A lot of people have heard about tapping, but even so, many people still dismiss it as unproven nonsense; or too good to be true; or some strange flight of imagination that can't possibly have any basis in reality.
Let me be honest: I heard about tapping myself a long time ago, and I dismissed it as being more new age rubbish. But then, a couple of years' ago, I found myself in a situation where try as I might, I couldn't get rid of some overwhelming anxiety and fear.
Sometimes, it would well up from my stomach and completely paralyse me. I'd prayed on it for hours and hours, and I know that the praying helped a lot, and also opened the door for G-d to show me the tapping technique that would finally help me to really get a handle on it.
As I said in the first post on the Year of Fear, if we don't put G-d firmly in the middle of things, then as Jews, the practical things we try that work for EVERYBODY ELSE IN THE WHOLE WORLD without fail, either won't work for us, or won't be very successful for us, or will stop working for us after a short period of time.
So with that caveat out the way, let's talk about tapping. The technique I used a couple of years' ago was called the 'Emotional Freedom Technique' or EFT. It involves rhythmically tapping on the end points of 8 of the 14 energy meridians in the body, as you talk through the problem or issue you want to emotionally 'decharge'.
EFT is itself part of the wider field of Energy Psychology, and I highly recommend reading 'The Promise of Energy Psychology', which explains the history, the application and the science behind tapping in some depth. The website www.emofree.com also has tons of useful information, case studies and free tutorials on how to actually do it.
So let's sum tapping up very briefly here: firstly, no-one's exactly sure why tapping on the end points of the body's meridians enables a person to quickly and effectively 'clear out' emotionally-charged issues, but there is mounting evidence that it works extremely effectively, and fast, for a lot of things.
Issues that can take years to resolve in the therapist's chair can literally be dissolved in one two hour session.
From my own experiences, things me and my husband have wrestled with for years - fears, anxieties, negative emotions - were effectively defused over a couple of days.
Another thing you should know about tapping is that it's completely non-invasive, so even if it doesn't actually work as hoped, it won't do any harm. The only downside is that it can sometimes uncover some very deep emotional stuff very fast, and that can sometimes be very disconcerting for the person involved, especially if they're doing the tapping by themselves.
The last thing you should know is that tapping is particularly effective at dealing with fear and anxiety. Phobias can literally disappear in an hour; palpitations can become a thing of the past in one hour. That heart-freezing, gut-wrenching sensation of paralysing fear can be neutralised in one shot.
Gary Craig, who runs the www.emofree.com website is fond of saying that you can try tapping on anything, from trying to lose weight to trying to make more money. It certainly can't hurt, and with G-d's help, many people have seen some massive shifts occur once they've invested the 10 minutes it takes to learn the basic tapping routine.
There's tons of stuff on the web about how to actually tap - try HERE for a start - so I won't re-invent the wheel.
But I think of tapping as the Jewish body's way of joining in with the soul's hitbodedut, or personal prayer. G-d willing, I'll write much more on this subject in the future, as this is just a very brief intro, but the Set-Up phrase that has worked wonders for me, and my husband, is that: Even though [fill in the problem or issue you have], I still know G-d loves me and accepts me completely.
For example, when I'm working through some anger, I may start off: Even though I currently hate [at least two people] with a passion, I know G-d still loves me unconditionally, and accepts me completely.
I rate how much I hate those people from 1-10 when I begin the tapping session (10 being a huge, whopping big amount) and then I keep going through the tapping sequence until I get the emotional charge down to 2 or below (zero is the ideal, but once you hit 2, it will normally dissolve by itself.)
You can do the same thing with fear, or stress, or any other negative trait or emotion you care to choose, for example: 'Even though I'm really nervous a Hamas missile is going to hit my house, I know G-d still loves me unconditionally, and accepts me completely.'
Experiencing your angry or anxious feelings dissolve in the space of five minutes just by tapping on your eyebrow is one of G-d's more beautiful little miracles.
Like I said, this is just a very brief intro, but I hope it's enough to wet your appetite, and to encourage you to try tapping for yourself. If you have any questions or comments, get in touch and I'll do my best to answer you, or point you in the direction of some more useful resources.
Next up: the chemical differences between male and female stress.