by Sandy Goodwin, RN, BSN
As a nurse, I’ve always been fascinated with the mind-body connection. I believe there’s much more to the healing process than we really know, and from their experiences, I believe most nurses would agree.
A few years back, in my mind-body research, I learned about a technique called Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), or Tapping, as it’s commonly called. In its most basic description, EFT Tapping is a combination of psychotherapy and acupuncture (without the needles). In the technique of Tapping, you verbalize a thought or feeling that’s bothering you while you use your fingers to tap on various acupressure points on your body.
The Tapping technique has been around since the 1980s, first introduced by Dr. Roger Callahan, a clinical psychologist who tried the technique with a patient who had a stubborn water phobia she had suffered with for years. After one session, the phobia amazingly disappeared. The technique was later refined into its current simplified Tapping technique by a student of Dr. Callahan’s, Gary Craig, a Stanford-trained engineer. Since its discovery, it has been used by millions of people around the world for a variety of issues, especially releasing stressful thoughts and emotions.
So how can this help you as a nurse? Let’s use an example. During a shift, you enter a room with a patient who has been in stable condition and improving. As you enter, you notice a major change - on a monitor, or in the physical appearance or behavior of the patient. Right then, your body experiences a small “shock” to its energy system. That “shock” is often accompanied by an emotion, like anxiety, worry, fear, or other stress emotion. As a professional nurse, you handle the situation and care for your patient, and the emergency is resolved. But that “shock” still remains within you, since it has not been processed and released.
That is just one example of the stress process and its effect on your body. How many times a day does your system receive “shocks” – from an emergency situation, to talking to an upset family member, to comforting a dying patient, to talking to a doctor who may not have the happiest temperament, to getting an additional patient suddenly added to your schedule? It happens all day long. These “shocks” and paired emotions build up like blockages in your body’s energy system. And like plaque and clots that can occlude a blood vessel, the trapped emotions from the “shocks” occlude the natural flow of energy in your body. EFT Tapping can be used to release the trapped energy so it can move freely again.
Through my own use of Tapping, both personally, and as an EFT Practitioner, I see how powerful it can be in the release of stress and emotions. When it is used often and effectively, you feel calmer, more relaxed, and have more available energy. Tapping is a painless, simple technique, and generally, you will notice a reduction of your stress symptoms within a few Tapping rounds.
If you’re intrigued and would like to try Tapping, I offer personalized, individual Tapping sessions. Or you could learn some Tapping on your own with a book like “The Tapping Solution” by Nick Ortner, or through the website of the Founder, Gary Craig.
Nurses are great advocates for their patients, and you can be a great advocate for yourself by learning how to use Tapping to reduce your stress and let your energy flow.
Sandy Goodwin, RN, BSN helps nurses learn how to stop the energy drain of stress, so they can prevent burnout, feel better, and re-energize their mind and body. For over 30 years, as a nurse, nurse educator, and certified life coach, she has taught clients how to calm their minds and relax their bodies, so they can take care of others without depleting themselves. Learn about Sandy’s “Stress Mastery Program” and the amazing technique of Tapping for stress release, by visiting her website: www.breakthestresscycle.com.
Sandy Goodwin, RN, BSN
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