In these challenging times, managing stress and anxiety is a critical aspect of self-care. As such, I’d like to share some of my favourite techniques for grounding and alleviating anxiety. The first are some easy grounding techniques, and the second is called Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT, or “Tapping”).
- Naming Exercise: Feel your feet touching the floor. Look around the room and name 5 objects above eye level and their colour, e.g. “white paper”, “red book”, “pink flower.” Take some deep breaths in and out, and repeat the naming exercise as needed. Why pick items above eye level? When we’re upset we tend to look, down. Looking up helps create shifts in our brains!
- Word Exercise: Feel your feet touching the floor. Look at some words on a page or any words that you can see in your environment. Try to pronounce the words backwards, or spell the words backwards. Between words, take some deep breaths into and out of your belly.
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT, “Tapping”)
- What is EFT?
- EFT is a gentle, yet powerful tool that has emerged from the field of energy psychology. As such, it combines modern psychology with the ancient practice of acupressure, based in Traditional Chinese Medicine. In practice, the technique involves tapping on certain acupressure points while verbalizing feelings and intentions.
- How does EFT work?
- When we experience a stressor, the amygdala in our brain is activated, triggering a “fight-or-flight” (sympathetic) response in our mind-body, including an emotional response to a situation. When we are experiencing persistent stress and anxiety, it’s like our nervous system is stuck in a repeating loop, like a broken record playing the same few seconds of a song over and over again.
- When we use EFT to tap on energetic meridian points while verbalizing our feelings, the amygdala’s “danger” response is switched off, and the brain’s arousal pathways are deactivated. Furthermore, the hippocampus (a component of the brain involved in memory formation) is reprogrammed, thereby allowing us to make new associations and imprint new messages into our nervous system – ones that serve us better, such as messages of safety and calmness. Essentially, the nervous system is rewired, and our mind-body is able to enter the “rest-and-digest” (parasympathetic) mode, promoting an increased sense of calm via a reduction in cortisol (a hormone that is elevated in response to stress).
- This has been demonstrated scientifically through research at Harvard Medical School, where fMRI and PET brain scans showed that stimulation of certain acupoints (either with or without needles) decreased the activity of the amygdala.
If you’d like to give it a try, Nick Ortner from The Tapping Solution has a quick, free tapping meditation for the COVID-19 virus. You can find it here:
Also check Dr. Taitt’s Facebook page periodically, as she will be posting some EFT tapping videos that you can follow along with as well.
These can be a great way to get started with EFT.
For maximum impact, when using EFT, it can be helpful to receive guidance on how to customize the experience based on what you’re going through. If you’d like to learn the full technique so that you can use it anytime, anywhere, Dr. Taitt is offering telemedicine appointments and would be happy to teach you this technique.
To book an appointment with Dr. Taitt, call Sage Clinic at 250-590-7809, or book online athttps://sageclinic.janeapp.com/locations/sage-clinic-victoria/book#/staff_member/48
CRAIG, GARY, 2016. Emofree – the EFT tapping home.Available at
<http://www.emofree.com/> [Accessed August 14, 2016]
IDEAL SOLUTIONS, 2016. EFT tapping points.Available at <https://idealsoulutions.
wordpress.com/whatiseft/eft-tapping-points/> [Accessed August 12, 2016]
ORTNER, NICK, 2011. The tapping solution.Hay House, Inc. USA.
THE CHOPRA CENTRE – MELISSA EISLER, date not given. Nadi shodhana: how to practice
alternate nostril breathing. Available at <http://www.chopra.com/ccl/nadi-
shodhana-how-to-practice-alternate-nostril-breathing> [Accessed August 14, 2016]
THE TAPPING SOLUTION, LCC, 2016. What is tapping and how can I start using it?Available
at <http://www.thetappingsolution.com/what-is-eft-tapping/> [Accessed August
TAPPING WORLD SUMMIT 2019 and 2020.Multiple online talks and tapping meditations by Jessica Ortner and guests.