What is tapping?
Millions of people are settling for lives filled with poor health and emotional baggage. Not knowing how to achieve the joyful and satisfying lives they desire, they’re stuck accepting a lifestyle of emotional trauma, chronic physical pain, compulsions and addictions, or perhaps just an empty feeling inside. Along with these problems come pills to kill the pain, sleep at night, and suppress anxiety – but this is hardly better than the disease. If you’re like many people, you feel trapped, caught in this cycle. You’re tired of feeling sad, depressed, anxious, discontent, and unwell. You’re sick of the expensive and ineffective treatments. You’re fed up with relinquishing the power over your health and happiness to psychologists and doctors. You’d like to grow, flourish, and thrive, putting the past in the past. You want to be your best, living a life that is filled with peacefulness, joy, and fulfillment, from day to day and moment to moment. With Tapping, you can do that. You can discover the vital secret for emotional wholeness and physical relief. You can take your physical and emotional well-being into your own hands. It’s simple for anyone to master, and it’s free. Tapping provides relief from chronic pain, emotional problems, disorders, addictions, phobias, post traumatic stress disorder, and physical diseases. While Tapping is newly set to revolutionize the field of health and wellness, the healing concepts that it’s based upon have been in practice in Eastern medicine for over 5,000 years. Like acupuncture and acupressure, Tapping is a set of techniques which utilize the body’s energy meridian points. You can stimulate these meridian points by tapping on them with your fingertips – literally tapping into your body’s own energy and healing power. Your body is more powerful than you can imagine… filled with life, energy, and a compelling ability for self-healing. With Tapping, you can take control of that power.
So How Does It All Work?
All negative emotions are felt through a disruption of the body’s energy. And physical pain and disease are intricately connected to negative emotions. Health problems create feedback – physical symptoms cause emotional distress, and unresolved emotional problems manifest themselves through physical symptoms. So, the body’s health must be approached as a whole. You cannot treat the symptoms without addressing the cause, and vice-versa. The body, like everything in the universe, is composed of energy. Restore balance to the body’s energy, and you will mend the negative emotions and physical symptoms that stem from the energy disruption. Tapping restores the body’s energy balance, and negative emotions are conquered. 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. 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 the system. This concept comes from the doctrines of traditional Chinese medicine, which referred to the body’s energy as “ch’i.” In ancient times, the Chinese discovered 100 meridian points. They also discovered that by stimulating these meridian points, they could heal. Call it energy, call it the Source, call it life force, call it ch’i… Whatever you want to call it, it works. In some ways, Tapping is similar to acupuncture. Like Tapping, acupuncture achieves healing through stimulating the body’s meridians and energy flow. However, unlike Tapping, acupuncture involves needles! “No needles” is definitely one of the advantages of Tapping. Acupuncture also takes years to master. Acupuncture practitioners must memorize hundreds of meridian points along the body; the knowledge and training take years to acquire. Tapping is simple and painless. It can be learned by anyone. And you can apply it to yourself, whenever you want, wherever you are. It’s less expensive and less time consuming. It can be used with specific emotional intent towards your own unique life challenges and experiences. Most importantly, it gives you the power to heal yourself, putting control over your destiny back into your own hands.
