We live in a world filled with anxiety, stress and pressure, where lives often seem out of balance. What really distinguishes people is the way each one organizes their ideas, actions and search for balance. A simple but powerful technique that brings notable benefits to areas like these is Tapping. In order to broaden the understanding of this technique, the therapist specialized in neuroscience and behavior, Gustavo Cobra, wrote “Power at the Tip of the Fingers: Tapping, an effective therapy for relieving anxiety, depression, phobias and dysfunctional beliefs”, recently published by IX Publisher.
In “The Power at Your Fingertips”, we are introduced to this technique often called ‘acupuncture without needles’, due to its application to the body’s meridians, similar to the technique that uses needles for energetic stimulation. Studies also indicate its effectiveness as a quick treatment for conditions such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, insomnia, relief from physical pain, emotional stress, fears, dysfunctional beliefs, weight control, and even to generate a feeling of abundance.
The term “Tapping” derives from English and literally means “tapping”. The technique was discovered (or conceived) by chance by psychologist Roger Callahan, who also developed TFT, Thought Field Therapy, who died in 2013. Since then, his teachings have spread throughout the world, giving rise to more later, to EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique, Tapping Therapy or Emotional Freedom Technique), created by Gary Craig. EFT is a therapy that helps release fears, traumas, anxieties and ingrained beliefs in our lives.
Tapping puts the possibility of healing literally at your fingertips. Based on research from Harvard Medical School and Ph.D. Dawson Church, it brings the necessary depth for its parallel application to other treatments. This is a new element in the search for healing not just symptoms, but the roots of various problems that affect our body and mind.
Gustavo Cobra, postgraduate in Neuroscience and Behavior, trauma therapist, hypnotherapist and EFT therapist, has been sharing information and studies about brain changes since 2020 on his Instagram. His goal is to spread knowledge about relieving psychological and emotional problems through EFT and brief therapies, reaching as many people as possible.
How did you discover the Tapping technique and what was its initial impact on your life?
It was a radical change. I needed something efficient and fast, after all, I wasn’t that young anymore, at 36 years old. I wanted to see financial results and professional success quickly. After spending years in therapy, I realized that it took a long time to change some patterns. I was going through a serious money crisis. So, I started watching videos about EFT on the internet and imitated the points, talking about what I was feeling. To my surprise, I had a very strong emotional release and I felt much lighter. Even better, when I tried to remember the bad moments, I no longer accessed them in the same way and intensity. The impact was that I began to be more successful as a speaker and coach, I gained more self-confidence and money. I moved from a 70-meter, one-bedroom apartment to a 110-meter, 3-bedroom apartment in Moema, I exchanged my used HB20 for a Kicks model at the time and my income doubled.
In the book, you mention that Tapping is “acupuncture without needles.” How does this technique differ from traditional acupuncture and why is it considered an effective alternative?
After some tests, it was discovered that touching acupuncture points transforms mechanical touches with the fingers into electrical signals that are transmitted to distant areas of the body through the meridians of Chinese medicine. This occurs with the help of the skin, which has proteins and collagen, conducting these stimuli more quickly and powerfully than the static acupuncture needle. The brain changes through electrical and chemical signals, as do the neurons responsible for transmitting information and creating synapses, that is, connections. Furthermore, the fact that you don’t feel the sting, for many people, induces greater relaxation. This relaxation is essential for mental change. Some studies can be found inwww.tappingsolutionresearch.com.
What are the main benefits of Tapping, especially when it comes to dealing with issues such as anxiety, depression and dysfunctional beliefs?
Benefits include decreased symptoms of stress, thanks to Tapping’s ability to significantly reduce blood levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress. A more stressed body tends to become more acidic, which, in the long term, can cause harm. True Tapping helps identify the roots of these problems and deactivate their triggers. For example, an anxious person is often unaware of the causes of their anxiety. With Tapping, she can identify the events that trigger greater anxiety and emotions such as fear, enabling a change in the source of these emotions. This new information and emotions create new, healthier chemistry, leading to new behaviors and results.
Tapping works like a true emotional detox, sending electrical signals and unblocking energy channels. As for beliefs, consider that their origin is often in traumatic events, whether conscious or not. Tapping changes the emotions related to these events. What keeps us hooked on these events are the long-term memories stored in the hippocampus. A new perspective on the same fact is interpreted by the brain as a new fact.
In your work, you highlight that Tapping can be applied to various conditions, from post-traumatic stress to weight control. How does this technique cover such a wide range of challenges?
