Tapping to Have a Great Memory

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If you have ever walked into a room and said, “What was I going to do here?” you are not alone! Memory is a funny thing. And many things affect it – being too busy, not getting enough sleep, being stressed, maybe you don’t want to remember (because it involves something like homework!), perhaps even age (older people might like to tell you this).

Because we know stress affects memory and tapping helps stress (and helps decrease the stress hormone cortisol), then tapping might also help your memory!

Have a read of how it has helped these teens.

Recently outside at a high school drama event, one girl (Hayley) was extremely nervous and anxious. An EFT practitioner was there to watch their own child perform and noticed this girl. They asked her what was happening, and offered to help with some tapping. Hayley didn’t know what tapping so they quickly went through the points and started tapping “Even though I get nervous and forget my lines, I deeply and completely respect and love myself.” The reminder phrase was “forgetting my lines.”

After the play, she came up to the practitioner twice, about 10 minutes apart, all excited, and said, “I didn’t forget a single line! Thank you!”

Another way to use tapping for memory, is to use the finger points in exam situations (or where you don’t want to openly tap). You can squeeze each side of the finger nail points as you focus on what you are trying to remember and use words like “Even though I can’t remember what that was, I completely accept myself.”

Next time you walk into a room and forget why you were there, try standing there and tapping the facial points a few times and focus on “not remembering” and see what happens!

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Worst-Case Scenario 😬

One way to rid yourself of the consequences of your False Beliefs is to play the Worst-Case Scenario game. Ask yourself, “What is the worst thing that will happen if I clean out my garage/pay my taxes/go for my mammogram/send Christmas cards in time for the holiday/sign up for school/wash my car?”

Write or say aloud the first thing that comes to mind. Don’t judge yourself on your answer. Ask again, making sure you use the phrase “I’m afraid,” because that is what this is all about. Keep this up until you have run out of the easy answers like “I’ll be happy” or “I’ll be healthy.” Eventually, you’ll hit pay dirt. The answer that springs to mind may have nothing to do with the project you are dawdling over.

That is the point. Once you find out which False Belief is to blame, use EFT Tapping to reassess it and install a new and reasonable alternative.

The Five False Beliefs that keep most procrastinators from moving forward are:
1. Failure is unacceptable.
2. People will dislike, ridicule, exclude, or harm me if I don’t do it right.
3. Success is dangerous.
4. I’m afraid of what the future holds.
5. I don’t wanna, and you can’t make me!

Experiences you have earlier in your life lead you to make decisions that have remained in your unconscious mind ever since. These False Beliefs have been the stage directions in your life story up to now.

Read more in EFT for Teens (Hay House) 

Recording What you Tapped On

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It is not unusual for people to do their EFT Tapping on the run! In the car, when you catch some down time, and then life takes over again.

If you’re working by yourself, I find it really helpful to have a pen and paper (or computer) handy, to make a note on what you want to work on, to write down your progress on the 1-10 scale, and to note other things that come up.

The last item might be the most important: Writing down other things that come up.

So here’s what this might look like. You write down:

“I’m frustrated with all the bills I got in the mail today. It’s a 7 on the 0-10 scale”

You start tapping, the frustration goes down, but all of a sudden, some anger comes up. You write that down.

“I’m angry at myself for not working harder this month” It’s an 8.

You tap on that, that eases, and turns to sadness – “I’m sad that this keeps happening” It’s a 5. You tap on that.

You check back in on the frustration you wrote about above. That’s a 1, you barely feel it.

The anger moved to a 4. There’s still something there, you tap on that further.

While doing that tapping, you think of two events from your childhood.

“That time that my father said I’d never amount to anything” and “My mother crying because we didn’t have enough money”

You write down both events, because you know that you want to address each separately.

And so forth…

It is truly, peeling an onion, and while it might seem complicated at first, once you get the hang of it, it’s easy, and becomes even easier when you write stuff down and stay on track.

We know from the long term EFT followup trials that we do ‘forget’ what we have tapped on when the issue is no longer an issue. It’s called the Apex Effect – where you don’t attribute any changes in your life to the tapping you did – because you tend to forget you tapped on it!

Keeping a journal is a great way to remind yourself of what does change, how far you have come and what might still be there.

See The Tapping Journal as a way to keep track of your progress.


Forgetting to Tap?

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One of the most common things that happens after someone learns tapping – is that they FORGET to tap!

