How Can you Start Tapping on Yourself?

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What’s a good way to start using EFT on youself?

We would always recommend someone attend a live workshop or training to learn EFT, so you are in the hands of highly trained and experienced practitioners and presenters as you learn this wonderful tool. EFT Universe, EFT International,  the Association of Comprehensive Energy Psychology (ACEP) and many others maintain lists of trainings and workshops around the world, and all trainers listed are approved.

Because we have such an amazing technological world now, many people may have come across videos teaching EFT on the web (e.g. YouTube). There are some excellent videos out there, and then perhaps some that might not be so great. EFT works best when we are very specific about what we are tapping on, and sometimes a video online does not allow you to do that. It is the difference between tapping on “I feel anxious” versus tapping on “I feel anxious because my boss just called me for a random meeting tomorrow and I don’t know what it is about”. The second statement is a lot more specific and tapping will work more effectively on this as it is specific to the person and to the nature of the anxiousness.

When you learn how to use EFT, we also recommend you begin using it regular for the best effect. Like any habit, EFT builds over time and can have generalizing effects. We recommend you associate tapping with something you do everyday – e.g. brushing your teeth, or your morning coffee. It you also did 5 minutes of tapping at the same time each day, over time you will have addressed many things in your life. It might be that you just tap on something from the day prior, a feeling in the moment (e.g. feeling rushed in the morning!), or something you are working on over time (e.g. a pattern in your life such as why you procrastinate).

Enjoy the journey!

Expanded Awareness

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Have you ever used expanded awareness?

By using it we can take in more information from the world around us, both in terms in what is observed from a rational conscious state, as well as subjective experience. You can sense more than your 5 senses allow.

Also, you can induce a state of relaxation or trance in yourself, or others if you guide them towards a state of expanded awareness.

There is a very simple technique to learn and practice expanded awareness. You can try it at the start of sessions with clients or anytime in the day.

The Technique

  1. Pick a single spot above eye level. Perhaps a light fixture, a spot on the wall, the corner where the wall meets the ceiling.
  2. Look at this spot with all of your focus. Fully and completely.
  3. While looking at this spot with all of your focus, notice what is around the spot.
  4. Now, while looking at this spot with all of your focus, expand your vision slowly. As slow as you can comfortably do this. See more and more in the peripheral vision than you do in the central part of your vision (foveal vision).
  5. While looking at this spot with complete focus, notice the walls, the floor, the ceiling etc. You should be feeling more relaxed, peaceful and calm than ever before. This is also a state whereby you are unlikely to experience any stress, worry, anger etc.
  6. While looking at this spot, get a sense of….what’s behind you? Now you are in expanded awareness.
  7. Stay in this state (peripheral vision) for as long as you can. Notice how it feels to be one with everything around you. Surrender to the greater force within you, since the state of surrendering is necessary for you to tap into the power of the Law of Attraction. Notice the joy that begin to infiltrate you as you continue to hold on to the state. Create an anchor for this positive state. Practice doing this faster and faster. Expanding and narrowing again your awareness. It’s OK if you feel a little spaced out. It happens, and this is called self-hypnosis.

Enjoy!

Your Unconscious: How Can you Change It?

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All behaviour, all learning and all change are unconscious. Read that sentence again. All behaviour, learning and change are unconscious.

Once you grasp the magnitude and impact of this statement, your existence and world can suddenly take on a new meaning.

Your reality is based upon your decisions, values, beliefs, memories, language and attitudes, and these are all stored at the unconscious level. These are often called internal filters because they screen all information entering your reality and awareness. If you suddenly decided you wanted to change a belief you have always had (e.g. ‘If I want something done properly, I have to do it myself’), then you have to tackle it at the unconscious level, as your filters would continue to screen everything in the old way.

It will not readily change at the conscious level. Your values, memories and language will continue to bring it back to the state it has always known (in this case, needing to do it yourself).

The real question is HOW. Many modalities can help unconscious patterns, beliefs etc change (for good) – EFT Tapping is a favourite of course, TimeLine Therapy is something I go to regularly (and other NLP techniques), others such as meditation (particularly those focussed on change work once you are accessing the unconscious such as Dr Joe Dispenza), and many more. Know that you CAN change even very old patterns and beliefs – seek out someone to assist if you don’t know where to start, as the unconscious mind is an important tool in our lives; when used to its full capacity, it can aid us in achieving our wildest dreams.

