Tapping: Technique Used to Improve Physical and Emotional Health

Tapping, also called Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), is a self-healing technique that can be used to improve all kinds of negative health conditions including stress, anxiety, and chronic pain, among many others. While this practice incorporates techniques from ancient times, it has recently gained popularity, with an estimated 10 million people trying it to improve overall health.

Key takeaways:

Tapping has been likened to acupuncture, but this technique doesn't use needles, so it offers a great alternative for stress reduction for people who do not like needles.


What is tapping?

Gary Craig, the developer of tapping, describes the practice as a healing tool that can improve physical, emotional, and performance issues. The foundation of this practice lies in the belief that emotional stress can manifest as physical problems in addition to emotional and performance issues that can negatively affect day-to-day life. Only when these emotional stresses are addressed can true physical healing be achieved.

Tapping is similar to acupuncture in that it focuses on the meridian points, which are different anatomical places on the body that represent healing pathways. Acupuncture involves placing needles along these points to release tension and improve healing but tapping involves the use of the fingertips in place of the needles.

Who should try tapping?

Tapping has been shown to be effective for many conditions, both physical and emotional. Individuals with the following conditions should consider trying this technique to improve medical condition and overall health.

Who should avoid tapping?

While tapping is generally safe for most people, there are medical conditions in which tapping may not be recommended. People with seizures, cancer, bleeding disorders, and pacemakers or other electrical implants, and women who are pregnant should consult with their healthcare provider before trying this practice.

How is tapping performed?


Tapping is performed in a series of steps. The first step is to think about an issue that is bothering you or making you feel stressed, sad, or anxious. Once you have chosen the issue to focus on, rate it on an intensity scale from zero to 10, with 10 indicating that you feel as bad as possible.

After choosing and rating the issue to focus on, you will come up with a statement to be used throughout your practice. This statement should be customized to whatever issue you have chosen. For example, if you are anxious about going to work the next day, you may choose to say, “Even though I am anxious, I choose to love and accept myself.”

The next step is to perform the tapping sequence on the meridian points of your body. First, begin by tapping repeatedly on the edge of your palm just below your pinky finger. While doing this, say your statement out loud three times. After you have completed this step, you will move on to the specific tapping order, which is as follows:

  1. Top center of the head.
  2. Eyebrows.
  3. Under the eyes.
  4. Side of the eyes.
  5. Under the nose.
  6. Under the chin.
  7. On the collarbone.
  8. Under the armpit (about four inches below).

At each of these landmarks, you will tap seven times and state the issue that you are having over and over. For the example mentioned above, the statement may be “I am anxious about work.” Continue this entire process until you have achieved a score of zero on the intensity scale that you used to rate the issue initially.

Benefits of tapping

The main benefit of tapping is a reduction in negative emotions related to stress and anxiety. Additionally, there has been some research indicating that tapping can improve energy levels and improve sleep quality, resulting in an overall improved mood. Another reason to try tapping is that it is an inexpensive option when compared to many other stress-reduction strategies.

Drawbacks of tapping

One major con to tapping is that studies on this practice are limited. While some studies do exist, most contain small sample sizes that do not necessarily prove all of the health benefits that tapping has claimed to cure. However, as this practice is gaining more popularity, more research is likely to be conducted.

Another con to tapping is related to the amount of time it takes to do it. This process can be quite lengthy, especially if it must be repeated multiple times to achieve a lower intensity rating score. This can be quite disruptive to a daily routine if used too often.


Side effects of tapping are extremely rare, but in some cases, people have reported dizziness, nausea, and headache. While not likely to occur, it is something to consider as a possibility when you are deciding whether or not to try this technique.

Even though tapping is rooted in ancient practices, it is becoming quite popular and serves as a good alternative stress-reduction strategy. The practice involves tapping with the fingertips on various places on the body known to promote healing. The benefits of tapping include an improved mood, decreased stress and anxiety, and better sleep; all great reasons to give this practice a try!


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