Article by Alison Burton
A number of years ago I learned a therapy technique that involves tapping on certain points on the body to clear negative emotions. When I first did this training I thought the technique was a little strange but I am always open to new ideas. During the Course we were asked to think of something stressful and then close our eyes. We were then guided to scan the body to check where the stress was located. I was surprised to find that with pretty much every negative emotion, there was a corresponding uncomfortable sensation somewhere in the body. I literally felt anxiety in my stomach, sadness was in my heart, fear was in my throat and so on. It was different for different people. The instructor then asked us to identify the size, shape and colour of the uncomfortable sensation, and rate the intensity on a scale of one to ten. After tapping on a specific sequence of points on the body, pretty much everyone in the class said they felt better. Thinking about the problem no longer created a bad feeling in the body regardless how vividly we thought about the problem. I tried this technique with a few clients and found it amazingly effective. Since then I have taught almost every one of my clients how to use it.
This technique is particularly helpful for children. Young children don’t have the vocabulary to talk through their emotions and they don’t have the skills to manage them. In the heat of the moment, when they are angry or scared or sad, talking with them rationally doesn’t always work well. Even though this seems like a very unusual technique, it works like a treat. This is because negative emotions are actually caused by a disruption in the flow of Chi energy through the body. When you settle the energy flow the bad feeling simply goes away. The points on the body that you use are acupuncture points and when they are tapped on it’s a little like an acupuncture session but without the needles. Most people think that acupuncture is just for physical problems but it actually works brilliantly for emotions.
Children are usually very good at identifying the feeling in their body. It might be a black lump in their tummy when they don’t want to go to school or a red ball in their chest when they are scared of the dentist. Maybe they have a grey cloud over their head when they are embarrassed about wetting the bed. Kids are very visual. When they then do some “magic tapping,” that lump, ball or cloud can disappear very quickly and they feel calm and in control.
I heard about a little girl at the kindergarten Christmas party who was terrified of Santa. She was literally cowering in the corner and after a parent spent a few minutes with her, tapping on the points on her hands, face and chest, this little girl was relaxed, calm and happy to chat to Santa about what she wanted for Christmas. This technique is called EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique and it may well be a parent’s wish come true. It’s certainly an asset in my toolkit as a counsellor and Hypnotherapist.
To learn how to do EFT take a look at our website.
By Alison Burton
Clinical Hypnotherapist and Director of Simply Natural Therapies