Do you know that feeling of heat in your throat and heaviness in your stomach? When your heart starts to palpate faster, and your hands become clammy? You begin to get concerned because you're not in any physical danger, yet your body braces itself for the worst.
When we have a negative thought or traumatic event, and the mind fixates on that event, we may experience these elevated somatic symptoms. They usually cause our body to get hijacked by an intense emotional response to the memory. This is what anxiety starts to feel like once it surpasses the mind and begins to harness itself in the body. Most people, they will resort to feeling mild symptoms of heartburn and elevated heartbeats. For others, it can resort in panic attacks and the inability to function. In some cases, anxiety medication can assist, but what if there was another way?
What if there was a way for you to control the somatic reactions your body is experiencing so that you can be functional and reduce your anxiety by 41%? Talk therapy allows clients to process their struggles and create road maps to be resilient. There are times when somatic therapy can assist in the realm of trauma and generalized anxiety. Stress is also detrimental to your immune system because when stressed, your immune system's ability to fight off antigens is reduced, and you are more likely to have infections. Tapping helps lower stress and allows your immune system to do its work because the body can keep at homeostasis.
The emotional Freedom Technique, commonly abbreviated to EFT, is a form of somatic therapy that targets the Meridian points in the body in charge of the energy fields we all carry. When a point is "blocked," we tend to feel this pain's physical elements throughout our nervous system. Think of it as a less invasive form of acupuncture. The reason that EFT is so effective is that it helps to lower the cortisol and adrenaline that our body releases once it becomes hijacked. EFT has been known to assist clients in moving toward the recovery of the following struggles; testing anxiety, and PTSD for veterans and healthcare workers, as well as food cravings.
How does it work?
First, you focus on a negative emotion that feels most intense for you in the present moment. It helps to be able to scale your emotions from 0-10 to be able to quantify your levels of regulation.
Once you have identified the negative emotion, it's important to flesh it out and create a good understanding of the feeling and its cause. With deep breathing and concentrating on the problem at hand, you then use your fingers to tap 8x on each Meridian point.
As the tapping occurs, a mantra is stated in conjunction with the tapping to seal the practice. You or your therapist will provide this mantra to surrender to the negative emotion within the body.
Tapping on meridian points sends a calming signal to the brain, letting your brain know it's safe to relax; it triggers a part of your brain called the amygdala. Amygdalas are comparable to the alarm system in the body. It is a helpful tool when the body is in danger but can often hinder our functioning when it is overly active.
Although you can do EFT at home, it is recommended to do it first with someone trained to create a more precise blueprint of the practice.
All in all, it is important to consider that there are numerous ways in which trauma can be processed. EFT offers a hands-on approach that allows you to explore components of triggering stimuli without being directly exposed to them. Most of our suffering exists in our mind; when we tap we allow ourselves to imagine our most intense moments without being in proximity to the stimuli and let ourselves to have agency.
For more information about EFT, you can visit The Tapping Solution: https://www.thetappingsolution.com/tapping-101/. For more tips, please check out our other tips here (https://www.plantationcounseling.com/blog). You can always find us at 954-903-1676 for counseling services.