Tapping for healing
Years ago in a search for ways to deal with binge eating, an ad saying “Tapping technique for weight loss” popped up on my screen. As usual, I ignored that ad. But oddly enough, the word “Tapping” and the name “Gary Craig” just come back again and again to me. So, I said to myself I need to find out what Tapping is about?
What is Tapping method?
EFT Tapping ( EFT=Emotional Freedom Techniques), also called Tapping, is an emotional relief method in which you use your hands to tap on nine meridian points in the body, and at the same time, talk to yourself about the reason why you get stuck in that emotional or physical pain (often time physical pains are just the symptom of emotional intensity). The main purpose of Tapping is to release the stuck emotions and recharge your brain with new positive thoughts (or “energy” as many people may call it). The nine meridian points in EFT Tapping are equivalent to nine acupuncture points which are often used in Chinese medicine practice. Tapping is well-known for chronic physical pain relief, stress relief, and even trauma relief. The most wonderful thing about this method is super easy to practice, and unlike acupuncture, there are no needles involved here. Although a quiet place is preferred, you can basically practice it anywhere at any time. All you need is your hands, a place to sit, and your mindful presence.
The core of tapping, in my opinion, is dissecting the source of emotions, looking closely to know where it comes from. Then you give your mind an explanation for the cause, and finally, release it with affirmations. I found Tapping’s foundation is very much relevant to Thich Nhat Hanh’s teaching. Both emphasize the importance of embracing and loving the “bad” emotions instead of trying to avoid them (actually there is no such thing as “bad” emotions, every emotion is equally treasured in our lifetime. I just cannot think of any better word to describe the concept. Sometimes, words are not so reliable as we think they are, right?).
I know my explanation is way far from a complete discussion of Tapping method. I am not an expert, I am just a learner. Therefore, I highly recommend you to spend the time to explore more with the experts in order to have a full understanding of the method. I list some of the best resources that I’ve found below for you. You can read this for its history, and Gary Craig official website. Also, I attended the Tapping solution summit hosted by Nick Ortner and Jessica Ortner this year, and I fell in love with their program. You can check their website to get more information.
For this post, I would like to share with you about my experience with EFT Tapping, exclusively. I hope my own experience can help people who are looking for a way to heal, yet not knows where to start, see what tools are available for them.
My personal experience with Tapping method
I was impressed by the results other people claim they got from the Tapping such as the elimination of chronic physical pains, more confidence, and even financial freedom etc…Also, I like the theory behind the method. It is well- explained and scientific-sounding enough to me. But still, my resistance towards Tapping is very high. Somehow, it sounds too good to be true to me. And you know, when something is “too good”, you will never want to believe in it, let alone doing it. So, I put it away for a long time.
I’ve seen a lot of improvement in my wellbeing overall since I adapted to a healthy diet and lifestyle. However, deep down inside, I still felt something was missing. My mood was still up and down unpredictably. My mind was torn with random fears that I wasn’t even aware of.
Then, I faced the peak of anxiety when I had to make the decision: whether going with a secure career path to support my family or doing something that I love but very challenging and my family will suffer financially. I am a mother now, and the responsibility of being a mom creates even more pressure.
I know I need to accept the “sunk cost” and carry on. Yet, FEARS stopped me and gave me hundreds of reason for not taking the tough route. Thoughts went through me, and I could not even keep my mind quiet. I was exhausted. At that turning point, I know I must have a serious talk with myself. So, I reach out for Tapping. This time I didn’t care about the skeptics, believe in it or not doesn’t matter anymore because I was desperate for help now.
I did tapping continuously for three days (every early morning when I first wake up). It seems to help calm my mind a lot. I lightened up. But then, on day four, I suddenly got a terrible back pain. I believe that back pain was the worst pain I ever got in entire my life. I could not move, nothing, just laid down on my bed in one position. I did quite a lot of squash exercise recently, but the squash was supposed to help with back pain, not its cause.
My husband begged me to go to the emergency room. But my curious mind urged me to stay at home and kept on tapping for three more days. I believed tapping must somehow relate to this pain because that was the only thing I had done differently from the other days. My hypothesis was that all the hidden emotions getting together and expressing out. My body wants to let me know how tense it was. Sometimes, I feel sorry for my husband. Many people believe he has married a sweet-tempered girl, unfortunately for him, he got a childish, and stubborn one.
During that three days, all I did was laying on my bed, and tap. I tapped every two hours when I was not sleeping. Past memories started to rise clearly in my mind. There was a blurred image that often appeared in my dream about a childhood trauma. I always wonder what it was about because it came so often, but I never got it. Now I know where it came from, and what contributes to my dreadful self-doubt. I feel deeply connected with the girl of the past. I imagined myself holding her hands and saying to her “You are safe. Things happen for only one reason that is for you to grow stronger. The past was the past, and we are now the present. You are more than that.” Then, I let it go.
When writing this post, I’ve tried to recall what exactly is the image, and I regretted not writing it down in my journal. All I could remember is the words I told to my little girl. But, isn’t it even better? Why do I need to keep that bad energy in my memory? No, I don’t. My lack of self-confidence isn’t my innate character, it was built by past experiences. That is all what I need to know to free my own trap. That is what I should keep reminding me from now on.
When you try to suppress something, it can hold silent for a while, but it is still there and it can burn you anytime. Opposingly, when you recognize the pain and forgive the contributors, but most importantly, forgive yourself for not knowing how to get out of that situation, you will totally be free. For sure, it will be very scary and sometimes hurtful to look deeply into the darkest corner, but the pain eventually is just an evidence of the healing process.
I then saw the images of my grandfathers, my grandmother, and my high school former teacher. They all had left me. I had not cried nor shown griefs with anyone, not because I didn’t care, or I don’t love them. In fact, fear made me tearless. I was too afraid of facing the loss of my beloved people. So, I forced my mind not to feel. I thought I would not in pain if I just stayed away from thinking of them. Unfortunately, that strategy did not work, my heart was hurt so badly when holding on those emotions. Luckily, I was able to cry out loud those emotions with tapping. That was an amazing experience.
I don’t use tapping often as I should because of the hectic life of a young mother. But I am not too worry about that. The most important thing is knowing that I have a tool when I need it. So, yes, if you need an effective tool to connect with yourself, also, if you have chronic pains that you have tried everything, but nothing helps, possibly you are hiding some deep emotional stress inside, then you should try Tapping. Tapping can help you get to the root, dig it up, see it, love it, and let it go. Some people may criticize what Tapping doing is cheating your mind. I disagree with that claim because it is tough for our brains to separate the truth from illusions, especially in a noisy and distracted world like we are living in right now. Therefore, they need YOU to guide them towards the right direction.