Funnily enough, you can actually tap on that.  Here’s a little tapping script to clear some of that resistance/habits. Try it now and see how it affects your week:

Setup Statements:

Side of the Hand: Even though I haven’t been using tapping as much as I could, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Side of the Hand: Even though I could have made my life easier by using tapping on (fill in the blank of a recent time when you might have used it), I choose to relax and forgive myself now.

Side of the Hand: Even though I’m not used to turning to tapping to solve my problems, I choose to start using it, I choose to become more resourceful, and to remember to use this powerful tool!

Eyebrow: I haven’t been tapping..
Side of the Eye: Why not?
Under the Eye: Am I sabotaging myself?
Under Nose: Maybe…
Under Mouth: Or maybe I just forgot…
Collarbone: Maybe I’m just not used to doing this…
Under Arm: But I can start using it now…
Top of the Head: I’m tapping now!

Eyebrow: And that’s great…
Side of the Eye: I choose to remember…
Under the Eye: To Tap!
Under Nose: I choose to develop this positive habit…
Under Mouth: That can help me so much…
Collarbone: It will make my life easier…
Under Arm: And that’s a choice I want to make…
Top of the Head: I choose to tap when I most need it…

Take a deep breath…

And let it go… Repeat a few times, or focus in on anything that came up while doing those short rounds.

These scripts are designed as examples only. It is always recommended to use your own exact words and experiences in set-up statements, then generic scripts.

*Adapted from Nick Ortner

Need to Drink More Water?

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We are often asked in food craving workshops – can you use tapping to increase the amount of water you drink?

And yes – the answer is YES!

Mostly you need to work out what you DON’T like about drinking water, and tap on those.

Example Setup Statements for Drinking Water

  • I don’t like drinking water
  • Even though I dislike the taste of water, I deeply and completely accept myself.
  • Even though I don’t like drinks that have no smell I deeply and completely accept myself
  • Even though I’d prefer to drink (say the name of what you’d prefer to drink) than drink water I deeply and completely accept myself
  • Even though I’m worried that drinking more water will mean going to the toilet too often I deeply and completely accept myself
  • Even though drinking water is a nuisance to me I deeply and completely accept myself
  • Even though drinking water doesn’t excite me I deeply and completely accept myself

Reminder Phrases could be – don’t like it, tastes awful, dislike the taste, prefer to drink xxx

When the SUDS rating out of 10 seem slow, try some positive tapping.

“I Choose” and Positive Statements 

• Even though I don’t enjoy drinking water, I deeply and completely accept myself and I choose to give my body all the precious water it needs.

• Even though my thirst response is weak, I deeply and completely accept myself and I choose to be aware of my body’s need for frequent drinks of water.

• Even though I don’t feel thirsty until I have a headache, I deeply and completely accept myself and I choose to drink water often / 10 times a day / even when I’m not thirsty.

• Even though I don’t like the idea of drinking tap water, I deeply and completely accept myself and I choose to find a way to give my body the best quality water I can.

• Even though I don’t like the look of water I deeply and completely accept myself and I choose to see it as the clear, clean precious substance that my body thrives on.

• Even though I’m frustrated about not drinking enough water I deeply and completely accept myself and I choose to frequently drink sufficient amounts for my body’s needs.

Positive Reminder Phrases

• I enjoy giving my body the water it needs

• I have a healthy desire for water

• Water helps me reach my goals

• I’m designed to drink water

• My body works so well when it’s hydrated

• Water keeps my energy level up

• Water’s taste is naturally clean and subtle

• Water is my main drink

Tapping for Dealing with Other People’s Energy: For Introverts!

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Social settings can be quite draining for introverts. They might find other people’s energy too intense, too high or vibrant, or even too loud. All of this can add up and take an enormous toll on their nervous system. Researchers suggest that introverts and extraverts naturally differ when it comes to their alertness and responsiveness to a given environment. A substance or scene that overstimulates the central nervous system of an introvert (which doesn’t take much) might cause him or her to feel overwhelmed and exhausted, rather than excited and engaged. Therefore, being near other people’s energy when it is very strong can deplete an introvert even if the introverted one is in the corner of the room away from everyone else.

