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84 m a s s a g e & b o d y wo r k j u l y/a u g u s t 2 0 2 3 essential skills | SAVVY SELF-CARE Emotional Freedom Technique Tap That Stress Away By Heath and Nicole Reed Ever feel overwhelmed? Anxious? Stressed out? In pain? When those moments arise, you are perfectly poised to experience the peace, relief, and calm that follows a "tapping" session. Tapping, also known as emotional freedom technique (EFT), is a gentle self-care method to restore balance, release stuck feelings, and curtail negative self-talk. The practice of EFT disrupts the hamster wheeling of unhelpful thought patterns by generating a new body-brain feedback loop. This pattern interruption is provided by physical touch (yay, touch!), accessing meridians and intentional affirmations. The simple steps described in this article are all you need to start generating gentle, transformative healing for yourself. EAST MEETS WEST EFT was initially developed in the 1990s by Stanford engineering graduate and neurolinguistic programming specialist Gary Craig, who was inspired by the work of psychologist Roger Callahan, PhD, and Thought Field Therapy (TFT). In the decades since, EFT has gained popularity globally and has been clinically proven to manage stress, reduce cortisol levels, improve anxiety, and even treat PTSD in veterans. EFT has been described as psychological acupressure or energy psychology because it combines the power of traditional Chinese medicine with modern neuroscience and psychology to help generate potent healing results. This touch therapy technique involves tapping on specific points (acupressure points) found along meridians (channels of chi or energy) while focusing on a particular challenge, pain, or feeling. Researchers in this field suggest that EFT has the capacity to bypass the stress response and may even rewire the brain. "By focusing on a stressful thought that's creating tension in your body and gently tapping your fingers on these specific points, you send a calming signal to your brain," says Jessica Ortner, an EFT tapping expert and founder of the Tapping Solution app. 1

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