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Feeling stressed? A beginners’ guide to EFT tapping

Is EFT tapping the secret to managing anxiety and stress? We tapped up (geddit!) Surrey therapeutic coach Michele Poulton to find out more about this alternative practice that's gaining in popularity.

Emotional Freedom Technique – or Tapping – is fast becoming the hottest self-care trend, as evidence of its fast-acting benefits grows.

Prince Harry, Lady Gaga, Jameela Jamil and Kate Garraway are all fans – having spoken of the benefits of tapping to help support their emotional and mental wellbeing.

But what exactly is tapping? What are are benefits? And should you try it? Here, Michele Poulton, EFT practitioner and therapeutic coach and at Skills for Life Coaching in Surrey, explains all.

Two hand against a black background
Photo: Luis Quintero on Unsplash

What exactly is Tapping?

Tapping is a simple and highly effective method used to change the way you respond to situations that trigger you.  If you find you are getting anxious, or stressed by something (even if you don’t know what or why) we can find it with tapping. We can also change what you believe about yourself, so you can achieve what you want in life.  We unconsciously hold onto trauma and fear, and that can affect everything, including your health.

How does Tapping work? 

To understand how tapping works it is helpful to understand the role of the subconscious; every experience, every feeling, every emotion that we experience is stored in our subconscious mind. We make sense of the world, based on what we have experienced and understood from our past.  One of the roles of the subconscious, is to protect you from any negative / traumatic experiences. So the subconscious scans the horizon (the present and future) to see if it can connect a negative experience from your past, with something in the present (or future – which is why you might worry about things that may never happen). 

Sometimes the subconscious makes a wrong connection; alerting you to potential danger in your current situation, and sending signals of stress / anxiety / anger / vulnerability …. to prevent you experiencing another trauma, BUT the current event is not threatening.  So the stress is not serving you.  In fact too much stress can make you ill.

We tap on meridian points (the same points used in acupuncture) on the body and face, which calms the subconscious. At the same time we talk about, and accept, the negative feelings that you experience – simply put; this breaks the connection between the stress trigger and the event.

Sometimes there are a series of events, often going as far back as childhood which we have to work through. Eventually we find the root of the belief, and that is where the change happens…. we heal the trauma by tapping, and recalling each aspect of the trauma, so the mind understands that that event is no longer ‘live’.  

And so you’re literally using your fingertips to tap?

You tap with you fingers gently on points on your face and body,  there is no physical discomfort.  Sometimes as we move stuck energy, clients might feel emotional… yawning is also quite common as the body releases trauma. 

Girl with her eyes closed yawning.
Photo by Debashis RC Biswas on Unsplash

What other techniques do you use to help clients?    

I sometimes I suggest simple techniques which clients can use at home, to help in times of stress these are broadly called Energy Healing techniques. Muscle testing is a simple way to find an unresolved trauma, by asking the body (not the mind). Parts work involves recognising that we have many parts to us, and that each part has a purpose (even the parts we aren’t so proud of).  If we keep a part of us hidden (often through shame) this can cause an emotional block. 

How do these work? 

All the techniques recognise that the body and the mind store trauma, fear and limiting beliefs. Some people are able to connect more easily to a physical experience of trauma, such as tightness in the chest or shortness of breath when they recall the negative emotion. Other clients live with chronic symptoms such as allergies, skin conditions, IBS, or immobility such as a frozen shoulder, and others are able to vividly recall a memory (as though it is a film).  Everyone stores the memories, it just depends which way works for each individual to access it. Once we find the way, we can release the energy that is blocking the body and the mind.  I like to use EFT for releasing, as it is very specific and we can measure the effectiveness as we work.

Will a session include elements of each technique? Or are they kept quite separate?

I tailor each session to every individual.  It is impossible to know what will come up in a session, so having various techniques that I can use is very helpful. I certainly wouldn’t use every technique in every session.

And what kind of issues will a therapeutic coach treat? 

Anger, sadness, stress, anxiety, fears, phobias, release from a traumatic event that appears repeatedly in your dreams and affects your waking life. If someone tells you often that you are over-reacting to something – it is likely that there is a trigger related to a memory that needs healing. 

If you are not achieving what you should be able to achieve (such as earning enough money, or losing weight, or finding a healthy relationship) then there is likely to be a self limiting belief stored somewhere that quite possibly you are not even aware of – an allergy or phobia, repeated negative patterns that crop up in relationships and trauma related to the end of a relationship. 

And are the results permanent, or do clients come back for ’top-up’ sessions if they start to revert?  

The results are permanent, however there can be many aspects of a trauma, so it may be that if the feelings are not completely gone, there are other aspects that have not been discovered and healed.  Once the connections are broken in the subconscious, you start to experience life in a new way.


Michele Poulton is a therapeutic coach who conducts sessions in Guildford, Central London or via Zoom. She tailors each session to the needs of her clients – combining holistic counselling and healing, life coaching and energy healing methods including EFT (tapping). She offers several different techniques and promises a safe place where your story is valued and accepted. Michele works regularly with both children and adults. Read more about her practices here.

skillsforlifecoaching.co.uk

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