By Dr David Lake
We have found that the indirect method of continual tapping used in Simple Energy Techniques (SET) has many benefits. Most of these are connected to energy toning.
What is energy toning?
We have found that when you tap on a regular and daily basis (such as 15 minutes or more each day over a period of 1-2 weeks, or even more) that a beneficial effect tends to accumulate over time. Just using the energy toning effects of tapping is enough to induce a calm, a relaxation and a kind of “emotional fitness” when practiced daily for several weeks. It also maintains the benefits of tapping treatment.
We have had many examples of clients and workshop participants who have used this regular daily tapping and found that some of their emotional problems “just went away” of their own accord and the severity of felt emotions for other issues reduced significantly over time. In addition, many report an increase in positive emotions and a general feeling of optimism associated with life in general.
It is important to note that these benefits of daily tapping can occur even when you tap without focusing on any of your emotional problems. Simply tap on the points as you go about your business, and allow the benefits to accumulate, just as you would do if you were going daily to the gym.
How does it work?
Presumably much of the energy toning effect comes from somehow disrupting the body’s capacity to express negativities as a felt emotion. Most of these problems seem to manifest as uncomfortable feeling in the midline of the body, often around the nerve plexuses (like the solar plexus). It seems that enough tapping can remarkably reduce or even eliminate some “nervous reactions” felt in these areas. For example, my daily experience of a gnawing, empty feeling in the 'stomach' as a response to any fear or anxiety significantly decreased after the first 6 months of using tapping extensively in 1998. Some months later I ( realised that it had just disappeared! It has never returned--despite repeated provocation. I don't miss it. This amounts to a physiological shift in an automatic nervous reactivity. I still have my commonsense and caution, but I no longer seem to need a body "alarm system" that never really helped me anyway."
What about direct work using tapping?
In daily life it often isn’t too long before a negative thought or emotion arises, and this is where the possibility of direct work focused on the problem using tapping arises. However, while much of the tricky and involved psychological work of grappling with the underlying events and belief systems of emotional problems can produce change, we ordinary people are often unable to do this for ourselves. Why? Because of the problem with unconscious blocks – the fact that they are unconscious!
There is another alternative
There is another valuable tapping strategy available where you don’t have to make a big mental effort – and the benefits can often be every bit as good as that of direct tapping.
This involves allowing the “problem” (thought, feeling) to be what it is and just “grafting” the tapping on top of it while it is present. In this way you never struggle with what is. Nor do you set up further tension by wishing or hoping or arguing about the issue. So often a negative problem causes great secondary tensions as our beliefs and preferences and values are triggered. In essence I suggest that you tap on the felt problem without modifying or resisting it at all. This is an ideal first step to deal with trouble. This strategy has the merit of instant action and provides a “defusing” function.
The benefit is threefold:
You are doing something useful and helpful by tapping. Most likely the reactions will settle down. You are not making the problem worse by over-reacting. This is more likely when you don’t think about it too much! (By this I mean there is less inner debate about whether this should have happened, or why now, or is it fair, or who is really to blame….). You are interrupting the pattern of your own negative reactions just at the right time.
Of course there is a time and place for direct approaches. Problems do need to be solved if possible. A useful, simple model for self-help and active direct work using SET is to go for a walk (or other activity) for say, 20 minutes, and let your mind roam around the problem you want to work on directly. Allow the thoughts and feelings to come up in a natural and “conversational” way while you use continual tapping. In particular, allow the negative and bleak things some time on your mental stage; tapping gives you the freedom to do this without excess suffering. Then, when time is up just get on with what you were doing in your day, knowing you can have another “session” later.
Remember that tapping is foremost a body technique—not a psychological one—so the energy techniques’ answer to felt “problems” must also lie in the body. Let’s not allow the mind to get over-involved too soon unless it’s appropriate, particularly in self-help situations.
We commend to you the twin approaches of daily tapping for “energy toning” and “grafting the tapping” onto your problems. We’re sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results.