Winter Wellness – Part 6 – Lymphatic system

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This will be the final part of my Winter Wellness series.  I hope you have enjoyed it and found it useful,  I’d love to hear from you if there is something else you want to know about or you think I could cover otherwise next week it will be back to recipes 🙂  This final ‘Winter Wellness’ post is taken from an article I wrote a while back on the benefits of Reflexology Lymphatic Drainage Treatment, which I’m trained in, and which came to mind as I had two calls last week about reflexology treatments in this area.

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Getting some exercise with themselves before the next rain shower

It does read more like an article still than a blog post; I have tried to adapt it a bit ….. though no sense in re-inventing the wheel is there? 😉  Anyway, here it is in all its glory and if you are interested in treatments then it won’t be too long before I will have my clinic in one place again, as opposed to the home visits I now offer. Exciting times ahead!

Our health depends on many things but maybe two of the most important are the body’s ability to circulate blood and lymphatic fluid.  The importance of blood you likely know however the Lymphatic system is just as important as it is this system which helps defend the body against disease by clearing waste and toxins, by helping maintain fluid balance in the tissues and by absorbing fats from the intestines to transport back to the blood.  In fact it is a vital system in our bodies as without it our cardiovascular system won’t work and our immune system would be hard-pressed to cope.

The Lymphatic system is designed for transportation and as such it needs to keep moving.  There are fluids found between the cells or which actually seep out of the cells (intercellular fluid) which slowly begin to accumulate and must be returned to the cells and the blood stream to help maintain homeostasis in the body.  This is where the lymph system comes in; it gathers those fluids, checks it, filters it and then returns them to your blood via the subclavian veins just above the heart.  Unlike the circulatory system however (in which blood flows) the lymphatic system (in which lymph fluid flows) doesn’t have a pump and needs us to move our bodies in order to have the lymph fluid moving.  This system relies on movement of our muscles, their ‘milking’ action, and the changes in the thorax through deep breathing to keep it flowing.

This means that if you lead a sedentary lifestyle your lymphatic fluid may not be flowing as it should and your lymphatic system may be hampered, causing toxins and waste to build up within our bodies. The more waste left in our system the harder our body has to work.  Our body is effectively running on a system of ‘tubes’ and ‘fluid’ so when toxins and waste clog these up we suffer!  Think of a river. When it is flowing it is clear and clean, when it is not flowing it begins to stagnate then it becomes a perfect home for bacteria and disease to build.  The Lymphatic system is no different.  At first it may be a sluggish feeling in the morning or a headache which we just can’t seem to find the cause of.  Eventually it can cause much more serious issues within the body such as swelling, arthritis, skin disorders and more.

Thankfully there are many actions we can take in our lifestyle to help the Lymphatic system work better and ensure that it is doing its job.  In using preventative measures, we can improve and promote our health and well-being while avoiding dis-ease in our bodies. As the Lymphatic system is important in this it makes sense to keep it flowing and healthy and it is important.  As a reflexologist of course the first thing I think of is to have a Reflexology Lymphatic Drainage Massage which will work on the lymphatic system while allowing you to relax and de-stress.   It is an excellent support to the Lymphatic system, especially if you have trouble with mobility and best of all it will help you feeling more relaxed and lighter at the end of a session.  It is a very unique and special thing to have.

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There are some cases where having a Reflexology Lymphatic Drainage Massage is not recommended however and these include: cases of cardiac or renal impairment, first trimester of pregnancy, cases of Deep Vein Thrombosis, having high or low blood pressure or if the foot if injured in any way.  If you are not quite ready to treat yourself to a reflexology lymphatic drainage routine or you feel that it isn’t for you then there are many things you can do at home, in your everyday lives, to ensure that you are keeping a healthy lymphatic system which will help to have a good immune system too.  Try some of the following out:

Exercise– this will help to keep your lymphatic system flowing and moving as it ‘massages’ it into action.

