Inspiration

What is Tapping and How Does it Work?

Written by: Nick Ortner

Learn the Basics of Tapping

Tapping, also known as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), is a powerful holistic healing technique that has been proven to effectively resolve a range of issues, including stress, anxiety, phobias, emotional disorders, chronic pain, weight control, and limiting beliefs – just to name a few.

Tapping is based on the combination of Ancient Chinese acupressure and modern psychology. The practice consists of tapping with your fingertips on specific meridian points while focusing on negative emotions or physical sensations. Doing this helps calm the nervous system, rewire the brain to respond in healthier ways, and restore the body’s balance of energy.

As Dr. Dawson Church says, Acupoint tapping sends signals directly to the stress centers of the mid-brain, not mediated by the frontal lobes (the thinking part, active in talk therapy).”

In fact, it’s EFT’s ability to access the amygdala, the part of your brain that initiates your body’s negative reaction to fear, your “fight or flight” response, that makes it so powerful.

Because EFT simultaneously accesses stress on physical and emotional levels, Dr. Dawson Church also believes that “EFT gives you the best of both worlds – body and mind – like getting a massage during a psychotherapy session.”

Today it’s estimated that 10 million people worldwide have used tapping to help alleviate issues like depression, anxiety, and insomnia, as well as severe PTSD, physical pain, and even illness.

How to Use Tapping

The basic technique requires you to focus on the negative emotion at hand: a fear or anxiety, a bad memory, an unresolved problem, or anything that’s bothering you. While maintaining your mental focus on this issue, use your fingertips to tap 5-7 times each on 12 of the body’s meridian points (see explanation and video below).

Tapping on these meridian points – while concentrating on accepting and resolving the negative emotion – will access your body’s energy, restoring it to a balanced state.

You may be wondering about these meridians. Put simply, energy circulates through your body along a specific network of channels. You can tap into this energy at any point along with the system.

Tapping Benefits

Tapping is a simple and painless healing modality that anyone can learn. It’s less expensive and less time-consuming than traditional therapies.  And you can apply it to yourself, whenever you want, wherever you are.

Most importantly, it gives you the power to heal yourself.

So how exactly can tapping be the miracle solution to so many physical and emotional issues like stress, phobias, anger, depression, insomnia, chronic pain, PTSD, and more?

Simply put tapping helps calm our bodies down and process negative emotions. When negative emotions aren’t expressed and are bottled up instead, they can manifest themselves into physical discomforts like insomnia, issues with weight management, or back pain.

If you’re interested in learning more about the scientific research behind how and why tapping works, you can go ahead and read that on our website. But in the meantime, let’s dive a little deeper into how tapping helps a couple of different struggles.

Let’s dive a little deeper into what this means.

Tapping for anxiety

HOW IT WORKS:

Our brains have a piece of prehistoric programming that keeps us safe from danger called the “fight or flight” response. Historically, this piece of programming would kick in when your life was at risk. For example, maybe you’d hear the sound of an animal rustling in tall brush while you were hunting. 

When we go into “fight or flight” response our nervous systems go into high alert, and our amygdala turns on and hijacks the prefrontal cortex when it comes to decision-making.  (The amygdala primarily focuses on getting us out of immediate danger, while the prefrontal cortex is more worried about logic and reason.)

Oddly enough, our bodies physically respond to modern-day stressors – a deadline at work, an angry boss, kids acting out – in the same manner. 

Luckily, tapping quickly and easily sends a calming signal to the amygdala, allowing your brain and body to feel safe, and thus, dissipate your anxiety. (You can learn more about this phenomenon here.)

WHERE TO START:

Download the Tapping Solution App and try our 5 Day Release Anxiety Series. This Series Reduces Anxiety by 55% and 98.5% of participants say they feel better!

Tapping for weight loss

HOW IT WORKS:

Our life is a reflection of the beliefs that we hold. If, for example, we believe we aren’t good at something, we tend to manifest experiences that reinforce this belief.

Tapping is powerful for changing negative beliefs by targeting the emotions and stress response your beliefs create. Once that stress response is lowered or gone altogether, the old negative belief no longer feels true. You can then create a positive belief that better serves you and the life you want to create.

