I sit there, tears streaming down my face as I tap my index finger on my cheek. Just below my lower eyelid. I recall all the reasons I am not good enough. Why I don’t start the projects I want to. What is stopping me.
Because I am not perfect, and never will be.
All the formative moments that have lead me to this place crowd my aggrieved mind. I sob in staccato ripples.
This isn’t just a random Wednesday lunchtime breakdown. No. I have been asked to recall these moments, and feelings of inferiority, by a voice that flows out of my phone. While I sit. Tapping various areas of my body.
I am using the Tapping Solutions App.
This is a healing process. This is mediation. And this particular sixteen-minute session is designed to build on the belief that, actually, I am enough. Just as I am.
But right now, I am wet-faced and shameful, wound-up and wounded.
Is this tapping meditation actually going work?
Tapping to Release
We all have things in our minds that we want to release. Those niggling thoughts that do you no good. And yet still live, rent-free, in your mind. Eating up all the healthy shit, spitting out junk.
Literally the world’s worst lodger.
I first heard of Tapping meditation through Russell Brand’s podcast Under The Skin. A podcast dedicated to divining better ways to live. In this particular episode, founder of The Tapping Solution Nick Ortner discusses the ways tapping releases stress. In turn helping us move beyond the limiting beliefs and damaging emotions we hold.
As something of a ‘psycho-naut’, I could get on board with this!
But — in order to do this, Ortner says — we must first call up these thoughts and emotions. And this is often how a tapping meditation begins.
“We close our eyes, we run the movie… and then we can send that calming signal to the amygdala. We keep running that movie until the charge has gone from it.”
But how does one stimulate that calming signal? And how does one remove the charge from those negative thoughts?
It all revolves around a series of tapping actions, performed at various points of the body.
To begin, tap your fingers on the side of the hand, or the “karate chop point”. This is followed by tapping over the middle of the brow bone; the side of the eye; the lower middle of the eye-socket; above the top lip; under the bottom lip. After completing this facial portion, move to the collarbone, then under the armpit at the middle of the ribcage, finishing up tapping at the crown of the head.
All the while, the App provides dialogue. A series of statements, starting with the negative emotions and thoughts you wish to banish. As the meditation progresses, so does the positive sentiment.
Say you’re feeling anxious. A tapping meditation would progress from stating “even though I am feeling anxious, I honour how I feel and I give my body permission to relax”. This would then progress to stating “I can’t stress myself to a solution. I choose peace instead. I am open to inspiration.”
All the while, the tapping works on changing the energy flow in your body. Calming the body and mind.
By the end, you should have a brighter perspective.
This series of points on the face and upper body are linked with the meridian lines, focal points of energy that can re-calibrate the emotions and emergent physiological symptoms. In this way, tapping meditation combines the “principles of ancient Chinese acupressure and modern psychology”, creating a well-rounded process based in science and eastern philosophy.
According to a clinical research study, this process has been proven to reduce cortisol. A key contributor to stress that has been linked to illness, weight gain, insomnia chronic pain, fatigue and much more.
I mean…what is not to love?!
In a world increasingly turned up to eleven, so many people are seeking to reduce their cortisol levels. Stressors are everywhere, with mixed messages are instilled in our minds.
Do it all, but brilliantly. Spend time with loved ones, work hard. Rise and grind, but relax.
We need solutions!
And this may be why so many people have jumped aboard the tapping bandwagon. With over 5 million plays of meditations on their unique app, they must be doing something right.
So how did I get on?
You Are Enough
This is where you first found me. Listening to the ‘You Are Enough’ meditation, the latest extended meditation designed to bring you some fucking peace!
And within minutes, I’m throwing out huge and unexpected tears.
I already knew I needed a bit of reassurance. A release of my pressure valve perhaps. But I wasn’t prepared for the onslaught of thoughts, of memories. I wept, allowing them to wash over me.
But then something amazing happened.
As the tapping proceeded — side of the eye, under the eye, under the nose, under the mouth, the collar bone — I began to feel a weight lift from my mind.
As the voice in my ear — the voice of Nick Ortner in fact (he and his two sibling’s soothing tones colour many of the mediations) — changes track, invoking a positive spin on my feelings of worthlessness, I feel calmer. More at peace.
I even laugh towards the end, as I hear him say “I am gonna procrastinate, I am going to eat things that I didn’t want to eat, I’m going to skip exercise, and I am enough.”
And then I hear this.