Good Food– a healthy diet means that less toxins and waste products end up in your system. Eating over processed, sugary foods may over load the lymphatic system.

Drink plenty of water– the body needs water to keep everything working properly, including the lymphatic system.

Deep breathing– this ensures that your cells are healthy and oxygenated along with stimulating the lymphatic system.

Dry brushing– long strokes towards your heart for around 5 mins before a shower will stimulate the lymphatic flow.

Herbal teas– they are great mixture of hydration, favour and medicine (depending on what you have).

Use natural beauty products– means less toxins coming into your system via the skin which gives the lymphatic system less of a load.

Wear loose clothing– this lets the lymphatic fluid flow where as tight clothing tends to slow the whole thing down.

Hope this finds you having a great start to the week and ready for all there is to come.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

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Winter Wellness – Part 5 – Cold & Flu fixes

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Our days here have been very varied lately … one day overcast and rain the next bright sunshine and balmy temperatures.  It is hard to know whether you’re coming or going!  I’m not complaining though as while I love the warm days for my morning walks with the dog, I am also very partial to inside days where I can snuggle up with a good book, especially now that the study has finished and the exam completed.

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Picnics with the chickens in the sunshine – as viewed from out back window

Even with all the temperature changes we have thankfully got through winter pretty much illness free… touch wood … however now that the stress of my exam has passed, I can feel my body relaxing and clearing a few things it was obviously ‘storing’ up until I was less stressed.  It’s murphy’s law I guess that as soon as you go on holiday or have a break those cold or flu viruses get you. The body loves coming back into balance and will take every opportunity to do so 🙂  Thankfully, that isn’t me at the moment but it did make me think about a few home cures which I regularly use to help feel a little better a little faster if those breaks from stress end up with my body succumbing to illness.

As always, they are very ‘back to basics’ ideas, ones that our ancestors probably used with success long before we were reaching for all those cold and flu medicines.  See if there are a few that will work for you.

Rest.  The verdict is out! Rest and sleep are the best treatment for most ills and for keeping others at bay.  Getting as much rest as possible early on, rather than pushing through, can help the body to fight the ‘bad guys’ before the bugs overwhelm the body. Sleep really is that good, so make sure you make time to snuggle up when you are feeling the effects of a cold or the flu.

Fluids. Replacing all the fluids you are losing via nose blowing and coughing is a really important part of helping your body heal.  Our bodies need water to function correctly so make sure the fluids are good quality; that is non-fizzy, decaffeinated, sugar free options.  Hot fluids can help loosen congestion so herbal teas (see below for idea) or slices of lemon with honey can be a good option and a soothing too.  It is also a perfect to time to make a big pot of soup that you can dip into through out the day, ensuring you get all the vitamins and fluids you need. Here is a great chicken soup recipe (from before we had vegans on-board)

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Fresh lemons ready for making some lemon tea

Wash your hands.  This seems like a really obvious one I know however it is easy to forget to wash your hands after each blow and/or sneeze when you’re wallowing in how grotty you feel.  Colds are spread easily, both for you to ‘catch’ the first time and to re-infect yourself, through virus-infected airborne droplets or by direct contact with infected secretions so by washing your hands regularly you can cut down the risk to yourself and others in the family.

Herbs.  Using the healing properties of herbs to boost your health can be an easy, and often overlooked, aid to healing.  Try out some of these herbs in your meals or make a soothing cup of tea with them.  While gathering fresh herbs from your garden is delicious, dried herb will have stronger medicinal properties and may be easier to access when you’re feeling under the weather. Sage is a great one for helping with sore throats as it is both an antiseptic and an analgesic. Basil can ease headaches. Thyme is a tried and true herb for coughs. Rosemary for helping to clear the head.

