Well, you just might be able to with a technique used for anxiety, stress, and overcoming negative beliefs called Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Also known as “tapping”, it involves stimulating various meridians in the body through acupressure points by literally tapping them. It is a technique used to free yourself of negative thoughts, beliefs, and feelings, while promoting love, self acceptance, and positive thinking. There are several ways to tap, but they usually involve a specific sequence of tapping using two fingers of your hand on each point.
Try tapping for a few moments on the side of your hand (the part where you would perform a karate chop. See what happens if you just tap it. Chances are, as long as you are doing it gently, but firmly, you will experience it as a pleasureful and calming sensation. With tapping, you are stimulating a response in your body similar to the sparking when you ignite a gas stove or grill.
Tapping is said to stimulate a form of electricity called piezoelectricity. By tapping, you are essentially creating a wave that can move the energy through your body and push through areas that might be feeling blocked. Tapping can be used for a myriad of conditions, which often involve stress. It has been used to treat, not only anxiety, but depression, cravings, phobias, PTSD, pain, psoriasis, and fibromyalgia.
People usually start by recalling a negative memory or checking in with the body to see what it is feeling while tapping the point on the wrist you might use to make a karate chop. Once the location of distress is identified, one can tap from one meridian point to another while affirming that the emotion or sensation has been difficult, but that you accept where you are and how you feel. The idea is that connecting the memory or sensation to the soothing action of tapping can break the negative association and release the emotion.
Some EFT practitioners argue that the point is to not identify the pain or negativity with the memory, but to identify it with the blockage in energy. Either way, the idea is that you are allowing the safe space for you to process any emotions associated with the event or emotions you may be currently feeling that you may be trying to avoid, By processing the event or upsetting idea with self love and acceptance, the energy is allowed to move, change, and become free.
By tapping various energy meridian points, you are literally tapping into your body’s natural healing abilities. Our bodies are so incredibly powerful, yet we often don’t believe in the power of our bodies to help heal ourselves. By helping the energy move and affirming our acceptance of where we are, the body’s system can start moving towards recovery and restoration of balance.
It seems to be supported by research as well. One randomized, controlled study by Dr. Dawson Church looked at the effects of an hour of tapping on cortisol levels. On average, tapping reduced cortisol levels by 24%, with some levels being reduced up to 50%. His Stress Project teaches veterans who are suffering from PTSD how to tap. After just six rounds, 63% of PTSD symptoms decreased.
The great thing about tapping is that once you learn how to do it, you can do it on your own. Therapists and acupuncturists can be very expensive. Depending on your particular circumstances and where you are with yourself, tapping might be an easy way to give yourself a quick boost of love and calming energy. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you may want to contact a professional health care provider to make sure it is something you can help by tapping. However, for many people, it can be an easy to use, accessible, and free technique for relief from stress.