Thirty Days of EFT: Tapping Your Cares Away
Working at The Connecticut Women’s Consortium has many perks. One such perk is that I am able to participate in trainings that I find interesting. My favorites have included yoga retreats, aromatherapy, MBSR, Auricular Acupuncture, and other holistic healing trainings. Each of these trainings have helped me on my path of healing in some form, and each have become a part of my self-care and development.
Back in 2018, I had the opportunity to attend Emotional Freedom Technique: Care for Clients and Practitioners presented by Catherine Ewing, LCSW, MDIV. If you are unfamiliar with the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), aka Tapping, it is powerful tool that helps process and release traumatic events, emotions, and negative thoughts through the action of using a tapping motion of the fingertips against certain energy meridians on the body. When we tap over the eight prescribed meridians, our bodies begin to create a balance between the sympathetic part of our brains (fight, flight, or freeze), and the parasympathetic part of our brains (rest and digest), causing a neutral state. While in this neutral state, our brains are able to calmly process and release past traumas, memories, stress, anxiety and other oppressive behaviors that hold us back.
Although tapping is a relatively new practice, science-based studies and actual client instances show promising results. EFT has been used all over the world, from veterans, active military and civilians suffering PTSD, to students with test anxiety.
In the name of science, I decided to try tapping for thirty days. I love science, so before I dove in, I decided to do my own research. I read articles, watched lots of interviews, TED talks, and “How to” videos on YouTube. Throughout my research, I heard the same thing over and over: tapping works.
On my first tapping day, I found a quiet place where no one could interrupt me and brought my meridian worksheet out so I could follow along in the correct order. At first, I felt silly and self-conscious, and had visions of family members walking in and seeing me do what would look like some wacky ritual to an outsider. I couldn’t seem to focus, and my mind was blank when I tried to plan what I wanted to work on or say. Frustrated, I took three cleansing breaths and dove in, recalling an event I wanted to work on releasing.
I began by tapping on the fleshy side of my hand. I felt ridiculous, but I continued. Tap, tap, tap, tap. Next, I recited the opening statement, “Even though I….I deeply and completely love and accept myself.” I continued to tap over the remaining seven meridians and found myself moving into the neutral state. At times, I lost focus, and forgot what I was saying but I was able to re-route myself and continue until I felt that I was ready to stop.
Results from day one were quite interesting. The issue that was once on the forefront of mind and taking up so much space in my heart — the very same that kept me from connecting initially — felt distant and small. I continued for the week and incorporated the practice when and where I could. Sometimes I tapped in the morning, sometimes in the evening, and sometimes at my computer during my workday.
As I became more comfortable with the process, tapping became a part of my daily self-care. As the days and weeks passed, I found myself tapping for all kinds of reasons and it grew into a staple response when I was stressed, anxious, or in need of an energy or confidence boost. I have even gone as far as recommending tapping with my friends and family when they need a bit of self-care.
The thirty days has come and gone. The self-practice of EFT has now become a key tool alongside of my yoga, meditation practice, and other self-care modalities.
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