Food.  Eating real, fresh food (combined with herbs) is one of the best way to get any extra nutrients that your body may need.  It can be easy to grab quick and easy processed/packaged kai (food) however this isn’t always going to serve your body well or help you get rid of those cold/flu symptoms any sooner. Garlic is a great addition to meals, as it is both an antibacterial and an antiviral food which will help knock those ‘bugs’ on the head.  Or you could do like my Mum used to and have it raw (chopped up very finely of course) in a honey sandwich! I have to admit that even as a vegan this is still my go to when I feel a cold coming on. Salt water gargles can also be a great way to get you on the road to recovery, another go to for me in the early stages, and an easy fix from home.

Hope this finds you happy, healthy and enjoying your day.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Winter Wellness – Part 4 – Lose the stress

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This week I am gearing up to do my first 3 hour exam in over 20 years and I am feeling the stress creeping in with each day moving me closer to it.   It is amazing how sly stress can be! Honestly, just when I think that I’m on top of things and have this study thing sorted life gets on top of me and before I know it, I’m feeling that tension throughout my body.  

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Thankfully we have lots of nature to get out into and de-stress

The bus isn’t the easiest place to study I have to say, apparently if you can be seen you must be spoken to :), and when you’re in a small town there aren’t that many quiet places to head off to either. So, I’m trying my best to get out of the stress loop by using the tools in my kete (basket) that I know work for me.  I figured that in a culture which too often rates your ability to cope under stress as an indicator of people’s success, others may like to try some of these little beauties to remove some of that stress naturally rather than having to ‘cope’ with it.

Get moving.  Exercise (aerobic especially) is proven to help relieve stress and other negative emotions such as depression.  When we move our bodies, it helps loosen and work all those muscles that you may be holding in tension, it gets you changing your focus, in increases oxygen to the brain and best of all those ‘feel good’ hormones get released.  Any kind of movement is good so pick one that you love and try and get out in nature with it to increase the benefits. 

Have a laugh.  Laughing creates a euphoric effect that will instantly release any tension you have. It can trigger the release of endorphins (the body’s natural pain killers and feel good hormone) which helps you to feel better all over and to relax.  Laughter yoga is now offered in many places and can be a great way to connect with new people however failing that it may just be a good excuse to watch those comedies, silly youtube clips and share all those jokes you have!

Count to 10.  Taking deep breathes and a wee bit of time out is an age old classic that costs nothing and is very effective. The key to this is breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth as this helps relax the whole body … it is hard to keep tension in your body with your mouth open.  Research also shows that deep breathing helps trigger the vagus nerve (a cranial nerve which helps regulate the heart, digestion and lungs) and works with the parasympathic nervous system to bring us into that ‘rest and digest’ state of being rather than stuck in ‘fight/flight or freeze’ state of being. 

Meditate.  Even 5 mins a day of meditation will help stress levels though of course the longer you meditate the greater the benefits. This doesn’t have to be a big deal just find a quite spot, close your eyes (or look downwards, relaxing your gaze) and clear your mind of as much as you can.  First thing in the morning to ‘set you up’ for the day or last thing at night to help you unwind and get a good sleep can be really effective times.  There are loads of apps out there now which can help you get into the right headspace.

Essential oils.  Scent has a powerful impact on our bodies and can bring up memories and emotions easily. This is in part due to the fact that the olfactory nerve (whose nerve fibres in the nose allow us smell) are connected to the limbic system in the brain, rather than going through the cerebral cortex (our thinking part) which triggers these ‘primitive’ responses to what we are smelling.  Lavender is the most popular relaxant but there are plenty others to try.  This link may help you to begin your experimentation with scent.

Stretch.  A good stretch can help with the physical symptoms of stress.  Like exercise it gets you moving those muscles that may have been held in tension. Try a class of yoga which will combine breathing, stretching and exercise for a real stress reliever or even a basic stretch at your desk and see how good it feels. Here is a link to a few suggestions.

