By Steve Wells
One of the most frequently asked questions at our workshops and by our clients is – What happens if my problem occurs when I am out in public! Obviously most people are going to feel nervous about tapping on points on their face and body out in public as this looks rather strange. And that can be an issue because many of our emotional problems actually occur when we are in public places.
I remember way back in February 1998 after Gary’s Ultimate Therapist Workshop sitting in a San Francisco café tapping away on the EFT points after a 1-hour bus ride sitting next to a woman with strong perfume had left me with a severe headache. Dr. David Lake sat next to me, tapping along. A street beggar came along, took one look at us, and gave us a wide berth! Although the headache went away, and the petrochemical sensitivity has also almost totally dissipated since that time, that incident reminded me how strange the tapping process can appear to members of the general public.
Over the years we have come up with the following advice if you have a problem that occurs in public places, or if you find yourself in a public place needing to tap.
1. Tap before you go – Anticipate / Prepare / Prevent.
Obviously the best outcome is to not have to have your problem come up in the public space at all. This means if you have a problem such as anxiety that is likely to be provoked by being in a public situation, the best thing to do is to think about all the situations where the anxiety might occur ahead of time and tap whilst focusing on those possibilities. At the very least this can often reduce the intensity of the emotion if it does happen, to a more manageable level. If you are able to get to the point where you can think about being in the situation (i.e. speaking in public) and thinking about it doesn’t produce any emotion, there is a good chance that when you go out there either the emotion won’t occur or it will be at a lesser level.
2. Tap “as you go”.
Let’s say you have a fear of public speaking and you have to give a speech at your friend’s wedding. During the days leading up to the event you will have tapped whilst imagining yourself at the wedding reception giving the speech, you will have tried to identify all the various aspects of speaking in public that might provoke your fear and applied tapping to them, and you would have applied tapping to emotionally intense past speaking events. As you get ready to attend the event and on the way to the event you can also tap. We encourage our clients to tap when they are in the car when stopped at a red light or stop sign. As long as your focus is on the road and at least one hand is on the steering wheel you can also tap on some of the points as you drive along.
3. Excuse yourself…
If it’s possible you can excuse yourself from the situation and go off somewhere private to do some tapping. This may mean for example dashing to the loo (toilet) just before your speech and getting in a few rounds of tapping. Usually this will be sufficient to reduce your anxiety to a more manageable level.
4. Touching or rubbing the points.
If you have done steps 1-3 and you still have anxiety when you get into the situation, or your anxiety arises “out of the blue” whilst out in public, you can try just lightly touching or rubbing on some of the points. Often this can be done quite unobtrusively and a few light rubs on selected points can take the edge off the anxiety so that you can function in the situation. If you have done a lot of EFT or SET at home, often just rubbing on the first point in the sequence can initiate a significant shift in intensity.
5. Your favourite point.
After you have been tapping for a while it is common to identify a favourite point which produces quite large shifts for you. For me it is the side of eye point. Often, instead of needing to do a full sequence of tapping, I can just tap a few times on this point and produce a major shift in intensity. Once you have identified a point such as this it can be quite handy if you have only a few seconds before you have to perform in public to just tap a few times on that point before you go on stage, or when out in public to just lightly rub the point in a non-obvious way.
6. The finger points.
The finger points can be tapped under the table or behind your back, however the best way we have found to do this is to use the thumb of the same hand to tap on the finger points of that hand. This process, which was first introduced by Dr. David Lake as “Continual Tapping” can be done quite easily out in public and is very unobtrusive. It can also be done under the table or behind the back without being noticed. Even when done publicly most people don’t pay much attention to it. Once on an aeroplane I noticed the gentleman next to me absently tapping on these points – and he didn’t even know EFT! A golfer I worked with found she could just tap on these points after a bad shot and reduce her tension prior to the next shot.
7. Imagine the tapping.
It is also possible to get a significant reduction in intensity just “imagining” that you are tapping on the points. In one of our workshops a woman overcame her life-long spider phobia just imagining that she was tapping on the points, with no physical tapping at all! It seems strange to many people that this can work but our experience is that at least 80% of people can get a result without needing any further instruction than what I have told you right here! Try it and see. You may be surprised. It is easy to believe that we can point a remote control at a television to get it to turn on, why should it be surprising that we can use our own intention to produce a result in our own mind-body?
For a more indepth discussion on tapping, we recommend our book Enjoy Emotional Freedom – Simple techniques for living life to the full.
This exciting book represents the fruit of many years of experimentation and innovation in the field of energy psychology by Steve Wells and Dr David Lake. In a nutshell the techniques taught in this book allow you to ‘tune’ and ‘tone’ your body’s energy system for the immediate benefit of relaxation and a reduction of the body’s stress responses. You can also learn how to apply tapping directly to a number of emotional issues with predictable positive results: typically, these are the issues of fear, anxiety and hurt.
This book enables and empowers ordinary people to start getting results now, without having to be psychologically-minded or clever. It’s full of useful tips and strategies which can be deceptively simple. At the same time it includes many innovative refinements and advanced techniques which will be of interest to EFT practitioners and advanced “tappers” in helping them to enhance their results. This book guides you into ways of being better balanced and more emotionally ‘fit’ regardless of the thinking you might be saddled with at present. Best of all, the book is a simple one about a simplification of energy techniques. It gives you the life-long gift of being able to help yourself far more than you ever imagined.