The Science Behind Tapping’s Success
Like many healing arts that draw upon ancient wisdom, Tapping has been met with a fair share of skepticism. Many doctors and psychologists have been quick to dismiss it as “woo woo”, despite the heaping anecdotal evidence from practitioners and people who have used EFT on their own. In recent years however, there’s been a growing pool of undeniable research that proves what millions of people the world over have known for some time now: that EFT produces real, lasting breakthroughs and significantly improves or even eliminates conditions that hospital treatments, medication and years of psychotherapy often fail to adequately deal with. Studies done at no less than Harvard Medical School verify these assertions. Research done at the prestigious university during the last decade found that the brain’s stress and fear response – which is controlled by an almond-shaped part of your brain called the amygdala – could be lessened by stimulating the meridian points used in acupuncture, acupressure, and of course, tapping. Although these studies focused on acupuncture and as such, used needles, follow-up double-blind research revealed that stimulating the points through pressure, as we do in tapping, gave rise to a similar response! Another exciting set of research was undertaken by Dr. Dawson Church. His team performed a randomized controlled trial to study how an hour-long tapping session would impact the stress levels of 83 subjects. To do this, Dr. Church and his team measured their level of cortisol, a hormone secreted by the body when it undergoes stress. Their findings? The average level of cortisol reduction was 24%, with a whopping reduction of almost 50% in some subjects! In comparison, there was no significant cortisol reduction in those who underwent an hour of traditional talk therapy. Dr. Church also created The Stress Project, which teaches tapping to war veterans suffering with PTSD. The results have been astounding: an average 63% decrease in PTSD symptoms after six rounds of tapping. It’s mind-blowing and exciting research, which has converted many non-believers in the scientific community along the way. All signs indicate that this trend of revealing research and swayed skeptics will continue as millions of people around the globe continue to discover the power of tapping.
The History of Tapping: An Accidental Discovery Leads to a Healing Revolution
It began in 1980, with a psychologist by the name of Roger Callahan, and a patient with an extreme phobia of water. Mary’s fear of water controlled her life and kept her from daily activities. She was unable to take her children to the beach and was unable to drive near the ocean; she grew fearful when it rained, and could not even withstand the sight of water on TV. She had vivid nightmares involving water. Dr. Callahan and Mary had been working on this problem together for over a year. Finally, Mary worked up the courage to sit within sight of the pool at Dr. Callahan’s house. Even doing this caused Mary extreme distress, and though she found ways to cope with the intense fear and emotional pain, she did not overcome her phobia. They discussed her problem, and how to overcome it, but without success. Her fear of being near the water caused Mary stomach pains – a common “gut reaction.” Dr. Callahan had recently been studying traditional Chinese medicines, and learning about meridians. Suddenly he had an inspiration. Remembering that there was an acupuncture point for the stomach meridian on the cheekbone, he asked her to tap there, thinking it might cure her stomach pains. Mary tapped her cheekbone as directed, and this little action changed medicinal history! The response seemed miraculous, to both Mary and Dr. Callahan. Her stomach pains disappeared. But even more amazingly, her phobia of water disappeared, too! She ran down to the pool and began splashing herself with water, rejoicing in her newfound freedom from fear. Based on this discovery, Dr. Callahan began a series of investigations to develop and refine this technique, which he termed Thought Field Therapy. Gary Craig trained under Dr. Callahan’s tutelage in the 1990’s, learning the procedures for TFT. As time passed, Craig began to observe some problems with TFT, aspects that he saw were unnecessary complications. TFT required practitioners to tap on a specific sequence of meridians (called an algorithm) for each different problem. Diagnosing the problem required a technique called muscle testing, wherein the practitioner would measure the relative strength of a muscle, while the patient explored various thoughts or statements. Craig observed repeated scenarios in which the problem was incorrectly diagnosed or the practitioner tapped out the meridian points in the wrong order, yet the patient was still helped.. Based on these observations, he concluded that it did not matter in which order the meridian points were tapped. Craig developed EFT as a simplified, improved version of the concepts behind Callahan’s TFT. EFT has one basic, simple sequence of points to tap, no matter what the situation. Because of this, thousands of people have used Tapping for illnesses and to resolve emotional problems. Tapping practitioners have studied the techniques and trained to take on more complicated and difficult cases, and these dedicated practitioners report more successful applications daily. More and more people are discovering and exploring Tapping. Many are discovering how Tapping can change their lives.
Introduction to The Tapping Points
Basic Tapping Sequence for Anxiety
As discussed, Tapping can be used for everything – try it on everything! In this example, we’ll focus on general anxiety.
Try it now with this initial sequence. Here’s how a basic Tapping sequence works:
- Identify the problem you want to focus on. It can be general anxiety, or it can be a specific situation or issue which causes you to feel anxious.
- Consider the problem or situation. How do you feel about it right now? Rate the intensity level of your anxiety, with zero being the lowest level of anxiety and ten being the highest.
