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What Is the Tapping Technique?

The tapping technique can be used to treat compulsive gambling.
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  • Written By: Marlene Garcia
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 17 March 2014
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The tapping technique refers to energy therapy using acupressure points on the body to address emotional problems. People practicing these psychological theories use positive thoughts or statements while tapping one or more of 10 meridian points on the body. The meridian tapping technique represents a broad term covering all forms of these therapies.

The concept of tapping techniques first arose in the 1900s, when a chiropractor employed acupressure points to treat physical ailments. It spread to the psychological field as research into the mind-body connection progressed. These therapies use a precise tapping sequence of acupressure points on the sides of the body, hands, under the eyes, temples, and collarbone to balance the flow of energy.

Thought field therapy defines one of the first forms of the tapping technique used to release fear. Doctors practicing this therapy first tested muscles to determine which pressure points needed tapping. Other psychotherapists began exploring methods to achieve emotional healing, coining the term energy psychology.

As the popularity of the tapping technique grew, energy flow techniques evolved into several forms introduced by doctors. The emotional freedom technique (EFT) became the most popular form after it was introduced in the 1990s by psychologist Gary Craig. He believed negative emotions caused a dysfunction in the energy flow throughout the body.

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EFT combines affirmative statements with tapping to allow energy to flow properly. People practicing this tapping technique might concentrate on an unpleasant thought or feeling to release negative energy. Bringing up a painful memory from the past might heal trauma and remove emotional pain. This therapy may also be used to relieve stress by sending relaxation messages to the brain.

A certain word or sentence is typically repeated aloud while tapping acupressure points with the fingertips. These affirmations might promote self-acceptance or help a person get over a phobia. Some psychotherapists use tapping techniques to treat addictions to drugs, alcohol, or gambling. It might also help patients suffering from eating disorders.

These therapies might also be used to reduce pain from physical ailments and symptoms of allergies. Proponents say patients sleep better and suffer less anxiety and guilt after using the tapping technique. Meridian therapies might condition the subconscious mind to accept the affirmations said aloud while tapping as truth.

Some therapists use visualization along with positive affirmation to improve energy flow. This form of holistic health is based on the belief that tense muscles from stress inhibit the flow of oxygen and cause physical and emotional difficulties. The use of positive images might redirect the mind to release energy throughout the body.

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