Tapping into a Lighter Spirit—Understanding the Emotional Freedom Technique | General Wellness | Hudson Valley | Hudson Valley; Chronogram
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Tapping into a Lighter Spirit—Understanding the Emotional Freedom Technique 

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These days, Masterson works with clients in person through her co-owned business—Luminous Heart Center, based in Poughkeepsie—or virtually via Skype. She says EFT is the number one tool in her toolbox. "Once you start tapping on the body, it's almost magical the way thoughts or memories will come forward. Those end up being the underlying themes that we work on [during a counseling session]. We can get to the nitty-gritty of what's holding the anxiety in place—the root source of the anxiety. It's an exploration. We're tapping the whole time, and that sends a signal to the brain that you're safe."

About four years ago, Masterson used tapping to help her elderly mother navigate a sudden crisis. "She was out walking when she fell and couldn't get up. Eventually, a person in the neighborhood helped her up and took her back home. When she came inside, she was badly bruised, bleeding, and literally shaking." Instinctively, Masterson started tapping on her mother to help calm her down. While her mother told the story of what happened, Masterson tapped on the acupressure points and repeated phrases that acknowledged and accepted her fears: "I was all alone, no one was there." In less than two minutes, she could see her mother's body let go of tension and relax so deeply that she almost fell asleep. After that, Masterson was able to bring her to the emergency room and get stitches. "The thing is, she wasn't afraid anymore. She was calm. She dealt with the emotional side right away, so it didn't become this traumatic experience for her."

While tapping has a growing community of fans, it hasn't attained widespread adoption in the same way that acupuncture, cognitive behavioral therapy, and meditation have—even though it draws on aspects of all three modalities. Perhaps one day, that acceptance will come. When it does, there's the exciting potential to use tapping to address the emotional side of being sick or injured, which is often just as important as the medical side. Meanwhile, either on YouTube or via The Tapping Solution App, you can find a tapping sequence for just about anything: insomnia, grief, loneliness, weight loss, migraines, pain relief, or even just a boost of happiness. "Everyone wants to feel better, calm the nervous system, and experience what peace feels like," says Ortner. "This is a tool to help you get there."

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