Anxiety and depression are common health concerns. Conventional medical practices are not always effective and many people continue to suffer. Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) Tapping is evidence-based for anxiety and can also be used with depression. The following exercises, which take only a few minutes to perform, may offer lasting relief for these conditions.
EFT is a gentle, self-help tool using the fingertips to tap on specified points of the body. In addition to its use with anxiety and depression, it also eliminates unhealthy anger and grief, reduces chronic pain, resolves addictive cravings, supports weight control, removes food and chemical sensitivities, and improves health and vitality. Based on research, EFT meets American Psychological Association criteria for evidence-based practice on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), phobias and generalized anxiety. It is accepted through the Veteran’s Administration for veterans with war trauma.
How can tapping support relief from anxiety? Anxiety has recently overtaken depression as the most common mental health diagnosis and affects approximately 18 percent of the U.S. population. Two tapping points can be done in public for social anxiety, test anxiety and fear of public speaking. They can also be used for sports performance and high-stress situations. Relaxation comes quickly, usually within 30-45 seconds. They are:
• The first point is called the gamut point. It is along the indentation on the back of the hand between the baby finger/ring finger knuckles and the wrist. Tap with four fingers on this indentation. There is no need to say words, use eye movements, recall memories, or think specific thoughts. This point is associated with the Triple Warmer, which is the primary “fight, flight or freeze” acupuncture meridian. Tapping on this location immediately stops the stress response.
• The under eye point has been called the “fear point” in acupuncture. It is located on the eye socket directly beneath the pupil of either eye. Tapping with three or four fingers on this point quickly resolves phobias, fear and anxiety. Triggers to spiders, snakes, heights, enclosed spaces and other “threats” are often permanently gone. In many cases, this exercise needs to be done only one time. To do this in public, just turn your head and apply a few quick taps.
Tapping directly on one of these points, or alternating the two points, will usually provide relief for anxiety and fears.
Although EFT is primarily a self-tool, we can also tap directly on another person. Holding one’s hand while tapping on the gamut point can be done on children, family members, and friends. The process can also be done on pets with paws.
Anxiety may be associated with perfectionism, fear of the future and concerns with judgment, criticism and making mistakes. These issues can also be cleared through the use of EFT Tapping.
How can tapping support relief from depression? Depression can be described as an allergic-type response to happiness. Based on that idea, I have had hundreds of clients break through depression by tapping with a simple four-word phrase.
Here is the process, done in front of a mirror:
Gently tap with your fingertips 4-7 times on each of the following locations: top of the head, inside of the eyebrow, side of the eye, under the eye, under the nose, on the chin, on the collarbone, 4-5 inches below the armpit. Say, “I am soooo happy!” with enthusiasm, out loud, while going through each of the eight tapping points. Continue to tap until the words feel true.
With this exercise, I have found that most people gain a sense of hopefulness. Beliefs shift and happiness becomes a real possibility. Of course, this is just the beginning. Depression often requires deeper, more intensive work.
I hope you try these exercises and find them helpful. Happy tapping!