seed: tap, tap, tap away stress
I dedicate this post to a life long friend, Pat Sheehan.
In 2000 I started seeing a Registered Nurse who was also a therapist. She had worked for 30 years in a VA Hospital with PTSD patients. I regard her with much respect. Her name is Pat Sheehan and she changed my life. In my time with her, we dealt with my child abuse, my problems with both of my husbands, my acceptance of my bipolar and many other issues.
A long with talking and listening she introduced me to TFT Thought-Field Therapy. It is a physical therapy that affects the body’s reaction to stress and mental anguish, and affects how the mind reacts to pain.
When we did the therapy the first time, I thought it was weird, but I trusted her so I did it. The first thing you do is consider the problem, whether it’s PTSD, loss of a loved one, or dealing with a significant change in your life. Then you do the tapping, which is the way you line up your thoughts and begin to “feel” them differently. For me personally the first time I did it, my thought was directed to my Dad who had molested me, “I do not live for the man.” I kept that in mind the entire time I was tapping. By the end of this less than 5 minute exercise my thoughts had literally changed to “I am a good person.”
The therapy began working the first day I did it. Pat suggested 3 times a day or whenever my anxiety would get the best of me. At the end of the week, I was only doing the tapping part on my chest and hands, my outlook had changed toward every man in my life. Suddenly, I looked at my husband who was verbally abusing me with a different light and I kicked him out. Suddenly, my ex-husband couldn’t get me angry, I stopped shouting and it changed his response from having power over me to anger that he couldn’t control me. That week my father called me, instead of engaging in another argument, I was able to say I don’t want to talk to you. I never raised my voice, I never gave in and the dynamics of our relationship were forever changed, just as with my husband he couldn’t have control over me.
Pat and I would eventually use this therapy, the narrowed down version, since it worked, on the molestation, on the child abuse, on the bipolar and my reaction to it, and on my independence. I had a very hard time accepting that I wasn’t the same person that I was before the bipolar was triggered. This therapy helped me with that too. It helped me be a better mother and it helped me learn my new limitations.
This therapy along with the original, usual form of counseling changed my life. I was in therapy with Pat for 2 years. I cherish that time and I recall just about everything she ever said to me. I truly believe you can change your outlook and handle your problems better with this therapy.
I still use the TFT, the shorter version, with just the chest tapping and hand tapping, when something comes up today. Always do the finish; it is the eye movements at the end of the therapy. That is where what you have been thinking on becomes transitioned into affirmative reactions. The power truly is in the closure aspect of it.
Here is my simplified version, the chest tapping is tapping for about 15 seconds with first two fingers, just under the clavicle, about an inch down, there is a space between two ribs that feels like a little oval shaped area, I do it on the left side, but you can do it on either side. Then tap under the right or left breast right below the rib line. Then tap under the left arm about level with the nipple. Then tap on your left thumb, then the first finger – right at the knuckle to the fingernail area, then the second finger, then the pinky (never tap the third finger – it is the weakest finger, really I don’t know why that’s just what I do), then tap on the outside of the hand on the side of the pinky, then tap on top of the hand above the third finger and pinky in that space in the middle. Then hold out your hand and draw a large circle in the air clockwise, and again counter clockwise, concentrating and staring at your finger as it goes around. That is when the affirmation happens. Now that I have been doing it off and on for 15 years I rarely have to, it’s just in there, almost like muscle memory. I swear by it.
I used this therapy when my son tried to commit suicide, when I had terrible trauma come up, when my bipolar symptoms would rare up and also just when I needed to feel good about myself and get out of depression. It is not a cure, but it is a tremendous change of attitude and it does give you strength to face whatever comes up.
Tap the clavicle
Tap the rib
Tap under the arm
Tap the thumb
Tap the first finger
Tap the second finger
Tap the pinky
Tap the outside of the hand
Tap the top of the hand
Trace the circle clockwise
Trace the circle counter clockwise
And you’re done, do it a couple times a day for a week, or however long you feel like. Just doing it one time will make a difference. I promise.
Thank you Pat for giving me tools to take my life back, to accept what happened and to face the future. I love you forever and will never forget you.
Tapping Therapy: Thought Field Therapy Trauma Relief Tapping TFT Trauma Relief Tapping Technique with Dr. Mary Cowley, TFT-VT. Uploaded April 20, 2009. Link taken on September 22, 2013. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8nF8rdDxGs
This technique was developed by Roger Callahan his website is http://www.rogercallahan.com/