Being in the throes of an anxiety attack can feel a lot like being caught in a vortex. You gasp for breath, your thoughts muddle, your heart races, and you wonder if it will ever end. Anyone who experiences anxiety, PTSD, depression, or a constant stream of negative thoughts, can feel overwhelmed and helpless in moments like these.
One of the latest trends in self-care to help overcome anxious moments is called the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Often called tapping therapy, EFT works to redirect negative thoughts and channel them into more positive areas.
Marie Claire UK says that EFT is “rapidly growing in popularity among high-powered CEOs; celebrities such as the Duchess of Cornwall, Naomi Harris and Fernando Alonso; and young women looking for new self-care therapies.”
What is Emotional Freedom Technique?
EFT uses “elements of Cognitive Therapy and Exposure Therapy, and combines them with acupressure, in the form of fingertip tapping on 12 acupuncture points,” according to the EFT Universe website.
While methods and sites on the body vary, EFT practitioners often suggest a person use their fingertips to lightly tap 3 to 7 times on the following places:
- Top of the eyebrow (near the bridge of the nose)
- On the outside of the eye (near the temple)
- Under the eye
- Under the nose
- Under the mouth
- Middle of the chest
- Side of the hand (pinkie side)
- Crown of the head
Some practitioners suggest repeating positive thoughts while tapping. Others suggest first thinking of negative thoughts while going through one or two cycles of tapping, taking a deep breath, and then thinking of positive outcomes.
Experts believe this tapping therapy is effective because of its redirection of negative energy. Dr. Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS, is a certified doctor of natural medicine, doctor of chiropractic and clinical nutritionist says on his website, draxe.com, “the EFT process combines tapping of the energy meridians with voicing of positive affirmations. In this way, EFT tapping combines an Eastern medicine approach with more traditional Western psychotherapies.”
EFT is based on the premise that “all emotions and thoughts are forms of energy; this energy, whether positive or negative, has very real physical manifestations that affect all functions of the body,” according to the site. By tapping on certain acupressure points of the body, EFT is thought to break up negative “energy,” allowing you to rechannel your thoughts and energy into a more positive direction.
Numerous studies are determining the effectiveness of EFT. Accordingly, while it looks promising, it should be considered experimental and should not take the place of standard treatment like cognitive behavioral therapy. However, it could be a supplement to existing therapy – and one that you should talk to your doctor about before starting.
Tapping into Tapping Therapy
Climbing out of the vortex of negative thought can help a number of people who are suffering from PTSD, anxiety, depression, or a number of mental illnesses. While no method is a “cure all,” EFT could be a promising way to tap your way out of negativity and rechannel your energy into more positive thinking.
To see tapping therapy in action, you can visit the website https://www.thetappingsolution.com/what-is-eft-tapping/ which provides a tutorial and resources for learning more about EFT.
If you are interested in learning more about alternative treatments for depression and anxiety, please see a blog post about alternative depression treatments or a story about 5 famous people you didn’t know who had anxiety disorder.