Some of the Science Behind the Magic
THE AMYGDALA AND THE FIGHT OR FLIGHT RESPONSE
EFT tapping involves tapping on specific areas of the body that are associated with major meridian points (The same points targeted in acupuncture, as tapping is often referred to as acupuncture without the needles). The tapping sends a calming signal to the amygdala, which is the very tiny area of our brain that is responsible for our mental and emotional state. It's first order of business is survival and the emotion that it gives priority to is fear. The amygdala is activated when we encounter trauma or what we think is going to be trauma, no matter how subtle or how serious. This is experienced for example, by war veterans in post traumatic stress syndrome. When returning from war something triggers a memory of a traumatic event and the body reacts as if it is experiencing the event all over again.
Most of us live under perceived threats regularly, not actual threats. Perceived threats are basically our day to day worries..."what if I fail?, what if they don't like what I have to say?", so most of our amygdala's are activated most of our day. When this is happening the blood and energy is being forced away from the prefrontal cortex where problem solving and creative thinking occurs. The system becomes flooded with stress hormones, leaving us in a state of overwhelm. This system design was important in the days of fighting off saber-tooth tigers, but actually causes us much distress in today's times. It is referred to as the fight or flight response. When in a challenging situation it is usually no longer acceptable to fight or flee, so we need to be able to deactivate that response.
EFT allows us to take control back. When we tap on the meridian points and verbalize appropriate statements we are sending a calming signal to the brain. The brain is now getting a mixed message..."I feel like there is a threat...oh wait, I'm actually ok, I am safe," Continued tapping convinces the brain that it no longer has to respond the same way to the triggers. EFT breaks the connection between the thought and the bodies response.
A little bit of amygdala stimulation is good, it is what excitement is. But it can easily cross the line where is impairs your performance and enjoyment.
Stress causes the body to produce cortisol, tapping decreases cortisol levels significantly. Cortisol is the stress hormone that shuts down the creative center in the brain. This problem increases sleep disturbances, feelings of overwhelm, adrenal fatigue, irritability, feelings of depletion and also has the body holding onto fat. In a study group, participants with stimulated amygdala's were divided into 3 groups, one group participating in 1 hour of talk therapy, one group in 1 hour of tapping and the third in 1 hour of no treatment. There was an outstanding 24% decrease in cortisol levels of the tapping group, while there was no cortisol level decrease at all in the other two groups!
There is a psycho cybernetic mechanism in the brain, it is like a comfort thermostat. It lets you know when you are out of your comfort zone and tries to pull you back in. The regulators for this thermostat are your beliefs which are stored in your subconscious mind. Most of these beliefs were gathered before the ages of 0-6. During these years our brains are operating between delta waves and theta waves which is the range that is achieved through hypnotherapy It is estimated that 95% of our behavior is subconscious, only the other 5% is conscious! This means we are automatically accessing everything that we downloaded in those early ages or that we downloaded by repetitive learning. Much of what was downloaded was negative or simply no longer serves us. So many times we are doing things we don't even want to be doing and we aren't even aware of it.
EFT helps us "rewrite" that subconscious programming so that we can have a larger comfort zone. When we are thinking about upsetting experiences we can use EFT to calm the amygdala allowing our 'thinking' (CONscious) brain to take over. Now we can choose different thought patterns empowering us to move forward calmly, productively and with healthier thoughts and beliefs.
Sorry skeptics, ENERGY IS REAL! The meridian system is the electrical system in our body dicscovered by the Chinese over 5,000 years ago. The meridians are the electrical pathways that energy runs through. The medical community measures the energy in the brain and heart through EEG's and EKG's. Our body has electrical reactions to negative emotions which causes a disruption in body's energy flow through the meridians.
There are four basic movements in our body: blood moving through veins and arteries, breath moving through the respiratory tract, food and water moving through the digestive tract and energy moving through the meridian pathways. That energy is such a vital life force that when it is interrupted completely we die. But it can be disrupted semi-permanently by negative events. Think of a hose, when it is new the water flows freely, when it begins to get kinked there are blockages and a slowing down of the water flow.
People think that it is the event that causes the negative reaction in the the body, but it is actually that energy disruption that is causing the negative reaction. With serious events the disruptions stay in your body. Imagine all of these kinks adding up throughout your life. When we unblock the flow those emotions can dissipate and our bodies can be restored to health
Left in our system, these blocks cause physical illnesses. Scientists are now admitting that 85-95% of physical illness can be attributed to negative emotions. Parkinson's, Lupus, Diabetes, Heart Diseases, Cancer, Fibromyalgia, Multiple Sclerosis etc can be traced back to a traumatic experience in the patients lives.
You don't have to know WHY it works for it to work. But for those interested in a deeper understanding there is an unlimited amount of information to be found on tapping, energy psychology, the power of the subconscious mind, holistic healing and more! Below are just a few of my favorite resources: