Tap Away Your Fears

In my workshops we use energy techniques that involve tapping with your fingers on the ends of the energy meridians on your face, upper body, and hands. I would like to tell you why we do.

For more than forty years I had a fear of heights that kept me from hiking in the mountains with my husband Jim and our kids, made me very nervous about flying, and super cautious when climbing stairs. My family loves to be at the tallest place, looking out at whatever they can see from there. Although I tried many times to join them in climbing the forest tower stairs or surveying Disney World from the highest places they could find, the shaking knees, upset stomach, rapid heartbeat and shortness of breathe kept me from doing so.

Ten years or so ago I attended a conference in Keystone, Colorado. The day before the conference I had my worst experience ever with my fear of heights. We went to Seven Falls outside of Colorado Springs. I love waterfalls and wanted desperately to climb the open wooden stairs to the top to see all the falls. I got up about 30 steps and had so much fear that I wasn't ever sure I would make it back down. I had visions of them having to get a crane to lift me off the side of the mountain. And although it was very embarrassing I went down on my seat like little kids do.

I was sure I would never make it to the top of any mountain. The next day at the conference Jack Canfield (of author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books) introduced the 300 or so participants to what he called the 5 Minute Phobia Cure. He asked us to think about a phobic experience that we had had and he had us tap on our face and hand as we named and imaged our fear. It seemed like a very strange thing to do, but I tried it. We had rated our fears on a 1-10 scale before the exercise- mine was a 10 as I recalled the experience at Seven Falls. After we had tapped for a minute or so we rated our fears again. To my amazement it seemed as though it had gone away totally. I couldn't believe it. When the session ended an hour or so later I exclaimed to my husband, who had not attended the session, "Take me someplace high!"

He looked at me as though I had flipped out, and after I told him about the "Phobia cure" he was sure of it. But he did as I asked and he watched in amazement as I leaned over the railing and looked down the mountains from the highest place we could find. And it was true! The fear was totally gone. And to this day it has not returned. My nervousness with flying is also gone ? I even go up with Jim in his little Ultralight airplane. Since that time I have helped many others get over their fear of heights and flying, and even test anxiety. This process is called Emotional Freedom Techniques or EFT.

A couple of months ago we went back to Colorado and back to Seven Springs. I climbed to the top without any hesitation. It felt so good to be free of the fears. Although you can learn to do the tapping and tap on your own, for many issues there seems to be even greater benefit in tapping with a group or a skilled therapist. I tap for all kinds of things, and some disappear immediately while others require repeated tapping sessions. It feels so good to be free of fears and phobias.

Lorna Minewiser, Ph.D has been helping people reduce their stress for more than 15 years. She offers individual and group coaching, workshops, CDs, e-books and Stress Reduction and Relaxation kits. She is available for presentations on stress reduction and Emotional Freedom Techniques. For more information you can reach her at http://www.thestressreductioncoach.com

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