When it comes to weight loss, it’s common for long-standing negative beliefs to be keeping us trapped in unhealthy habits and patterns. Beliefs like…

  • I have a slow metabolism
  • I’m overweight because of my genetics
  • Losing weight is about deprivation and is never fun
  • I have to deprive myself
  • I have to suffer to see results
  • I have to eat perfectly
  • I have to obsess over calories
  • I can’t be happy or really live until I lose weight
  • There’s nothing to appreciate about my body

Through tapping we can let go of limiting beliefs, release the emotions and trauma that put them there, and adopt new, more empowering beliefs. You can learn more about how tapping can support your weight loss journey here.

WHERE TO START:

Download The Tapping Solution App where you’ll find many weight loss related tapping meditations including I’m Stressed About My Weight, Master Weight Loss Manifestor, Critical Self Talk, Motivate Me to eat Better, and Cravings Buster. 

You can purchase Jessica Ortner’s Book here.

You can join the 7-week program here.

Tapping for pain relief

HOW IT WORKS:

Chronic pain is diagnosed when pain persists beyond the expected recovery time of an injury, typically six months or longer. It behaves like a disease and persists even after an injury is fully healed. Often anxiety, stress, and irritability can make physical pain worse. 

If you suffer from chronic pain, Emotional Freedom Technique Tapping (EFT Tapping) can help. EFT Tapping can help you address things you might not even think are associated, including creating personal boundaries, dealing with toxic relationships, clearing resistance to change, understanding the power of diagnosis, and working through anger.

EFT Tapping works so well for pain relief because chronic pain is often tied to unresolved emotional issues. Of course, the physical pain is real, however psychologically you may be magnifying the problem through unresolved negative emotions. Through EFT Tapping, you can work through these negative emotions that are creating a high-stress environment for your body and work towards a relaxing and healing mental state that encourages healing within your body. You can learn more about the connection between emotions, chronic pain, and how tapping can help here.

WHERE TO START:

Download the Tapping Solution App where you’ll find hundreds of tapping meditations in the palm of your hands. Use the search function to find a meditation that best speaks to the pain you’re currently feeling in your body.

How to Tap

Tapping is simple! Just use your fingertips to tap on eight specific meridian points on your body while focusing on negative emotions or physical sensations. Each point that we tap is associated with a part of your body or emotion (outlined below).

You can use both hands or a single hand for each point.

Karate Chop / Side of Hand (Small Intestines)

Use the fingertips of one hand to tap on the side of your other hand. Tapping on this point helps us release feeling stuck and promotes ease in moving forward, letting go, healing from grief, and the ability to be happy in the present moment. We tap here while we say the setup statement three times. The setup statement sets you up for the process by acknowledging how you feel and having some type of acceptance.

Then we cycle through tapping on the following points:

Eyebrow (Bladder)

This point is right where the hair where your eyebrow begins. Use the fingertips on either or both of your hands to tap here. (If using both hands, use one hand on each side of your face.) We use this point to release trauma, hurt, and sadness and to promote peace and emotional healing.

Side of the Eye (Gallbladder)

If you follow your eyebrow, you’ll find yourself at the side of your eye right by the bone. This is the next tapping point. You can use the fingertips on one or both your hands to tap here. This tapping point releases resentment and anger and promotes clarity and compassion.

Under the Eye (Stomach)

The next tapping point is on the bone directly under your eye. You can tap on one or both sides using your fingertips. You can tap on one side or the other, or both sides. Tapping here releases fear and anxiety and promotes contentment, calmness, and the feeling of safety.

Under the Nose (Governing Vessel)

Use one hand or both to tap on the space directly under your nose, just above your top lip. Tapping here releases shame and powerlessness and promotes self-acceptance, self-empowerment, and compassion for self and others.

Chin/Under the Mouth (Central Meridian)

Use one hand or both to tap on the crease between your lower lip and chin. We tap here to release confusion and uncertainty and to promote clarity, certainty, confidence, and self-acceptance.

Collarbone (Kidney Meridian)

To find this point, start at your collarbone and go down an inch. For this tapping point, you can either use the pads of your fingers, as you’ve tapped on other points or use your whole hand. Tapping here releases the feeling of being stuck and promotes ease in moving forward, confidence, and clarity.

Under the Arm (Spleen Meridian)

Use your whole hand to tap under your armpit. (Only tap under one armpit at a time.) We tap here to releases guilt, worry, and obsessing and to promote clarity, confidence, relaxation, and compassion for self and others.

