Get Started with Tapping
Tapping is a simple process of stimulating energy points on the body for emotional and physical relief. These are the same points used in acupuncture and acupressure. By gently tapping on these points using our fingers we can often create significant shifts in how we feel and gain relief on emotional problems.
The approach to tapping used in Intention Tapping is called Simple Energy Techniques (SET), which was developed by Sydney-based medical practitioner Dr David Lake and Perth-based psychologist Steve Wells. SET evolved from earlier tapping approaches Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) and Thought Field Therapy (TFT). The points used in these approaches are identical but the process used varies quite a bit. SET, as the name implies, is a simpler and more user friendly version of tapping. There are also some unique features of SET which make it distinct from these earlier tapping approaches. These differences are explained in more detail below.
Tapping Points used in SET
SET Tapping Process
- Tap gently on each of the points shown while focusing on the problem in your own way.
- Check your emotional intensity and continue the process if there is remaining negative intensity or if other issues have come to mind.
- Be prepared to persist with the procedure, and realize that some problems may have a number of aspects, each of which may need to be addressed for full relief.
SET Processes for Self-help
- Focus SET on any emotional or physical problem and while focusing on the problem simply tap on any of the points in any order until you feel relief. If you prefer you can rub or hold the points – Just get some meridian stimulation happening. The actual sequence you use doesn’t matter very much, although it does seem necessary to include at least 3-4 different meridian points in the sequence.
- Even when you aren’t specifically focusing in on the problem, just tap on the points continually. This appears to have the beneficial effect of “toning” your energy system. It works even if you are not actually concentrating directly (although directly is ideal), or you don’t know consciously what the problem is. Part of you does know.
- Get some meridian stimulation into your day wherever possible without worrying about having to say or do anything specific. Most people who do this on a daily basis report that their optimism and positive energy levels increase over time and their general stress levels decrease. We now believe that sufficient meridian stimulation may cause a shift in your nervous system such that your negative problems cannot take hold in the same way.
- We recommend linking continual tapping of the SET points to other habits such as watching TV, talking on the phone, or going for a walk. Make it a beneficial habit.
- Don’t just wait for a problem to arise to start tapping. By tapping on a more continual basis (say 30 minutes to 1 hour per day) you will be increasing your positive energy and decreasing your stress levels automatically.
- It is fine to also do focused sessions where you aim to specifically identify the aspects of your problem and apply energy stimulation (tapping or rubbing or holding the points) to them. Consider working with someone else if you have trouble identifying parts of the problem to work on. In the meantime, continual tapping without specific focusing can still be beneficial.
- Let your thoughts and feelings come while you tap. Accept every thought and feeling and allow even negative thoughts to come but add tapping to their presence.
- Take a deep breath after a sequence of tapping, or when you notice a ‘shift’.
- Be willing to consult a professional therapist or physician for more complex issues that don’t shift, and especially for undiagnosed physical issues.
Note: SET is not a therapy in itself and all of the descriptions of treatment and advice in this report that refer to self help are not meant to imply that everyone will benefit in a particular way. A lack of result or progress may mean you need professional assistance. If you consider that you have long-standing or severe problems you should consider treatment with a qualified therapist.
SET within Coaching, Counseling and Therapy
- Typically in this approach the client does the tapping on their own body points as instructed by the practitioner, who taps along on their own body points as well while working with clients. Initially, this assists in pacing and rapport as well as demonstrating the tapping points to the client. However, once the client learns the points they are instructed that they can tap on the points in any order, on either side of the body.
- We teach a form of continual tapping where the client and counselor/coach tap on any of the meridian points in a continual fashion throughout the session, even when not specifically focusing on the problem (i.e. even when just “chatting”). We find that the increased amount of meridian stimulation is a key factor in improved results and aim to get as much tapping as possible into every session.
- In addition to tapping on the upper body and hand points with the dominant hand, we also teach clients to tap on the finger points of the hand using the thumb of the same hand. This is easy to do, non-fatiguing, easy to integrate into your routine, and can be done in public (under the table or behind the back if you prefer). We incorporate the ring finger point, even though this isn’t a traditional point in EFT or TFT.
- Any blocking beliefs or thoughts, or problems that won’t shift are treated as “The next problem”. If we are not getting results, we seek to identify the blocking thought or belief and apply the tapping to that. Usually we are able to proceed at that point.
- We encourage our clients to focus on “whatever you are aware of”, mind (thoughts, beliefs, memories, worries) or body (feelings, intensity, bodily location) while tapping.
- Whilst we see the value of working specifically – focusing in on the problem aspects and working through them systematically to produce relief – we have also seen a benefit from working non-specifically – where relief comes from simply stimulating the meridian system even when you aren’t focused on the problem (see below). We thus use and encourage a lot of continual meridian stimulation as a form of “general energy toning” and we have seen this produce disproportionate positive results
- We find that it is just as useful to tap or rub the points, either is fine. (See also Dr. John Diepold’s “Touch and Breathe” Technique) Rubbing the points is particularly useful out in public where it is discreet and not as attention-getting as tapping.
- We encourage our clients to “Just add tapping” to any problem routine – without trying to think too much. Apart from the beneficial effects on the energy system the tapping can act as a pattern interruption to “bad habits” or obsessional thoughts or behaviors.
- If we are focusing on the mind (thoughts) and things don’t seem to be progressing, we will switch to the body (feelings) and vice versa.