Tapping doesn’t affirm or implant a problem; however, on the surface it may look like that. The process does have someone state the truth of what is happening for him or her and acknowledge it. We are actually engaging the amygdala (stress center) and the limbic system (emotions) in the brain and body with this technique.
It is as though we are engaging these negative feelings or sensations just long enough to feel them, then we hit the delete button through the tapping.
It is the tapping process that calms the physiological response from the body. Once this is released, cognitive shifts (or reframes) may surface naturally.
If we tap with a positive affirmation first (attempting to take our mind off our problem), it may only result in a minor shift. It is like spraying air freshener when the garbage is still there. We need to tap on the real problem and reduce the intensity before tapping on anything positive.
The key in EFT is to actually do the tapping when you acknowledge your problem and state it out loud. It is the somatic aspect that changes the response, not just stating your problem. There have been several dismantling studies of EFT done, often by researchers who do not use the technique at all. Basically we now know that the tapping aspect is a key active ingredient in the process working—and just stating your problem with an acceptance element may not result in it changing.