You may well ask: What is a tapper? No, I don’t mean someone who tap dances (I wish!). I am referring to tapping, a self-management, stress-reduction tool which I learnt about some fifteen years ago when I was going through a bad patch in my personal life and I had found it quietened my mental chatter most effectively, slowed my breathing and pounding heart, and sometimes gave me answers to my issues. Since then I have used tapping at various phases of my life but it is only recently that I have taken my “personal peace procedure” seriously and committed to tapping everyday. Thus T for I am a Tapper in the same vein as Y for I am a Yogi.
Both involve daily practice which I find challenging. Like yoga, I have done tapping on myself on and off over the years. It helped me immensely again when I underwent surgery and radiotherapy. I used to do it religiously soon after I was diagnosed right up to the time I was discharged from care. It helped by making me feel calm and centred, allaying my fears, and even relieving some pain. I keep going back to it when I am undergoing stress which is what it is meant for but if done everyday when stressors may not be that traumatic, it has a cumulative effect like any exercise. It allows us to release emotional blockages in the body. Clearing blocks regularly and removing the emotional detritus that has accumulated over your lifetime is a daily technique called the Personal Peace Procedure, I guess because it allows one to make peace with what is, let go and move on. It is this daily, dedicated practice then which becomes part of one’s identity as a tapper.
Tapping (or psychological acupuncture) is the common name for Emotional Freedom Technique, EFT for short. It is so called because it involves tapping on several meridian points on the upper body, mainly the face. What it does is it calms the amygdala, which is the brain’s flight or fight response. When the amygdala senses danger it triggers the release of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol which, in turn, prepares your body to flee or fight. While the amygdala is intended to protect us from danger, it can interfere with our functioning in the modern world where threats are more subtle in nature. By simply tapping and thus calming the amygdala, anxiety can be reduced and that allows for clearer thinking. Check out the demo in the video below.
Tapping can look strange and weird. Some years ago it would have been considered as woo-woo. Perhaps many people are still skeptical. But in the last decade, it has come into its own with over a hundred scientific papers which are evidence-based. In one research, it was shown that cortisol was reduced by as much as 43% with one hour of tapping, (although it can be effective when done for as little as 3-5minutes for straight-forward stress relief).
In fact, tapping does so much more. It can be used to relieve pain, boost your mood, clear trauma, overcome phobias and addictions to name just a few. It is said to rewire the brain’s response to stress and change any negative conditioning that has developed in childhood.
Personally for me though, I finally decided to get certified as a practitioner because I wanted firstly to support cancer patients in their journey as I had experienced the benefits myself. But my greater passion is to take in into schools. I am of the firm belief that it is a simple, gentle and effective tool that each child should be equipped with from a young age so that they do not have to carry a lot of emotional baggage into adulthood.
Simultaneously though, I have to continue tapping on myself everyday.