Tapping is comprehensive because, when applied properly, it uncovers the causes of these symptoms and the benefits are long-lasting. Weight gain, for example, is often related to one or more emotional and hormonal problems. Tapping helps to balance these aspects, accelerating the weight loss process. Many bariatric surgeries have setbacks due to a lack of emotional approach to their patients.
Could you share a practical example of how someone can apply Tapping into their daily routine to deal with stress or anxiety?
You make a list of the events that generate the most stress and anxiety in detail and then give a score from 0 to 10 for their intensity. Choose one of them and start touching the nine acupuncture points while talking about them. By talking about them, it engages your rational brain to direct the problem, at the same time it sends electrical signals to your body, deactivating your emotional brain and, in this way, decreasing the activation of the brain’s amygdala related to fears, which are the causes of these fears. problems.
Tapping has roots in Roger Callahan’s Thought Field Therapy. How did this technique evolve to become what we know as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)?
It was improved by one of Callahan’s students, an engineer named Gary Craig. During his training, he realized that the students who achieved better results in their services were not limited to touching certain points for a certain period of time, but rather looked for the roots of the problems. That’s when Gary started to simplify the technique, summarizing the points to 9 and bringing the opportunity for self-application. This represented a tremendous innovation.
Are there situations in which Tapping is more effective than other therapeutic approaches?
Yes, Dr. Peta Stepleton, author of ‘The Science Behind Tapping’, reveals a lot of comparative research for the same types of problems. In the vast majority of cases, tapping proves to be faster, up to 6 times faster, than other methods. For example, compared to CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) to treat post-traumatic stress, tapping has similar results to EMDR in six times less time. The care that needs to be taken is to always look for the root of the problem, otherwise the effects will not be lasting.
How does Tapping work at a neuroscientific level to provide emotional relief?
It works by deactivating the brain’s alarm and changing our body chemistry. A person afraid of spiders, for example, when they come into contact with the animal, their brain goes into action to ensure their survival: the amygdala is activated and releases adrenaline to prepare the body to flee, react and, sometimes, freeze. When we apply tapping, this alarm decreases its performance and we can have more balanced reactions, with less activation of the amygdala and more intelligent and proportional responses to the event. For people with binge eating, for example, the amygdala is activated and the desire for reward is triggered, generating more dopamine, a hormone related to pleasure. When tapping, the activation of the amygdala is reduced and the person begins to have more control over their diet, making healthier nutritional choices.
Can you share any success stories of someone who has experienced significant transformation through consistent Tapping practice?
I think the best story is mine. Imagine an insecure guy, full of dysfunctional beliefs, who wrote a book and built a successful digital business in 5 years. It became a reference among the largest training consultancies in Brazil and tripled its monthly income. I had a salary of 6 thousand, today, for my one-hour lecture, I charge double that. I think it’s a considerable change. I am a living example of how the daily practice of tapping can change your results and bring more emotional balance. Whenever I have a challenge, a difficult presentation, a difficult meeting or a relationship problem, I apply tapping and within minutes I feel the change. I become more emotionally intelligent and decisions are more assertive. Furthermore, as I mention in my book, we are like vibrational frequency magnets. When we feel shame, guilt, fear, we are tuning in to events of this nature. Using Tapping, we change these emotions and frequencies. New realities are presented every day. If like attracts like, the higher our vibration, the better. I apply it when I shower, for 2 minutes. Furthermore, I receive countless testimonials about these positive changes in people’s lives.
In his book, the importance of touching acupuncture points to stimulate remote areas of the body is highlighted. Can you explain more about this connection between touch points and the benefits it provides?
Stimulating acupuncture points converts mechanical pressure into electrical signals, instantly transmitted by connective tissue, rich in semiconductor collagen. These signals deactivate arousal in the amygdala and areas of the limbic system associated with emotional responses, while activating executive regions of the brain, enhancing planning and stress management. During the tapping sequence, words or images directed by therapists activate specific brain areas, influencing impulses that shape crucial neurological structures. This provides the therapist with precision in directing interventions towards desired results, triggering evident neurological changes, such as reducing panic when evoking the image of a spider in phobic individuals. This reconsolidation process, triggered by prediction error when the expected response does not occur, leads to the creation of a ‘new normal’ where the lack of fear, cultivated during repeated tapping, becomes a successful reconfiguration of brain memory. The benefits are many, recent research shows that a simple application of Tapping for 5 minutes a day reduces the stress hormone, cortisol, by up to 45%. Imagine a technique that has this power. Furthermore, with the systematic application of the technique, you truly cleanse your brain, making it more efficient and less burdened with negative emotions and traumatic memories. In this way, the psychosomatic effects on the mind, body and vibration change for the better. A real detox can be done.
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