- Compose your set up statement. Your set up statement should acknowledge the problem you want to deal with, then follow it with an unconditional affirmation of yourself as a person.
“Even though I feel this anxiety, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“Even though I’m anxious about my interview, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“Even though I’m feeling this anxiety about my financial situation, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“Even though I panic when I think about ______, I deeply and completely accept myself. ”
“Even though I’m worried about how to approach my boss, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“Even though I’m having trouble breathing, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
With four fingers on one hand, tap the Karate Chop point on your other hand. The Karate Chop point is on the outer edge of the hand, on the opposite side from the thumb.
Repeat the set up statement three times aloud, while simultaneously tapping the Karate Chop point. Now take a deep breath!
Get ready to begin tapping! Here are some tips to help you achieve the right technique.
- You should use a firm but gentle pressure, as if you were drumming on the side of your desk or testing a melon for ripeness.
- You can use all four fingers, or just the first two (the index and middle fingers). Four fingers are generally used on the top of the head, the collarbone, under the arm… wider areas. On sensitive areas, like around the eyes, you can use just two.
- Tap with your fingertips, not your fingernails. The sound will be round and mellow.
- The tapping order begins at the top and works down. You can end by returning to the top of the head, to complete the loop.
Now, tap 5-7 times each on the remaining eight points in the following sequence:
The crown, center and top of the head. Tap with all four fingers on both hands.
The inner edges of the eyebrows, closest to the bridge of the nose. Use two fingers.
Side of eye (SE)
The hard area between the eye and the temple. Use two fingers. Feel out this area gently so you don’t poke yourself in the eye!
Under eye (UE)
The hard area under the eye, that merges with the cheekbone. Use two fingers, in line beneath the pupil.
Under nose (UN)
The point centered between the bottom of the nose and the upper lip. Use two fingers.
This point is right beneath the previous one, and is centered between the bottom of the lower lip and the chin.
Tap just below the hard ridge of your collarbone with four fingers.
On your side, about four inches beneath the armpit. Use four fingers.
And back where you started, to complete the sequence.
As you tap on each point, repeat a simple reminder phrase, such as “my anxiety” or “my interview” or “my financial situation.”
Now take another deep breath!
- Now that you’ve completed the sequence, focus on your problem again. How intense is the anxiety now, in comparison to a few minutes ago? Give it a rating on the same number scale.
- If your anxiety is still higher than “2”, you can do another round of tapping. Keep tapping until the anxiety is gone. You can change your set up statement to take into account your efforts to fix the problem, and your desire for continued progress. “Even though I have some remaining anxiety, I deeply and completely accept myself.” “Even though I’m still a little worried about this interview, I deeply and completely accept myself.” And so on.
- Now that you’ve focused on dispelling your immediate anxiety, you can work on installing some positive feelings instead.
Note: This approach is different from traditional “positive thinking.” You’re not being dishonest with yourself. You’re not trying to obscure the stress and anxiety inside yourself with a veneer of insincere affirmations. Rather, you’ve confronted and dealt with the anxiety and negative feelings, offering deep and complete acceptance to both your feelings and your self. Now, you’re turning your thoughts and vibrations to the powerful and positive. That’s what makes Tapping so much more effective than the “positive thinking” techniques that many of you have already tried. It’s not just a mental trick; instead, you’re using these positive phrases and tapping to tune into the very real energy of positivity, affirmation, and joy that is implicit inside you. You’re actually changing your body’s energy into a more positive flow, a more positive vibration.
Here are some example phrases to guide you:
“I have faith in my ability to change.”
“I am joyful about these positive changes.”
“I am accomplishing so much.”
“I enjoy the calm and peace that I have.”
“I love the person that I am.”
“I am becoming a more relaxed and joyful person.”
You can use these positive phrases with the same tapping points and sequences described above.
Congratulations! You’ve completed your first Tapping sequence.
For more information on Tapping, make sure to fill out the form at the top or bottom of this page to receive the first 2 chapters of Nick Ortner’s new book “The Tapping Solution: A Revolutionary System for Stress-Free Living.”
