I had heard about EFT here and there as someone in the alternative medicine community, and used it myself to help my acupuncture treatments along.
In case you’re not familiar, The Tapping Solution describes tapping or EFT as “a powerful holistic healing technique that has been proven to effectively resolve a range of issues, including stress, anxiety, phobias, emotional disorders, chronic pain, addiction, weight control, and limiting beliefs…
Tapping therapy is based on the combined principles of ancient Chinese acupressure and modern psychology. Tapping with the fingertips on specific meridian endpoints of the body, while focusing on negative emotions or physical sensations, helps to calm the nervous system, rewire the brain to respond in healthier ways, and restore the body’s balance of energy.”
I hadn’t really thought about using it for my little guy until we were given a lovely children’s book on the subject by grandma called “Gorilla Thumps & Bear Hugs“. My little guy loved the book right away, and it quickly became the go-to bedtime story for the subsequent three weeks.
As I read, I noticed that my son was reluctant to do the tapping on his own. I asked him to tap along with the story, but his self-consciousness got the best of him; then stubbornness set in.
After brainstorming a bit how to encourage him without being pushy and turning him off altogether, I came across this absolutely wonderful little series of videos on the topic by Cora Rennie. Since I’ve been weaning my kiddo off of TV lately, this helped as a bonus transition tool so that the change in his media diet wasn’t so abrupt.
These little videos are a simple, cute, engaging, and humorous way for kids to learn about EFT tapping. My little boy loves watching them over and over, and finds the “lazer” part to be nothing short of hilarious. Since he gets to watch them on YouTube and media is the ultimate holy grail of everything for him, we compromise; he gets to watch as long as he taps along. That way, he’s getting the muscle memory while he watches.
How Does EFT Work?
There may be some skeptics out there when it comes to EFT, so I just want to take a moment and address that. I will readily admit I’ve done little to no research on the subject, so I can’t argue compellingly for its efficacy or scientific proof.
What I will say is that placebo goes a long way, as nearly any study on the subject will tell you. I’m also a strong believer in the meridians of Traditional Chinese Medicine, having healed and come into balance through treatment by skilled and practiced acupuncturists. These treatments have been proven over and over again to provide significant results. This is true to the extent that even a very mainstream company like Kaiser Permanente offers acupuncture treatment to patients, and there is even emerging evidence in pain management that might offer clues to how meridians work from a scientific perspective.
Having a Safety Button
Evidence notwithstanding, the important thing for me is to give my son tools for managing his own emotions and behavior. When he feels an overpowering emotion, when he has the urge to kick a kid on the playground, when he gets let down by life–which he necessarily will at some point–I want him to have an entire arsenal of techniques that he can turn to so he feels empowered to make the right choice.
If tapping works for him, great. If not, he can leave it behind. The point is for him to have something to empower himself. Even if tapping simply gives him the space to pause and reflect on how he is feeling, that’s a success in my book.
The more tools I can give my little guy that give him the sense that he is at least to some degree in control of his emotions, state of mind, and by extension his life, the more he will grow into a capable and self-possessed adult.