Before you start googling “tap shoes for sale”, this isn’t an article about the jaunty American dance style (although I’m sure that’s a real mood booster, too). Tapping is a mind-body method whereby fingers are used to stimulate invisible meridian points on the face and body, resetting the emotional blocks holding you back in life.
I first came across the technique when I was recommended it for my daughter’s acute phobia of blood. There didn’t appear to be much to it; the practitioner asked my daughter to tell her about the blood she saw on Nana’s TV (thanks, Don’t Tell The Midwife), then tapped rhythmically over specific points on her face and body as she recalled the triggering memory. One £50 session later (yes, one), and when I cut myself cooking, my daughter now runs to get a plaster instead of running away, carefully applying it with the dexterity of a seasoned nurse.
American psychologist Dr Roger Callahan first thought to combine the Eastern practice of acupuncture and no-needle acupressure back in 1980. After applying his revolutionary Thought Field Therapy (TFT) to a range of traumas, he discovered it could help to dislodge negative thoughts and behaviours. Different approaches to tapping have evolved over the years, and it’s now used worldwide to treat a range of concerns, from stress and insomnia to weight loss and PTSD.
The celebrity tapper
Poppy Delbridge, go-to tapper for a number of public figures, turned to tapping after a traumatic divorce left her locked in a cycle of heartbreak and self-loathing. She was visiting her mum during a particularly low point, when she uttered the life-changing words, “Tap with me, Poppy.” Delbridge recalls how the raging ball of anger, pain and sadness inside her began to dissipate within minutes of starting to tap. “I became a version of myself I hadn’t met in years.” She is now a certified practitioner of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), and has worked with thousands of clients, from A-list celebrities and CEOs to psychologists and neuroscientists. She believes you can “tap into” every aspect of your life, including (but not limited to) your career, sex life, health and emotional resilience.
And let’s not forget the radiance-boosting benefits of tapping, as confirmed by facial therapist and skincare expert, Charlotte Connoley. “It increases blood circulation and collagen production,” she tells me, “as well as normalising activity in the oil and sweat glands.” Connoley adds that the stress management of tapping in itself can help to preserve your skin’s youthfulness. “When we are under stress, we release stress hormones that break down the collagen responsible for skin elasticity.”
Delbridge has developed her own form of Rapid Tapping, which merges the science-backed practice of tapping with modern manifestation techniques (the word “rapid” refers to the speed of transformation you can achieve, in case you’re worried your fingers aren’t up to the challenge). It’s based on the law of attraction – as in, raising your capacity to receive and attract more of what you want. “Think about your own ugly memories,” Delbridge urges. “It is impossible to think about a memory without some kind of emotional response. That’s an energy you’re holding onto. Tapping allows us to safely and quickly shift the trapped energy in our bodies that’s been stored up over the years. Energy needs to flow, move, shift and release.”
If you’ve ever tapped with a practitioner, you’ll know traditional EFT measures the intensity of an emotion as it decreases, leaning towards a “search and destroy” pattern for memories holding you back. Delbridge doesn’t believe you need to be aware of the specific event causing you pain, and instead tracks the upward change in emotional possibility. Tapping is traditionally carried out in longer one-to-one sessions with a professional, but Delbridge is on a mission to offer accessible energy techniques that can be incorporated seamlessly into your life – a daily self-led practice that can elevate your wellbeing in as little as 15 minutes. “You’ll find it particularly useful if you’ve ever tried and failed to clear your mind for meditation,” she adds. “The practice aids focus by allowing you to tap on drifting thoughts that may show up.”
- Between the eyebrows
- The side of eyes
- Under the eyes
- Under the nose
- The chin
- The collarbone and heart area
- The top of the head
Intrigued to try tapping? Below is Delbridge’s Signature Rapid Tap, which can be tried in the comfort of your own home.
How to try tapping at home
Inhale and exhale. Cross your arms in an X shape over your heart, moving your palms to the “sore spots” a few inches below and out from your collarbone, and massage with a medium pressure. As you do this, fill in the following blanks out loud: “I feel… because… and it’s possible for me to…” The latter should be a positive affirmation focused on what you want to achieve – eg confidence, career success or a healthy relationship.
Think about how possible that affirmation feels for you out of 100, listing all the reasons (ideally in a journal) it wouldn’t be possible for you. These blocks can be as vague as: I don’t have enough experience, or I’m not good enough.
Focus on clearing the blocks by tapping through the Rapid Tapping points as you say each of them out loud. The key is to tap in a continuous flow using both hands for about 10 seconds on each point (using just your middle and index fingers will be enough).
Inhale and exhale. Notice the positive change occurring and seal it in by engaging your senses. Tap rapidly down your whole body to wake it up, shake your hands, wiggle or hum a tune, whatever feels right in the moment. Then fill in the following blanks out loud: I feel… and it’s possible for me to… Smile, repeating your affirmation out loud.
Ask yourself again how possible your affirmation feels for you out of 100. Remember, if it’s even one per cent possible, it’s not impossible. Keep breaking down the impossibility and keep tapping!
For more in-depth Rapid Tapping tutorials, read Poppy’s book, Tapping In, or visit rapidtapping.com.
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