I’ve been thinking about how the Covid situation is affecting people. So many people have found lockdown difficult, mentally and emotionally. Most of the suggestions on getting through this focus on meditation and mindfulness. But there are many other options you can try – like tapping.
I’m currently doing an 8-day challenge in tapping therapy – offered by the Tapping Solution, on the website and as an app. So I thought I’d start with Meridian Psychotherapy (MP). This is a form of Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), which you may have heard of. In MP, you start by exploring the precise nature of the problem.
For instance, if you want to work on a fear of flying, what is it about flying that scares you? Is it being so far from the ground? Is it a fear of the plane crashing? Perhaps it’s being shut inside a metal box you can’t get out of? From there, go deeper. Does feeling trapped relate to a need for freedom of movement? If so, what’s that about? Where does it come from? Perhaps you were locked in a cupboard as a child. Were you afraid you would die there? Or that everyone had forgotten about you or no-one cared? Or even that there might be monsters in the cupboard?
Once you’ve reached the nub of the problem, use it to construct a set-up statement. Use the formula, ‘even though I have a deep fear of being trapped, I fully and completely love and accept myself’. You may want to start with a fairly minor issue, to see how it goes for you.
Take a couple of long, slow breaths, and begin tapping. To set up the session, tap on the ‘karate chop’ point on your hand. That’s the slight indentation one bone below the little finger joint. While doing this, say your set-up statement three times. Then start tapping on the meridian points as follows, while making statements about your fear. Normally you’d be guided by a therapist but you can go with whatever comes to you.
Begin by tapping on the inner end of one eyebrow for a sentence or two (or however long you feel it needs). Then move to the outer corner of the eye, then the centre point beneath the eye. Then down to the crease under the nose, and then the indentation under the mouth. Move to the inside point of one collarbone, and then the centre of the armpit. Finally, tap in the centre of the top of your head. Then start the sequence again.
As you tap, allow any feelings to come to the surface. Remember the incident or events you’ve identified as causing or deepening the fear. Let those emotions wash through you. If you turn and face them, rather than letting them sneak up on you, they don’t seem so difficult. Let them simply sweep through as you speak (or think) your statements and continue to tap. Say how you feel about the fear, including what problems it’s caused you. Maybe mention that you’ve been beating yourself up about it or trying to ignore it for years.
Turn it Around
After two or three rounds of tapping, start to word your sentences in more positive terms. ‘Even though this has been a problem for so long, I really want to let it go. I can’t imagine how my life will be without it, but I want to explore that now.’ Then find ways to describe what life could look like if this issue was resolved. Include that you forgive yourself for feeling this way. Acknowledge that you’ve been dealing with it the best you can.
When you feel you’ve explored the positive possibilities, conclude with a positive statement about how your life will be without this issue, and stop tapping. Take a couple more long, slow breaths. You may want to stay still and explore the thoughts and ideas that have come to you during the session for a while.
What to Expect from Tapping
You will most likely experience a series of small or large shifts in energy as you work through this routine – it may even make you yawn. You are feeling the emotions releasing and the problem shrinking. If the problem is very deep or has been around a long time, it may take more than one session to resolve, but you will feel much better even after the first one. If you rate the feeling on a scale of one to ten before and after the sessions, you’ll have a way to measure your progress. Don’t be disheartened if the score has gone up when you come back to do it again – that just means that more of those feelings are coming to the surface to be released.
You can use this technique for many types of issue, including stress, phobias, habits and unhelpful thinking. If there’s an emotion that’s hiding at the heart of the problem, this can be a very effective way to heal it. Given that it can bring up some difficult emotions, you may want to have a friend waiting to talk to you after the session.