As an introduction to using tapping we will start by giving it a try by tapping on a physical ache or pain. We are going to do this for two reasons.
First, it will be a simple introduction to the technique, with the added benefit of showing you how to take care of physical pain with tapping. Second, physical pain can impact our emotional state. When we are in pain (like when we have a headache) we can be much crankier and much more likely to get angry. When we tap for physical aches and pains we help ourselves to make fewer emotional choices.
To do this we are going to follow three simple steps.
1) Choose a physical pain to tap for. If nothing comes to mind right away, take a deep breath and scan your body for something. For each of the following questions I want you to write down your answer as we are going to use your answers in the next step.
- Where is the pain located? Be as specific as possible when describing the location. For example don’t write “my right knee” but “on the front of my right knee on the knee cap.” The more specific the better.
- What type of pain is it? Is it dull, sharp, achy, pulsing, itchy, or hot? The more detailed the description the better.
- What is the Subject Unit of Distress lever? This is a rating from 0–10 of the pain. 0 is no pain at all and 10 is the worst pain you have ever felt. Don’t get too hung up on coming up with exactly the right number.
- What is the 3D shape of the pain? Is it flat on the surface of the skin, does it feel like a ball of pain, is it a long strip of tightness that runs the length of the muscle, or does it have a round center with tentacles of pain spreading out in all directions? Again, the more detail you can provide the better.
- Is there an epicenter to the pain and where is it located? Is the pain evenly distributed? Does it have more than one center with the rest fanning out?
- How much does the pain weigh? If you were to guess and pretend that you could hold the pain in your hand, how much would it weigh? You don’t need to know exact pounds, but does it weigh as much as a grapefruit, a steel rod, or is it as light as a feather?
- If you were to paint a picture of the pain to show to someone else what color or colors would you use? Be specific. Don’t just write red. Is it fire truck red or rust red? Is it red in the middle and fading to light blues as you get to edge of the pain? Describe the color in as much detail as possible.
- If you were to make a model of this pain what material would you use to make it? Would it be a ball of hard rubber, burning lava, metal wire, or does it feel like a mass of cotton candy?
- Image a little cartoon face on the front of the pain. If it could talk, what would it say? It might say something specific, it might scream in pain, or it might just stick its tongue out at you. Give it a voice and what would it say?
- What does the pain remind you of? Just write the first thing that comes to mind. It could be a person, a place, or a situation.
- What emotion is associated with the pain? Again, don’t give this a lot of thought, just the first thing that comes to mind.
- What memory is associated with the pain? There may not be one, but when you read that question, what is the first thing that came to mind?
- Is the pain associated with someone? Don’t think about this too much, but who comes to mind and why?
- What does the pain need? Does it need to be heard? Does it need you to do something? Just ask the pain, what does it need, and write the answer down.
- What does the pain want you to learn? It might not want you to learn anything, but ask the pain what it needs.
2) Tap for the pain.
Take all the answers you have written down and tap through them. With each new sentence move to a new tapping point. To do this start tapping on the first tapping point. Read the first question and as you read the answer concentrate on it. Once you have done this move to the second tapping point and repeat the process with the second question. When you have used up all the tapping points simply return to the first tapping point and work through them all again until you are out of questions.
3) Re-rate the pain level.
After tapping though the list above rate the pain again on a scale of 0–10. If the pain has not reduced to a level that you are happy with, tap through steps 2 and 3 again.
It is really that simple. Before you move on I would encourage you to try tapping for something physical a few more times. This is give you a little more practice and a few different experiences of what tapping is like, making it easier as we add new things to the process.