To read more on this concept and access a LOAD of techniques read Your Mind Power: Strategies for Behaviour Change (Hybrid Publishers) – https://www.hybridpublishers.com.au/product/your-mind-power-strategies-for-behaviour-change/

You can also buy this book at any of my EFT workshops.

Another Take on Your Goals

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The start of the year is usually about setting goals and intentions. Then somewhere about now, we drop off slightly and maybe start to find reasons (excuses?) we can’t keep at it.

But when we take ownership of something–an item, an idea or a goal–we are more committed to it. This is called the “endowment effect” which happens when we take ownership of something and it becomes “ours,” (integrating it into our sense of identity). This doesn’t mean you necessarily have to TELL anyone about your goal.

Cornell University researchers demonstrated the endowment effect with a clever experiment. First, researchers gave participants coffee mugs and offered to trade them chocolate for their mug. Almost none of the participants wanted to trade. Next, researchers reversed the trial. They gave participants chocolate and then asked them to trade it for the coffee mug. Again, very few wanted to trade

It was about what they already had, not about the actual objects. When we take ownership of something, we work to keep it.

How can you take ownership of your goals?

One thing I do is write a letter to my goals/s! That’s my real diary there in the photo. I have just written a letter to a BAG (Big Audacious Goal) in that book – Dear Goal, here’s all the reasons you are coming into my life xxxxxx (you get the idea).

I wrote in present tense like it was already here and expressed gratitude and many other things for it joining me in my life.

Could you write a letter to your goal this weekend?

References

1. Beggan, J. (1992). “On the social nature of nonsocial perception: The mere ownership effect”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 62 (2): 229–237. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.62.2.229.
2. Morewedge, Carey K.; Giblin, Colleen E. (2015). “Explanations of the endowment effect: an integrative review”. Trends in Cognitive Sciences. 19 (6): 339–348. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2015.04.004. PMID 25939336.
3. Weaver, R.; Frederick, S. (2012). “A Reference Price Theory of the Endowment Effect”. Journal of Marketing Research. 49 (5): 696–707. doi:10.1509/jmr.09.0103.

 

EFT Tapping and the Central Nervous System

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Exciting EFT research has been conducted on heart rate variability and heart coherence, the circulatory system using resting pulse rate and blood pressure, the endocrine system using cortisol, and the immune system using salivary immunoglobulin A.

All of this added up to being one extensive measurement of the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS controls most functions of the body and mind and consists of two parts: the brain and the spinal cord. So basically this study was looking at the impact of EFT on all of this. The study also looked at changes in the psychological symptoms of anxiety, depression, PTSD, pain, cravings, and happiness.

The 31 participants were attending a five-day workshop and being taught 16 modules of EFT in a group, with 12 hours of practice. All of those measurements mentioned were taken at the start and end of the workshop, and the participants reported reductions in these areas:

  • Anxiety (39%)
  • Depression (46%)
  • PTSD (32%)
  • Pain (66%)
  • Food cravings (80%)

They also reported their happiness increased (by 13%) as did their immune system (by 61%). They also had significant improvements in their resting heart rate (by 8%), their stress hormone cortisol levels (by 49%), their systolic blood pressure (by 6%), and diastolic blood pressure (by 11%. Systolic blood pressure refers to the pressure inside your arteries when your heart is pumping; diastolic pressure is the pressure inside your arteries when your heart is resting between beats.

These were some impressive gains over the five days. A downward trend was observed for heart rate variability, along with an upward trend for heart coherence, suggesting an improvement in cardiovascular health and function. Although the trend was not statistically significant, the authors determined that an additional 13 participants would have impacted the statistical significance of those measurements. What was exciting was that 60 days later when the researchers followed up with the attendees, everyone indicated they had maintained the gains in their psychological symptom improvements.

Reference:

Bach, D., Groesbeck, G., Stapleton, P., Sims, R., Blickheuser, K., & Church, D. (2019). Clinical EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Improves Multiple Physiological Markers of Health. Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine, 24. https://doi.org/10.1177/2515690X18823691

Food to Change your Mood

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Have you ever used food to (try) and change your mood state? You would not be alone!

