A Quick, Natural Stress-Relieving Hack You've Never Tried

The term “tapping” may not be synonymous with health and healing for you... yet. But adopting this method, also known as the emotional freedom technique, might be the answer to liberating yourself from stress, anxiety, and even trauma. The real beauty of this technique, aside from benefitting your well-being, is the fact that it puts your health in your own hands, literally.

Nick Ortner, New York Times best-selling author of The Tapping Solution, is determined to make this natural healing phenomenon, a mix of ancient Chinese acupressure and modern psychology, mainstream as the secret to emotional wholeness and physical relief. He says tapping is in the same vein as acupuncture and acupressure, with the goal of stimulating the body’s energy meridian points, but in this case, with the use of your fingertips instead of tons of tiny needles.

How does it all work? By stimulating these energy points, the body’s balance can be restored while emotional and physical symptoms that stem from energy disruption can be healed. Studies link this stimulation to reducing activity in the amygdala, a part of the brain known as your body’s alarm system. Trauma or fear triggers the amygdala, which floods the body with the “stress hormone” known as cortisol but this activity can be rapidly reduced with the practice of tapping.

Though the technical explanation of EFT seems complex, employing the actual technique is easy and approachable for anyone. Aside from the act of physically tapping into your body’s energy points, a component of meditation is incorporated, which helps calm the mind while focusing on the issue at hand. This happens in the form of an affirmation statement (acknowledging the problem and following it with a statement of acceptance), which is repeated three times. Before the tapping sequence begins, a level of distress is rated (on a scale of one to 10) and the place where it manifests itself on the body is identified.

The idea is to maintain mental focus by using these positive affirmations as you tap the body’s meridian points (five to seven times each) with comfortable but firm pressure. The basic tapping sequence for anxiety involves nine points (in order): the “karate chop” (on the side of your hand), front of the eyebrow, side of the eye, under eye, under the nose, chin, collarbone, underarm, and the top of the head. After completing the sequence, it may be repeated if anxiety is still present. Combining the positive affirmation statements with this sequence channels your body’s energy into a more positive flow. Tapping could be the changing force in your quality of life as you bring a natural balance to your body and mind.

Learn more in Ortner's book below.

Have tried tapping, acupuncture, or acupressure? Have they been successful for you? Share your experiences below.

Opening photo: Taylor Jewell