Tapping, of course, is a way to calm the body and can be used prior to going into a situation in which other people’s energy might be strong, or after an event is over and you are exhausted. Here are some example Setup Statements and Reminder Phrases for shaking off energy that is not your own:

  • Setup: Even though I’m affected by ____’s [insert name] extreme energies, I accept myself for who I am.
  • Reminder Phrase: Releasing ____’s extreme energy.
  • Setup: Even though I might be taking this person’s energy personally, it’s about his/her issues, not mine.
  • Reminder Phrases: Not my issue; letting go of their energy.
  • Setup: Even though I can feel ____’s energy in the room and it affects me negatively, I completely accept myself.
  • Reminder Phrases: Releasing ____’s energy; taking it personally; deeply affected.
  • Setup: Even though ____ [insert name] constantly overwhelms me when I’m with him/her, I completely love and accept myself for feeling this way.
  • Reminder Phrases: Shaking off ____’s energy; overwhelmed; drained.

To help counteract feelings of overwhelm, try these statements. Remember to rate your level of overwhelm before you begin (0 to 10) and also personalize the words to fit your exact situation.


  • Even though I feel paralyzed and overwhelmed by ____, I deeply and completely love and accept myself anyway.
  • Even though I’m totally overwhelmed by ____, I choose to accept and respect who I am and how I feel.
  • Even though I feel totally depleted and this makes me want to retreat, I choose to love and accept exactly who I am and where I am on my journey.

Reminder Phrases:

  • Eyebrow: I feel totally overwhelmed right now.
  • Side of Eye: I can’t seem to deal with anything right now.
  • Under the Eye: I don’t know how I am going to get over this.
  • Under the Nose: I feel overwhelmed and worn out.
  • Chin: I don’t know how to calm down.
  • Collarbone: I feel exhausted and overwhelmed right now.
  • Under the Arm: I can’t cope.
  • Top of Head (TH): I want to retreat.

Some great resources here: 

A wonderful site full of blogs and resources for introverts: http://highability.org/the-gifted-introvert

Website of Dr. Susan Cain, author of Quiet: https://www.quietrev.com

Dr. Elaine Aron’s work on highly sensitive people: http://hsperson.com

EFT for Introverts – Peta Stapleton & Celina Tonkin – https://www.amazon.com/EFT-Introverts-Peta-Stapleton/dp/1604152702

What Is Introversion and How can Tapping Help?

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An introvert is usually thought of as a shy, reticent person. A new movement has arisen in the world, however, promoting introversion for what it is: a normal personality trait, just different from extroversion.

Introversion is not a condition from which you need to recover.  Many introverts have been trying to become extroverts and, in the process, have lost themselves completely and lost sight of the powerful positive traits introverts possess. According to numerous studies, introverts have a highly reactive nervous system that makes them acutely sensitive to their environment. Hence, they need to withdraw to recharge their batteries. They might appear to others as shy, aloof, or not liking other people, when in fact they just have a physiological need to be alone for a while.

Psychology Today (Whitbourne, 2014) outlines nine signs that you might be an introvert. Here is a summary:

1. You enjoy time to yourself.
2. You think best when you are alone.
3. Your best leadership occurs when those you are leading are self-starters.
4. When questions are asked in a group situation, you are the last to raise your hand.
5. Other people seek your opinion.
6. When in public, you often wear headphones.
7. You try to avoid engaging with people who seem angry or upset.
8. Unless otherwise required, you get more phone calls, texts, and emails than you make.
9. You do not initiate small talk in casual situations, such as with salespeople in a store.

There may be more signs than this, but it is a good starting point. The main thing is that none of these signs mean anything negative. They are just characteristics that might describe your preferred way of being. It doesn’t make you wrong, nor do you need to change. Introverts can find themselves feeling overwhelmed, however, and in need of ways to manage their emotions.

Celina Tonkin and I explore how Tapping can help in our book EFT for Introverts but our next blog post will get you started.

p.s. we are both introverts!

How do You find a client’s Hidden Issues with Tapping?

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Clients themselves are not always aware of their own hidden issues (sometimes called core issues). There are several processes within EFT that can help uncover these – see technique such as sneaking up on a problem, or daisy chaining which is a method to see what the current situation reminds you of – see http://www.eftuniverse.com/tutorial/the-daisy-chain-opportunity

Sometimes what happens is that there is a good reason to actually keep a problem going in life (often called a secondary gain or in EFT terms, psychological reversal). This means a client has a reason to stay the same, rather than change, and they are not often aware of it. An example might be that a client was abused as a young teen, and promptly gained weight as a way of becoming less attractive and to reduce the chances of it happening again. Later in life as an adult they attempt to lose weight, wanting to be healthy, but weight loss triggers a cascade of emotions related to safety (usually unconsciously), and they keep returning to their overweight state not matter what they do. Have a read here for how this works – http://www.eftuniverse.com/refinements-to-eft/how-to-identify-and-correct-psychological-reversals

The side of the hand point used in EFT with the setup statement is often associated with psychological reversal so it is important to use that with clients. It just might help with any secondary gain.