Even our research examining food diaries of women in our clinical trials indicated most of them used food for many other reasons other than hunger! Full study here.

Sometimes we learn these messages (to soothe with food) from well meaning parents and caregivers, who just want to express love – but inadvertently do this with food.  And associations set in young childhood when we are in theta and delta brain wave states that allow us to be very open to messages we learn, become patterns in adulthood.

Whatever the reason – you can still change these associations – no matter what age.

We have explored this in many clinical trials examining EFT Tapping for food cravings and weight loss – here are the ideas that come from those groups – see which ones ring a bell or remind you of your own experiences. Then you can tap.

Setup Statements:

• Even though my mother let me eat more biscuits/ lollies/chocolate/junk food whenever I cried, I choose to love and accept myself

• Even though my grandmother always overfed me to keep me quiet when I visited her, I choose to completely love and accept myself anyway

• Even though my mother gave me ice-cream to distract me from feeling sad and disappointed when my friends wouldn’t let me play, I  accept myself

• Even though my dad started to buy me chips to make me feel better when I was disappointed about losing the football match, I deeply and completely accept myself

• Even though I was fed …… to make me feel better when I was sick with…………., I deeply and completely accept myself

Reminder Phrases:

• ………. (whatever food) when I cried

• Chocolate (whatever food) made me feel better

• Grandma and food

• Overfed to keep quiet

• Eat and be quiet

• Ice-cream (whatever food) to avoid disappointment

• Eat to avoid the feeling

• Ice-cream (whatever food) for comfort

• Chips (whatever food) to handle disappointment

• Chips (whatever food) for comfort

• Chips (whatever food) and my dad

• Food to feel better

• Fed to combat sickness

The idea is to find what happened to make food a soother in your life, and usually it would have been set up in your earlier life. If there was a specific trauma/memory associated with it, remember to reach out for a professional to guide you through it using EFT or Matrix Reimprinting. Our page has people in Australia or email for an international recommendation.

The most common thing people said at the end of an EFT Trial for Food Cravings was – “I thought it was about the food, and it wasn’t”.

Positive Tapping: The Choices Method Part II

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In a previous blog I explored The Choices Method by Dr. Patricia Carrington, EFT Master. Here is an excerpt from EFT for Teens where Pat explores using it for a client with depression and marriage issues.

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I’ve found that the Choices Method can assist a client to consolidate and make permanent the beneficial changes brought about by EFT, thus helping these EFT-created changes to generalize to many aspects of the person’s life. When that happens, we see true transformation.

“Tara” came into therapy for help with intermittent depression and marital problems. She is an accomplished singer who grew up in a world of theater people. Her mother played a regular bit part on a TV series, her father was a well-known TV director. Their friends were all show biz people.

An only child, Tara recalls that she was always dressed up in “adorable” clothes with an ever-different colored bow in her soft blonde curls. She would often recite Longfellow poems and do a little tap dance at age 3 to excited rounds of applause from their guests, which of course was the highest form of compliment from show people.

At superficial glance one might conclude that she was “over-valued” since her every move was subjected to exaggerated attention (either praise or criticism), and her mother professed incredible pride and seemed to glory in her daughter’s achievements, never missing a detail of one of her recitals. In fact, the mother seemed almost to have lived vicariously through her daughter, enjoying a triumph that she had never achieved in her own modest career.

When Tara came into therapy she acted as though she had “no identity” of her own, and this became a main focus for her treatment. In her year and a half of therapy we have made heavy use of EFT, with many sessions of tapping on her original family situation, on her fear of being more successful than her pretty actress mother, on her fear of failing to please her “highly directive” director father, and on the depression she feels today when she isn’t getting what she considers enough attention (no applause in other words) from others.

During this time, Tara has changed remarkably. She now walks with dignity where before she seemed to flutter into a room. She now speaks more slowly and with a new sincerity and directness that make her come across as a “real person” to others for the first time. Her life in general, and her relationships have become much more real and very much richer.

It often seems as though I am greeting a different person when she walks into the office.

Despite all these gains, however, she still had a residual sadness in her face, the look of a person gazing at some far away painful scene.

