It’s no secret or surprise that stress has become a global health epidemic. We all have a lot on our minds, which can influence our weight, sleep, mood, motivation, and more. But don’t settle for poor health and emotional baggage, because tapping is here to help! Rancho La Puerta recently added a new class to their fitness offerings called Tapping for Stress Relief.
What is tapping? Tapping, or EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) is a powerful stress-relief technique based on the combined principles of ancient Chinese acupressure and modern psychology. It is proven to reduce stress, lower cortisol, improve sleep, reduce anxiety, relieve pain, and increase productivity. Tapping regulates the nervous system and boosts the immune system by putting the body back into the parasympathetic (relaxation) nervous system response. This allows the immune, digestive, reproductive system, and endocrine systems to function as they should. You can use this practice when a feeling arises that you want to change.
The technique requires you to focus on a negative emotion, such as fear, worry, anxiety, or anger, while using your fingertips to tap on nine specific points of the body in a particular order. These points are selected because they are the ends of meridians, which are pathways in the body where energy flows. Tapping on these points while you think about what is causing your stress helps your mind understand that you are not in any physical danger, and that it is safe to relax. This change in mindset allows to bring your life back into balance. After acknowledging the feeling you want to change, you can instead tell your body how you’d like to feel (calm and at peace).
To start, identify the problem you want to focus on. Consider how you feel about a situation and rate the intensity level of your anxiety on a scale of one to ten (10 being the highest stress level). Next, compose a set-up statement that should acknowledge the issue you want to address and follow it with a phrase of acceptance. In class, we used this: “Even though I’m feeling (blank) about (blank), I choose to feel calm and at peace.”
Then the tapping begins! With four fingers on one hand, tap the karate chop point as you repeat the set-up statement three times to yourself. Breathe deeply as you move through the other eight points (see below), tapping on each five to seven times. As you tap and breathe, repeat a simple reminder phrase to focus on your issue (“my anxiety,” for example). Complete the circuit of eight points three times before reassessing your anxiety level. If it is still higher than a two or three, consider another round. You can change the set-up statement slightly to account for your efforts (for example: “Even though I have some remaining anxiety, I accept how I feel and choose to relax”).
Tapping can (and should!) be used daily to reduce the stress and anxiety interfering with your happiness and well-being. Tapping can help you with everything from falling asleep at night, to helping you overcome your paralyzing fear of driving, and everything in between. As an anxious driver, I have been tapping my way through traffic for the past week after taking Tapping for Stress Relief at Rancho La Puerta, and I find operating my vehicle slightly less stress-inducing each day. I look forward to continuing this practice and seeing lasting change.
Karate Chop (KC)
Outside of the palm under the pinky.
- Eyebrow Point (EB)
Where the eyebrows begin, closest to the bridge of the nose.
- Side of Eye (SE)
On the bone directly along the outside of either eye.
- Under Eye (UE)
On the bone directly under either eye.
- Under Nose (UN)
The area directly beneath the nose and above the upper lip.
- Chin Point (CP)
This is the area just below your bottom lip and above the chin, right in the crease.
- Collarbone Point (CB)
Starting from where your collarbones meet in the center, go down an inch and out an inch on either side.
- Under Arm (UA)
On your side, about four inches beneath the armpit.
- Top of Head (TH)
Directly on the crown of your head.