When it comes to raising children, we all know the basics. Kids need healthy food, a safe home, and plenty of rest. And, obviously, loads of love and support. But what about emotional health? Is there a tool or practice that may provide children a way to support themselves emotionally? One method may be tapping.
The practice of tapping combines ancient Chinese medicine with psychology and is super-easy to teach and use. It’s like psychological acupressure. Basically, you touch or “tap” acupressure points to release energy. Simple tapping can stimulate the nervous system, relax muscles, move lymph, and promote healthy blood flow. Plus tapping is a healthy self-soothing behavior. It deactivates the fight-or-flight response and calms the body and mind. Plus, tapping while experiencing negative or stressful events can reprogram our mind’s response to it. The tapping basically stops the panic message before it hits the amygdala in the brain. In one study, an hour-long tapping session reduced the cortisol (the body’s stress hormone) by 25%-50%!
Sometimes referred to as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), the tapping is most effective when used in the proper spots on the body and in conjunction with positive affirmations. In other words, while tapping you should be repeating a positive mantra. Several websites are available for quick demonstrations, and many videos are also available to educate yourself about the technique.
Even if you don’t practice the precise tapping that EFT suggests, tapping can have positive effects on your body and mental health. International kids’ yoga company, Kidding Around Yoga, has a song specifically targeting the tapping movements. In Every Little Cell, body parts are tapped and patted, effectively waking them up while settling the energy. Especially useful after a long day at school, many Kidding Around Yoga classes start their practice with a round of tapping.