Tapping (EFT), is a therapy in the field of energy psychology. It is based on the principles of both ancient acupressure and modern psychology. Tapping works on balancing the body’s subtle energies and has been proven successful in thousands of clinical cases. EFT draws on various theories of alternative medicine including acupuncture (but without the use of needles), neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), and Thought Field Therapy. Tapping is a tool for improving life on multiple levels; mental, emotional and physical. It can address a range of issues from anxiety, fears, PTSD, weight control, confidence, self-sabotage, repetitive life patterns, stress relief and so much more. Fingertips are used to lightly tap on specific meridian endpoints in combination with focused spoken words. It halts the stress response, rebalances the mind and body, and reprograms the brain to respond differently.
The almond in the brain
Science has established that the stress response begins in the amygdala. The amygdala (derived from the Greek word amygdale, meaning “almond,") is an almond-shape set of neurons in the brain. It is part of the limbic system which is also the source of emotions and long-term memory; where negative experiences are encoded. If an experience is perceived as a problem the amygdala signals the brain to engage the fight or flight response. An earlier negative experience can program the amygdala to trigger whenever something similar happens in future. Tapping targets the root cause of a challenge by interrupting the stress response in the brain. It turns off the amygdala’s “high alert”, deactivating the brain’s arousal pathways, sending a calming response to the nervous system. With the stress volume turned down it provides space for more clarity of thinking and enables new empowering choices. It interrupts thinking patterns, habits and conditioned learning. The combination of tapping the energy meridians while focusing on the problem clears the "short-circuit", the negative emotional charge, from the body's bioenergy system. Tapping helps to overcome limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns, processes emotions, and restores mind & body balance. It reprograms the hippocampus which plays an essential role in the formulation of new memories. It installs new habits and rewires the brain to respond in healthier ways.
Numerous clinical studies have shown that stimulation of selected meridian endpoints reduces activity in the amygdala. Harvard Medical School studies have shown (on Functional Magnetic Resonance fMRI & PET brain scans) that activation of the fear region in the brain is reduced following acupoints stimulation. A recent world-first study to scientifically prove that tapping is effective in reducing food cravings was also successful. fMRI scans show physical, scientific, evidence that EFT works on these conditions by changing the brain’s neural pathways involved in addiction and food cravings. After 4 weeks of EFT Tapping (of just 2 hours per week), participants’ brain scans showed a remarkable reduction in activation. The control group who did not receive any EFT did not change. (see main image - brain scans courtesy of Dr P Stapleton)