In our quest for emotional well-being and personal growth, we often encounter diverse approaches and techniques. One such powerful tool gaining popularity is energy tapping. Developed at the intersection of ancient Eastern healing practices and modern psychology, energy tapping offers a unique and transformative way to address emotional wounds and promote holistic healing. In this blog, we will delve into the world of energy tapping, exploring its origins, benefits, and scientific evidence supporting its efficacy.
What is Energy Tapping?
Energy tapping, also known as Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), is a therapeutic modality that combines elements of acupuncture, neuroscience, and cognitive psychology. It involves gently tapping on specific acupressure points on the body while focusing on emotional experiences, thoughts, or physical sensations.
Origin and Development
Energy tapping has its roots in traditional Chinese medicine, which recognizes the existence of energy meridians throughout the body. These meridians, according to ancient Chinese philosophy, carry the life force energy, known as Qi, that flows through our bodies. In the 1980s, Stanford engineer Gary Craig developed and simplified the technique into what is now widely known as Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). Craig’s work was built upon the earlier discoveries of Dr. Roger Callahan, who developed a related approach called Thought Field Therapy (TFT).
How Does Energy Tapping Work?
Energy tapping operates on the principle that emotional distress and negative thoughts disrupt the body’s energy system, leading to physical and psychological imbalances. By tapping on specific acupressure points, EFT aims to restore the smooth flow of energy, allowing the individual to process and release emotional blocks or traumas.
According to Somatic Wellness & Trauma Release Expert Suzanne Gundersen, Neuro Energy Tapping is a self-use acupressure technique that calms the mind and relaxes the body. It can help you experience decreased symptoms, increased peace, and have more clarity and choice. Tapping on energy points of the body sends a calming message to the brain, which shifts how you feel and experience stress.
Techniques for Energy Tapping
There are various techniques and approaches to perform energy tapping. Here are a few examples of commonly used techniques you can try at home:
Basic EFT Tapping Sequence
Begin by identifying a specific issue or emotion you want to address.
Rate the intensity of that issue or emotion on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being the most intense.
Create a setup statement that acknowledges the issue while affirming self-acceptance. For example: “Even though I have this [issue], I deeply and completely accept myself.”
Tap with your fingertips on specific acupressure points while repeating the setup statement or focusing on the issue.
The basic tapping points include the top of the head, eyebrow, side of the eye, under the eye, under the nose, chin, collarbone, and under the arm.
After a few rounds of tapping, reassess the intensity of the issue and continue until the intensity reaches a lower level or dissipates completely.
Tearless Trauma Technique (TTT)
TTT is a gentle variation of the basic EFT technique that can be helpful for addressing traumatic experiences.
Instead of directly focusing on the traumatic event, the individual uses a metaphorical approach to tap on the emotional or physical sensations associated with the trauma.
By tapping on the feelings or sensations, the intensity of the traumatic memory can be reduced without directly reliving the experience.
The Movie Technique is a visualization-based approach that targets specific memories or events.
Choose a specific memory or event you want to work on and visualize it as if watching a movie on a screen.
Tap on the acupressure points while narrating the movie, describing the key details, emotions, and sensations associated with the memory.
Repeat the process several times, gradually modifying the movie to create a sense of empowerment, resolution, or acceptance.
This technique involves tapping along with someone else’s session, even if their issue is different from yours.
As you tap along, you may find that your own emotional and physical experiences start to shift, even without directly focusing on your personal issue.
Borrowing Benefits taps into the interconnectedness of our emotional experiences, allowing the tapping to have a positive impact on various aspects of our well-being.
9 Gamut Procedure
The 9 Gamut Procedure combines tapping with specific eye movements and cognitive tasks to stimulate both sides of the brain.
Tap on the “gamut point,” a spot located between the knuckles of the little and ring fingers, while performing a series of eye movements, counting, humming, and tapping on the hand.
The 9 Gamut Procedure is often used in cases where stubborn issues persist or to address deeper emotional blocks.
While there are many other methods for energy tapping, it’s essential to adapt and personalize the techniques based on your individual needs and preferences. Suzanne Gundersen encourages clients to be willing and persistent with their practice. Tapping at the same time every day helps establish a regular routine. To begin, she advises starting out with a focus on the most critical issue — the one that holds the most momentum, meaning, and memory in your mind. Tap until you experience a shift such as yawning, sighing, or other recognizable state of physical relaxation. When concentrating on tapping away a concern, it is important to use your own words rather than someone else’s script. You can even write out and then tap on your own story in the words that you use. “Your word is your wand,” states Gundersen.
Benefits of Energy Tapping
Energy tapping helps individuals develop emotional resilience by addressing past traumas, negative beliefs, and recurring patterns of thoughts or behavior. It empowers individuals to release emotional baggage and cultivate self-compassion, leading to enhanced emotional well-being.
Regular practice of energy tapping has been associated with a reduction in stress levels. By tapping on acupressure points, individuals activate the body’s relaxation response, promoting a sense of calm and reducing the intensity of stress reactions.
Anxiety and Depression Management
Energy tapping can be effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. A systematic review by Clond (2016) assessed the efficacy of EFT for anxiety disorders. The review concluded that EFT demonstrated strong evidence for reducing anxiety symptoms across a range of populations, including individuals with phobias, generalized anxiety disorder, and PTSD. A pilot study by Andrade et al. (2012) explored the effectiveness of EFT for depression in a university counseling center setting. The study found that participants who received EFT experienced significant reductions in depressive symptoms compared to a waitlist control group.
Energy tapping has shown promise as a therapeutic approach for individuals who have experienced trauma. A randomized controlled trial conducted by Church et al. (2013) examined the effects of EFT on veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The study found that EFT significantly reduced PTSD symptoms, including anxiety, depression, and overall psychological distress, compared to a control group. By addressing the emotional charge associated with traumatic experiences, EFT facilitates the release and processing of these emotions, fostering healing and recovery.
Energy tapping is a transformative technique that combines ancient wisdom with modern psychology to promote emotional healing and overall well-being. As the scientific evidence continues to accumulate, validating the benefits of energy tapping, more individuals are embracing this powerful tool to address emotional distress and unlock their true potential. By tapping into our body’s energy system, we open doors to profound healing and personal growth.
Interested in trying out tapping for yourself? Watch Suzanne Gundersen’s free Natural Stress Relief with Energy Tapping sessions in The Human Beauty Movement Class Library. Let us know what you think!
- Church, D., Hawk, C., Brooks, A., Toukolehto, O., Wren, M., Dinter, I., & Stein, P. (2013). Psychological trauma symptom improvement in veterans using emotional freedom techniques: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 201(2), 153-160.
- Clond, M. (2016). Emotional freedom techniques for anxiety: A systematic review with meta-analysis. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 204(5), 388-395.
- Andrade, J., Feinstein, D., & Swank, G. (2012). A pilot study of combining cognitive-behavioral therapy and tapping for depression. Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine, 17(1), 17-24.