Stress Solutions

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More on The Tapping Solution:
A Basis in Ancient Chinese Medicine

Tapping evolved out of work that Dr. Roger Callahan, a psychologist treating a
woman with a severe water phobia, developed in 1979. Dr. Callahan had been
studying meridian points at the time he was treating this woman. Since he had
been making no progress with her, he hit upon an idea of tapping on the
endpoint of the stomach meridian as the client said that whenever she thought
about water, she got a “terrible feeling in the pit of her stomach.”

Meridians are the basis of the Chinese medicine system of acupuncture. They
are defined as energy channels that run thru the body and carry the “qi” energy
to the organs and other systems. Each meridian is associated with a different
organ system. The map of the meridians is known and easy to find even though
no one has ever actually measured or proven the existence of them as far as I
know. Nonetheless, the meridian system is hundreds of years old and to this
date Chinese medicine relies on it. The meridians are mostly named for the
organ system they feed or energize, like the Stomach Meridian, the Gall Bladder
Meridian, and so on. The Stomach Meridian ends at a point just below the eye.
Dr. Callahan asked his client to tap on that spot with her fingertips and after a
few minutes, her horrible feeling in the pit of her stomach was gone and the
story is that it never came back.

Dr. Callahan had a student named Gary Craig who worked out a way of making
tapping easier. Craig created a single sequence of tapping which became
known as EFT, Emotional Freedom Techniques. The EFT sequence was
designed to hit all major meridian endpoints and thus was more of a general
solution to whatever was the problem. The EFT sequence starts tapping on the
hand, moves to the eyebrow, under the eye, under the nose, the chin, the
collarbone and the side of the rib cage. It ends at the top of the head.

Since stress and its near-relation, anxiety, affect our organs and many aspects
of our nervous system, it stands to reason that it would reduce stress and
anxiety. One thing about a system like the Tapping Solution that may put some
therapists off is that it seems on first look to be fairly mechanistic. However, that
may not be fair. The current evolution of the Tapping Solution has grown
substantially and now there is a large literature including studies which deserve
a review.

In short, research over the past 10 to 20 years has shown that one can
measurably decrease limbic system (amygdala, hippocampus) activity by
stimulating selected meridian acupoints. PET and fMRI brain scans show the
amygdala calming when acupoints are stimulated. Studies have also shown
reduced cortisol levels when tapping is done during a stress response. In fact,
the level of cortisol reduction has been labeled “dramatic and unprecedented.”

The growth of this technique among others is now in an area of psychology
called, Energy Psychology. Evidence is coming from many countries now that
suggests that Tapping is not only fast and effective, but also the effects are
lasting. The discussion of this technique is broaching on a concept that is
making a lot of news: you CAN change Your brain.

J. Fang et al. “The Salient Characteristics of the Central Effects of Acupuncture Needling: LimbicParalimbic-Neocortical Network Modulation.” Human Brain Mapping 30, no. 4 (April 2009): 1196-
1206.

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