09 April 2013

Why use EFT Tapping? What does it do?

(This was going to be a reply to a comment on the previous post, but it explains the process of tapping with EFT in a very simple way)

Dearest Doris!

It doesn't matter if the success of others is even partly smoke and mirrors. When other people achieve something that is on my own personal wish list, as travel, or chances to meet and hug industry leaders, or amazing qualifications that open up whole new chapters in their ability to help others, my issue isn't with them but with my own measure against myself. They have proven that I could have done that already, and so I have been in the habit of castigating myself. Its been a bit like the sensation of not getting your homework in on time and missing out on the sweets or class treat.

With EFT I am learning to separate the sensations of an emotion from the situation or memory to which they are attached, and while I wouldn't recommend doing this without using the tapping points to maintain physical peace, the next steps are:

1. Fully accept the sensation - sit peacefully and bring it to the fore instead of squashing it down and notice where in your body you experience the sensation of the emotion; the weight/sickness/constriction etc of the fear/shame/anger etc. 

WARNING: Owning the sensation in this way can be surprisingly distressing without EFT tapping on the places that acupuncturists call 'entry and exit points' - the ones nearest the surface that they resort to with needles only when an issue won't shift by other means. (I'd sooner stimulate them with finger tapping than with needle points, where the bone is so close to the surface; wouldn't you?)

Likewise if distress does ramp up, it puts us further into the fight or flight reaction and works against achieving rational thought, so tapping counteracts this by holding a state of physical calm and opening what some call 'the alpha bridge' - the link between the delta and theta brainwaves of the subconscious where we find inspiration, deep thought and enhanced memory, and the alpha waves of relaxed and alert conscious rationality. It inspires a kind of 'whole brain' state.

If you have ever had a shining moment just as you wake up in the morning where you are both awake and still in dream space and everything starts to gel, with pennies dropping all over the place so that for a fraction of a second everything in the world makes sense... just before you forget it all again.... that's the state.

2.  If not using EFT to work directly on shifting the sensation and so switch off the panic button/fire alarm that has been going off to cause this (the easiest way forward), allow your mind to drift until you find an earlier situation when your body felt exactly the same way. Try and go as far back in your mind as possible. If you are doing this right you won't be looking for another situation when you had the same trigger, just the same bodily discomfort.  Typically the mind will go back to the first, the last, or the worst (most memorable).

No, I'm sorry, I can't continue with this description without begging you to open that alpha bridge and calm your reactions by tapping all the way through this exercise. Its imperative to be inserting something into the mix to keep your body and mind calm and alert and as emotionally uninvested in the memory as possible. The ideal trip through your past triggers and core beliefs is one where you can observe with your intellect intact and with remarkable clarity, and have a reaction no stronger than 'How interesting!'

If you find a related memory that is astounding in its ability to cause you pain once you've dug it up, then you need to work face to face with a practitioner. Trained practitioners can take over the tapping; they have the ability to spot your train of thought becoming scattered (the alpha bridge breaking down), they have tools to deal with abreaction and keep you safe, with your consciousness in the here and now instead of re-living or re-enacting the need to fight or run. They have any number of tricks and tools to add extra layers of disassociation and they are masters at spotting the tiniest physical alteration (colouration, tiny facial movements, changes in vocal tone or posture) that indicate an issue has just been even ever-so-slightly shifted or conversely compounded by new insight.

One of the greatest blessings of being a practitioner is experiencing what are called 'borrowed benefits'.

Unlike the myriad 'off the peg' tapping scripts available, or the tapping videos you can find on YouTube, bespoke, personally tailored, face to face consultation involves using only the client's own words, applying the basic counselling or NLP skills of mirroring and reflecting to repeat back to the client what they have just said, as a direct use of their particular words or as a reframing of their statement. The whole session is therefore entirely client led and that way the client is never jarred out of deep thought by the interjection of a phrase or intention which is not 100% their own, nor are they allowed to step into an emotional minefield and get lost in there. This makes the work faster, deeper and cleaner.

Borrowed benefits, then, come about when a practitioner empathises or resonates with the client, which is pretty much all the time. I'm not talking about taking on the client's issues, but about simply understanding the emotion or recognising the situation. Tapping on, or alongside, the client, also works on the resonating emotion within the practitioner.

In other words helping you helps me; blessing you blesses me. There is no superiority, no power imbalance. You provide the issue and pay for the session, and I provide the skill and the work, the place of safety and the protection and the utter investment in what it is you need to say or feel, and we are equal and equally blessed.

Perfect :-)


Sloane Summers said...

This post is definitely interesting. I really wanted to try out emotional freedom therapy. It seems to be the perfect solution with my problems right now.

Cheryl said...

Hi Sloane, sorry it took me so long to see your post. I forgot about comment moderator. How are things now?