Tap Tap

Stress, anxiety and traumatic memories are difficult to deal with for many people, and could turn out to be silent killers. Tapping therapy could be the answer

Getting stress and anxiety under control could be just a tap away. A simple yet effective therapy to ease anxiety and stress and reduce the impact of traumatic memories is the Tapping Therapy or Emotional Freedom Therapy (EFT), which is slowly gaining popularity worldwide. The anytime-anywhere therapy involves using your fingers to tap pressure points on the body when under stress or reeling under an anxiety attack.

So how does tapping therapy work?

Chinese acupressure

K.Tamilarasu, HoD, Physio Department, Jindal Naturecure Institute, says Tapping Therapy or EFT works by combining elements of traditional Chinese acupressure with modern psychology to address negative emotions and physical pain. “EFT focuses on the meridian points or energy hot spots to restore balance to the body’s energy. It is believed that restoring this energy balance can relieve symptoms caused by a negative experience or emotion,” he explains.

The Mechanism of EFT

Identifying the Issue: The process begins with identifying a specific issue or emotion that is causing distress. This could be anxiety, stress, fear, anger, or a traumatic memory.

The Setup Statement: Before starting the tapping sequence, you need to create a setup statement that acknowledges the problem while accepting yourself. The usual format is: “Even though I have [this problem], I deeply and completely accept myself.”

This statement is repeated three times while tapping on the meridian points.

“While tapping, you focus on the specific negative emotion or issue. After one round of tapping, you reassess the intensity of your distress on a scale from 0 to 10. This helps measure the effectiveness of the tapping,” says Tamilarasu.

Repeat the tapping sequence until the intensity of the emotion or pain is significantly reduced or eliminated.

Tapping & its Affects

Tapping Therapy uses energy meridians to send signals to the part of the brain that controls stress — the amygdala—reducing the body’s stress response. “By focusing on negative emotions and tapping on meridian points, EFT breaks the negative feedback loop between the mind and body, reducing emotional intensity and physical manifestations. This process can lead to cognitive shifts, reframe negative thoughts and beliefs, and reduce emotional impact,” he says.

Research suggests tapping may affect the brain's neural pathways, reducing hyperarousal and leading to a calmer state. “EFT has been proven effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety, depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and can also alleviate physical pain and improve overall health by reducing stress-related symptoms,” says Tamilarasu.

Overcoming fears

Sharmilee Kapur, the Founder-Director & Pranic Healer at Atmantan Wellness Centre, says tapping therapy strengthens the prefrontal cortex, which is linked to decision-making and emotional regulation. “It is a therapeutic method for PTSD and helps people overcome phobias and fears by potentially desensitising the brain to the feared stimulus,” she says.

EFT can also be used in managing chronic pain, as it works on taming the perception of pain by altering pain-related brain activity. “Patients speak of miraculous results and effects of tapping. I remember a friend narrating to me how she kept herself conscious with tapping after a life-threatening accident, as she waited for help to arrive,” recalls Sharmilee.

Neuro plastic changes

Research also shows that repeated practice of EFT leads to neuroplastic changes.

“It means the brain can condition itself to create more adaptive emotional and cognitive patterns. To sum up, tapping empowers you to heal yourself and it is a great alternative modality that enables us to direct our health in a positive path,” she says.

Tapping Sequence:

EFT involves tapping on nine specific meridian points on the body used in traditional Chinese medicine while focusing on the identified issue.

Locations of Tapping Points

Karate Chop Point: On the side of the hand (either hand).

Eyebrow Point: Where the eyebrow begins, near the bridge of the nose.

Side of the Eye: On the bone bordering the outer corner of the eye.

Under the Eye: On the bone under the eye.

Under the Nose: Between the bottom of the nose and the upper lip.

Chin Point: Midway between the lower lip and the chin.

Collarbone Point: Just below the hard ridge of the collarbone.

Under the Arm: About 4 inches below the armpit.

Top of the Head: Directly on the crown of the head.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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