Bach Flower Remedies.  As many of you know I love Bach Flower Remedies and I’m a big believer that emotions dictate our health unless we intervene.  Bach Flowers are designed to work on emotions and can target the source of your negative emotions helping to increase the positive.  White Chestnut is a classic for those who continue with ‘mental conversations and/or internal arguments’, whereas Agrimony can help those who hide their stress behind a smile.  If you want to learn more and try a treatment bottle then check out my FREE quiz to find your remedies (don’t worry you don’t have to sign up to anything) and e-mail me to make you up a bottle. Otherwise you can find out more about Bach Flowers and have your own guide by checking out my book ‘Finding Calm and Balance’ which is on sale at a special price for the next week or so, along with my other e-books.

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Only 99c (US) at the moment along with my other books

Hope this finds you a little calmer, a little less tense and enjoying the life you have.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Winter Wellness – Part 3 – Super Foods

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I’m writing this from a sunny Picton while himself is out at work and themselves are enjoying the frost.  We have decided to come up for the weekend so himself didn’t have to do a long drive each day over the weekend and it is great to get away for a mini break albeit in the same accomodation.  It is amazing just how much warmer it is, even with the frosty start to the morning, when you’re away from mountains covered in snow! After almost a week without a heater, it broke last Sunday just as the big frosts arrived, it is very enjoyable sitting warmly indoors and watching the sun glisten on the frost with my feet all toasty.

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Making the most of a campground for a change … themselves are loving the trampoline and playground!

This week I thought I’d share a post which I wrote 9 years ago now, when we had just come back to NZ.  Winter calls for warm lunches and is a great time to be making big pots of healthy veggie soup (thickened up with some rice and or beans), especially when you are unwell.  So with that in mind I thought this little list may help boost the healing potential of your brew.  I am mindful that some of the ‘Super Foods’ listed here are on that ‘dirty dozen’ list of heavily sprayed foods and it can be expensive to get organic in NZ so if you can’t source homegrown or spray free veg then the next best thing is to try and clean them a little.

So without further ado I will give you the list of  20 foods with great antioxident properties that can help fight disease and keep your body fighting fit. I confess that I don’t know where I sourced the list from originally, though I’m sure I have altered it quite a bit, so if it is yours then please let me know so that I can credit you officially 🙂

