Emotions are powerful; they can make us feel like the whole world is crashing in around us, keeping us feeling trapped, stuck and helpless if we don’t face or deal with them. Indeed, if we feel something strongly, it can be hard to see the wood from the trees—how do we even start to heal when everything hurts? In this week’s blog and podcast, I speak with The Tapping Solution founder Nick Ortner about how tapping can help us process our emotions and find healing, how it can improve our mental and physical health, how to get started tapping, the science behind tapping, how tapping can help with chronic pain, and more!
Tapping involves drumming the end points of the body’s meridians. When we do this while we are thinking about our stress, fears, issues, pain, trauma, and so on, we send a calming signal to the amygdala in the brain, which tells the brain and body to release that negative energy and start relaxing. Tapping is a somatic, physical thing that helps us in the moment when we can’t think clearly. It helps take the edge off the pain or memory that is hurting us. It allows the brain and body to rest and feel safer by releasing pent up, toxic energy, which facilitates healing.
Why is this so useful when we are highly emotional or stressed out? All our memories are embodied in the brain and body. They affect us physically, which is why somatic therapies like tapping can help us heal from trauma, stress and anxiety. They help release the pent up negative energy in the body, which is an important part of the recovery process, both mentally and physically!
Tapping can help us let go of our past and anxieties about the future. It can help us rewrite or reconceptualize what happened to us, which allows us to move through therapy so much more quickly by enabling the brain and body to relax and open up. It is a profound way of integrating our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. It allows us to give a voice to thoughts that are running through our minds, so that we can face, process and deal with them. It helps us see that we are only human, and accept ourselves as we are, breaking down the cognitive dissonance between what we feel and believe and what we say and do. It shows us that it is okay to have flaws and imperfections, helping us connect to the higher energy of acceptance and healing.
Tapping involves three main steps:
- What are you working on? The more specific you get the better, as this activates the parts of the brain you want to change. Start with your target.
- Give it a number on the scale of 1 to 10, depending on how you are feeling. This will allow you to see how far you have progressed towards healing.
- Start the tapping process. Get really specific with your language as you start on side of hand—see my YouTube video recording with Nick for more on how to do this. Then, start tapping on your facial meridians: start on the inside of your eyebrow, and tune into what you are most worried about and what you are trying to shift as you think about and voice your issue. Ask yourself things like, “what if I could let this go?”, then speak positive affirmations like “it is safe to relax and let this go”. For more on how to do this, see The Tapping Solution website.
Research has shown that tapping can be an incredibly useful tool in our mental self-care toolkit! It can help with issues like insomnia, depression, PTSD, anxiety, burnout, weight loss and chronic pain. For example, if you are suffering from chronic pain, over time the brain gets looped into the expectation of the chronic pain. Tapping can help release this pain energy and help you deal with it, and can be especially effective when traditional pain treatments do not work.
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3:45 Why Nick decided to make a documentary about tapping
8:05 What tapping is and how it can help you
13:45 How tapping helps us deal with our past & our anxieties for the future
21:13 How tapping works
30:12 The science behind tapping
38:32 Tapping and chronic pain
43:00 Tapping and weight lossSwitch On Your Brain LLC. is providing this podcast as a public service. Reference to any specific viewpoint or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by our organization. The views expressed by guests are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. If you have any questions about this disclaimer, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.