Tapping ( Emotional Freedom Technique)


How do I “tap”?

Tapping can be done through a 5-part process, and can be repeated indefinitely depending on how many issues you’d like to address.

Identify the issue: choose one issue to address. This can be emotional, physical, social—perhaps you have anxiety around a specific event, are processing through a trauma, or are experiencing a craving for alcohol.

Rate the intensity of this issue: how much emotional and/or physical distress do you feel about this issue, on a scale of 0 to 10? (10 = the most intense.) This gives a benchmark to measure against after tapping.

Create verbal cues to talk through this issue: as we tap, we repeat statements that talk through whatever issue you have chosen. The general setup is as follows:

  • acknowledging the issues

  • accepting yourself despite the problem 

“Even though I have this [fear or problem], I deeply and completely accept myself.” For example, if you are experiencing a craving for alcohol you might say “Even though I am experiencing a craving for alcohol, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Begin tapping through these 9 meridian points (here is a very helpful video to visualize this process!), while repeating your phrase:

Begin by tapping the karate chop point while simultaneously reciting your setup phrase three times. Then, tap each following point seven times, moving down the body in this ascending order:

  • eyebrow

  • side of the eye

  • under the eye

  • under the nose

  • chin

  • beginning of the collarbone

  • under the arm

After tapping the underarm point, finish the sequence at the top of the head point. Repeat entire sequence 2-3 more times

Rate the intensity again: on a scale of 0 to 10, now how does the issue feel now? The goal of tapping is for this intensity to decrease.

Adding tapping to our alcohol-free toolbox

Tapping is an incredibly portable tool—you can do it anywhere with no equipment—so it’s a handy one to add to our alcohol-free toolbox. Whether you align with the more traditional, energetic pieces of it or the more conventional framework and understanding of why EFT works, or you just think it might be a good way to distract yourself from a craving, tapping is something to consider calling on when you feel like drinking.

Anthony, K. (2018) “EFT Tapping.” Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/eft-tapping

Bach, Donna et al. “Clinical EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Improves Multiple Physiological Markers of Health.” Journal of evidence-based integrative medicine vol. 24 (2019): 2515690X18823691. doi:10.1177/2515690X18823691

Gaesser, A. H. (2020). Emotional freedom techniques: Stress and anxiety management for students and staff in school settings. In C. Maykel & M. A. Bray (Eds.), Applying psychology in the schools. Promoting mind–body health in schools: Interventions for mental health professionals (p. 283–297). American Psychological Association.

Stapleton, P., Crighton, G., Sabot, D., & O'Neill, H. M. (2020). Reexamining the effect of emotional freedom techniques on stress biochemistry: A randomized controlled trial. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 12(8), 869–877. https://doi.org/10.1037/tra0000563