How to do the EFT Tapping Basics – The Basic Recipe
The Basic Tapping Procedure – The Centerpiece of EFT
The EFT Tapping Basic Recipe is an easy to use healing tool that provides the very foundation for expanding your emotional freedom. It is the tapping procedure that we use in every round of EFT … it is easy to learn and easy to apply, which is why EFT has become well known as a tool that anyone can use. By itself, the EFT Tapping Basic Recipe can be applied to any issue you want, and although it is still only the first step to EFT’s full potential, it continues to provide results that range from encouraging to impressive. The rest of the benefits come when you learn how to aim the tapping procedure at the best targets, but you will need to know the basics before learning the rest, so let’s get started!
EFT Basic Recipe cake
A recipe, of course, has certain ingredients which must be added in a certain order. If you are baking a cake, for example, you must use sugar instead of pepper and you must add the sugar before you put it in the oven.
The EFT Basic Recipe is no exception. Each ingredient must be introduced precisely as described and they must be added in the proper order.
Although I am going to some length to describe it in detail, The EFT Tapping Basic Recipe has only 5 brief steps (ingredients) and takes very little effort to learn. Once memorized, each round of it can be performed in about 30 seconds. It will take some practice, of course, but after a few tries the whole process becomes familiar and you can do it in your sleep (millions have done this, including children). You will then have a permanent tool that you can use for a lifetime.
Remember our Discovery Statement?
“The cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body’s energy system.”
EFT Basic Recipe uses
It follows, then, that energy disruptions are the reason we have any kind of emotional issue like grief, anger, guilt, depression, trauma, and fear. Since both physical and performance issues often have emotional roots, it also follows that clearing energy disruptions can be useful for those as well.
Once we find those energy disruptions, we use the tapping process to correct them. The EFT Tapping Basic Recipe blends focused wording with a 9 point Tapping sequence. The focused wording tunes us in to the issue and this, in turn, points us to the energy disruptions (zzzzzts) that we need to address.
This wording is an essential part of the process because it tells our system what we are working on. Negative emotions come about because we are tuned into certain thoughts or circumstances which, in turn, cause our energy systems to disrupt. Otherwise, we function normally. One’s fear of heights is not present, for example, while one is reading the comic section of the Sunday newspaper (and therefore not tuned in to the problem).
Once tuned into the issue, the Tapping stimulates the energy pathways thereby balancing the resulting energy disruptions (zzzzzts). Also, for clarification, the points we use are at or near the end points of the energy pathways (meridians and vessels) … OR … at points along these pathways that are close to the body’s surface.
You may be aware that acupuncturists study and use over 300 meridian points on the body instead of the mere handful that are used by the EFT Tapping process. Further, unlike EFT, acupuncturists associate each of the energy pathways with body organs (kidney, stomach, spleen, etc.) and emotions (anger, fear, sadness, etc.). We are not denying the validity of this approach but we are ignoring it. EFT Tapping represents a different use of these pathways that allows someone with no formal training in Chinese medicine to realign disruptions on their own with a simple process.
You may learn the intricacies of the Chinese meridian system if you wish, but this knowledge is not necessary to generate first class results with EFT. In practice, the 12 meridians and 2 governing vessels are interconnected and thus sending balancing energy down one pathway influences other pathways. That is why we usually need to address only a few pathways to get the job done.
Before I demonstrate The EFT Tapping Basic Recipe on a video, let’s (1) take a look at the Tapping Points, (2) set the stage with some useful Tapping Tips and (3) review the 5 Steps in The EFT Tapping Basic Recipe.
The EFT Tapping Points
These illustrations, together with the written aids below them, are self-explanatory and are explored in detail later (including videos). For now, just locate each of these points on your own body and touch each of them with your fingertips.
Written aids to locating the EFT Basic recipe Tapping Points
KC: The Karate Chop point (abbreviated KC) is located at the center of the fleshy part of the outside of your hand (either hand) between the top of the wrist and the base of the baby finger or….stated differently….the part of your hand you would use to deliver a karate chop.