1. AsparagusCousin of the yellow onion asparagus is a valuable source of antioxidants Vitamin C, bioflavonoid rutin and beta carotene. High in folate it is good for lowering the risk of birth defects, colon and cervical cancer. It is a good detoxifier and immune builder as well as reducing fatigue.
2. Beets
Having edible roots and leaves beets are a good brain and anti-fatigue food rich in beta carotene and betaine. Beets have been used for centuries medicinally and as part of many staple diets. Containing calcium, potassium, iron and vitamins A and C they are also valuable to a healthy heart.
3. Berries
While there are many to choose from all berries are a wonderful cool down food. Blueberries are a powerful bacteria fighter against infections of the urinary tract and kidneys as are cranberries. Strawberries are packed with vitamin C as well as 20 different anti-aging trace minerals and cancer fighting flavonoids.
4. Carrots
Related to parsnip and celery, carrots provide more protein, calcium, iron and vitamins A, C and B than most other vegetables. They contain cancer fighting flavonoid antioxidants, and are the second highest source of pro-vitamin A beta carotene. Carrots are great for colds, diarrhoea (as soup or juice) and arthritis.
5. Cabbage
Rich in two antioxidants sulfaphane and the flavonoids complex, cabbage offers more anticancer benefits than any other vegetable family. It is one of the top 5 sources of vegetable fibre to help reduce cholesterol, risks of coronary artery disease and preventing blood clotting. Cabbage juice is also a powerful healer.
6. Celery
Celery has been used medicinally for centuries, having a reputation of a laxative, diuretic, gallstone nostrum and an antibacterial agent. It contains Vitamin C, B complex, phosphorus, sodium, potassium and more fibre than parsnips. Celery’s crunch has stress reductive properties and it is also a great body balancer after overindulgence.
7. Garlic
With over 100 healing ingredients, garlic is a natural antibacterial and antifungal plant which contains vitamin A, B and C, calcium, potassium, iron, antioxidants, carotenes, germanium, selenium, and garlic’s all important sulphurous compounds. Garlic helps to restore metabolic equilibrium, blocking free radicals, which weaken immune systems, helping to prevent disease.
8. Ginger
Ginger provides more protein than green beans and is rich in Vitamin A, calcium, iron phosphorus, potassium and riboflavin. It has been used for centuries medicinally for nausea, indigestion and as a poison antidote. Ginger also is an effective antibacterial killing salmonella and inhibiting the fungi that produces a carcinogen.
9. Grapes
Enjoyed fresh, as a juice or dried as raisins, grapes are a good source of fibre, potassium and Vitamins A, B and C. Both dried and fresh grapes have been used in healing dyspepsia, liver and kidney disorders, tuberculosis, haemorrhoids and venous disorders due to their flavonoid antioxidants. Try at get organic where possible as these are one of that dirty dozen that have the life sprayed out of them.
10. Kiwifruit
Originating in China, Kiwifruit is a rich source of Vitamin C (120% of your daily quota) fibre, magnesium, and potassium. Kiwifruit in your diet can help in lowering cholesterol, maintaining stronger arteries and protecting skeletal growth and repair. The high vitamin C content in kiwifruit also aids in oral care.
11. Lemons
One of the top seven sources of potassium lemons are good for promoting clear thinking. An excellent source of Vitamin C, one tablespoon is one tenth of the daily requirement; Lemons have been used as a remedy against scurvy. It is a natural cleanser and therapy for treating fever.
12. Nectarines
Rich in beta carotene, Vitamin A, potassium and magnesium, nectarines are a great heath giving and tasting fruit. They can help with lowered immunity, kidney stones, poor vision and protection against pollution. Nectarines also contain 12% of your RDA of ascorbic acid and can be used cooked or fresh.
13. Nuts
Nuts are a rich source of antioxidants selenium and the polyphenols, which assist in preventing cancer. They are rich in protein, topping cheese, milk and eggs depending on the variety. Nuts provide high levels of Essential Fatty Acids which the body needs for energy and a healthy heart.
14. Onions
Coming from the same Allium family as garlic, onions share many of the same healing qualities. They have been used for centuries medicinally helping with tuberculosis, coughs, hypertension and cancer as well as in beauty recipes for the hair. Onions provide beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamins B1, B2 and Vitamin C.
15. Oranges
Oranges have long been used to improve people’s health. Rich in Vitamin C, bioflavonoids, phenolic acids and fibre oranges are good for preventing free radical damage and neutralizing carcinogens as well as stabilizing blood cholesterol and treating respiratory disorders. Oranges also make a good alcohol-free germicidal gargle and mouthwash.
16. Parsley
Parsley has long enjoyed a reputation as a healing and sacred herb. Containing Vitamin A, folate, chlorophyll (an age slowing nutrient) Vitamin C and antioxidants; courmarins, flavonoids, monoterpene and polyacetylene, it can assist in iron deficiencies, strengthening immune systems, stomach disorders, rheumatism and act as an anti PMS aid.
17. Peppers
Having between 150 – 200 varieties, peppers belong to the nightshade family. They are effective painkillers when used in the form as capsaicin cream for the treatment of a variety of illnesses. Peppers are source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, folate, Vitamin A, phosphorous, iron, sodium, magnesium and silicon.
18. Rice
Unrefined Rice is an excellent source of nutrients such as B-complex vitamins, iron and calcium. Rice also contains high levels of protease inhibitors which help prevent or retard the growth of tumours. It has been used medicinally for centuries to treat infant diarrhoea, rehydrating the body and bulking stool volume.
19. Soybeans
Soybeans are packed full of nutrients which makes them valuable in helping reduce cholesterol levels, cancer-proof the body, act as a natural appetite suppressant and an antidepressant. Prepared in various ways soybeans contain more potassium and iron than milk, Vitamins A and E, Vitamin C, zinc, calcium, protein and B12.
20. Tomatoes
One of the richest known sources of lycopene, an anticancer antioxidant; tomatoes are a good way to cancer proof your body and boost your health. Tomatoes contain Vitamin C, Vitamin A antioxidants P-coumaric, 2-phenol and cholorogenic acid. They are natural healers for kidney disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, hypoglycaemia and diarrhoea. Another of the so called dirty dozen so source homegrown or organic where possible.
Hope this finds you enjoying the sun and in great health where ever you are in the world.
Arohanui
Y
www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Healing Hands Reflexology

