20 years ago, the healing arts of the Eastern world were still pretty new to us here in the West. Yoga, meditation, acupuncture, tai chi – these ancient sciences of the body and mind were met with awe and eagerness by some, and with confusion, dismissal and even ridicule by many others.
Things have really changed, haven’t they?
These days, you don’t need to go too far to take a yoga class, and maybe one of your family members or a neighbor has a regular meditation practice.
That said, despite how popular these disciplines have become, the Western medical establishment has only recently started to endorse the many benefits that these practices can provide. Similarly, we’re only just beginning to see more than a few studies that delve into just why they are so effective.
One such study recently yielded some fantastic results that really got me excited. Performed by the Shamantha Project at the University of California-Davis, the study revealed that focusing on the present through mindfulness meditation may help reduce your body’s level of cortisol, the stress hormone. Essentially, it suggests a physical effect on our body when we meditate, one that impacts our stress levels.
Of course, you may be wondering just why this information is so exciting to me. After all, my field is EFT Tapping, not meditation, right?
True, but what you may not realize is that there are a few key similarities between EFT Tapping and mindfulness meditation. Once you understand what they are, you’ll likely be just as excited as I am!
Mindfulness Meditation and EFT Tapping, Side by Side
Whether you actually practice it or not, you probably have a basic grasp of what meditation involves. Well, that’s unless you think it’s just sitting down and doing nothing. It’s ok if you do, as it’s a common perception, but the practice is a little more nuanced than that.
Mindfulness meditation specifically requires you to use your breathing, posture and mind to remain focused on the present. We don’t realize it, but most of the time we’re either thinking about something in the past or what may happen in the future. With gentle discipline, mindfulness meditation steers you away from this.
Those who meditate consistently tend to be calmer, even in the face of troublesome surprises or nagging or traumatic memories. That’s because they’ve cultivated a stillness within that allows them to acknowledge these thoughts and memories without allowing them to affect their feelings too drastically.
EFT Tapping may seem radically different from mindfulness meditation, but the goal is actually quite similar. This technique requires you to tap on a few of your body’s meridian points – some of the same spots on your body used in acupuncture – as you focus on whatever it is that’s bothering you in the present. In so doing, you gradually work through the layers of feelings and stresses that have become built up in your mind and body. With time, you are able to acknowledge what happened to you in the past or what may happen in the future without becoming too stressed, anxious or even sick about it.
Although mindfulness meditation and EFT take very different approaches, they both use the doorway of the present to restore your body and mind to their optimal functioning conditions. One of the most beneficial results of this? Less stress!
Trouble Meditating? Try Tapping!
You may not realize it, but EFT Tapping has its origins in the East as well. Whereas meditation is believed to have originated in ancient India, the principles of Tapping are derived from the practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the same principles which are used in acupuncture and acupressure today.
The similarities don’t stop there. This recent study on meditation’s correlation with reduced cortisol levels in the body – and thus a lower stress response – mirrors similar findings in a study done by researchers at Harvard Medical School. That study found that by stimulating the meridian points addressed in acupuncture, acupressure and EFT Tapping, one can reduce cortisol levels significantly.
The reason why I am excited is this: in the past, and even today, many people have scoffed at the healing attributes of these methods. However, studies such as these shine significant light on just how they produce such incredible healing effects. They lend credence and weight to the claims of millions of people around the world who use these “alternative” methods of healing.
Furthermore, I know many people who have tried to meditate in the past and have struggled with it. It’s a wonderful practice that I fully endorse, but in the event that you don’t take to it, it’s wonderful to know that some of the same effects you could hope to experience through meditation may also be unlocked through EFT Tapping. If you’ve never tried it before, you can learn this revolutionary technique by watching this quick video.
Whatever discipline you choose to take on, it’s important that you find a way to effectively deal with the stresses and pressures of your life. In fact, you might not even have to make a choice: there’s no rule saying that you can’t incorporate both mindfulness meditation and EFT Tapping into your self-care routine. You might very well become the least stressed-out person you know!
How You Can Use EFT to Stay Centered and Grounded
Maybe you’ve tried meditation before and it just didn’t work for you. If that’s the case, try this tapping script below:
Give the tapping routine below a try. It’s tailored to yield many of the same effects you might hope to find with a meditation practice. With time, you’ll be able to adjust it to suit your specific needs. If you want to learn how to tap, click here.
Start by tapping on your karate-chop point:
“Even though I find it hard to maintain my center, I deeply love and accept myself.”
“Even though I get so carried away with my most distracting thoughts, I deeply love and accept myself.”
“Even though I’ve tried so many different things to keep myself grounded and nothing seems to work, I deeply love and accept myself.”
Next, tap through the points:
Eyebrow: These thoughts…
Side of Eye: I get so carried away with my thoughts
Under Eye: I have so much on my mind
Under Nose: Why can’t I stop thinking?
Chin Point: My thoughts stress me out so much
Collarbone: They are so distracting
Under Arm: My thoughts are getting in the way
Top of Head: My thoughts are holding me back
Eyebrow: No matter what I do, I can’t stay focused on the present
Side of Eye: I try to maintain my awareness of the current moment, but I can’t
Under Eye: My mind is always drifting
Under Nose: I’m always thinking about the past
Chin Point: I’m always worried about the future
Collar Bone: This is too much for me
Under Arm: I don’t know what to do
Top of Head: I just want to find peace in myself
Repeat this routine until you find yourself calm, centered and with a heightened awareness of yourself. Then, return to your eyebrow:
Eyebrow: I just need to breathe
Side of Eye: The past is the past, the future is the future
Under Eye: I am here now
Under Nose: I don’t have to worry so much
Chin Point: I just need to breathe
Collarbone: I can stay present
Under Arm: I am just fine
Top of Head: All I have to do focus on my breath
Eyebrow: All I have to do is focus on the present
Side of Eye: Excessive thinking doesn’t help me
Under Eye: Worrying about the future doesn’t make it any better
Under Nose: All I have to do is breathe
Chin Point: If I operate from my center, I can handle whatever may come
Under Arm: All I have to do is breathe
Top of Head: All I have to do is breathe