and to access their creativity for solving their own problems.

When stressed or overwhelmed however, they cannot seem to find a way to help themselves. Sleep often becomes problematic, and mood and thoughts can become negative. The smartest of people can really struggle under these conditions, as many aspects of their lives are affected.

And this is when professional help can be indicated. 

Combining EFT/tapping with counselling from a skilled and experienced therapist can be especially beneficial during a period like this.   

I was naturally sceptical before I tried EFT/tapping successfully on myself many times.

I became intrigued, and started studying it every spare minute of my day. And then extended my skills by practicing with family and friends.

But when I begun using it with clients, I was really blown away by the results that were achieved.

As a Sexual Assault Counsellor, I am working with a pretty traumatised group of people. Children, adolescents, adults; many of whom have significant complex trauma histories.

Even one traumatic event (like a sexual assault) can lead to PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) which has always been considered very difficult to treat.

It often involves nightmares, flashbacks, hypervigilance, and can lead to anxiety and depression. 

This kind of trauma and stress cannot really be dealt with effectively through talking and listening alone. The neocortex is the part of the brain we use for talking and thinking, and it’s fairly useless when it comes to alleviating trauma symptoms.  

But I found that by introducing EFT/tapping, I was able to achieve much better results, in much quicker timeframes than was previously my experience with talk therapy alone.

I found that PTSD symptoms like nightmares and flashbacks could be eradicated in one to two sessions. I noticed the faces and bodies of my clients starting to relax, even within the first session of tapping.

Clients often began sleeping better, and felt much less anxious. Their thought patterns changed, so that they were not so consumed by their past trauma. They reported feeling less “stuck”, and more able to move forward in their minds and their lives.  

I began to notice  my clients smiling more, and making jokes when we used EFT. I could see little bits of who they probably were before the trauma. 

Bringing in energy psychology (“tapping”) has made my job so much more enjoyable and fulfilling. I found I could help people more effectively, with far fewer sessions.

Many of my clients were so impressed by the results they were getting with tapping, that they learned how to do it at home, so they could continue to progress their own recovery.

This is so empowering, especially for people who have felt so powerless.

So how does it work?

What is going on in the brain and the body when we are tapping into our energy system?

There is a great deal of neuroscience behind EFT/tapping and the research tells us that it is powerful and highly effective.

More studies emerge every year which support it’s efficacy.

Research has now been conducted in more than 10 countries by more than 60 investigators, with results being published in more than 20 different peer reviewed journals.

What this means is it is gaining credibility.

EFT is shown to compare favourably with “gold standard” psychological protocols like CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). (Church 2013). And some research shows it to be superior in many ways to CBT and traditional “talk therapy”, with much quicker results and longer lasting effects over time. (Church,2013: Feinstein 2012; Church, Feinstein, Palmer-Hoffman, Stein & Tranguch, 2014).

It combines many well researched techniques from conventional psychotherapy such as exposure therapy, CBT, behaviour therapy, and mindfulness. 

It is beneficial for a wide variety of conditions including PTSD, depression, anxiety, phobias and pain. (Benor, 2014) 

EFT is a both a brilliant clinical technique for therapists, as well as an easily learned self help method for the everyday person wanting to improve their lives.

It basically grants us access to the unconscious mind, in a way that no other therapy can.

By talking to the unconscious mind, we have a huge advantage in that many clues can be found there. Our unconscious mind is always looking for ways to help us out of our troubles, and EFT allows us to “tap in” to that source of information. And to implant some positive stuff while we are there.

As more sophisticated technology is developed and used to illuminate how the brain (and therefore the body) is changed physiologically through tapping, more excitement builds around the potential which exists within this “simple” tool.

Tapping acupressure points whilst activating a psychological or physical issue, rapidly reduces arousal in the limbic system, where emotion regulation takes place. This calms a person by sending a direct electromagnetic signal to the amygdala, the part of our brain responsible for the stress response. (Also referred to as the “Fight, Flight or Freeze” centre). (Fang et al 2009, Hui et al 2009)

EFT  also has the capacity to significantly reduce the hormones of stress, such as cortisol and adrenaline. (Church, Yount and Brooks).

This in itself makes a big difference.

Energy psychology positively influences brain wave patterns, neurotransmitters, endorphins and brain chemicals, promoting a feeling of relaxation and well-being. (Ruden 2005).

We are actually rewiring our brain as we tap on the acupressure points, as the old neural pathways are dissolved, and new ones formed.

Which is why we are able to think and feel differently after a tapping session.

There is so much to learn about this fascinating technique, but the main thing for me is that I know it works.

Please feel free to get in touch with me to ask how EFT might be able to help you.

 

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