Tap Your Troubles Away

16th October 2015

Can ‘tapping’ unlock the secret to inner harmony? Kathy Walton investigates...

“It may look nuts, but it works,” says Christine Moran, an Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) practitioner from Little Chalfont, Bucks.

Emotional Freedom Technique, often called ‘tapping’, is a therapy that uses gentle finger taps on up to 14 points, mainly on the face and hands, to ‘unlock’ what the ancient Chinese called the ‘meridian’ or energy circuits of the body. Once blockages have been removed, past hurts are healed, relationships thrive and people reach their potential both personally and professionally.

Unlike traditional speech-based therapy which can last years and often requires clients to relive an experience in order to deal with it, Emotional Freedom Techniques claim to help people overcome a range of emotional problems –such as anxiety, trauma and phobias, as well as weight issues,
addictions and painful childhood memories – in just a few sessions.

My own experience of tapping concerned sustained bullying I suffered in my early twenties when I was working abroad. For a long time afterwards, whenever I encountered bullying at work, either passive (a colleague taking credit for my work) or overt (remarks about my appearance), I failed to stand up for myself. Tapping helped me release much of the pent up anger and pain, which gave me the confidence to confront (successfully) a bully in my next job.

There are currently an estimated one thousand EFT practitioners in this country, whose work aims to ‘breathe fresh air into the healing process and work where nothing else will,’ and while there are inevitably sceptics in the scientific community, people who’ve been ‘tapped’ can’t speak highly enough of its benefits.

A former psychology tutor, Christine, 50, recalls stumbling across EFT online and feeling she had identified ‘the missing link’ that she had spent years seeking when she was trying to help her students ‘move on’ from whatever was holding them back. “In the course of all my jobs I came across people with all sorts of emotional problems. Many understood why they had negative feelings, but they couldn’t shift them,” she says.

Now an advanced practitioner who trains others, Christine works with both adults and children. One of her clients, fifty-one-year-old Yvette Lynch from Hemel Hempstead, was tapped by Christine ten years ago when her night-time anxieties about dying were wrecking her sleep.

“I would leap out of bed for fear that I would die if I didn’t,” Yvette recalls. During tapping, it emerged that her fears were triggered by unresolved grief at the sudden death of her husband, who died at night at home, nine years earlier. After only three sessions, Yvette says her problems disappeared. “I haven’t had an anxiety attack since,” she says. Now, whenever she feels anxious, she taps herself, even in the car.

“Tapping allows you to accept that fears and pain are part of you and that it’s okay to acknowledge them, but by tapping you get rid of them. It is one of those tools that everyone should have in their toolkit,” Yvette says.

Fellow EFT practitioner Romi Carr, from near High Wycombe, is a scientist by training and some might say an unlikely convert to EFT. Yet she insists that just because something hasn’t yet been scientifically proven, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

“I am blown away by EFT. It’s simple, effective, quick and safe,” she says. “It is a kind of energy psychology that gets to the imprint left behind by a trauma in your nervous system and dissolves it, without having to relive the trauma.”

Czech-born Romi, who treats clients both at home and abroad via Skype, describes herself as someone who “takes away all the layers of rubbish that bury your gold and hide the light inside you” and says that people who have had EFT often speak of feeling ‘lighter’ afterwards, as if a burden has been lifted from them.

“What I love about it is that at the end of the process, you gain clarity, detachment and more compassion for anyone involved [in what you’ve been through], including yourself.”

Forty-nine year old Rebecca, from Amersham, recently saw Romi after suffering terrors that her cancer would return. “I couldn’t accept that it wouldn’t come back,” explains Rebecca, who is currently in remission. “I couldn’t sleep or commit to anything in the future. My worst fear was not seeing my children grow up and I kept anticipating my funeral, living it in advance.” She had six EFT sessions with Romi over three months and says she was immediately hooked.

“Something happened after the first session. It’s difficult to explain and believe, but now I’m so much happier, free from anxiety and I realise I don’t carry it around with me anymore.”

Peter Donn, 49, from Kings Langley, is an advanced EFT practitioner who sees individual clients and also runs training workshops at Latimer House, between Chesham and Chorleywood. Most of Peter’s clients are women; he says they tend to be more open to the change EFT brings them, but one male client sticks in his memory.

“A man came to me who had been diagnosed with early prostate cancer at 55. It turned out that five years earlier, his wife had not only told him she was leaving him, but that their baby daughter wasn’t his,” recalls Peter. “The trauma of those two statements had haunted him ever since and really emasculated him. After one tapping session, we released the trauma and two months later, his doctor told him that his PSA (prostate) levels were within normal range. The doctor was absolutely amazed. The man had received some herbal medicine too, but I like to think it was the EFT.”

According to Peter, tapping often identifies something in the past that is impacting on the present, so much so that the negative thoughts we have about ourselves become self-fulfilling and thus we reinforce our mistakes, often sabotaging our happiness and relationships in the process. He cites the example of a woman in her twenties who wanted to split up with her boyfriend because she felt that he was no longer treating her properly. After tapping, the client recognised that her recurring feeling of being unloved was of her own imagination, and that it stemmed from an isolated incident involving her (normally very loving) father when she was a child. By the time she had undergone three sessions, her perception of her relationship completely changed, she proposed to her boyfriend and a year later, emailed Peter to say she was now happily married.

“So often, the first issue [I deal with] is like a table top,” says Peter. “Any bad experience that follows is like the legs supporting and reinforcing the issue. But once the key issue is dealt with, the others naturally fall away.”

Find Your Local