When she came for a session recently, her sadness had come to the surface (which was good because now we could deal with it directly), and as we tapped on the sadness, it became evident that it was not due to anything in the present, nor was it about her being forced in childhood to uphold a facade for their guests.

In fact, it was not about attention per se; rather, it was about being in people’s awareness, having them aware of her.

In the middle of this session, Tara’s eyes lowered, and she became silent.

Then she said in a low voice: “It’s not about my worry about pleasing people anymore ” that’s doesn’t bother me the way it did. It’s just that, attention or no attention, and no matter how much she said she loved me, and no matter how much she boasted about me. My mother wasn’t really aware of ME.”

Her eyes welled up with tears as she spoke about this, and she explained that even when she had performed beautifully, and tap-danced and sung and recited the way her parents wanted her to, that she now realized that her mother never really saw the real “her.”

“She saw the little puppet she’d created. She was so proud of that puppet, but she never saw ME,” she said.

Here was a source of some of the deepest sadness within Tara and we were able, gently and with respect for the difficulty it was for her to articulate this, to dissipate this painful memory through quietly tapping on it:

Even though Mommy never really saw me…

Even though Mommy didn’t know I was there…

Even though her eyes didn’t really look at me…

As she tapped away, a quiet came over Tara, a peace I hadn’t seen there before.

There was a new clarity in her eye as she said very slowly, “I never really realized this before. She saw the performer. She loved her. She never saw me…”

She then said that she had a peaceful feeling about this and that it was a tremendous relief to have faced it and been able to tap right on it, not on issues “around it.”

It was clear that this was a turning point for Tara.

I knew how fundamental the session had been and I wanted to help her consolidate her gain, to allow this insight and understanding to become a basis for her life from now on. To help this along, I suggested that we make a few Choices relating to what she had discovered. She was familiar with making Choices since we’d used them a number of times during her therapy. So she worked with me to create several to take home with her.

These choices evolved from a discussion that she and I then had about how we can “see” and respect ourselves even though someone as vital in our life as a parent may not have been truly aware of us as a child.

Our discussion led to Tara realizing that her mother had not seen “her” (but only the little budding stage star) because the mother had never seen herself as real, but only as a would-be “star. None of this was because she didn’t love Tara. Love had nothing to do with it. It was her mother’s sense of insignificance that was the factor operating here.

This was a time of deep understanding for Tara, a melting of a resentment she had carried around against her mother for years. She realized now that the two of them had both been caught in the same dilemma-that both had felt they were nonentities.

Several Choices (which Tara took home with her to work on) came out of this session, each dealing with a slightly different aspect of the problem and stating her preferred solution for it.

These were worded as follows:

I choose to know and love the real me, even if Mommy couldn’t.

I choose to understand why Mommy could never see me.

I choose to feel close to Mommy because we both had the same problem.

And finally, I choose to allow my real self to be seen.

This was probably the most important choice of all for Tara because she had been terribly afraid to take this chance before. She took home the little blue cards with her choices written on them (I’ll explain the process in a moment) and has used them ever since. The feeling that she could “know my real self” has grown in her as a result of this to a point where she has been largely able to dispense with the facade she had had all her life.She is now an intentionally fine and studied performer on stage (in fact she claims to be an even better one now) but unlike before, she is now able to be a “real” person off stage, one whom she genuinely likes and respects, as do many others. Her choices have strongly reinforced the insights she gained during the EFT process.

A Note on the Different Types of Tapping

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A quick Internet search on acupoint tapping or energy tapping will bring up hundreds of sites. You will also find many variations of tapping and hundreds of books on Amazon. It is not so unusual for a self-help approach to strike a popular chord and generate a great deal of notice and interest. The acceptance of a therapeutic innovation by the clinical and scientific communities, however, requires credible evidence and research.

While many hybrids or variations of EFT can be found, the term Clinical EFT has emerged to refer to the EFT tapping protocols that have been validated by research, along with the knowledge base that has developed from investigations of these procedures in the treatment of various populations and conditions.