There are several questions that can be asked while doing any of the above too. Dr Dawson Church suggests to ask:

1. Does the problem that’s bothering you remind you of any events in your childhood?
2. Can you tune into your body and feel your feelings? Now, travel back in time to the first time in your life you ever felt this same sensation.
3. What’s the worst similar experience you ever had?
4. If you were writing your autobiography, what chapter would you prefer to delete, as though it had never happened to you?

He says – if you can’t remember a specific childhood event, simply make up a fictional event in your mind. This kind of guessing usually turns out to be right on target. You are assembling the imagined event out of components of real events, and the imaginary event usually leads you back to actual events you can tap on.
Even if it doesn’t, and you tap on that fictional event, you will eventually experience an obvious release of tension.

Another great article written by a practitioner on getting to the core belief is here http://www.eftuniverse.com/refinements-to-eft/the-6-eft-whys-getting-to-core-issues

Group EFT Tapping Results in 43% reduction in Cortisol

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Our latest EFT research is out!!!! And shows group EFT Tapping reduces cortisol by 43% in 1 hour 😍

We directly replicated Dawson Church’s 2012 study with 1 small difference – we did group EFT rather than individual.

And it resulted in a 43.6% reduction in cortisol over 1 hour – the psycho-education group had a 19.5% decrease and the resting group (who read magazine increased by 2%!).

The original study was individual delivered and EFT still stood out over the other 2 conditions with a 24% reduction but our study showed the unique borrowed benefits in group delivered EFT – are well worth investigating!!!!!

Full Abstract here –

Objective: In a direct replication of Church, Yount, and Brooks (2012), this study examined changes in stress biochemistry and psychological distress symptoms in 53 participants randomly allocated to one of three 60-min group interventions: Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), psychoeducation (PE), and no treatment (NT). The Symptom Assessment−45 (SA-45) was used to assess psychological distress symptoms.

Method: Salivary cortisol assays were administered 30 min pre- and postintervention to test cortisol levels. The original study by Church et al. indicated the EFT group showed statistically significant improvements in anxiety (−58.34%, p < .05), depression (−49.33%, p < .002), overall severity of symptoms (−50.5%, p < .001), and symptom breadth (−41.93%, p < .001). The group also experienced a significant decrease in cortisol (−24.39%) compared to the PE group (−14.25%) and NT group (−14.44%).

Results: The present results indicated the EFT group experienced a significant decrease in cortisol greater than the original study (−43.24%, p < .05), but these results were not mirrored by subjective reports of psychological distress. The EFT group reduction in cortisol was significantly different from that of the PE group (−19.67%), and as expected, the posttreatment cortisol level detected among the EFT group was lower than that of the NT group (2.02%); however, there was not a statistically significant difference between the 2 groups. Additionally, there were no significant improvements in cortisol reduction among the NT and PE groups.

Conclusions: Findings support the original study indicating EFT to be an efficient and effective brief treatment for reducing biological markers of stress.


Ref – Stapleton, P., Crighton, G., Sabot, D., & O’Neill, H. M. (2020). Reexamining the effect of emotional freedom techniques on stress biochemistry: A randomized controlled trial. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/tra0000563

Paper here – https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Ftra0000563

How do You introduce EFT to sceptics?

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My suggestion is to always build a bridge to their current knowledge or understanding. Perhaps the way EFT is first introduced is important – whether you say it is a relaxation technique, a stress reduction tool or a therapy technique might be useful depending on who is asking.

For some people, they will want to know of the research and how EFT works – it would be highly recommended then to refer to the 100+ published studies, particularly the meta analyses which show EFT has a profound effect for anxiety, depression, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. A large effect size in a meta analysis shows that something is really happening and it can be seen with the naked eye. We have the meta analyses and key papers available here to read.

We now have research which shows EFT can down-regulate (switch off) genes associated with the stress response, and can reduce the stress hormone cortisol in the body after one hour of tapping. Brain scans are also showing significantly reduced activation after 4 weeks of EFT (for food cravings in obese adults – our study is here on this site). These trials are published in peer reviewed journals and EFT Universe’s website has links to the articles.

