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Natural Awakenings Healthy Living Magazine

Tapping Gets to Hidden Roots of Disfunction

Gary Craig simplified a healing method called Thought Field Therapy in the 1990s and introduced Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), known today as tapping. Since then, its popularity has grown enormously, as has the scientific evidence that tapping works. Tapping draws upon other healing modalities such as acupressure, cognitive and behavioral psychology and exposure therapy. Tapping helps to reduce the emotional reactions associated with traumatic memories, experiences, conditioning and perceptions, and the U.S. Veterans Administration has approved tapping as a treatment for the relief of PTSD.

            When circumstances in our environment or our mental thoughts and imaginings cause us to feel unsafe, our fight-or-flight response is triggered. Messages are sent to our genes to express cortisol and adrenaline throughout the body. Our digestion and immune systems stop functioning, our heart begins to pump faster and 70 percent of the blood in our brain drains out of it to other parts of our body, such as our arms and legs, giving us the ability to fight or flee. By removing the emotional reactions triggered by feeling unsafe, our bodies can return to their normal functioning of cellular healing, immunity, digestion and balanced thinking.

            We might tap any time we notice an emotional reaction, are dealing with a difficult situation, feel anxious, stressed, off balance, are in self-avoidance or want to take out the emotional sting from a physical injury. Tapping can help uncover our triggers, make sense of them, bring insight and help us feel a greater sense of compassionate well-being.

            All of us have our go-to neurological pathways; our negative emotional ruts, and some of them are pretty deep. Every time we “go to” them, the ruts get deeper, and it seems more difficult to change our behavior. Our negative habits and emotions, when practiced enough, will predominate, no matter how good our intentions. Tapping on these negative habits and emotions will affect our neurological pathways. It makes the old negative impulses less strong and creates new, more positive pathways. These can be our new go-to. The more we use them, the stronger they will get.

            By tapping on an issue that brings up feelings of unsafety and tapping in a safe environment, we are telling the body that it is safe and there is no need for our genes to express cortisol and adrenaline. Instead, they can return to a healthy normal, expressing the cellular repair and longevity hormone DHEA, the motivational hormone dopamine and the happy hormone serotonin. For very deep issues, it would be wise to seek out a tapping professional.

            We can tap for physical injuries. EFT Universe’s Dawson Church noted in a talk that a woman with a broken arm was able to reduce her pain with tapping by 80 percent. The other 20 percent, he noted, was probably the real pain of a broken arm. By removing 80 percent of her pain with tapping, the woman would be able to report to her medical doctor the real measure of her physical pain uncomplicated by the emotions previously attached to the injury. This could result in a need for less pain medication and fewer complications.

            We can tap on anxiety, stress, grief, physical injuries and past-life memories. The more specific we are in the details of what troubles us, the better the tapping outcome. We may be amazed to see how the energy changes when we tap on it.

Rev. Julie Chai offers Inner Listening sessions and online workshops. For more information, call 231-922-9699 or visit and