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My mind is still filled with all those families who are now learning to live without their loved ones.  I constantly think about how magnified their emotions must be, not only with grief but also dealing with the way the loss occurred, of what the future holds and possibly a sense of uncertainly in their own community.

love is always at hand

For that reason I thought that I would share a bit of my Healing Hands workshop so that people can put it to use at home or out and about as they deal with the everyday stresses with everyday situations which may trigger huge emotions to surface.   Reflexology is such a great tool for well-being and since feet aren’t always that practical to get to when emotions arise, I love to use hand reflexology.  It is a bit of self love and soothing that you can be using, anytime, anywhere,  without anyone being the wiser.

Reflexology is a natural, holistic treatment which works on the principle that everything in the body is connected.  It is is a mixture of ancient wisdom and modern thinking where by the nerve endings in the feet and hands can be massaged in a particular way to help bring the body back into balance.  (Read more here)

What I’m offering here is a very basic guide as to where some points are in the hand which can help elevate the stress reaction as emotions come up.  The points shown in the images are ones you can rub and/or massage to help bring you some calm in order to move forward.  For the purposes of self calming and self love it really doesn’t matter how you approach the massage rather focus on breathing deep while holding the intention of calm and love with you as you work so that your body can respond in kind. In fact I would suggest any hand rubbing, twisting, shaking and clicking with the intention of release would be fantastic!

These points relate to parts of the body which frequently come into play as part of our stress (fight or flight) response.  Our breathing can quicken so rubbing the top of our palms (lung points) can help bring our breath back into balance. Our heads can spin so rubbing the fingertips (head, brain and sinus points) can help to bring clear thinking back into play.  Our shoulders and back tense up so rubbing the base of the little finger (shoulder point) and along the edge of our thumb and wrist (spine and nervous system) can ease the tension for example.

So without further ado I’ll let you look below and give it ago ……… don’t be shy, just try it and you’ll be impressed with how much more relaxed you can feel.  I was thinking about making a wee video of it all in action so if you think this would be helpful please leave a comment below and I’ll get cracking 🙂

Healing Hands Mini Stress Relief Routine

  • Pictures are all shown palms up.
  • Remember to take care of yourself so if anything hurts then ease up or miss it out. 
  • These are only guidelines, if you find a technique which is better for you then go with that. 
  • If it seems too much and overwhelming then just focus on one or two points to start with.
  • Breath as deep and slow as you can throughout the routine if possible. 

Begin with shaking out your hands then squeeze, twist and pull each thumb and finger. Rub hands together gently (front and back) while taking some deep breaths before starting the points below.

  1. Head and Brain points:  These are your finger tips.  Rub/massage in a circular motion with the thumb of the opposite hand or whatever feels good for you. This will help to bring calm and balance to the mind as well as hitting on some endocrine and sinus points.

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2. Chest and Lung points: This is the area is at the base of your fingers and the top of your palm.  You will feel the metacarpal heads (the other side of your knuckles) and the base of these is pretty much the lower part of this point.  Using the thumb or fingers of the opposite hand rub/massage across this area.  This will help to balance your breath and give more oxygen to the brain to bring calm.

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3. Diaphragm Points: This is at the base of the lung area or just below the bony metacarpal heads. Using the thumb of the opposite hand ‘caterpillar walk’ or rub across this line in both directions. Again this helps with bringing balance to the breath.

