“It all started when I met a woman who used “Tapping” to improve her relationships.”
Janet Devidal has been using Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), or “Tapping” for the past three years and each time she does, she becomes aware of new facet of herself.
“Tapping” is a bit of a combination therapy – a little bit acupressure and a little bit psychology. The technique is performed by gently tapping one’s fingertips on specific areas of the body which correspond to our natural energy centers. This is done while thinking of, or talking about, difficult or traumatic memories and emotions.
The traditional EFT points are electromagnetic energy points (acupressure points) and associated meridians – electric circuits connecting these points to specific organs, glands and body systems. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), each of our organs are paired with an emotion or state of mind. Therefore, stimulating a sensitive point can unlock the energetic information contained within.
The focus of this treatment is to create a balance within our body’s energy system and to forge a dialogue between this system and our conscious mind.
EFT has a wide variety of uses, but is especially effective in treating conditions such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), fibromyalgia, general pain, phobias and depression. The drumming action of the fingers has a stimulating effect on the body.
This, in conjunction with quiet focus or an open discussion upon specific emotional topics, can be quite liberating. EFT has gained popularity in the psychology of weight loss, as well. Working with underlying emotional and thought patterns to alleviate certain triggers associated with overeating and cravings.
Devidal has undertaken “Tapping” as a method of curbing her anxiety. Usually her focus is to ground her worried emotions and bring on a general, physiological healing.
“I begin with my head and alternate the areas between my head and my heart. Remembering to take a few breaths before changing positions.”
In an EFT clinical study from 2013, this approach was proven effective in reducing chronic stress (by lowering cortisol levels); reducing muscular tension and joint pain; boosting energy levels; decreasing tension headaches; coping with overwhelming emotion and improving sleep quality.
In terms of an ameliorated emotional or physical state, Devidal says she may not feel a difference until the following day; but there are definite improvements: in her verbal communication, mental focus and emotional balance. She feels “Tapping” is an effective therapy when navigating life issues and dealing with emotions.
When “Tapping” is done in a therapeutic setting, a practitioner will gradually address what information might reveal itself and will guide the client to tap a series of points on the body which will have a soothing, or desensitizing effect.
This works because stimulation of any acupressure point also sends a ‘calm down’ message to the brain’s amygdala (the portion of the brain responsible for processing memory and emotion). During a PET scan (Positron Emission Tomography – showing images of brain function and metabolism) you can practically see the alarm bells in the brain turning off and blood pressure returning to normal.
In clinical studies, any recall of traumatic memory is accompanied by a statement of self-acceptance, or situational perspective. This is a technique used in psychotherapy designed replace outdated mental programing with a more appropriate, or positive, thought process.
Typically, one might anticipate certain physiological sensations such as tingling, warmth, a sense of relaxation, or liberation. Emotionally, recipients can become aware of aspects of the self, memories, stored emotions and in some cases, moments of clarity.
In addition to the many physical and psychological benefits of the technique, Devidal says she enjoys the self-sufficiency. Once you know how, you can provide a treatment to yourself when you need it, without chemicals or invasive measures. She finds this ‘very empowering’ and part of what makes the technique so appealing.