Inspiration

Can Tapping Affect Your Genes? Research Says Yes!

Written by: Nick Ortner

I love science, and I love Tapping, so I get very excited when I get to talk about the science behind Tapping!

There is so much cool research out there showing how Tapping can actually produce changes within the body that have positive impacts on how we feel. You might have heard me explain many times before how Tapping can lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and you might have also read about how it can reduce heart rate, blood pressure, and other physiological markers of health.[1-3]

But did you know that Tapping also appears to affect our genetic expression? I know, that sounds pretty unbelievable, right?

Today, I want to introduce you to a couple of groundbreaking pilot studies that suggest Tapping may positively affect over 70 genes implicated in overall health!

Let’s dive in, shall we?

What is gene expression, anyway?

Before we get into the details of the studies on Tapping and gene expression, let’s take a quick step back to become a little bit more familiar with the basics of what gene expression really means.

We all have DNA in our cells, and that DNA contains our genetic code. It is estimated that humans have between 20,000 and 25,000 genes, but only a fraction of our genes are turned on in any given cell at any given time. Each cell’s function is determined by which genes are turned on, when they are turned on, and how strongly they are turned on.

When a gene is expressed, it is considered to be “turned on.” When it is turned on, the genetic code for that gene is read. That allows the instructions in our DNA to be converted into a functional product, like a protein. On the other hand, when a gene is not expressed it is “turned off,” and nothing is made from that section of DNA instructions.

Gene expression refers to the process in which our genes are either turned on or turned off. Different factors in our bodies and in our environment can affect gene expression, including hormone levels, temperature, diet, stress, lifestyle habits, and much more.

Now why is this all relevant? Because recent studies suggest that Tapping can actually impact the way certain genes are expressed.

Two studies reveal the positive effects of Tapping on gene expression

The first study to look at gene expression before and after EFT Tapping was published in 2016.

In this study, researcher Marjorie Maharaj used a technique called salivary mRNA testing to do a genome-wide analysis, in hopes of detecting changes in gene expression after a single, 50-minute EFT Tapping session. The EFT Tapping treatment was compared to a placebo treatment.[4]

This was a small study, involving only four adults. Saliva from each of the participants was taken immediately before the Tapping treatment, immediately afterwards, and also 24-hours after.

After analyzing the samples, the author found that 72 genes revealed differential expression – meaning the way the genes were expressed had changed from before to after the Tapping session. Twenty five of those 72 genes were also differentially expressed 24 hours after treatment.

The fascinating part of this is that the genes that were affected by Tapping are known to be linked to immunity, inflammation, neuronal processes in the brain, and stress regulation. Tapping appeared to affect these genes in a very favorable way. For example, genes involved in immunity were upregulated, while genes involved in inflammation were downregulated.

This study was the first of its kind to suggest that Tapping may positively influence our health through changes in how our genes are expressed.

Another study on the topic was conducted in 2018 by Dr. Dawson Church and colleagues.[5]

In this study, the researchers took a group of 16 veterans with PTSD symptoms. Half of the participants were randomly assigned to a control group, and the other half received ten hour-long sessions of EFT Tapping. Before and after the study, the researchers analyzed the levels of mRNA for 93 genes thought to be related to PTSD.

The results of the study showed that in the group who did EFT Tapping, six genes changed significantly in how they were expressed from before to after the study. Again, genes associated with inflammation appeared to be turned down, and genes associated with immunity appeared to be turned up. On top of these findings, the researchers also found that the veterans experienced improvements in their mental health symptoms as well.

Both of these studies are groundbreaking and provide very compelling evidence that Tapping has profound impacts on our body, even affecting how our genes are expressed.

Keep Tapping to feel the positive changes for yourself!

Maybe you’ve tried Tapping, and you have experienced the positive effects in how you feel first-hand. Or maybe someone you know has told you about the benefits of Tapping, or you’ve read about it and been intrigued.

Well, it turns out that the benefits aren’t just hearsay; there is scientific evidence that Tapping can bring about changes deep within your body, affecting things all the way down to your genes!

So, if you needed another reason to try Tapping, or perhaps a reason to recommit to a consistent practice, this is your cue! Now you know that underneath the positive benefits in how we might feel after Tapping, there are actually real changes going on within the body that can have profound impacts.

With the help of Tapping, you might just be able to alter your genetic expression to boost immunity, decrease inflammation, and so much more.

If you are new to Tapping and would find it helpful to be walked through the process, go here for a complete beginner’s guide to getting started.

Until next time, keep Tapping!
Nick Ortner

References

  1. Church D, Yount G, Brooks AJ. The effect of emotional freedom techniques on stress biochemistry: a randomized controlled trial. J Nerv Ment Dis. 2012;200(10):891-896.
  2. Stapleton P, Crighton G, Sabot D, O’Neill HM. Reexamining the effect of emotional freedom techniques on stress biochemistry: A randomized controlled trial. Psychol Trauma. 2020;12(8):869-877.
  3. Bach D, Groesbeck G, Stapleton P, Sims R, Blickheuser K, Church D. Clinical EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Improves Multiple Physiological Markers of Health. J Evid Based Integr Med. 2019;24:2515690X18823691. doi:10.1177/2515690X18823691.
  4. Maharaj, ME. Differential Gene Expression after Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) Treatment: A Novel Pilot Protocol for Salivary mRNA Assessment. Energy Psychology Journal. 2016;8(1):17-32. doi:10.9769/EPJ.2016.8.1.MM
  5. Church D, Yount G, Rachlin K, Fox L, Nelms J. Epigenetic Effects of PTSD Remediation in Veterans Using Clinical Emotional Freedom Techniques: A Randomized Controlled Pilot StudyAm J Health Promot. 2018;32(1):112-122. doi:10.1177/0890117116661154


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