Recently, I’d been looking for a—admittedly—low-effort way to ease my anxiety that didn't involve an entire bottle of rosé. So when I heard about “tapping,” aka EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), for the thousandth time (this is L.A., after all), I wanted to know more. I hopped on a call with meditation teacher Kelsey J. Patel, and I almost immediately became a “tapper.” Here’s the transcript of my quick conversion.
What is this “tapping” thing exactly?
Sometimes called “psychological acupressure,” basically it’s a series of taps over energy meridians on the face and upper body in a process that seeks to release blockages in the body’s energy system that prevent healing and emotional calm. These are same Chinese medicine meridian channels that are manipulated in acupuncture and reiki. Unlike meditation, you speak or whisper while you’re doing it.
What do you say out loud?
You re-frame whatever anxiety you’re having as an affirmation, while you’re tapping.
OK, I’m lost.
Let’s try it with whatever you’re concerned about now. Say you’re worried about deadlines. Now stretch out your four non-thumb fingers on your dominant hand, then karate-chop upward on the pinky side of your other hand. Not so hard it’s jarring, but not super-soft. Meanwhile, repeat: “Even though I have so much to do and am afraid I won’t have the time and energy to complete all my work, I trust I will have the time and energy to get everything done that I need to.” Now complete that three times.
Is that it?
Next take your dominant hand’s pointer and index finger and tap a few more meridian points, repeating the statement at each spot: on the “11” between eyebrows, outside that side’s eye, under the eye, under your nose, under your chin, under your opposite collarbone, and below that arm’s lower ribs. All while restating your worry and your faith it will be resolved. Complete that circuit twice. Finally, finish with three deep inhales then exhales through your mouths.
Um, I feel different, calm, energetic and hopeful. And way less discouraged. We just did this on the phone, but should someone learn this face-to-face with a teacher?
You can book time with a teacher to learn it and have a 60- to 90-minute session that’s really profound, but if you are pressed for time, you can spend five minutes doing it and reap results.
What are the different uses for it?
I’ve used it to deal with debilitating back pain, repeating out loud that I trusted my body to heal. Or if you are working through insecurities and limiting beliefs. And I see a lot of women with deep control issues using this to feel comfortable surrendering to the unknown. Also, it’s great for fatigue.
OK, sold. Can you recommend where we can learn more?
I teach meditation at The DEN on La Brea and lead retreats. And there are lots of great videos online. Watch one and try it out—if you don’t have the perfect scenario, use a bathroom stall or your closed-door office or your car. You deserve it, tuning up your positive vibration and turning down your limiting beliefs.