Top of the Head (Crown Chakra)

This is not one particular point, rather it’s a collection of many meridian points. Tapping on the top of the head opens the crown chakra and promotes spiritual connection, while “anchoring in” the new balance and alignment from the completed tapping round.

After tapping on the top of the head, we start back at the eyebrow point. You can learn more about how these points were chosen, as well as alternative tapping points here

A quick note: We recommend starting every tapping meditation session by rating the intensity of your feeling on a scale from zero to ten. You’ll do this again at the end of your session so you can keep track of your progress. If you’re doing this in the Tapping Solution App, the app will automatically prompt you for this. Otherwise, you could write it down.

Establishing a Tapping Habit

To get the best results from tapping, it’s important to tap regularly. To support you with this, we recommend establishing a daily habit. Here are a few tips to get started.

1) Choose a specific time each day

Tapping at the same time each day will help you remember to complete the task as you’ll start associating that time of day with tapping. The time of day will not impact the effectiveness of your tapping session, so you have full freedom and flexibility around it. We recommend setting a reminder or alarm on your phone or utilizing the notification feature within The Tapping Solution App.

2) Create a sacred space.

The best way to start and keep a new habit is to make it enjoyable. By creating a relaxing, sacred space to complete your tapping practice in, you’ll ensure that it’s an enjoyable experience that you’ll want to keep doing.

3) Start with shorter sessions

We don’t recommend starting with extended tapping sessions (approximately 15-20 minutes long). While they can be impactful, especially for physical pain, we recommend starting with shorter 8-10 minute sessions.

4) Find an accountability buddy

Having a “partner in crime” to tap with you or at least check in with you on your tapping can help keep you accountable. Ask one of your friends, or join our Facebook Group of active tappers to find a buddy to tap with.

5) If you fall off track, try again!

Missed a day or two? Maybe even a couple of weeks? No problem. There’s no need to feel guilty or bad about yourself. Just pick back up where you left on and be open to the healing.

As you strengthen your EFT practice, you may also want to review some of the common mistakes that people make while tapping.

Useful resources to start your Tapping journey

One of the best places to start your Tapping journey is by downloading the Tapping Solution App. There are several free meditations available, and our premium membership unlocks over 250 tapping meditations on a variety of topics.

We also have a selection of free meditations listed on our website.

If you’re looking to connect with a community of tappers, want to talk about your experience, or have questions you need answered we encourage you to join our Facebook community. (We currently have over 43,000 members!)

Until next time…

Keep Tapping!

Nick Ortner

Nick is the CEO and founder of The Tapping Solution



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7 Comments on this post

  1. helena says:

    Hello Mr.Nick,
    ..even if I know “something” how my body “talks”- I experience sth “different”-just starting the very first time-and each of meridian spot was very painful and my side of palm got bruises
    When I get to the bad my heart was beating much stronger that usually/could not sleep/..AUTOIMMUNE DISORDER???..but I love to….fight:):):)and never give up…

    • Nick Ortner says:

      Hi Helena! You definitely sound like a fighter. I’d suggest tapping more gently on the meridian points to see if that helps. If not, you can also imagine tapping on the points as well. 🙂

  2. Emily says:

    Hi I’ve been tapping for a couple of days now as I have a hamstring injury that just won’t get better. Now it has actually got worse! Is this normal ? To get worse first?
    Thanks

    • Nick Ortner says:

      Hi Emily! It is possible, but usually not as a result of the tapping itself. Anger, frustration, and all such emotions can help contribute to an injury in a detrimental way. Also, if there are emotions that are “trapped” in your hamstring, they may all just be piled up, waiting to be released. You may wish to watch this video to help guide you with your tapping. 🙂

  3. Victoria says:

    How did you learn about tapping and how effective has it been in your own life?

    • Nick Ortner says:

      Hi Victoria! I’ve been studying self-help material for a long time and EFT was something that I came across years ago. I used it on a stiff neck one morning and instantly it went away. From that point on, I knew there was something big here, so I’ve successfully applied it to every area of my life thereafter with terrific results. 🙂

      I talk a lot about my own personal story with Tapping in my book.

  4. Mudde rovin says:

    I love to use this to see mi heart its pumping faster what’s the problem

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