After a botched surgery left Sandra Shantal with chronic pain, anger, and anxiety, she found lasting healing with the benefits of tapping.
As she raced to the bathroom of an appliance store, Sandra bit back tears. It was the first time she had left the house since a procedure to correct a vaginal fistula had gone wrong, leaving her with an infection, irritable bowel syndrome, and bowel incontinence. I’m 55 years old and have to wear adult diapers! she raged.
Seven surgeries later, Sandra’s bowel function was restored, but she couldn’t shake the trauma. Intestinal ailments and leg pain from a muscle graft remained, but worse, she was caught in a storm of anxiety that therapy and medication hadn’t helped.
I have to face this, she worried as her out-of-control emotions worsened. But I’ve tried everything…what else can I do?
A Glimmer of Hope
One day, as she fought a wave of anxiety while waiting in her nutritionist’s office, Sandra had enough. I have to rise above this, she told herself. Then suddenly, a copy of The Tapping Solution: A Revolutionary System for Stress-Free Living (Buy on Amazon, $14.95) caught her eye on a nearby table.
The book explained that the “Emotional Freedom Technique,” which is tapping a sequence of acupressure points on your body while expressing difficult emotions, helps release negative feelings. As she tried the exercises, Sandra noticed an amazing feeling of calm wash over her. Inspired, she went home and started tapping up to five times a day.
The exercises were all different, but all started with Sandra saying a phrase like, “Even though I’m feeling anxiety, I accept and love myself,” while tapping on the side of her hand and working her way through a sequence of points on her eyebrows, eyes, nose, chin, collarbone, underarms, and top of head. With each tap, Sandra felt the stress and negative thoughts melting away.
“You start by giving your anger or anxiety a voice, such as, ‘I’m upset about the way I’ve been treated by doctors,’” she explained to friends. “Then you try to let those feelings go using words that come to mind: ‘Even though I feel this anger, I love myself and honor how I feel,’ and tap as you express those feelings.”
Today, after two years of tapping, Sandra says her stress and anxiety levels are 80 percent lower — and she still taps whenever new worries surface. These days, she uses the Tapping Solution free app, which demonstrates all the benefits of tapping points along with a series of guided meditations. “Tapping has been huge for me!” Sandra raves. “It helps me face and release my emotions so I can live my best life!”
Tap your way to healthy and happy!
Trapped negative emotions interfere with the body’s ability to heal itself, but the benefits of tapping help physically release stuck emotions, says Peta Stapleton, PhD, author of The Science Behind Tapping (Buy on Amazon, $22.49) This results in a 57 percent reduction in pain, 40 percent less anxiety, better sleep, a stronger immune system, and more energy.
To do: Identify a difficult emotion (anxiety, for example) and rate the distress it brings on a scale of 0 to 10. “Tapping works best when you’re specific,” says Stapleton. Next, state your goal while tapping with your fingers on the “karate chop” area of your other hand. Then tap a few times on the next eight points in order while repeating that goal. Repeat for 10 minutes, then re-rate your distress. “Tapping reduces the stress hormone cortisol and lowers blood pressure,” Stapleton adds. “It can essentially change your biology!”
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This story originally appeared in our print magazine.