A HEALTHY DOSE
Have you ever met someone who just glows and wondered what their secret was? When I met Sue Sharp, I knew she must have some sort of secret, because of the joy that emanated from her face and the warmth she shared so generously. It turns out that it wasn’t a secret at all, but a topic that she is quite passionate about sharing: Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) Tapping.
I sat down with Sue to learn more about EFT Tapping. Tapping has been around for only 40 years or so, but utilizes acupuncture meridians that have been part of Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. The basic belief behind Tapping is that all negative emotions are felt through a disruption of the body’s energy. Negative emotions often lead to physical pain and disease, and so begins a feedback loop of feeling both physically and emotionally under the weather.
With Tapping, the goal is to restore the body’s energetic balance. While you concentrate on the negative emotion you are feeling, or a bad memory, or a situation that is bothering you, you use your fingertips to tap 5-7 times each on twelve of the body’s meridian points. Tapping on these points, while focusing on acceptance and resolution of the negative emotion at hand, helps you to release the electrical or energetic charge of the emotion, and bring your body back into balance.
Sue describes Tapping as “blowing off steam,” as the stuck energy leaves your body. “We are shifting our energy and recreating our lives at all times,” Sue says. “EFT is a tool to accomplish that.”
Indeed, I have experienced how quickly my emotions can shift through EFT. Sue also tells a story of visiting her mother in a nursing home. The experience had become frustrating, and Sue left feeling negative emotions as she started her drive home. She tapped on the few miles to her house and by the time she arrived home, those feelings had cleared and she was experiencing gratitude for all of the people taking care of her mother, doing the best they could.
“We need to tell our subconscious what we want it to hear, because we are the programmers,” Sue told me.
The idea behind Tapping was first noted by psychologist Roger Callahan, who was working with a patient who was extremely phobic of water. Not only did she have nightmares about water, but being near water caused her to have intense stomach pains. Callahan had been studying Chinese medicine and the meridians and thought that perhaps if his patient tapped on an acupuncture point for the stomach meridian, her pain might go away. Not only did her stomach pain disappear — so did her fear of water. From that moment on, she was able to be in and around water without fear. One of Callahan’s students, Gary Craig, simplified and improved upon Callahan’s work and founded what he called the Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT.
Sue, who has always been interested in metaphysical topics, discovered Tapping and then studied with Gary Craig, getting her certification in 2000. She has since learned from other EFT practitioners as well. She feels it is “the most elegant way to install new programs and to invite in new beliefs.”
EFT is “simple, accessible, and it works,” Sue told me. If you are feeling angry, or anxious, or sad, or any other emotion that you’d like to shift, you can try this. It is best to do in the moment rather than after the fact. You use a simple affirmation as you tap on a series of acupuncture points: “Even though I feel angry (or anxious, or sad; simply fill in the blank with whatever you are feeling), I love and completely accept myself.”
Studies done at Harvard Medical School have verified that the brain’s stress and fear response could be decreased by stimulating the meridian points used in acupuncture, and these are the same points used in Tapping. I recommend Tapping because it cannot hurt you and you very likely will feel the results immediately.
To learn the exact points, you can visit the many informative websites about EFT, including www.thetappingsolution.com. Or, even better, you can set up a session with Sue at the Right to Wellness Center by contacting her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lindsay Courcelle, CMT is a Myofascial Release therapist, part-time vegetable farmer, and natural health advocate. Email her at alchemyMFR@gmail.com.