TOH: On the top of the head. If you were to draw a line from one ear, over the head, to the other ear, and another line from your nose to the back of your neck, the TOH point is where those two lines would intersect.
EB: At the beginning of the eyebrow, just above and to one side of the nose. This point is abbreviated EB for beginning of the EyeBrow.
SE: On the bone bordering the outside corner of the eye. This point is abbreviated SE for Side of the Eye.
UE: On the bone under an eye about 1 inch below your pupil. This point is abbreviated UE for Under the Eye.
UN: On the small area between the bottom of your nose and the top of your upper lip. This point is abbreviated UN for Under the Nose.
Ch: Midway between the point of your chin and the bottom of your lower lip. Even though it is not directly on the point of the chin, we call it the chin point because it is descriptive enough for people to understand easily. This point is abbreviated Ch for Chin.
CB: The junction where the sternum (breastbone), collarbone and the first rib meet. To locate it, first place your forefinger on the U-shaped notch at the top of the breastbone (about where a man would knot his tie). From the bottom of the U, move your forefinger down toward the navel 1 inch and then go to the left (or right) 1 inch. This point is abbreviated CB for CollarBone even though it is not on the collarbone (or clavicle) per se. It is at the beginning of the collarbone and we call it the collarbone point because that is a lot easier to say than “the junction where the sternum (breastbone), collarbone and the first rib meet.”
UA: On the side of the body, at a point even with the nipple (for men) or in the middle of the bra strap (for women). It is about 4 inches below the armpit. This point is abbreviated UA for Under the Arm.
These tips answer the most common questions.
Some of the Tapping points have twin points on each side of the body. For example, the “eyebrow” point on the right side of the body has a twin point on the left side of the body. Years of experience have taught us that you only need to tap one of these twin points. However, if you have both hands free you can certainly tap on both sides for good measure.
You can also switch sides when you tap these points. For example, during the same round of The EFT Tapping Basic Recipe, you can tap the “karate chop” point on your left hand and the eyebrow point on the right side of your body. This makes the Tapping process more convenient to perform.
The Tapping is done with two or more fingertips. This is so you can cover a larger area and thereby insure that your Tapping covers the correct point.
While you can tap with the fingertips of either hand, most people use their dominant hand. For example, right handed people tap with the fingertips of their right hand while left handed people tap with the fingertips of their left hand.
You tap approximately 5 times on each point. No need to count the taps because anywhere between 3 and 7 taps on each point is adequate. The only exception is during the Setup step (explained later) where the Karate Chop Point is tapped continuously while you repeat some standard wording.
The process is easily memorized. After you have tapped the Karate Chop Point, the rest of the points go down the body (see the Sequence Points in the diagram above). The Eyebrow point, for example, is below the Top of the Head point. The Side of the Eye point is below the Eyebrow point. And so on down the body.
The 5 Steps of The EFT Tapping Basic Recipe
These simple steps are also given in the video below. For now, just familiarize yourself with the concepts. The video will walk you through this Tapping process so you can memorize it easily.
1. Identify the Issue:
All you do here is make a mental note of what ails you. This becomes the target at which you “aim” the EFT Tapping Basic Recipe. Examples might be: Sore shoulder, my father embarrassing me at my age 8 birthday party or hitting that high singing note. Be sure you are only targeting one issue at a time. As you will learn later, trying to combine issues in the process will compromise your results.
2. Test the Initial Intensity:
Here you establish a before level of the issue’s intensity by assigning a number to it on a 0-10 scale where 10 is the worst the issue has ever been and 0 is no problem whatsoever. This serves as a benchmark so we can compare our progress after each round of The EFT Tapping Basic Recipe. If, for example, we start at an 8 and eventually reach a 4, then we know we have achieved a 50% improvement. The number of possible issues we can address with The EFT Tapping Basic Recipe is endless and they don’t all fit into neat testing boxes. That is why we have an entire segment later on dedicated to Testing Your EFT Tapping Work. For this stage of your learning, however, here are some useful methods to help you access your issue(s) and arrive at your 0-10 numbers. They apply to most issues.