The standards for the studies that comprise Clinical EFT are patterned after criteria originally developed by the American Psychological Association (APA) Division 12 Task Force on Empirically Validated Treatments. One of the seven essential criteria is that the method be described in a written manual. Clinical EFT is based on the method defined in The EFT Manual, and most of the published EFT research has been guided by the manual. By defining a therapeutic modality according to a uniform set of procedures, researchers can be assured that conclusions from a series of studies are based on meaningful comparisons. That the techniques delivered in a study match what is prescribed in the manual is called “fidelity of treatment” and is essential for research within an emerging area of clinical practice.

As a researcher and academic, I am often asked to conduct research trials to test the effectiveness of variations of Clinical EFT. I usually decline, and for a very good reason in terms of the emergence of EFT as a field. As with any new approach, a foundation needs to be established. If the academic and general community are to accept the efficacy and mechanisms of an original method, precise or even accurate conclusions can’t be reached if the evidence mixes apples and oranges.

While relatively little research exists for EFT’s variations and hybrids, I look forward to the day when the evidence for Clinical EFT has become so mainstream that we can shift our sights to innovations within this major clinical advance.

Positive Tapping: The Choices Method Part I

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There is a powerful way to use tapping and that is to include the concept of choice into your setup statement.

As you know, the basic EFT Setup statement always begins with the words, “Even though…” and always ends with something like, “I  accept myself.”  This will often be meaningful to the person, but not always.

EFT Master Patricia Carrington, PhD, developed the Choices Method as an alternative to the setup statement. She says, “It was through experimenting with my own clients that the EFT Choices Method was born. In it, the person applying the method identifies the outcome that they would truly like to have for the problem at hand, and then puts this desired outcome into a sentence which commences with the words “I choose…”

The steps of the Choices Method:

  1. Obtain an initial intensity rating for the aspect of the problem you are going to work on. I am angry.
  2. Formulate a Choice that is the opposite of this negative cognition, an antidote to it. I choose to feel completely calm.
  3. Combine the negative cognition with the positive choice to create the Choices statement. Even though I am angry, I choose to feel completely calm.
  4. Tap on the side of the hand point while repeating the Choices statement three times.
  5. Continue the rest of the tapping process. The first EFT Round could address the negative part of the Choices statement as a reminder. Example: I’m angry.
  6. The second EFT Round could use the positive choice. Example: I choose to feel calm.
  7. The third EFT Round could use an alternate round, starting with the negative phrase on the first point and a positive choices phrase on the next point.
  8. Check your SUD rating after each round.

Check out the next blog to read from Patricia Carrington herself and how she applied it for a depression/marriage client.

Stages of Life: Tapping for Teens (Goals)

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Some years ago when I was teaching a group of Year 11 students how to use tapping for things like exam anxiety and fear of failure, one of the students asked about using tapping for goals. So we taught them the EFT technique for goal setting.

All the students wrote down a list of goals they wanted and then a list of excuses or reasons the goals might not come true. One of them volunteered to tap with me as a demonstration. He really wanted to become the School Captain for the final year of school (the following year).

His list of reasons that he might NOT become school captain were:

– No one really knows me as I am quiet
– I haven’t been at the school for the whole time (he came in Year 10)
– I don’t know if I can give a good enough speech at the assembly where potential students vied for the position (for voting)
– I have never really won anything before, why would I win now

We used those exact statements and put them in the formula (Even though…) – and tapped our way through them. The other students tapped along with us. We got to the end and he felt pretty relaxed. I asked what his BELIEF was now that he might become the school captain, and he said 10/10! He didn’t feel like there was any doubt left in him.

Obviously he still had to give the speech at the assembly later that year and then be voted in. I suggested he use tapping leading into that event, in case he was nervous or doubtful.

About 8 months later, and into the following year, I had just about forgotten about that student and his goal. But I ran into a teacher from the school. This triggered my memory and I asked about who was school captain that year.

You’ll never guess who they said (that student above).

And I just laughed.

You can read this story and more in EFT For Teens (Hay House) 

Stages of Life: How EFT Tapping Affect Gene Expression

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EFT has been researched at a physiological level, including its effects on genes. An initial pilot study compared an hour-long EFT session with a placebo session (where subjects thought they were getting a treatment, but it did not have an active component) in four participants. What this small study found was incredible.

