I discovered energy psychology by accident. I knew someone who was scheduled for surgery and I was curious about alternative treatments that would aid healing. I read about acupuncture, then acupressure, Reiki, and IET. Finally, I found meridian tapping.
Tapping was completely new to me. Without reading too much about it, I registered for a weekend seminar. I needed continuing ed credits, I was curious and it wasn’t too far. I was in the minority. Other attendees were knowledgeable and excited about the meridian tapping technique. I sat through the class and practiced on my peers and myself. At first, I felt nothing. I was skeptical and full of criticism. As the weekend wore on I looked for cracks and tried to disprove the technique. But I couldn’t. I went home still not sold on it, but curious and eager to try it out with my friends.
The proof is in the results
I use myself as a guinea pig with all the healing and therapy methods that I’m interested in. I never get training in anything unless I have personally benefitted from it. Some techniques, such as EMDR, I learn and become certified in. Others, like reiki, I use and recommend to clients but I do not practice. I found a therapist who was using it in her practice and scheduled a few sessions. I wasn’t sure what I felt, but I wanted to keep using it. So I did. I used it in my car, at the gym and any other random place whenever I remembered. I imagined myself tapping it see if I could feel the calming response. I did. At first, I only used it with clients to manage their stress. I taught them to bring their breathing under control or install a positive affirmation. Eventually, I registered for another class which focused on the use of muscle testing and EFT to treat trauma. I was still skeptical but engaged. Clinicians were talking about how this treatment changed their practice and the lives of their clients
Why does tapping work?
Tapping was the discovery of Gary Graig (EFT) and Roger Callahan (TFT). The idea is that by tapping on endpoints of meridians, you can condition your body to have a new, adaptive response to stressful or traumatic memories. Let me give you just a quick synopsis of why this works. Remember Pavlov? Pavlov taught a bunch of dogs to associate the sound of a bell, with food. He rang the bell, measured their salivation response and gave them food. He eventually tested his success by measuring the dogs’ salivation response when they heard the bell but were not rewarded with food. The dogs salivated to the ringing of a bell. He had trained a reflex. Genius!
The fight/ flight /or freeze response, (I like to call it “triple f”) is also a reflex. When you experience a traumatic shock and the fight/ flight /freeze response is activated, anything in the environment at that moment can become a trigger; smell, sound, sight, or feeling. Even tiny things that you are not consciously aware of can trigger a phobic or anxiety response. Many people are fooled into thinking they are just anxious or there is no trigger. They’re wrong. They just don’t consciously know what the trigger is.
For every “on” switch, there is an “off” switch.
Your sympathetic nervous system is activated by triple f. The triple f response is necessary and useful for most animals. A deer grazing in a field may get startled by a predator and dart away. That’s flight. If it manages to outrun and escape, it will eventually relax, heart rate and other stress markers will subside, and the deer will go back to being a deer. Deer do not develop panic disorders or PTSD. They do not ruminate, develop insomnia or an eating disorder. They simply go back to their routine.
Every “on” system in the body, has an “off” system. You probably already touch or self-stimulate the tapping points unconsciously. Wouldn’t it be nice if that were the case with people? But, as you know, we don’t just have cognition, we also have metacognition. We think, and we think about how we think. For some people, over and over to the point debilitation.
Tapping retains your “triple f” reflex to relax when it has previously been triggered.
Tapping or Natural bio distressing is a way to activate a calming response which turns off the body’s stress response. I will get more into the biology at some point but for now, suffice it to say that tapping teaches you to turn off the body’s triple f response and retrain that reflex.