Tapping for Stress, Depression, Pain, Healing and More

I downloaded The Tapping Solution app probably two years ago and it sat there on my phone completely unused. I think I had first heard about it in a podcast episode, but I never even opened the app to try a tapping meditation. Like so many, 2020 was a year of immense stress for me for personal and global reasons. To be honest, stress and anxiety weren’t ever something that I really struggled with, but as 2020 progressed I could feel the effects of the stress hurting me physically and mentally.

I knew it was time to start making it a priority to calm my nerves, bring my body out of fight or flight, and just find stillness. I had wanted to get into meditation for years, but the whole “clear your mind and just stop thinking for 20 minutes” never really worked for me. Long story short, something brought me back to The Tapping Solution app and I started doing the free tapping meditations they offered.

I was blown away at the relief it brought and as 2020 came to a close and 2021 began, I made it a commitment to do at least one tapping meditation per day. These meditations have brought me so much peace that it hasn’t even been difficult to maintain. I can feel my mind craving the stillness and now it’s how I start and end my days (and sometimes in between if I’m feeling stressed).

What I love about tapping is it’s not simply 10 minutes of stillness that helps calm your mind. Studies show that tapping can actually halt the flight or fight response within the body. You guys know I love breaking down the science behind everything so in this article I wanted to share what tapping is, the science behind it as well as the benefits!

Image: Jack Canfield

 

So What Is Tapping?

Tapping is officially known as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and is a technique that is a blend of ancient Chinese medicine and modern psychology. The technique involves gently tapping on specific meridian points on the face and upper body to restore balance to the energy in your body and halt the fight or flight response put out by your amygdala. See below for a video on the basics of tapping!

The Amygdala – The “Smoke Detector” of the Body

To really do this article justice, I have to pause and take a moment to explain a tiny bit of how the amygdala plays a role in stress. This small part of the brain is often known as the “smoke detector” of the body. When it senses danger it begins to send out warning signals to the rest of the body, triggering the oh-so-common fight or flight response. Unfortunately, this warning system can often be triggered even when we arent in life or death situations.

In fact, what frequently happens for most people is that they have a traumatic or negative experience in childhood. This could be something as horrible as abuse or as embarrassing as having your entire class laugh at you during a presentation. These early negative experiences in childhood train the amygdala to send off warning signals when it senses a situation similar to the original negative experience.

These warning bells can even be triggered simply by the expectation of a similar experience. The simple explanation behind why so many people feel stressed or sick thinking about public speaking. As we go through our day, the amygdala can be triggered countless times in anticipation of negative situations, leaving you exhausted, wired and tired, restless and so much more.

What the Science Shows

Researchers from Harvard Medical school have found that tapping on specific meridian points is able to reduce fear-causing activity in the amygdala and other parts of the brain. Another study also found that tapping helps reduce cortisol levels in the blood and was correlated with decreased severity in anxiety, depression, and overall psychological health.

Lastly, one of the final factors that makes tapping so powerful at creating positive change is that it can actually retrain the limbic response (fight-or-flight) in the body. If you tap on the designated meridian points while thinking of a negative experience, you can begin to rewire or deactivate the “smoke detector” from signaling.

Let’s say that thinking about a specific childhood experience causes you significant anxiety, stress, or even depression. Your body begins to prepare the warning bells to sound, but as you begin tapping, your body deactivates the amygdala’s alarm. This trains the brain to know that this thing that was once considered dangerous, in fact, is not. For some, it only takes one tapping session to rewire a negative limbic response. For others, it may require repetition over days or weeks to really heal that old wound and reset the brain.

Benefits of Tapping

Tapping can help with a huge range of physical and mental health concerns:

  • Chronic Pain
  • Acute Pain
  • Anxiety, Stress
  • Depression
  • Severe Phobias
  • Weight Loss
  • Chronic Diseases (thyroid issues, cancer, diabetes, and so much more)
  • PTSD
  • Brain Injuries
  • Sleep
  • Energy
  • Cravings and Addictions
  • And More!

In the broadest sense, tapping allows our body to process and release negative emotions associated with our stress. Left repressed, painful/negative emotions will fester and can eventually manifest into very real diseases, chronic pain, and more. It really is one of the simplest and cheapest (free) forms of therapy that could be easily added to a daily routine.

I am sure there are 100’s of videos on Youtube for tapping so browse around! I use  TheTapping Solution App which has 100’s of guided tapping meditations for all different topics. I love it so much I recently subscribed to have full access to all of their medications (although they have a fair number of free ones as well). For the readers out there, you can also buy The Tapping Solution book on Amazon.

I have been meaning to write an article on tapping for a few weeks now so I am ecstatic that I could finally share this with you all! My experience with tapping has been so profound that I have been sharing it with everyone.

However, just because it has been life-changing for me does not necessarily mean it will for you. Like I always say, what works amazingly for one person may not work well or at all for another. As unique individuals, we each need to go on our own exploratory journies to discover what works well for our own physiology and psychology. Lot’s of love!

Oh, and P.S. if you found this article helpful, please consider sharing on social media and tagging me (@leighannlindsey) or sharing with a friend who could benefit from this information!

 

Sources
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23364126
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26894319
  • http://journals.lww.com/jonmd/pages/articleviewer.aspx?year=2016&issue=05000&article=00009&type=abstract
  • https://www.emofree.com/eft-tutorial/tapping-basics/what-is-eft.html

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