For emotional issues, you can recreate the memories in your mind and assess their discomforts.
For physical ailments you can simply assess the existing pain or discomfort.
For performance issues you can attempt the desired performance level and measure how close you come to it.
3. The Setup:
The Setup is a process we use to start each round of Tapping. By designing a simple phrase and saying it while continuously Tapping the KC point, you let your system know what you’re trying to address.
When designing this phrase there are two goals to achieve:
1) acknowledge the problem
2) accept yourself in spite of it
We do this by saying:
“Even though I have this _______________, I deeply and completely accept myself”.
The blank above represents the problem you want to address, so you can just insert things like:
This sore shoulder:
“Even though I have this sore shoulder, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
This fear of spiders:
“Even though I have this fear of spiders, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
This humiliation at my eighth grade graduation:
“Even though I have this humiliation at my eighth grade graduation, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
This difficulty making free throws:
“Even though I have this difficulty making free throws, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
Not all of the issues will fit neatly into “Even though I have this ____________,” so you can use some flexibility when designing your Setup phrase. For example, instead of “this sore shoulder” you could say “Even though my shoulder hurts, I deeply and completely accept myself”. Or instead of “this humiliation at my eighth grade graduation” you could say “Even though my dad humiliated me at my eighth grade graduation.”
By using “Even though I have this _______________,” you will automatically choose something that represents your experience, your reaction, or a problem that you recognize as something that belongs to you, and that is an important feature.
We do not want to use EFT on someone else’s problem. For example, rather than, “Even though my son is addicted to drugs, I deeply and completely accept myself,” it’s better to focus on your own reaction which might be, “Even though I’m frustrated by my son’s drug addiction.” Or instead of “Even though my husband works too much…,” better to try something like, “Even though I feel alone when my husband stays late at the office…” We want to aim EFT at our part of the problem rather than trying to fix someone else’s problem.
By identifying the problem with this phrase, you “set up” the initial zzzzzt behind the scenes so the Tapping has something to resolve.
Important, Important, Important:
The language that we use always aims at the negative. This is essential because it is the negative that creates the energy disruptions (zzzzzts) that The EFT Tapping Basic Recipe clears (and thus brings peace to the system). By contrast, conventional methods and popular self-help books stress positive thinking and preach avoiding the negative. This sounds good but, for our purposes, it does little more than cover over the negative with pleasant sounding words. EFT, on the other hand, needs to aim at the negative so it can be neutralized. This allows our natural positives to bubble up to the top.
4. The Sequence:
This is the workhorse part of The EFT Tapping Basic Recipe that stimulates/balances the body’s energy pathways. To perform it, you tap each of the points shown in the Sequence Points diagram (see above) while saying a Reminder Phrase that keeps your system tuned into the issue. I list the points below followed by a description of the Reminder Phrase:
Top of the Head (TOH)
Beginning of the Eyebrow (EB)
Side of the Eye (SE)
Under the Eye (UE)
Under the Nose (UN)
Chin Point (CH)
Beginning of the Collarbone (CB)
Under the Arm (UA)
The Reminder Phrase is quite simple as you need only identify the issue with some brief wording. Depending on your issue, you might say the following at each tapping point….
“This sore shoulder”,
“My father embarrassed me”,
“This difficulty in singing that high note.”
5. Test the Intensity Again:
Finally, you establish an “after” level of the issue’s intensity by assigning a number to it on a 0-10 scale. You compare this with the before level to see how much progress you have made. If you are not down to zero then repeat the process until you either achieve zero or plateau at some level. You can also include some additional Tapping points that will be introduced in the next section of this article. Otherwise, you will likely need to “get to the roots of the issue” (see Intro to Part II of The Gold Standard EFT Tutorial).
Now follow along with this video as I demonstrate The EFT Tapping Basic Recipe live. It assumes you have familiarized yourself with the Tapping Points, Tapping Tips and the 5 Steps to the EFT Tapping Basic Recipe given above. Accordingly, you may want to review them again before proceeding with the video.