Tapping: the wellness trend that will help you ease post-lockdown anxiety
This quick seven-minute tapping routine is a great way to destress and help you ease any post-lockdown anxieties that may be troubling you.
A new wellness trend that’s already swept LA and London, it’s just arrived in Dublin now too. But… what is tapping? We spoke with Lee Tracey and Annie Kirwan, co-founders of Reformation Pilates and Yoga Studio in Dublin about the practice and how it can help to ease those post-lockdown nerves.
Tapping – also known as Emotional Freedom Technique (EMT) or psychological acupressure– is an evidence-based self-help therapeutic method used as an alternative treatment for physical pain, anxiety and emotional distress (including dealing with post-lockdown nerves). Not a new development, tapping has been around for years and years and years. But now with over 100 scientific studies backing the technique’s efficacy up, you could say that people are starting to trust it more.
How does it work?
Drawing on theories developed in traditional Chinese medicine, it works by targeting the body’s meridian points (an ancient energy map of the body) to encourage a natural energy balance… kind of like acupuncture, but while the latter requires needles, only your fingertips are needed for tapping.
But aren’t trends fleeting by nature?
Well, yes, but anything that requires no equipment and can help relieve stress, anxiety and other worries is worth trying in our books. So, even if you only do this once in a blue moon, it’s still better than nothing.
How does it work?
On a physical level, tapping helps to build a neurological pathway to our bodies. Not only that but it also stimulates organs and increases blood flow and bodily awareness too. It forces us to pay attention to our bodies which in turn helps us to connect with how we’re really feeling and what we really need in that moment.
On an energy level, Traditional Chinese Medicine uses tapping along the meridian lines to restore balance to the body’s energy, remove blockages and relieve symptoms of a negative experience or emotion. It can also work by focusing on the Chakra system (a map of the body as used by Yoga philosophy) with the aim of guiding a person towards spiritual enlightenment.
People sometimes also choose to combine the practice with verbal statements whereby they express what they’re feeling/what’s worrying them before tapping a specific area. Put simply – it works in many different ways, depending on how you, the practitioner, wants it to.
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How to do it?
It really is as simple as 1,2,3 according to Lee, who often incorporates the practice into her Reformation yoga classes. And you can feel the effects with as little as seven minutes of practice, below is the routine she recommends following.
- Find a comfortable seated position and close your eyes. Breathe deeply in and out for one whole minute so you’re fully calm and can concentrate. Identify the feeling or issue that’s bothering you – you can even say it aloud if you like (try to be specific as possible).
- Then, starting right down at your feet, begin tapping up the back of your legs and down the front of your legs.
- Next, tap the inside and outside of your thighs. Bring your hands into light fists at the top of your thighs and with soft knees tap the top of your femur bones.
- Bring your fists around to your glutes and sit bones and tap this area – all while bending and straightening your legs.
- Allow your hands to move up towards your lower back and gently tap on either side of your spine, awakening the kidneys. Repeat this same tapping action around your hips.
- Gently tap or rub your abdomen from right to left. Then, using your fists, lightly tap around the rib cages and chest perhaps allowing some sound or sighing to release from the mouth here.
- Tap all along the right arm, shoulder and armpit with the left hand and then do the same on the other side using your right arm.
- Tap right in the middle of your sternum, the point below your bottom lip, the point above your top lip and around your jaw and cheekbones.
- Finally, tap between your eyebrows and the crown of your head allowing your fingers to feel like light rainfall on your skull.
We feel more relaxed just from reading that, so definitely one to try anytime you need a quick destress.