“And the magic of this decision is that when you accept yourself with these ‘flaws’, then your life opens up in front of you… from that place you are focused and productive. Forgive yourself first. I am enough”
The instilling of ‘imperfectly perfect’ is bound up in all mediations. This is what we need. This is what we all need.
This is the beauty of the conscious state of allowing. Once we stop fighting what is, and work from where we are, all things flow more naturally.
These words are simple. Almost too simple to feel effective.
And yet they are.
This is the key with tapping mediation. There is no complicated language. There are no new-age, saccharine-sweet turns of phrase. Just simple words that often cut right to the core of what you are feeling.
That is certainly how I felt in that moment. About 2 hours prior to where I am right now, sitting at my keyboard, typing these words.
This meditation gave me an out.
Out of the negativity, out of the prison of my own self-inflicted fears. I released something back there, and it is no longer clogging my consciousness.
I’m not saying it wont come back. It will. But when it does, I know that there is a Tapping Solution. A short meditation that can steer me gently back to the right path.
As the meditation ends, I am asked to rate my feelings of distress, one to ten. This is something that happens at the beginning and end of each session. I rate myself at a 2—meaning I am feeling pretty damned fine.
When I started the meditation fifteen minutes before, I was at a 10.
Building an Emotional Freedom Technique
I have been using tapping meditation on and off for a month now. And, honestly, the sense of release I often get is so rewarding.
Not every single meditation works for me. Some of the productivity options don’t seem to have any effect on my output. But the meditations that deal with fear and anxiety are the most insightful and calming.
And these can often be done in ten minutes! All you need is a quiet corner and you’re away.
If you want a short-hand explanation for what tapping meditation is, then use it’s other name. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).
This term might sound a little ‘New Age’ for some — but come on, doesn’t everyone want emotional freedom? Surely we all want to feel like we’re in the driving seat, instead of those runaway emotions!
The beauty of this technique, as Ortner has noted, is that that everyone from “normal people like me”, to athletes and performers, and even trauma survivors, have benefited from the practice.
Tapping meditations can help create a roadmap to letting go.
And don’t we all have stuff to let go of?
Shortly after the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook, Ortner donated his time to help parents, survivors and first responders deal with their grief through tapping. And amazingly, it did provide comfort and relief.
From this, The Tapping Solution Foundation was born. A charity dedicated to providing care and assistance for PTSD sufferers and school kids suffering from stress, amongst others.
Proving the altruistic intent behind the movement, it also highlights that tapping can be used by people of all ages, with a multitude of needs.
Ortner also encourages the use of tapping alongside traditional therapies!
He notes that “it’s not an either/or…take the tools from CBT, take what you’ve learned, and acknowledge and recognise that fact that we have these physical bodies that we need to calm. That we need to reset the brain, we need to rest that physical experience.”
Having used tapping for over a month now. And all whilst undertaking weekly CBT sessions. I can attest to the power of utilising a range of tools. It’s most certainly helping with breaking down some of the thought-patterns detrimental to living a healthy life.
This is what CBT seeks to do. And, no joke, last week my therapist told me that I am already using some of the techniques in CBT that we haven’t even discussed yet.
And I have a hunch that this is, in part, thanks to tapping.
Introducing Tapping: What Have You Got To Lose?
Honestly, there are an absolute shit-ton of meditations on the app, covering the full gamut of human emotions.
From releasing anxiety and depression, to motivating yourself to exercise, work or eat right. A range of sleep tapping programs provide much needed respite for those who struggle to get off.
Trust me, I have an active mind which struggles to switch off, and these have worked wonders for me! I highly recommend the twenty minute ‘Deep Sleep Patterning’ meditation.
There are sleep meditations that promote increased memory and brain function in daily life!
Wherever you feel stuck in your life, give it a go. It’s a cheap way to give yourself some tools when you feel a little lost, stuck, anxious or down.
Download the app and start a free 14 day trial today. Sadly, after the trial the free meditations are quite limited. Which is a slight caveat if you cannot afford to pay the $80 or so yearly subscription.
Having said that, there are still free meditations available, and the ‘You Are Enough’ sixteen-minute meditation is free to all users.
If you are anything like me bring tissues. It’s bound to get a little weepy. But you will feel so good after!
The beauty of these meditations is there are no complicated steps. Just plug in and drop some of that weight off your shoulders.
Tapping might sound like a silly solution. But it is a solution. And one that gives you the power to release negative thoughts and beliefs in as little as ten minutes.
It has certainly worked for me. So, give it a go, I am dying to hear how you get on!