If you’re reading this blog, you’ve probably already tried tapping, or are interested in trying it.
But part of you might understandably be skeptical that tapping on your face could really do anything to help you.
Even if you have no skepticism, you might have the Apex problem: when your state of being or the way you feel shifted a lot in a short period of time, and you forget how you felt before.
In some ways this is awesome, but if you only have the “after” part of the before and after picture, it can cause you to doubt that any change ever occurred.
The only reason this could be a problem is that if you’re unclear on whether or not EFT is really doing anything, it can cause you to not use this great tool when it would help a lot.
And let’s be honest, that’s actually a pretty big problem. You could be robbing yourself of loads of transformation and good feeling you’d otherwise have.
So without needing to take my word for it, here are a few ways to know tapping is working:
1. You took a baseline measure of the problem and it’s now different.
In formalized EFT, you rate how much something bothers you, how strong a feeling is or how true a statement feels before you start tapping. After a couple rounds, you rate it again.
I often do this with my clients (though not always) because it also lets you catch when tapping on something isn’t working so you can start troubleshooting early on.
It’s great if you can rate this on a scale of 0-10, but if not you could use something like: “this is really strong” “kind of strong” “sort of there” “I basically don’t feel it”.
With feelings and pain, you can pay attention to specifically where the feeling is in your body, tap on it, then see if it’s somewhere else.
If it has moved, this is a sign that the EFT is working. With enough moving and shifting, the pain or feeling will fade, (though keep in mind physical pain will not always go to 0).
One concern I sometimes hear is “How do I know that I actually feel better and I don’t just think I feel better?”
How you feel is always subjective. You are the only person who feels your feelings, so you’re the only one who actually knows if they’re better or worse.
So don’t worry about whether or not you can prove to Rob or Dave that your emotions have shifted. Their opinions don’t actually matter here.
If you think you feel better, that means you feel better.
2.You tested your results
This is a fantastic way to see if tapping is getting you the results you want.
If a certain situation triggers certain feelings in you, tap, then put yourself in that situation to see if it still stirs those feelings up. And if it does, just tap some more.
An example: say you have a fear of heights. You imagine being on top of a high place, notice how it feels in your body, and tap away that sensation as much as you can.
Then when you think you’ve tapped it all away, go to the top of a skyscraper, or out on a 10th floor balcony. See how you feel.
And please don’t force yourself to do something that’s still frightening. If it still freaks you out, just tap some more.
Another example: you’ve put yourself on a low-carb diet, and often really crave bread. Tap on the bread craving until it seems to be 0. Then go look at a loaf of bread you could eat and see how much you want it, (and if you still kind of want it, just tap some more until it’s 0).
3. You yawn, hiccup, laugh, need to use the washroom more, cry, want to take a nap, etc.
These are all signs that energy is shifting in you and things are being released.
When you’re tapping you might find that you’re yawning A LOT, or you suddenly start finding things really funny.
This is pretty common, totally normal, and a sign that you’re shifting something that is bothering you.
4. Your natural behaviour has shifted.
This is the ultimate reason to use EFT. If you’ve cleared out a lot of your emotional background noise, you will naturally start to behave differently. This is because our behaviour is usually much more emotionally driven than we realize.
This result you usually get from either doing a lot of tapping yourself, (like 20+ minutes every day for several weeks) or working with a practitioner. You probably won’t get this result if you just tap on your own for 15 minutes once or twice.
I had a client who would get extremely triggered when certain topics were brought up, and her fiancé had learned to avoid talking about those things with her. We did a few tapping sessions on these triggering topics.
One day her fiancé accidentally brought up one of these topics, then braced himself for the blow-out that was going to come. She was not triggered at all and just continued the conversation. He later texted one of her friends to exclaim about how different his fiancé was.
So these are the main ways to know if tapping is doing something. The effects of tapping can often be subtle, so you do need to pay attention to signs that your energy is shifting and signs that you’re moving through life differently.
If you don’t pay attention you risk losing out on major relief and major changed that could come easily to you. (If you think tapping doesn’t do anything, you wouldn’t bother doing it).
During the times where tapping actually isn’t working, (you’re rating your distress and it’s not going down, you’re generally behaving the same way as before in certain situations) it’s a sign that there is another deeper thing for you to tap on. There are ways to figure out what the real issue is, (and then tap on that) but you won’t notice if you’re not paying attention