I find language is important to many people, particularly skeptics. Not everyone will relate to the old description that EFT was a ‘meridian based therapy’ which targeted energy systems in the body. We have more solid science now and perhaps a better description would be that EFT is an exposure therapy with a cognitive element, but the part that induces the relaxation response is the somatic tapping on acupoints.

Common evidence based therapies for conditions such as obsessive compulsive disorder, phobias, and anxiety disorders all use an approach that includes exposure and then relaxation (an opposite response to the anxiety feeling). They will often use muscular relaxation and deep breathing during the exposure phase (e.g. someone has a fear of heights and is at the top of a building looking out the window and does the deep breathing while they are there to calm themselves). In EFT, we use the tapping process as the calming response.

Approaching it this way tends to result in EFT not being seen as such a different approach – it fits the current paradigm. Have a read here too http://www.eftuniverse.com/tutorial/building-bridges-from-existing-beliefs-to-eft

My last tip is that if you have a strong reaction yourself to talking with skeptics, or people who question EFT, or even when trying to share how it works, then perhaps using EFT on your own reactions will be useful. I have always found that the calmer I am when a skeptic questions me, the more easily I can access information to share with them that fits their framework.

When EFT relieves physical pain, does it mask the pain and consequently interfere with pain’s function as a warning signal?

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EFT can be used in a variety of ways for pain. In the beginning people usually use tapping for the physical sensation of pain (e.g. severity, intensity or the impact in their lives), but it can also be applied to any emotions associated with pain too.  People with acute pain (e.g. an injury that has just happened) report that EFT helps with coping until they receive medical care.  EFT is not designed to stop pain that is appropriate here – acute pain is a signal there is something wrong, but EFT might help with coping until you obtain medical intervention.

Chronic pain however, is typically described as pain that still exists beyond the period of time where the body has repaired an injury.  Sometimes there is no origin for chronic pain either – it just starts one day without an event or incident. EFT in this case can be applied to symptoms (pain rating out of 10), everyday coping, the emotions associated with having this long lasting pain (e.g. angry it never goes away) or even to the event that started it (if there was one).

In my own study of chronic pain sufferers, an overwhelming 82% discussed the stigma they experienced from health professionals not believing the extent of their pain, and only 4% indicated they received any pain relief from psychological treatment.  We taught them EFT for 4 hours in an intensive workshop they reported a significant de­crease in the severity and impact of pain during this time, and a significant improvement in their overall psy­chological distress. There was also a sig­nificant improvement in their depres­sion, anxiety, and stress symptoms. A significant asso­ciation was found between pain and psycho­logical distress. After 6-months, they still reported positive gains.

You can read it here.

Can I do EFT for another person?

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And if so, do I need permission from that person?

This is a common question but it is also a complex skill. EFT does work in this way – someone can tap ‘for’ another person by tuning in to whatever they might be aware of in that moment, and tap as though they are experiencing themselves. Many people will report positive outcomes from this.

However, and there is a BUT, there are several things to be aware of. The first is that your own intention needs to be clear. If you are tapping on someone else’s issue or problem because it will make your own life easier (e.g. you tap on your partner’s bad habit because it will make your life smoother), then the intention may not really be about helping them with the habit – it is more about you. In this case, you can still tap – but it would be on your own reactions towards that other person. You may find that by reducing your own frustration about someone else’s bad habit, they may actually change towards you anyway.

There are circumstances where surrogate tapping may be useful however. For small babies, children and situations where someone cannot tap for themselves (e.g. disability, injury), then it might be appropriate to tap for them. Asking permission wherever possible is preferred ethically, and if it cannot be obtained, taking some time to sit quietly and think about the other person and whether they would truly give you permission might be useful (this might be referred to as asking that person’s higher self). Always respect the answer you receive, and tap on yourself and your own feelings if the outcome is not what you wanted.

However, if you have permission or feel it would have been given, “surrogate tapping” is then done by tapping on yourself while you imagine in your mind that you are the other person.  Typically people will tap with phrases that come to their mind, without questioning them – they still rate the distress level out of 10, and apply the same EFT recipe, just on themselves.

For an example of surrogate EFT for a baby for sleep issues see http://www.eftuniverse.com/children-and-adolescents/helping-a-restless-baby-to-sleep#comment-55