EFT Tapping for ADHD and Emotional Wellbeing
What is EFT tapping?
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT or tapping) is an intervention that relies on acupressure and psychotherapy principles to manage stress and emotional problems. It involves tapping your finger over important points on the body in order to reduce emotional stress and increase positive emotions.
Knocking can help calm tense spirits. I have found that when used effectively, EFT can help eradicate trauma, PTSD, anxiety, stress, phobias, chronic pain, resentment, anger, and many types of physical and autoimmune diseases.
How does EFT tapping work?
The tapping occurs at certain meridian points – nine of the many identified, old acupressure points on the face, body and hands – which help to relax our sympathetic nervous system or our fight or flight mode and bring us into a calmer state. Tapping can also be done while talking or focusing on a specific problem, concern, or emotion.
Does EFT Tap Really Work?
EFT was first introduced in the 1990s and is considered an alternative therapy. Research on this modality is limited. However, many studies associate EFT with positive results. A 2020 study found that participants taking an EFT intervention showed significant improvement in anxiety symptoms as well as decreased cortisol levels compared to controls.1 This study replicated a 2012 study that found that EFT can reduce biological stress markers2 . A 2016 meta-analysis also found that EFT treatment was associated with a significant decrease in anxiety, even when effect sizes are taken into account
As the literature on this therapy grows, the reality is that EFT has been effectively used in counseling sessions for many populations, including war veterans, college students, health workers, athletes, and natural disaster survivors
[Read: Slow Down and Live Stress-Free]
As a well-being and emotional freedom coach for people with ADHD, I use EFT when working with them on ADHD-related problems and symptoms. As a woman with ADHD myself, I often use EFT to manage my own symptoms and stressors.
How do I use EFT tapping for ADHD
Long before I was diagnosed with ADHD, after a traumatic miscarriage, I went to what I thought was a traditional therapy session to see a therapist for help with anxiety. But the therapist asked me to stay open and introduced me to knocking. At the end of this first, very emotional session, I felt calmer, lighter and had a big change of perspective.
I think I was unknowingly drawn to tapping all those years ago because it’s perfect for ADHD brains. We live from working efficiently and seeing results quickly that a few rounds of tapping can deliver. I have recognized the effectiveness of EFT in treating emotional dysregulation, over-thinking, anxiety, focus, and other problems related to ADHD. I have been knocking for several years now and practicing it with all of my clients (along with breathing exercises) for a variety of issues such as procrastination, impostor syndrome, limit setting, cravings, anxiety, low confidence or self-esteem value, limiting self-confidence, motivation and many more more.
I also use and recommend EFT for active meditation, which is perfect for those of us who find it stressful to stay still or who even find it comforting to fidget. I have my clients tap on cortisol-lowering meridian points as they repeat statements, which helps reduce the intensity of the problem at hand and allow for more clarity and a change of perspective. This approach is also helpful in getting clients to acknowledge and accept difficult feelings rather than repressing them with misguided affirmations or rephrasing.
[Read: How to Practice Mindfulness with ADHD]
It is common for random, distant thoughts or memories to pop up while typing. I believe this is our inner wisdom trying to find its way to the surface (something that can stifle our overactive brooding) to empower us with advice we probably already know.
Very often a side effect of tapping is feeling sleepy or somewhat “marginalized”. Yawning and crying are also very common, which can mean the release of suppressed emotions. I find that the release of emotions contributes to an energetic boost and inner calm.
Outside of my work with clients, I use tapping for many different topics. At the age of 40 I realize that fear, worry, and anxiety have been a huge part of my life. Before I learned how to deal with stress, I felt mentally drained. Knowing that the slightest negative comment or action can throw your nervous system off course means you are on high alert most days – a grueling ordeal.
Now that I have the tapping and breath work in my toolbox, I find that my balance is easier to manage and I feel more balanced than ever in my life. If I haven’t knocked for a few days, I notice that I’m more likely to overreact or have the feeling that my restless, restless thoughts are in the foreground.
Most mornings (when family life doesn’t get off the ground), I knock for a few minutes and deliberately breathe before I get up. I view it as a preventative method to reset my emotional baseline and make sure I start my day with a positive attitude, a calm mind, and a tension-free body. Knocking not only balances out my inner restlessness, it also helps me see where I am holding stress and tension in my body.
On my more hectic days, when I haven’t had a minute to stop, I type when I’m showering, walking, or stuck in traffic. It’s safe to say that it is my most widely used wellness tool.
Knocking has also become a popular educational tool for my youngest daughter, who is prone to anxiety, sensitivity, and extreme emotional reactivity. We have used tapping to help with nightmares or specific worries she has developed. We also use it as a nightly calming ritual to help her relax. She really enjoys it when we knock together and we giggle a lot. I see the change in their behavior within minutes. She even admitted to me that she is now using it herself to regulate her emotions or to fall asleep. At a young age, she too realizes how powerful knocking can be.
One of my goals as a wellbeing coach for women with ADHD is to raise awareness about EFT tapping so that my clients and others can use this incredibly empowering tool to manage their emotional wellbeing.
EFT Tapping: Next Steps
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Updated May 21, 2021
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