Anchor your potential by Tapping
Over 25 years, I’ve been lucky enough to meet several brilliant NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) Practitioners and NLP Master Trainers. While working with them, one foundational NLP technique that raised my interest was ‘anchoring’ and how it incorporates the emotional grounding technique of ‘tapping’. Below is an explanation of tapping; how it all started, it’s effectiveness, and the benefits it can provide when done properly.
It all began back in 1980, when a psychologist named Dr Callahan combined traditional Chinese medicine with his knowledge of psychology, which led to him developing a technique named Thought Field Therapy (TFT). At the time is was so complex that it required trained practitioners, using algorithms and specialist techniques to obtain any useful results. Over time, other psychologists began improving the process, making it far more learnable and repeatable. Eventually the process of TFT turned into what we know today as EFT (Emotional Freedom Tapping) or more simply Tapping – a technique we can all perform by ourselves and in the comfort of our own homes.
Tapping is now widespread and has caught the eye of the medical community around the globe, leading to many clinical trials and unquestionable, documented effectiveness.
Once you understand the benefits of Tapping, you’ll start noticing people practicing it. I’ve seen several pop-stars, actors and politicians use Tapping before and during a live performance, interview or debate/interrogation.
Using tapping to reduce stress and anxiety
Many millions of people live their lives with poor health, emotional baggage, and long term stress and anxiety. The feeling of being stuck and seemingly having to accept a lifestyle of emotional trauma, physical pain, addictions and compulsions is blocking them from experiencing any kind of happiness, contentment and joy.
I appreciate that’s a sweeping statement and that many of us only experience one of these at a time and at varying levels. However, if we found a way to change, reduce or completely remove these negative feelings and realities, we would.
Through a regular Tapping routine we can actually reduce the stress and anxiety that interferes with our happiness and wellness. You can use Tapping to help you fall asleep at night or to help you overcome a paralysing fear of driving, and everything in between.
Just complete the following question and I’m fairly sure the answer will be a resounding yes.
“Can I use Tapping to help reduce
<insert your topic here>?
How isTapping Meditation performed?
If you want to use Tapping, you can perform your own Tapping sequences or you can work with a practitioner. Tapping is easy to use as a self-help technique because you can do it any time you feel the need. However, a qualified practitioner can provide in-depth help if needed.
To get a good insight into Emotional Freedom Tapping and it’s benefits for reducing anxiety, stress and depression, I recommend you watch this very clear instructional video from the Russell Brand podcast series ‘Under the Skin’, where Nick Ortner walks through his Tapping Solution. You can also get free (or subscription based) lessons from Nick via his website https://www.thetappingsolution.com
To make things easier when starting to explore your own Tapping rituals, we’ve compiled a short list of the most popular Tapping points of the body. When you practice, you can select a favourite location, a combination of your choice, or all of them – you’ll discover over time which point delivers better results. Once you’ve selected a Tapping point(s) for a particular subject, you MUST keep it consistent – so no switching things around. We explain why a little later.
Eyebrow Point (EB) – Where the eyebrows begin, closest to the bridge of the nose.
Side of Eye (SE) – On the bone directly along the outside of either eye.
Under Eye (UE) – On the bone directly under either eye.
Under Nose (UN) – The area directly beneath the nose and above the upper lip.
Chin Point (CP) – This is the area just below your bottom lip and above the chin, right in the crease.
Collarbone Point (CB) – Starting from where your collar bones meet in the center, go down an inch and out an inch on either side.
Under Arm (UA) – On your side, about four inches beneath the armpit.
Top of Head (TH) – Directly on the crown of your head.
As discussed, Tapping can be used to help a variety of challenges – so try it on everything! Here’s the method for how to use it. In this example, we’ll focus on general anxiety.
Lets break down the steps
- Identify the problem on which you want to focus. It can be general anxiety, or it can be a specific situation or issue which causes you to feel anxious.
- Consider the problem or situation. How do you feel about it right now? Rate the intensity level of your anxiety on a scale of 0 to 10, with zero being the lowest level of anxiety and ten being the highest.
- Compose a setup statement. Your setup statement should acknowledge the problem you want to deal with, then follow it with a phrase of acceptance. This helps neutralise judgements you have around how you feel and allow you to be more honest with your Tapping.
The Tapping process
- Begin Tapping on the karate chop point while you repeat the set-up statement to yourself. This allows you to be honest with how you feel and sets you up for the Tapping process (more on the setup statement below).
- Start your Tapping session while focusing on how you feel or on the problem. By doing this you send a calming signal to your brain, allowing you to think of the problem without feeling stress in your body.
- When you feel better, you can move to more empowering thoughts. The same way you need to weed a garden before you plant seeds, you have to release the intensity of what you’re feeling before more empowering thoughts can take root.
The set-up statement
Before you start every Tapping session you need to compose a set-up statement. Your set-up statement should acknowledge the problem you want to deal with, then follow it with an unconditional affirmation of yourself as a person.
Setup statement examples:
“Even though I feel this anxiety,
I accept how I feel”
“Even though I’m anxious about my interview,
I accept myself and how I feel.”
“Even though I’m feeling this anxiety about my financial situation, I honor my feelings and give my body permission to relax.”
Get ready to begin Tapping!
- With four fingers on one hand, begin tapping the Karate Chop point on your other hand. The Karate Chop point is on the outer edge of the hand, on the opposite side from the thumb.
- Repeat the setup statement three times aloud, while simultaneously tapping the Karate Chop point. Now take a deep breath.
- Now, tap about 5 to 7 times each on the remaining eight points in the sequence described below. As you tap on each point, repeat a simple reminder phrase, such as “my anxiety” or “my interview” or “my financial situation” to help you mentally focus on your issue.
- Eyebrow Point (EB) – Where the eyebrows begin, closest to the bridge of the nose.
- Side of Eye (SE) – On the bone directly along the outside of either eye.
- Under Eye (UE) – On the bone directly under either eye.
- Under Nose (UN) – The area directly beneath the nose and above the upper lip.
- Chin Point (CP) – This is the area just below your bottom lip and above the chin, right in the crease.
- Collarbone Point (CB) – Starting from where your collar bones meet in the center, go down an inch and out an inch on either side.
- Under Arm (UA) – On your side, about four inches beneath the armpit.
- Top of Head (TH) – Directly on the crown of your head.
- And take another deep breath!
Now that you’ve completed the sequence, focus on your problem again. How intense is the anxiety now, in comparison to a few minutes ago? Give it a rating on the same 0 to 10 scale. Did you notice a shift? If your anxiety level is still higher than 2 or 3, you can do another round of tapping. Keep tapping through the sequence until the anxiety is gone. You can change your setup statement slightly to take into account your efforts to fix the problem or your desire for continued progress.
Here are some tips to help you achieve the correct technique.
You should use a firm but gentle pressure, the same as if you were drumming on the top of your desk or testing a melon for ripeness. You can use all four fingers, or just the first two (the index and middle fingers). Four fingers are generally used on wider areas, while just two can be used on sensitive areas, such as around the eyes. You can tap one side of the body or both at the same time. The meridian points are symmetrical on either side of the body.
Congratulations! You’ve just completed your first Tapping sequence.
You can download the Mindstein.io Quick Guide to NLP Tapping here.