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4. Solar Plexus Points:  This is the in the centre of the diaphragm line above and in line with the middle of your palm.  You should press on this point with the thumb of the opposite hand while taking slow, deep breaths.  Do three breaths .. pressing in as you breath in and release at you breath out.  Repeat as many times as necessary to bring almost instant calm.

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5. Shoulder Points:  This are located at the base of your fingers and the section at the bottom of your little finger.  Using the fingers or thumb of the opposite hand work across the area … first the ‘line’ and then the section at the base of the little finger. Notice any tenderness (not pain just tenderness) and breath into it to help ease away the tension from this area of the body.

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6. Spine points: This area runs along the outside of your thumb and along the bottom of your palm.  There are various ways to work this area on  yourself so see which feels the most comfortable – work with thumb of opposite hand in a ‘caterpillar walk’ style, work with fingers of the opposite hand, rub with the whole of your opposite hand.  If you think of the tip of your thumb as your head then work up towards the head will bring more calm energy and working down towards the wrist will bring a relaxing calm.

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7. Adrenal Points:  These points are found near the fleshy part at the base of your thumb and likely to be found by the tenderness there.  Best worked in a gentle circular motion with the opposite thumb while the fingers of the opposite hand ‘cradle’ the hand being worked.  Remember to breath as deep as you can while working these points 🙂

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I hope this finds you safe and secure with another tool in your kete (basket) while feeling a little more calm.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

 

What is all this tapping?

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Ok so you may well be asking ‘What is all this tapping about and how can tapping on something actually achieve anything?’   Got to be honest here; the first time I tried it 9 years ago I wondered the same thing and thought it was all a bit weird.  I went along with it though and was amazed how quickly my feelings towards my fears dissipated and how much better I felt afterwards.

EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or tapping is a fantastic self help tool which can help deal with cravings, pain, emotional, trauma and so much more!!  This is very basic guide as to what tapping is and how it works.

Getting started with the karate chop

Getting started with the karate chop

Emotional Freedom Technique, often known as tapping, is a form of psychological acupressure.  It works by using the meridian lines that run through the body as a basis of places to tap while verbalising problems, fears or emotions.  Just as acupuncture works to clear energy blocks so does EFT except without the needles, thankfully.  Talking about the issue then adds another level of clearance.  The points used in acupuncture are specific to the issue being dealt with however with EFT it was found that even by tapping on meridian points not specific to the issue there was still a huge benefit.  As a result a set sequence of points was created.

There are some basic steps to follow and then it is all about using this technique to your benefit.  NOTE:  The words you use are not important.  Well they are important so I should clarify that by saying there is no right or wrong thing to say.  You will have a chance to verbalise the problem and how you are feeling first and then a chance to say the positives you wish to have in your life.  Some people wonder why there is a need to focus on the negative when the ‘law of attraction’ dictates that you should focus on what you want.  I heard one EFT practitioner liken it to gardening in that you have to focus on the weeds and extracting them before you can get into the good stuff of planting seeds and watching them grow.  Makes sense, doesn’t it, even to a bad gardener like me.

How do I do this tapping stuff?

There is a sequence to follow however it is not complicated so don’t worry about it too much.  When I first started I always forgot bits and guess what…… it still worked and helped me through some pretty rough times.  I will explain the procedure and then give an example in italics for each main point.

Step 1 – Defining the issue and distress level

  • Think of the problem, situation or fear you which you would like to focus on and rate it from 0-10.  1 = no emotion attached while 10 = hugely emotional. i.e. You may think about  a function you have to organise and feel completely overwhelmed and angry as you remember last year so you would give yourself a 9 or 10.
  • You can also locate in your body where you feel this most along with giving it a colour. i.e. You can feel this in your shoulders and neck while it seems very red.
Tapping points.

Tapping points.

