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Tap into it.

Tapping draws on the ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture, which teaches that the body's energy travels along specific pathways. Certain points on these pathways are stimulated to improve the flow of energy. The stimulation is done by inserting very thin needles (acupuncture) or by applying pressure ( acupressure).

The practice consists of tapping with your fingertips on specific meridian points while talking through traumatic memories and a wide range of emotions.

The basic technique requires you to focus on the negative emotion at hand: a fear or anxiety, a bad memory, an unresolved problem, or anything that’s bothering you. While maintaining your mental focus on this issue, use your fingertips to tap 5-7 times.

This provides the ability to access the amygdala, an almond-shaped part of your brain that initiates your body’s negative reaction to fear, a process we often refer to as the “fight or flight” response, that makes it so powerful.

Think of your amygdala as a personal alarm system. When you experience trauma or fear, the amygdala is triggered and your body is flooded with cortisol, commonly known as the “stress hormone.” This intricate chain reaction – your stress response – significantly influences and sometimes even causes whatever it is that troubles you, whether that’s an illness, injury, emotion, or even an external problem such as an issue with a friendship.

While there is a sequence for the tapping, I suggest you create your own pattner as well and decide what allows you to experience a decrease in anxiety overall.

Choose your self compassion statement that you say aloud as you complete your sequence.

For example, "Although I feel/am hurt by my mother's actions, I accept myself fully in this emotion/experience/thought."

This is the usual sequence:

  • top of the head (TOH) — directly in the center of the top of the head

  • beginning of the eyebrow (EB) — the beginning of the brow, just above and to the side of the nose

  • side of the eye (SE) — on the bone at the outside corner of the eye

  • under the eye (UE) — on the bone under the eye, approximately 1 inch (in) below the pupil

  • under the nose (UN) — the point between the nose and upper lip

  • chin point (CH) — halfway between the underside of the lower lip and the bottom of the chin

  • beginning of the collarbone (CB) — the point where the breastbone (sternum), collarbone, and first rib intersect

  • under the arm (UA) — at the side of the body, approximately 4 in below the armpit

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