Do you ever see clients that suffer from stress? Pause for everyone reading this to say “absolutely!” Stress is a common experience for everyone—clients, therapists, and everyone else alike. While standard psychological methods have been proven to combat the symptoms of stress, there are instances where they do not work for everyone or in every situation. However, through tapping
, a technique within the field of energy psychology, you and your clients will be introduced to natural, alternative approaches to stress relief that you can do at any time!
Stress is not just the result of situations, although situations can be involved. But our thoughts and perceptions are the primary triggers and perpetuators. And thoughts and memories (another form of thought) are not real in a concrete sense. They’re internal words, sounds, images, smells and so on. However, the reactions to the situations and thoughts are quite real in our bodies.
A thought of danger, even if only imagined, can cause a cascade of physical reactions and emotions. These involve specific brain and bodily structures including the amygdala, hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal glands. This is referred to as the HPA Axis (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal), which results in responses like the fight-or-flight reaction; changes in heart rate, blood pressure, and digestion; or variations in skin coloration. The dorsal branch of the vagus nerve can also be involved, accounting for the freeze response. There can also be a high activation of brain waves (such as gamma waves) and neurochemicals (such as cortisol and glutamate) in the stress response. Settling this stress response—and all its reactions and emotions—is top priority, especially when our state of mind is severely overwhelming.
When these states are perpetual, they are often referred to as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, separation anxiety, social anxiety, phobias, PTSD, or other mental health conditions. There is both bad news and good news about this.
The bad news is that stress can be very painful and often difficult to work through, especially if ineffective strategies are applied. There is a natural tendency when we are stressed to engage in avoidance and other false comfort strategies, but this can actually perpetuate and intensify the symptoms in the long run. Even more concerning is the fact this sort of ongoing stress can be damaging to both our emotional and physical health.
But now for the good news! Because of considerable research on stress, mental health professionals have learned a great deal about the benefits of energy psychology. Tapping
involves—you guessed it—tapping your fingers on different parts of your body. But you can’t just tap anywhere; there are specific acupoints on your body, including under the eyes or on the arms, fingers, and collarbones. Using this technique can help us effectively manage (and even dissipate) the symptoms of stress and instill a calm and secure state of mind.
When we apply alternative strategies and techniques—like stimulating potent points on our bodies—stress can be progressively reduced and managed over remarkably short periods of time. We can quickly learn to handle, tolerate, and even overcome severe stress reactions as the discomfort occurs. And the more you apply this approach, the more secure and capable you’ll feel!
Educate yourself and your clients about the alternate techniques to overcoming stress. Empower them with awareness and effective strategies, while opening discussion to help normalize their experience with this handout
! You and your clients can confidently face stress, knowing that relief is inevitable! The Tapping Toolbox
offers many additional suggestions and techniques to help reduce and manage stress as well as trauma, PTSD, anxiety, phobias, depression, and even physical pain.