Step 2 – Set up statement

  • While tapping on the Karate Chop (see diagram above) repeat a ‘set up statement’ about the issue 3 times.
  • Set up statements have this pattern ‘Even though _______________ I deeply and completely accept myself and how I am feeling’.  i.e.  ‘Even though I have all these red angry feelings about this function and I feel so overwhelmed by it all I deeply and completely accept myself and how I am feeling’

Step 3 – Tapping Sequence

  • Now you will move through the points (see diagram below) tapping on each point around 7 times (don’t worry about counting them as while you talk you will tap around this amount anyway) while expressing your thoughts or feelings or saying a basic reminder. First will be the negative round/rounds (the clearing of the weeds) then the positive (the planting of the seeds)
  • So you could just say the same thing on each of the points i.e. ‘This overwhelm and anger’ or you could express whatever comes into your head i.e. Eyebrow point (EB) ‘This overwhelm and anger’. Side of the eye (SE) ‘Man I feel so angry.’ Under the eye (UE) They just leave it all up to me and then moan about what I’ve done.  Under the nose (UN) ‘I’m so angry at them all.’ Chin (CH) ‘and I’m angry at myself for letting them treat me this way.’ Collar Bone (CB) ‘I’m so angry.’ Under the Arm (UA) I feel so overwhelmed by all my emotions.’ Crown / Top of the head (TH) All these negative emotions are getting to me.’ 
  • This is one round of tapping.  Continue going like this until it feels natural to begin saying positive statements.  It may be only one round of negative or it could be 7!  Don’t rush it.  There is no point beginning on the positive if your subconscious is still focusing on clearing all the rubbish.  It is however important to take care of your personal well-being so if you feel that you are becoming too emotional take a break.  You can always come back to it when you are ready or try a topic that is a little less emotionally charged.
  • The other way to do it is to reassess your distress level after each round.  Rate how you feel from 0 – 10 after one round of verbalising the negatives. If you are still feeling higher than a 4 begin again.  This time though use the set up ‘Even though I still have this remaining _______ I deeply and completely accept myself and how I’m feeling.’  Do this until your distress is around 2-3 before going onto the positive round or more ideally a zero.
  • The positive round can just continue on from the negative round. There is no need to say a set-up statement again. Move through the points again now saying positives or possibilities about the situation.  i.e. Eyebrow point (EB) ‘Maybe this function could be different.’ Side of the eye (SE) ‘What if I just focused on one thing that does work or I do enjoy.’ Under the eye (UE) ‘Maybe I could ask for help this time.’ Under the nose (UN) ‘I’m sure someone would help by bringing a plate of food.’ Chin (CH) ‘I choose to ask at least one person to help me.’ Collar Bone (CB) ‘With help I know I would feel better about the tasks I have to do.’ Under the Arm (UA) ‘or at least I’d have someone to talk with about it all.’ Crown / Top of the head (TH) ‘Yes, this time I choose to ask for help so that I can enjoy this function more.’ 
  • Continue with another positive round if you wish so that you are really putting all those good thoughts in your head 😉

Step 4 – Re-assessing your distress level

  • After all the rounds of tapping (negative and positive) take a deep breath and let it out slowly.
  • Re-assess your distress level.  This allows you to see the progress you are making and if it is still high this will indicate there is still bottled up emotions lurking. Play the ‘movie’ of the event/pain etc through and see if anything comes up.
  • Take your time working through issues till you feel that you are getting the relief you are looking for.  Some issues may be cleared up in a few rounds while others are like an onion and have many layers to peel back and unravel.
  • You will feel better with a distress level of under 3 however you deserve to be clear and free of the issue completely so keep going (could be over a few hours/day/weeks/months) till you are at 0 for your distress level.

NB:  Issues and things that come into your head while tapping or during the day can simply be tapped on then (even if you were on another topic) or written down for later tapping.

If you want to download a free guide then head over to www.eftuniverse.com

Hope this finds you tapping into a great week.

Arohanui

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