After the single EFT session, differential expression in 72 genes associated with the suppression of cancer tumors, protection against ultraviolet radiation, regulation of type 2 diabetes insulin resistance, immunity from opportunistic infections, antiviral activity, synaptic connectivity between neurons, synthesis of both red and white blood cells, enhancement of male fertility, building white matter in the brain, metabolic regulation, neural plasticity, reinforcement of cell membranes, and the reduction of oxidative stress occurred. This was a profound outcome and the first of its kind in this field.

There has since been another study that examined the regulation of six genes associated with inflammation and immunity after EFT treatment. In a study of 16 war veterans with PTSD who received 10 hour-long EFT sessions, interleukins, which are responsible for the regulating our body’s inflammation response, decreased significantly in expression. And “good” genes associated with improved functioning of the immune system were up-regulated (expressed). There was also a significant association between improvement in the veterans’ mental-health symptoms and positive changes in the expression of their genes related to stress hormones.

Now isn’t that a good reason to start tapping today?

You can read more of the research in The Science Behind Tapping.

References:

Maharaj, M. E. “Differential gene expression after Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) treatment: A novel pilot protocol for salivary mRNA assessment.” Energy Psychology: Theory, Research, and Treatment 8, no.1 (2016): 17–32. doi:10.9769/EPJ.2016.8.1.MM

Church, Dawson et al. “Epigenetic effects of PTSD remediation in veterans using Clinical Emotional Freedom Techniques: A randomized controlled pilot study.” American Journal of Health Promotion 32, no. 1 (2018): 112–122. doi:10.1177/0890117116661154.

 

 

Stages of Life: Using EFT Tapping for Exercise!

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New research from the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases has linked specific exercises with brain health and cognitive performance. Indeed types of activities called cardiorespiratory exercise may be part of the puzzle that’ll help humans protect their brain health as they age.

But what if you hate exercise? You CAN use EFT Tapping to help!

You do need to work out WHY you hate exercise first but then you CAN tap – we included some of this in our clinical trials (more than 12 years’ worth now) – everyone tapping for weight loss and food cravings also tapped for increasing their desire to exercise.

Here are some setup statements to get you started – see which ones ring true for you – rate them out of 10 for truth

• Even though I loathe exercising, I deeply love and accept myself

• Even though I feel fatigued and too tired to exercise, I choose to know that my energy levels will improve as I get fitter and I choose to be fit and healthy anyway

• Even though exercise feels like punishment, I choose to know that it will help me

• Even though I have no motivation to exercise, I accept myself

• Even though I’d rather eat than jog, I completely love and accept myself

• Even though exercise frightens me because I expect to get hurt or sore, I choose to know that it will help me

• Even though I don’t want to get too sweaty/ hate getting sweaty, I accept this is how I feel

• Even though I’m afraid I’ll look too muscly and big, I choose to know that it’s in my imagination

• Even though I feel people think I look silly exercising, I accept this is how I feel

Reminder Phrases:

• Loathe exercise

• Hate exercise

• Feel too tired

• Feel fatigued

• Choose to be fitter

• Choose to know I’ll improve

• It’s too hard

• Feels like punishment

• No motivation

• No energy

• I feel too tired

• Rather eat

• Hate jogging

• Don’t want to

• Exercise frightens me

• It’s scary

• It might hurt

• Hate getting sweaty

• It feels yucky

• Too sweaty

• Exercise makes you big

• Too muscly

• Too big

Back to that study –

Brain tissue is made up of gray matter, or cell bodies, and filaments, called white matter, that extend from the cells. The volume of gray matter appears to correlate with various skills and cognitive abilities. The researchers found that increases in peak oxygen uptake were strongly associated with increased gray matter volume.

The study involved 2,013 adults from two independent cohorts in northeastern Germany. Participants were examined in phases from 1997 through 2012. Cardiorespiratory fitness was measured using peak oxygen uptake and other standards while participants used an exercise bike. MRI brain data were also analyzed.

The results suggest cardiorespiratory exercise may contribute to improved brain health and decelerate a decline in gray matter. An editorial by three Mayo Clinic experts that accompanies the Mayo Clinic Proceedings study says the results are “encouraging, intriguing and contribute to the growing literature relating to exercise and brain health.”

Now, who needs to tap?

References: 

Keep exercising: New study finds it’s good for your brain’s gray matter https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-01/mc-eak123019.php